4.30am - have been up a couple of hours anyway - couldn't sleep. We had a huge electrical storm last night - massive thunder and lightening - it's OK now, just very damp - there is green slime everywhere - houses, floors, pavements. The decking on the patio - which I cleaned just a few weeks ago - is a slimy green mess again and dangerous to walk on.
Did loads yesterday - including about ten runs on the washing machine. Have someone staying for a couple of days so I'm trying to make the house 'habitable'. Harder than it sounds.
Please don't click on any of the comments that contain obvious marketing links - if anyone responds - it just confirms there is someone 'here' and they will get worse.
Sadly, it transpires that the girl killed on Xmas day was know to me - she shared our table at the charity bingo even I went to last week. It really was just a freak accident.
Interesting article here about education fees and teaching standards - which fails to address the drop in funding that accompanies a hike in fees - when I ran a course I was under no illusions that it was all about income, and that I HAD to accept students to make up numbers, regardless of ability - or there would be no money to teach them.
Another pretty interesting article here about the creation of this year's Pirelli calendar. Years ago I was taught by Derek Birdsall who had himself designed an early, much praised Pirelli Calendar - he was so wrapped up in the design and typography - I honestly don't think he was actually aware of the content. It's an interesting read and includes the jaw dropping paragraph -
"I can't quite figure out what the point of it is any more, I'm afraid," observed one veteran of a motoring publication. "What's the connection between nice pictures of Rio and Pirelli? You know, when you used to have the distinctive tyre tread painted on a model's bottom, you could see the marketing strategy. Not now."
How times change..
I'd quite like to read this - lets see if it corresponds to my version of events.
I let Alfie Greyhound onto the sofa last night - having done a quick repair job after the last time the dogs were allowed in the front room. He's been on it for 14 hours, with no sign that he want's to leave.
Bit of a local stink on an online forum for creative practitioners in my area. The local authority have re-decorated the public toilets in St Leonard's, mad them unisex and added a receptacle of syringes. It's been met with derision and shock by at least one angry person, who is equally outraged by the accommodation of addiction and the horror of unisex.
I think it's interesting that the local authority have done this - they are obviously right - unisex saves money and reduces loitering and anti social behaviour - the receptacle means that the toilet is cleaner and safer. If it's a mess, then it encourages more mess. We need to be very realistic about things like this - pretending that there are no social issues does not make them go away - you have to tackle them head on. Having a safe bin accommodates drug addicts - but does not facilitate them. I once worked on a project for Superdrug in Glasgow ( I'm sure I've mentioned this ) and part of the retail plan was a 'safe' room where addicts on prescription substitutes could take their methadone etc in a clean, safe, non judgemental environment ( basically a warm room, comfortable with soft chairs, low lights and bean bags and access to medical attention if needed, adjacent to the pharmacy ). Whilst some people were outraged at this concession to the large and unpopular addict population of The Gorballs - it meant that they didn't scurry out to the bins, the public toilets or the back streets to take their drugs, had less contact with dealers and 'street' users - and access to trained addiction counsellors. Most of them took their medication and just... got on with life ( a common practice parts or Europe where heroin addiction is treated as a life long dependency issue that need not to interfere with life - a bit like being a diabetic and needing insulin ). Personally - I've never taken drugs, not even as an experiment. I've never needed to, never been curious and never felt peer pressure to do so - but I've been lucky. Addiction also covers drink, prescription drugs and - in my opinion, poor quality food.
Thing in the paper this week about 'kindness' - and how - in an experiment - children who were made to complete a 'task' of at least 3 acts of random kindness within their peer group tended to be happier, better adjusted and better socialised. NO SHIT SHERLOCK!!!! What depresses me is that children have so few good influences - social media, television, soap opera, video games - all trade in a currency of cruelty and spite - violence, conflict, anger, betrayal, bullying - these are the influences constantly promoted - and that's what they give back - it's f***ing obvious. I note that this New Years big 'TV Event' broadcasting is ANOTHER exploration of the Jack the Ripper murders... seriously - chopping up women as entertainment and family viewing - desensitising everyone to murder and mutilation - depressing.
This cheery little blog post was brought to you courtesy our friends at the Fair Trade coffee company (strong blend) - normal service will be resumed as soon as I find something cheerful to say ( or the caffine has faded ).