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.