Thursday, 27 December 2007


Paris Hilton's Grandfather is to give 97% of his $2.3-billion net worth to the charity foundation started by his father.

Paris is going to have a rather smaller inheritance, maybe she'll even have to get a job - and more than for about ten seconds in The Simple Life.

Although apparently she has "built her own moneymaking empire with a popular TV reality show, movie cameos and a hit single, plus appearances shilling perfume, burgers, books and canned champagne." Los Angeles Times...

There is no word on what Miss Hilton thinks of this generous act by her grandfather.

I think she should follow his lead and start doing more for charity and more than just going to a charity ball, I'd really like to see her get her hands dirty.

But maybe that's the morality films talking again...

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Something pongs...

I am going to scream if I see another celebrity perfume!

Though it's Christmas now so I might be safe.

Why does anyone think that I want to smell like Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Moss or even Kylie - and I used to kind of like Kylie Minogue...

And Nicole, I think you're great but I see that damn Chanel ad one more time..!

Why would I buy a celebrity perfume?

What do celebrities knonw about perfume?

Apart from how to put it on...

I put on perfume that doesn't mean I can design a sodding fragrance!

Ok, I'm obviously more pissed off about this than I realised.

I don't even use much perfume I keep my bottles for years, ok maybe that was giving away too much.

Thankfully no one bought me any, the only smelly thing I have is a Lush box.

And no I don't buy B's perfumes, though I have been tempted by Lady Boy - and that's not advertised.

Funny that.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Christmas viewing

There is something about Christmas that makes me suspend my gag reflex.

I've been watching endless amounts of Christmas movies (ok one of them was Die Hard) and I'll probably be watching more.

Now while I can stifle the sickness invoked by the very forced heart warmingness I find the moralising a bit much.

Perhaps it's because I'm feeling a bit vulnerable at Christmas.

All the Oxfam ads and charity appeals is making me question my own lack of scroogeness.

Apart from Christmas cards I haven't bought any ethical or charity gifts, despite doing an article on them.

One of my friends is buying nothing but charity gifts this year, but I will gladly bow out and say she is a better person than me.

But does that leave me being good enough I wonder...

Well if I get a visit from my dead gran and three spirits I guess I'll know for sure.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Time to bolt your food.

It has been revealed in the paper today that McDonalds will be setting a time limit on its drive-in customers.

They have already slapped a fine on a man that took one hour in their car park finishing off his coffee and donut.

I could maybe understand if people were staying in the car park for three or four hours.

But one hour, that's a standard lunch break.

I've never liked McDonalds, except for when I was a kid and I couldn't understand why my mum wouldn't let me go there, but this puts the nail in the coffin.

I eat slowly and I doubt that I'm the only one.

A £125 premium on eating slowly is ridiculous.

Although perhaps it tastes better if you eat it fast.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Are you a paedophobe?

Finally a think tank that has thought some sense!

The Institute for Public Policy Research have suggested that we rethink ASBOs.

They are concerned that we are becoming a nation of Paedophobics - afraid of our young people.

The ASBO culture has been concerning me for a while.

I have two younger brothers and they have a friend that is frequently round our house who is in his teens.

And yes he's a bit of a tear away, but he's got better.

And you know what?

He's got better on his own, no one had to smack an ASBO on him he simply grew up.

But even at his worst he wasn't really dangerous.

Yet he's just the kind of kid I can see being slapped by an ASBO because he's gobby and troublesome.

My own brother has twice fallen victim of the trap of not looking 'desirable'.

He's been chucked out of Woolworths because he looked like he might, might, shoplift.

My brother has never shoplifted in his life.

On another occasion he was searched at the tube station.

Now he doesn't like going to Woolworths and has a suspicious view of the police.

Nice move there authority types.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

The best broken dog collar

The Arch Bishop of York has cut up his dog collar in protest.

He has sworn that he will not wear one again until Robert Mugabe leaves office.

I have to say if I had a dog collar I'd do exactly the same thing.

Maybe I could cut up my bra, no wait that's been done hasn't it.

Well I'll just stand on the side lines and cheer the Arch Bishop on.

I hope you'll join me.

What a nice Christmas present it would be to see Robert Mugabe gone for Christmas...

Well I can dream.

I still hope the Arch Bishop will be putting his dog collar on again soon.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

State sponsored football

I was watching the Newcastle United versus Arsenal match last night and I was struck by the Newcastle strip.

Newcastle are sponsored by Northern Rock.

Ironic I thought given Northern Rock's woes.

Then I thought about it some more: Northern Rock are getting loans from the government.

So, by extension Newcastle are receiving money from the government.

The government are supporting Newcastle United, but even better than that the tax payer is supporting the government.

So all of the country are now supporting Newcastle United.

England have let us down, so now we're all getting behind Newcastle United.

I'm off to buy a Newcastle strip.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

We'll take your sperm and your money.

I have been somewhat perturbed by the story of the man who gave his sperm to a lesbian couple so that they could have a Baby and is now having to pay child support.

He gave the sperm on the understanding that he would not be involved in the child raising process.

However now the couple have split and for some reason that means that he now has to pay child support.

It is not clear from the article whether the parents had anything to do with the firefighter being asked to pay child support, but the fact remains that he has been landed with this responsibility.

The law is apparently to be changed to stop something like this happening in the future, but I'm surprised that a little bit of discretion couldn't be exercised in this case.

Essentially he offered his sperm to help a couple who couldn't otherwise have a baby to have one, but because he didn't go through the official donor system he is being made responsible for a child that for all intents and purposes isn't his.

He has no say in how the child is brought up, he is just being asked to stump up the cash for it.

The change in the law can't come fast enough to my mind and his case should be reconsidered.

Monday, 3 December 2007

The Daily Mail would, but Oxbridge wouldn't.

After the revelation that the Daily Mail will be sponsoring a city academy, Oxford and Cambridge have come out and said that they won't be sponsoring any.

So you can have your children educated thanks to a right wing publication, but not to one of, reputably, the greatest universities in the country.

University College London, Liverpool, Brunel, London City University, Imperial and Manchester University are all willing to invest in future University students.

However Oxford and Cambridge have got cold feet.

They are worried what will happen if the school fails.

So let me get this straight they can educate students to an extremely high standard, but they are worried that they won't be able to run a school..?

Are they admitting that running a school is harder than running a University?

Their official line is that they want to continue to play a national role, but surely it helps the nation to have more good schools.

So maybe it just proves that these other Universities are willing to put their reputation on the line, the old guard are just too chicken.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

How to throw up in ten new ways...

I've been being good this weekend and staying in to do work, which means my breaks are taken up by T.V.

So it was that I found myself in front of How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.

I never really know where I stand with romantic comedy.

Sometimes it hits the mark, sometimes I want to strangle myself.

This fell under wanting to strangle myself, but finding myself with nothing else to do I sat through right to the very end.

The premise of the film is fairly simple: lead man makes bet that he can stay in a relationship for ten days, he hits on a girl who is writing an article about how to lose a guy in ten days.

Excited yet?

Lead girl proceeds to commit all of the dating faux pas known to man: being clingy, talking in a ridiculous baby voice, naming his member princess Sophia.

But, what's this?

The lead sticks with her, he smiles through all that she throws at him with the intent of winning the bet.

And here's a bit of a spoiler (if you're too dumb to have worked it out already): the girl and the guy fall for each other, despite her driving him nuts.


At what point does she prove herself anything but irritating: the one weekend with his parents?

This film fails to be particularly funny, it's all a bit to obvious and it's too absurd to be romantic.

So perhaps they should give it a new category: love starved tragedy, perhaps.

Don't watch it.

I feel the need for a shower now.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Bored of Amy

So Amy Winehouse has cancelled all of her concerts and appearances for the rest of the year on doctor's orders.

To be honest at this point I really couldn't care less.

The first of Miss Winehouse's songs failed to capture my imagination and I lumped her in with the other art school brats that litter the pop charts.

Then she came back with Back to Black.

I found myself tapping my foot and humming along to her tunes.

They a classic blues vibed that was quite infectious.

So I began to really like Amy.

Then she began to appear in practically all of the free sheets practically all of the time.

She was on drugs, she drank to much, she was having troubles with her man...

No more the vague dismissiveness, I began to loathe the site of her beehive.

Hopefully with the cancelled concerts she won't even leave her house and I'll finally have a rest.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Secret service goes pop.

I have recently been slightly perturbed by the adverts to be an MI5 surveillance officer on the radio.

It could be worse the advert could run: "Like nosing around in other people's business, then come and join our team."

But it unsettles me none the less.

Then I read in the paper today that MI6 are hoping to recruit Radio 1 listeners, by having some of their officers appear on the radio station talking about their jobs.

I think I preferred it when it was a case of being quietly pulled aside at University, not that I would know I've just heard about it.

In fact someone from my University apparently did get pulled aside, but I'm a bit dubious about this information as if this was the case then why did she tell anyone.

The idea of spies discussing their careers in between Britney Spears and Chris Moyles is just too strange.

Though it may make me listen to Radio 1, just out of pure curiosity.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

When feminism conflicts with your social life...

I had a reclaim the night march invitation wafted under my nose recently.

To sum it up quickly the reclaim the night march is an annual march against rape and male violence.

I haven't done anything particularly active since a very small pro choice march many months ago, so I thought great a fantastic opportunity to get active again.

Then it got complicated: a friend of mine invited me to her clothes show and another friend invited me to a house warming.

This meant my evening was completely booked up.

So much for direct action, but isn't supporting your friends and being sociable important too.

It didn't make me feel much better when I read an article in the G2 from yesterday about the impeding march bemoaning the laziness of today's feminists.

Oh well I'll just have to live with the guilt and make firm plans to go next year and hope my social life doesn't conflict again.

Thursday, 22 November 2007


An all star cast and a fantastical story.

What could go wrong?

Well not much actually.

Stardust follows the story of Tristan as he tries to retrieve a fallen star from a fantasy land across a wall to win the hand in marriage from the women he loves.

The relatively unknow Charlie Cox plays Tristan and I have to confess that with the change of appearance later in the film I developed a bit of a crush.

Michelle Pfeiffer as usual puts in a stunning performance as the witch Lamia who is also seeking the star.

It also features Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, Peter O'Toole and Ricky Gervais among others.

I find Ricky Gervais irritating in everything and this really was no exception, thankfully he doesn't feature in the film for long.

The film itself is visually stunning and heartwarming, if perhaps a little sickening towards the end.

I would reccommend it though, but run out of the cinema before the Take That song in the credits starts rolling.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Delicious (Oishii) Suishi

I've developed a bit of an obsession with Sushi lately and it would seem that I'm not alone.

Tokyo has been lauded by Michelin, they now have no less than eight three Michelin starred restaurants.

Two among these serve nothing but Sushi.

On top of this a further three of these offer purely Japanese food.

I think this is a wonderful development: my current favourite dish given the very highest of gastronomical accolades.

Amazingly enough the three remaining restaurants actually serve French cuisine, I bet the French didn't like that...

But back to the sushi: I've sampled a fair few Sushi restaurants both here and abroad, I'm not a connoisseur, but Michelin having done all the hard work for me I'm tempted to go tramping off to Tokyo.

I am only worried that I might be let down by what is at least presented as being the world's best sushi.

Then there is the issue of the price.

Sushi has a tendency to be a bit expensive, though it was very cheap when I had it in Taiwan, so a Michelin starred Sushi restaurant - my mind boggles.

Then of course I've got to stump up the airfare to get to Tokyo and pay for a hotel before I even get near the food.

Still a girl can dream.

When I'm rich and famous I'm going to fly to Tokyo and try all the Michelin starred Japanese restaurants.

Although by then I may well be obsessed by another food.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Catholics attack Amnesty

The Catholic Church has called on its members to stop giving money to Amnesty because of their supportfor abortion in exceptional circumstances.

I could perhaps understand if Amnesty were being criticised for coming out and being unashamedly pro-choice, but they're simply saying that abortion is acceptable in cases of rape or danger to the mother.

I think it is really sad that a religious group should attack Amnesty in this way.

After all Amnesty stands up for a lot of the things that any church must hold dear, the right to practise your religion without being attacked.

Amnesty is a brilliant organisation, even if they were to come out as being pro-choice surely it isn't worth throwing the baby out with the bath water (no pun intended).

Thankfully only 222 of Amnesty's ample British membership have heeded the Church's request, but to my mind that's still 222 too many.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Language of Prairie Dogs

I crept out onto the streets of London last night with no money on the understanding that some friends were having a gig at The Premises Studios which was completely free.

I didn't realise before I got there that this was actually a proper music studio, I thought it was just another small venue event.

So I turned up at this tiny little cafe bar next to the Mecca Bingo (classy) and found myself wondering: how in the hell are they going to fit a band in here.

Plus there was no sign of anyone, I knew I was early but I expected the band to be there at least.

So I asked a waitress: "Am I in the right place, I've come to see a gig."

She nodds, "In the studios." she points towards what I'd thought was the toilets (it does have the sign for them).

As I make towards the door she asks archly "what band have you come to see?"

I'm glad I checked the name in the afternoon: "The Language of Prarie Dogs..?"

She nodds and I head through the door.

I am faced with a labyrinth of corridors I make my way towards noise, but I find that noise is coming from lots of the studios.

I text Matt.

As it turns out I've managed to position myself outside exactly the right door.

So here I am, watching the Language of Prairie Dogs rehearse.

I get to contribute my thoughts to the level of the bass and vocals.

By nine pretty much everyone has turned up, but they're still faffing about going out to buy beer and such.

I didn't really know what to expect.

I've seen Dean (the singer) perform on his own before and quite enjoyed it.

But the Prairie Dogs...

So I was very satisfied with what followed.

All Dean's songs which I know already but with a beefed up sound thanks to drums and bass.

Quite a nice evenings entertainment.

I'd reccommmend it.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Jo Brand up Trinny's skirt...

I had quite a lazy day yesterday I did some bits and pieces but not nearly enough so I'm going to have a full weekend.

As a result of this lazy day I was settled in front of the television for a lot of the evening.

In the ad break there was a trailer for Graham Norton, which I haven't watched in ages.

The trailer showed Jo Brand with her hands up Trinny's, as in Trinny and Susannah, skirt.

I was intrigued.

So for the first time in a long time I settled down to watch Graham Norton, I've never been a great fan.

Sure enough Trinny and Susanna start fondling Jo's boobs, so Jo - quite sensibly I think - runs away and Trinny gives chase, so Jo retalitates the only way she can and sticks her hands up Trinny's skirt.

Simple really.

But very funny.

It got me wondering what I'd do and how I'd react if someone started fondling my boobs.

Would I laugh assuredly and make some witty remark - probably not I'm not great at witty remarks, not 100% of the time anyway.

Would I come over all shy and coy and get all giggly - probably not, I'm quite brazen when my body is concerned.

Would I retaliate in some way - probably, but possibly with not as much comedy value as Jo Brand.

All I can say is yah Jo!

I also watched the first in the new series of The Mighty Boosh last night.

I really enjoyed the last series, though me being me I didn't see all of it.

It's patchy, but when it's funny it's very funny.

It was suitably surreal, as anyone who watches The Boosh will expect it to be, and I ended my evening very satisfied as far as comedy was concerned.

Eels, eels, eels.

Eels up inside ya!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Far too much plastic

OK both Stuart and Becky have blogged on this already, but I have been meaning to for a while, honest.

I'm delighted with the proposal to ban or at least levy plastic bags.

When I was at University first time around I always used my college bag or even my large rucksack to do my shopping, prompted partly by the fact that Kwik Save, my local supermarket, charged 3p per plastic bag - I'm tight ok.

However since I have been back at home I've been a bit more remiss.

I've been collecting plastic bags like it's going out of fashion.

I say collecting, because we have a nifty amnesty holder at home that keeps your plastic bags for re-using - but we very rarely re-use them, we're always forgetting.

On top of that we have a Marks and Spencers re-usable bag and two Waitrose (my Mum's gone quite posh with her shopping these days) ones!

Needless tyo say we hardly ever remember to take them out with us.

So I'm hoping that this new ban or levy will let us use the dam things up and maybe I can dig out my rucksack again.

A bit of stick never did anybody any harm.

At least not where the planets concerned.

When people rise above it.

One of the survivor's of the 7/7 bomb attacks has spoken up against longer detention.

Even having gone through a traumatic terrorist attack this woman is still willing to stand up for liberty and democracy.

She said that the extending the 28-day limit, which she added was already too long, would hand the terrorists "something of a gift".

I couldn't have put it better myself, but if anyone who is qualified to offer thier opinion this woman is.

She's actually gone through something that could shake her faith in the way our society is run.

Yet she still thinks "I've always been impressed by this nation's commitment to freedoms and I am concerned that ministers are taking events like July 7 and using them to undermine freedom and democracy."

I hope that if the time ever comes I could be as brave.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Croydon the new Barcelona

I can sympathise with David Bowie using Croydon as an insult.

I use Croydon as an insult.

I have a friend who lived in Croydon, more or less, and she uses it as an insult.

So I have to say I was amused by the attempt to make Croydon sexy.

They're going to dig up a river, introduce lots of plants and generally spruce the place up a bit.

In theory I'm all for this, Croydon as cultural hub thing, but I can't help but think it's never going to get over its slightly chavy roots.

Croydon is ultimately a shopping mecca, does it really need to be anything more.

Can it be?

I wil remain unconvinced until the transformation takes place.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Just because I read a broadsheet doesn't mean I'm loaded

I'm getting frustrated with the weekend pages of The Guardian.

There are too many features that seem to assume that I have loads of money to fritter away.

There's a readers offer on emeralds and diamonds, ok they're only £180 - I can only guess this is cheap for such things, but that really isn't money I can spare

The fashion section are featuring £15 rings, one of them's even £160, I consider £5 on a ring to be a bit of an extravagence.

And they can be decidedly snooty about the cheaper hotels on offer if you manage to scrape together the money to actually go on holiday.

I know I read a broadsheet and that I'm willing to pay sixty pence more for my news than readers of The Sun but this hardly means I have an endless supply of dosh.

It would be nice if just once I saw something on lower range goods in the fashion and how to survive on a budget.

Can you tell that I'm feeling distinctly broke at the moment?

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Keith Hill

I went to see my local MP, Keith Hill, on Friday to interview him about his retirement.

It made me realise how shamefully little I know about my local area.

I'm meant to be reporting on it for the next couple of weeks, so hopefully my knowledge will improve.

Keith on the other hand was well informed about local issues, which is what anyone would hope from their local MP.

It hasn't always been this way the Tory MP that we had through the eighties didn't even know where the St.Leonards junction was - only one of the most conjested areas in the borough.

So I'll be sad to see Keith go, even though I don't agree with all his politics, I can only hope that his replacement will be as passionate about Streatham.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

What to do when the MOD just isn't exciting enough.

Lord Drayson, previously the minister for defence, has given up his job to drive fast cars.

At 47 Lord Drayson is standing down to persue his dream of winning the Le Mans 24-hour motor race.

This doesn't entirely surprise me, the MOD I would imagine would attract macho types who like fast cars.

Being at the centre of government clearly isn't all that when it comes to excitement.

This does surprise me.

Buying arms for a living that are actually used to kill people...

What a rush: to know that you are making history as you perpetuate the mess of an illegal war.

Is driving fast cars really better?

Or maybe you were starting to feeling guilty Paul, better to risk your own life than be a part in taking others'.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Flood? What flood?

Through a veil of sleep yesterday morning I heard the Today programme report on a mud slide in Mexico.

So when I reached the international pages of the guardian I expected some report there also.

There was none, not even a hundred words.

This is no minor inetrnational incident this is a flood on the scale of New Orleans.

I bought a selection of papers yesterday so I decided to look through all of them.

The Daily Telegraph had an advert appealing for help in the Mexico floods, but no article.

The Independent thankfully had a very short article on it.

So I am left fuming at The Guardian.

Why have international pages if you aren't going to report on major international news?

It's a disgrace.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

More breasts please?

Allegedly breast feeding cuts your risk of heart disease.

Great I thought, my mother has saved me from ill health in later life.

However on reading the report I was discouraged to note that there were no details on the Methodology of the study.

Why so disappointed?

Well given the claims I wanted to make sure that any other factors had been ruled out as part of the study.

Now there is nothing to say that they didn't, but it leaves that question hanging in the air.

After all those that are breast fed may be better educated or more wholesomely fed as they grow up, which could also contribute to their low BMI index in later life.

So if you wrote this report could you set my mind at rest.

Monday, 5 November 2007

As luck would have it...

I've just got myself a new international reader from Brazil.

Still no wiser on why they dropped by though...

International readers

I was really excited when I got my first reader from India, I'm guessing they were attracted by my post on Bride and Prejudice - though maybe not, I don't want to stereotype this person.

I wanted to attract more readers from far flung places, so I was delighted when I had a reader show up on the west coast of America - my geographies bad so I don't know what state that is.

Then I got a blob turn up what looks like it might be Luxembourg.

But now I'm addicted, I want to have readers all around the globe and more than just one in each place.

My egomania knows no bounds, but I don't know what these precious international readers came to look at so I've no idea what I should be focussing on to encourage more of them to read.

So if you're from anywhere outside England then leave a comment, let me know what you're reading and I'll try to write more and not just go on boring rants about my burgeoning international readership.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

What can £1.31 buy you these days?

I'm on campus again today finishing off my shiny new website and waiting for Melissa to come and have a look at it.

I've been overspending a bit recently, so I came into campus today armed with a travelcard and £1.31 in loose change.

At about 11.30 I took a break and wandered into town in search of a coffee.

The coffee shop I like was selling most things at over £2.00.

My £1.31 could have bought me a peach flavoured ice tea for £1.30...

So I decided to check out Debenhams.

Their coffee shop was similar and in fact had nothing for £1.30, but then I tried the Restaurant...

At first I was tempted by the £1.30 Iced Donut, but I thought I better check the drinks.

Low and behold at Debenhams Restaurant I could buy a whole pot of tea for £1.30.

So that's what I settled on.

One small pot of tea with heaps of sugar and milk.


And I've still got a penny...

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Where has my inner radical gone?

I was going to talk about Jean Charles de Menezes yesterday, but I didn't really know what to say apart from I was disappointed at the government's reaction to the results of the inquiry.

Instead I went to watch the Fireworks at Streatham Common last night, it was quite a fun display but I found myself wondering at my own safety.

Not that I felt threatened, despite the sign asking for help in a shooting incident on the way there, in fact that was exactly the point I felt incredibly safe.

I remembered the accusation levelled at the British Muslims in Britz on Thursday night, that they were safe whilst their brothers and sisters were dying in other parts of the world.

I'm not a Muslim, but that's not to say that I can't also feel guilty about my cosy existence.

It's been a while since I've even been to a political demo, the last one I was at was a Pro Choice rally and I missed the one about Burma.

I feel distinctly inactive and I don't like it.

It feels as if I am accepting what is going on in the world at the moment and that is far from the case.

I joined the students against the war group at freshers' Fair but they haven't been in touch and they were the only campaigning group on campus it seemed.

Where was the Amnesty group?

I'm sick of just signing the odd petition I want to feel as if I'm really doing something.

But there isn't to my mind a party that I can join, they all seem to be selling the same stuff.

If you can think of a good one let me know.

Thursday, 1 November 2007


I'm watching the second part of the Channel Four series Britz.

It is one of the best pieces of TV that I've seen in a while.

It is perhaps not as personal as the film Jasmin that was shown a while ago, but it raises even more issues than the former did about the state of "terrorist" legislation in this country.

We are quick in this country to criticise America for being bigoted and imperialist, but we tend to give our own government an easier ride.

"We were pushed into the Iraq War by the Americans."

"This is not what Britain wants."

But Britain is still completely responsible for its own domestic policy.

Control Orders, The Prevention of Terrorism Act, they are all within our power to change.

There aren't enough voices reminding the government that arrest without charge caused massive miscarriages of justice in Northern Ireland.

We're making the same mistakes again, only worse.

It's time that we brought this madness to an end.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Music to my ears

Reading the Guardian today I came across an article that said that Warren Buffett, a US billionaire, said he should be paying more tax.

I couldn't believe it.

The billionaire even raised the point, regarding rich lobbyists: "Who represents the cleaning lady?"

This is a billionaire that I can respect, he cares about the little people and thinks politics should be defending them.

Or maybe it just indicates just how unfair US taxes have become that even the rich recognise their inequity.

But I prefer to think that he is just a very public spirited billionaire, who recognises his debt to society.

Even the "wannabe" trendy Richard Branson hasn't come out and said he should be paying more tax.

So Mr. Buffett I salute you.

There should be more like you.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

My ailing Peace Lilly

I came to a decision about my Peace Lilly: I cut off the dead flowers.

Now the one remaining tall flower is beginning to wither despite my much more frequent watering.

I still have a collection of smaller flowers, but they just aren't as beautifully imposing.

I'm worried about the smaller flowers too: if a perfectly healthy bigger flower can wither away with good treatment what's to protect the babies?

I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm a really bad gardener (or to put it more accurately pot-planter).

What am I doing wrong?

Is it just the time of year?

I need to know before there's nothing left to my plant but leaves!

Monday, 29 October 2007

BBC Overstretch

I was surprised to see in the paper today that the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, was intending to branch out with thirty new channels.

Isn't this the same BBC that has just axed 2,000 jobs?

What are they thinking?

They really are playing up to the Bremner, Bird and Fortune sketch last night: where a new member of a TV station's staff is told that he is going to cover all the news right of the British Isles on the globe.

The amount of repeats is going to be astronomical at this rate.

I mean I don't get to see everything I want to, but invariably they never repeat the programe that you want to watch.

So there is going to be even more choice of badly done programmes spread all over the globe.

I can't wait.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I went out for Halloween last night to Koko in Camden.

The night was called Guilty Pleasures .

I remembered reading an article about the night in the paper a couple of years ago and so I was a bit sceptical.

You see Guilty Pleasures is a night devoted to those songs that you don't like to admit that you like, but that sounds like a nightmare of cheese to me.

So I turned up ready to be disappointed.

For the first three songs I was visibly cringing.

They were awful, cheese at its worst and I spent a lot of time going to cheesy nights at my Uni. in York.

But then it started to get better they turned to more what I'd call classic cheese: Michael Jackson's Thriller and Dolly Parton's Nine to Five.

The thing is I don't mind admitting that I like these songs, I think they're pure pop class.

So I ended up having a really fun night.

The male dancers were the most hilarious camp display that I've seen in a long time.

I'm not sure if it was really worth the hefty ticket price, but then it was Halloween.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Oi, Charles, no!

I've been diligently doing my research for my web site and whilst reading about The Sun I read the words "Prince Charles only reads the Guardian"!

I read the Guardian and it suits me that it is a republican newspaper, at least so it claims.

So what is Charlie doing reading my paper of choice?

It's not bad enough that his son, Prince Harry, listens to Xfm - even if it is whilst eating swans.

I am a staunch republican.

I don't want my tastes to converge with the Royals.

Although maybe there is some consolation to be drawn here: Prince Charles is reading a republican newspaper, maybe he wants to renounce the throne.

Here's hoping.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Is there such a thing as a Green Socialist?

Reading and watching the news over the past couple of days my interest has been roused by the story about the Soil Association classification of Organic food.

For those of you not familiar story it runs thus: The Soil Association have raised questions over whether "organic" food that has clocked up a lot of food miles is in fact truly organic.

Thus they have been discussing whether to remove the Soil Association organic certification from such foods.

It has been highlighted, if it wasn't obvious, that this poses a substantial risk to third world farmers.

The Soil Association have decided today that they will continue to mark produce that has a lot of air miles as organic if it has been produced on Fair Trade premises.

It got me wondering though.

What if the Soil Association had stuck to a "Greener" definition of what Organic means?

Namely that the produce should have a low environmental impact regardless of social considerations.

No longer could the ethical consumer save the world with their wallet.

They would be torn between saving the planet and saving the developing world.

I realise that I am putting this in very stark terms, but perhaps it highlights the niavety that consumers really have that much power.

The attitude that all the world's problems will go away if we just buy the right stuff is more than a little patronising after all.

So on the surface the answer to my original question is no: you can't have a Green Socialist.

But if you think that perhaps the best mode of development isn't one tied up with globalisation, but rather old fashioned Socialism in one nation, the answer may be a little different.

We should all be providing for our needs, as far as possible, in our own country.

Such logic would then mean that developing nations would not be dependent on cash crops and the ficklties of the market and could develop much as Britain did in the industrial revolution and as China is doing now.

However the industrial process in itself would be frowned on by "Deep Greens", they would rather have us living in small self sufficient communes.

Not the nicest picture of a Utopia to my mind.

So the answer is a qualified yes, if you are prepared to give up most of our creature comforts.

My blog would probably be the first thing to go.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Feeling humble

I'm going to regret sharing this with you (the expansive unknown), but I feel compelled to do so.

I confessed my ignorance about the details of the Darfur genocide today in the pub (in the brief time that I was there).

Why so ignorant?

Well, I have been making the conscious decision of late to avoid articles about Darfur on the basis that it was just too depressing.

However after my ticking off at the pub I was forced to re-assess my attitude.

What if I was to transfer my thinking a couple of decades into the past..?

"Oh I don't know anything about the Holocaust it's just too depressing."

When in Malaysia visiting a friend of mine we were both flabbergasted that an acquaintance of hers knew nothing, and I mean nothing, about the Israel/Palestine issue.

I realise that I have unwittingly become that girl.

I think I'll be blushing, behind the Guardian, for a month.

On the way home I read an article about Darfur.

There is to be a cessation of hostilities.

So it’s safe to read about it again...

Sorry, I'm in danger of having learned nothing.

In case you have also been remiss in your attention to this issue here's a good site to get you up to speed.

My wonderful Peace Lilly

Many months ago now I rented out Hot Fuzz: as a piece of cinema I was distinctly disappointed by it, It was no Shaun of the Dead - and don't get me started on Run Fat Boy Run.

I'm off on a tangent though.

My point is this: the main character is obsessed with his Peace Lilly, I took one look at the plant and I was in love.

So a few weeks later on a trip to Wisely I was inspired by all the plants to wonder with innocent intent around the Wisely shop...

I found a Peace Lilly, I was in ecstasy (I'm sad OK).

I bought it for the princely sum of £8.95 and took it back to my room to sit on my windowsill.

It all started fine: it was pretty, I watered it.

However then I discovered that it didn't need that much water to stay moist, and for some reason the flowers were going green, here is where it all went wrong.

I stopped watering it regularly and sort of forgot about it.

Remembering it all of a sudden one fateful day, I rushed watering can in hand to its side to discover all of the large flowers had gone brown.

There are some small flowers that survived white as before, but they are very small.

Now I don't know what to do, not being a keen gardener - as you might have guessed, should I pull off the brown flowers in the hope that the other flowers will be strengthened by this and grow to their full height or should I leave them be?

Answers on a postcard please to: Sarah's Horticultural Disasters, Greensville, London.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The Terminator

You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I'm partial to a good action movie.

So when I caught The Terminator movie on TV last night I thought I'd finally get round to watching all of it.

I've seen Terminator Two all the way through, but for some reason have never got to watch all of the first one.

I have to say that I was disappointed.

I really enjoyed Terminator Two, but the beginning of the series doesn't really grab you in the same way.

I think a lot of that is down to the special effects.

The prosthetics are obvious in the scenes where the terminator is pulling his eye out and that undermines the menace intended.

It has been a while since I've seen the second one, but I'm sure the special effects were better and the action was a bit more full throttle.

That probably says a lot about me: I like my action movies fast and in your face.

Although on that basis alone I should have liked Too Fast, Too furious - needless to say I thought it was awful.

The premise of The Terminator movie is original, but I think they play on that more in the second one and it comes off semi-intelligent.

Couple that with better action sequences and it's a damn good watch.

I wonder what I'll finally make of Terminator Three...

Monday, 22 October 2007


I'm looking forward to my Yoga lesson tonight.

It will be a wonderful release from Shorthand and Bootcamp.

I'm starting to believe that shorthand will be as difficult to learn as Chinese with all the specials that it involves.

All Chinese students will probably be growling at me now, so I should probably concede that I'm being melodramatic.

However I am beginning to despair that I will ever get over forty words per minute.

Roll on the Oms.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


I used to be a fan of Morrisons.

You could get cheap food of decent quality, it was perfect for the student on a budget.

However their recent spate of advertising is starting to irritate me.

Celebrity wanders through fields or past fish trawlers making demands about what they want for a shop and then you are at the end surprised to learn that this high quality shop is Morrisons.

They haven't grated on me until this recent one about bread.

I can't remember the celebrity, otherwise I'd probably dislike them as well, goes around making their demands on bread - all well and good so far...

Then they finish off by saying that Morrisons supply fresh bread on the premises and that, and this is the thing, you used to see that on every street corner.

Of course you used to see it on every high street.

That was back in the days before Supermarkets, like Morrisons, priced them out of the market and changed the modern high street forever.

I can still remember having a fish mongers, butchers, bakery and a proper green grocers.

Now all that has gone.

Thanks Morrisons!

Friday, 19 October 2007


I had KFC today - leftovers are so good.

But I've had so many tell me that they are evil lately I did find it a bit of a guilty pleasure.

I'm quite consumer conscious.

I don't buy McDonalds, Pret a Manger or Gap.

I avoid all Nestle products.

So surely a bit of factory farmed pseudo chicken is ok, isn't it?

I don't eat it often, it's an occasional indulgence.

Tell me it's ok!

Sanction me to enjoy my one remaining junk food option.


Thursday, 18 October 2007

Austen overload...

I've just finished watching Bride and Prejudice.

It wasn't exactly intellectually stimulating, but then what musical ever is?

It got me thinking though.

When are we going to get enough of Austen adaptations?

In my modest life time there have been about four Pride and Prejudice based works: The BBC adaptation, the more recent film version with Keira Knightley, Bride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones's Diary (the lead isn't called Darcy for nothing).

Then there was Emma (and Clueless), Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park.

There have been so many I wouldn't be surprised if I've missed one.

I love Austen.

I think her social commentary is brilliant, witty and cutting.

But are we in danger of dumbing her down?

Bride and Prejudice is a prime culprit.

The subtle nuances of the work are clobbered to death by Bollywood inspired musical set pieces.

You could argue that this is exactly the point of Bride and Prejudice.

It isn't meant to be BBC drama, it's meant to be pure unadulterated fun.

But I find that despite the toe tapping tunes and lavish costumes I'm crying out for Austen's (rather stern) voice.

Maybe it's the nature of the beast though...

Austen, by the end of her life, described Pride and Prejudice as being far "too light and bright and sparkling".

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Too early

My brain isn't functioning.

I've been cursing computers and I've found out that I'm not pushy enough.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Starting again with furry friends

I'm returning to the world of blogging after several months away and I'm going to try and reach a wider audience this time - don't ask me how I'm still working on that one.

So, a bit about me...

Well I like to think of myself as a Socialist, but not a hard core one. I don't go on enough marches or read The Socialist Worker enough.

I also like to think of myself as a Journalist, I'm training to become a Journalist as I type.

I have two younger brothers and a set of parents who are still together.

I still live at home so I can't tell you about any mad cap house mates.


All is not well in the Morgan household.


We have mice.

We have mice and they won't go away.

We used to have a cat and no mice, but he died and my Mum refuses to get a new one despite the mice.

Now is not the time to start telling me about those clever electronic devices that apparently repel mice.

They don't work.

We have loads in the house and I am still kept up at night by the scurrying in my bedroom.