27 Jan 2011
It’s not often that I get annoyed by scams. Most are easy to see and ignore. However one from yesterday has really hacked me off.
N came home from school looking terribly excited. Apparently they did a poetry competition at school some time ago (first we’d heard of it mind). She waved us a serstificate wot said that she’d won and her poem was going to be in an anthology of the best poems in the competition. Hurrah! Very well done little girl.
Very pleased for her. She was beaming and proper excited. A published poet! At 5!
Then we get the bumph. The book is apparently a proper book and will be in the British Library! Well ooo. Doesn’t every book published in the UK get put in the BL? I thought so.
And then we get to the price. £16.99 per copy!
For a kid’s book? Forget that for a lark. We just bought a hardback, illustrated Alice in Wonderland for a quid. Is this anthology of children’s poems really worth 17 copies of Alice?
Cue some harumphing.
Well this morning it turns out that pretty much everyone at the school who submitted anything is also “a winner” and has got their own poem published in this book. Some were calling it a scam, others were upset as they’d already paid for it. Who wouldn’t want to see their child’s work published?
I don’t really blame the school for this, mind you they could have checked the internet say as there are loads of complaints about these scams. But aren’t the people responsible for this scam just scum? Horrible thing to do. The children are so excited and who could refuse buying their published work?
Well us for a start. I expect a strongly worded complaint to the school to be forthcoming soon.
Just watching a show about the Supreme Court on BBC4. The first real footage of any of the Supreme Court judges was one of them getting to work on his push bike.
Ha! He had flashing front and rear lights only. That’s illegal!
26 Jan 2011
I’ve just spent the last few days writing an academic essay again. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a proper one of these. We had a practice one a few weeks back but that was only 1000 words and didn’t count for anything. This one counts as about 17% of my year’s work.
It’s been quite a while since I managed one of these. It’s not actually completely done and R wants to review it before I’m proper done too. Mind you as far as I’m concerned I only have the referencing stuff to do.
It’s a strange course this year. It’s a masters in “Advancing Health Care Practice“. My main problem with it is that the first year is all the tedious airy-fairy stuff about “leadership”. You know the kind of thing, all meaningless buzzwords and little actual objective knowledge. At least that what it feels like. I’d far rather be doing next year’s course which is looking at healthcare research.
Only another 2 essays and one final “bring everything together” assignment and I’m done with this subject.
21 Jan 2011
Just seen an advert for a loan shark company on tv. You know that bit on ads for lending wot says what the APR is? Well the ad I’ve just seen quoted an “equivalent APR of”
16 Jan 2011
This year I hit an arbitrary milestone in that I have my 40th birthday in May. At present I have no special event planned but I’m contemplating one.
A week or two after my birthday it’s half-term for N. That’s the week beginning the last weekend of Bungay for those of a juggly disposition.
So my half-thought through plan is the weekend to Monday at Bungay followed by the rest of the week camping somewhere in that region. Any and all welcome to come and join us for however long, starting at whatever point, over that week.
I’ll look and find a good site and then around for nice hotels or B&Bs near there and then campers and non-campers catered for.
Any if anyone knows any great camping places around Norfolk/Suffolk then do let me know.
13 Jan 2011
The wonderful deal offered to me by the government re pay and conditions is in the news again. (see about 3 posts ago)
Seems the RCN are to vote against. Can’t imagine Unison voting for it either and I imagine the BMA are likely to be not in favour.
Seems like a long shot but I don’t think I’m too out there in suggesting we’re going to be looking at a lot of NHS strikes and action in the next year.
So pleased I voted for the Lib Dems, and so pleased to see so much of their “moderating influence” over the loathsome filth (sorry Tory party).
A fun year ahead.
11 Jan 2011
Latest news for me is that the lovely private practice that I work at has run out of work for me. A major shame. My last day is this Friday.
I didn’t get a huge amount of work from them (half day a week) but it was a nice bonus and the people there are lovely. I was only maternity cover anyway and should have finished back in September last year so they’ve not been bad to me. They might still be able to offer me Saturday working and a Pilates class or two, fingers crossed.
Does mean it gives me a little more time with the family (yay), more time to work on my own thing (yay) and a little less money (urgh).
09 Jan 2011
I’ll implant a bloody idea into your subconsciousness shall I? How about this fillum is massively over-rated?
If you haven’t gathered I’m talking about the top rated (by Mark Kermode among many others) fillum of last year, Inception.
The basic theme of a thriller taking place in dreams etc yes fair enough. But what on earth has the fuss been about?
Apparently it’s a tricky fillum to follow. Really? Seemed pretty straight-forward to me. “ah yes which dream are they in and what’s real?” Erm haven’t you been watching? That bit is dream 1, that is dream 2 etc. Very very easy if you ask me.
“Ah but it all fitted together so well”, well duuh, that’s called using parintheses. Any beginner computer programmer or mathematician can do nested parintheses. Why’s that so special?
Ah there we have the nub of the problem. This is a fillum with logic instead of a soul.
The story is fairly ludicrous but let’s go with it otherwise I’d be dismissing all sci-fi everywhere and I’m quite a fan of good sci-fi (5th Element still rates as the best proper sci-fi fillum ever).
We have a damaged and disturbed lead character trying to get home to his kids (torn between a yawn and a retch here), doing “one last job” (more yawning) but one that’s never been done before (chain yawning). Don’t care for him, don’t care for the other characters, don’t care that he gets home or what. There’s so little character building going on that it seems they’re only there as pegs to hang the script on.
So then we get to the business end of the plot. Nested dreams. Ok so we’re going to get wild roller-coaster dreams of fabulous imaginings. Well no. What we actually get are various video game levels (the city one, the one set in a hotel, the one in a snowy landscape) full of men running and shooting. Ooh imaginative then.
Where were the everlasting stairs they mention early in the fillum? Where is the bit where someone’s running but getting nowhere? Where was the waking up naked on a tube train (oh that was prolly best left in my head)?
It does seem that the writer and director has very poor dreams.
They also have a rather poor sense of using music in their fillums. There were plenty of opportunities for a bit of silence and reflection but pretty much all conversation was covered by music of varying degrees of intrusivity ranging from totally obfuscating to merely very distracting.
Oh yes and the character stuff was between main character and his wife who’s died. They were in a dream world for 50 years apparently and they built a wonderful life down there. Apparently. What they did seem to build was a horrific concrete metropolis with no aesthetic joy nor extravagance nor imagination. A pair of tedious dullards.
9/10 on IMDb? Best fillum of 2010? If so then what a poor reflection of how bad people’s experience with movies has become in recent years.
05 Jan 2011
You remember that open prison wot got burned down by its inmates? Well apparently it’s all because the governer is a lesbian?
Or at least that’s all I can read into this story. Otherwise why is there any interest in this?
Another marvellous leap of logic for the Mail.
It seems that the government have put forward a nice and fair plan to save the UK some money by cutting down on wage costs in the NHS.
Staff are to be asked if we wish to have no pay rise (despite one already being negotiated, albeit a rather poor deal at best), no increments (we’re on a system where, assuming you’re doing well in the job you go up within a pay band every year until you hit the top of that pay band) and with compulsory increased pension contributions from our wages. And all this is return for a “no compulsory redundancies” promise.
So less take-home money year on year, no incentive to do well and in return they won’t sack us. Nice.
(aside – I quite like the idea of higher pension contributions – but I bet those will be to get our existing benefits not anything better)
Which government was it who said that frontline services wouldn’t be hit? I can’t quite remember.
So this was fun reading and then I hit the pay off. This amazing once in a lifetime deal is for pay band 1-6 staff only. Guess what band I’m in? Could it be 7? Why yes I believe it is.
So less take-home pay (and furthermore reducing cf the cost of living over a couple of years) and I would still be at risk of compulsory redundancy? Not sure the incentives are quite there yet for me to vote for this.
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