Monday, 27 February 2012

This is England 2012

So that was England 2012. Alex says that ex-pats call it the thousand dollar cure. You think you want to go home. You go back for a couple of weeks and that cures you.

I must say, both of us were very taken by West Sussex. It is beautiful and it undulates.

The driving went well. I was surprised at how little trouble I had getting back into it, I was also surprised at how fast we drive over there. But we certainly needed a car, a little car, a little car with a ready-made dent in it.

We found new TV shows - not bad since we didn't watch much.

On the train on the way home, we watched 'Anonymous', a fictional account of Shakespeare's life. Vanessa Redgrave as the older Queen Elizabeth was an inspired choice, especially since her daughter was able to play the younger queen.

Back at YVR, we sat on the tarmac as the auxiliary power which pushes you to the gate, failed to come on. As soon as you're on the ground, it gets hot. People got up and stood in the aisles, in spite of being told not to. They made it hotter. When we did get off, we had to wait for an hour for our luggage, all pretty tiring. But oh well, we're back.
Work tomorrow.
No sweat.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Red Letter Day

Yesterday (Thursday) was an all-systems go, start to finish day. First thing we went to the Register Office in Portsmouth for our friends' wedding. The perfect wedding, since they had been married for some time, but needed the legalities done. So this was what it was, no rings or vows exchanged, just papers signed in front of witnesses.

The brides treated us to an amazing lunch at a very high end restaurant, my goodness are those waiting staff polite without being obsequious. Food - out of this world.

In the evening, fate had accorded us a rare treat - Ben's band were playing in Pompey. And my god were they amazing! just phenomenal, of course I'd seen them on YouTube, but live - just awesome.

Back to Pulborough for a rest, seeing a friend locally tomorrow:)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


The story so far.
Friday, took Whisky to Kev's parents' house, went to work, came home, my friend Yvonne picked us up and took us to the airport. Plane left on time, slept most of the way, sorted.

At Heathrow, not so sorted. Even the new, swishy terminal five was not working like the well-oiled machine it should have been. We waited ages for the shuttle train to take us to Arrivals. At baggage reclaim, and how is it this can happen? one bag came out almost straight away, the other, handed over at YVR at exactly the same time, took another half an hour or so.
Then Avis - who managed to rent us a car with a huge dent in it. If I'd wanted rent-a-wreck, I'd have done so straight off the bat.
Oh well.

Then we had difficulty finding Austen and Sue's new place, Google maps weren't as helpful as I usually find them, and the country lanes were dark, very dark. Luckily, navigating the narrow, windy, unlit roads and passing people coming in the opposite direction by a fraction of an inch, all came back to me.

West Sussex is lovely though. There's a tawny owl roosting in a tree next door. The countryside feels very comfortable and we're enjoying the walks and the ruined castles and such like. There's still snow on many of the fields and hills.
Oh, and Sainsburys, which, admittedly isn't confined to Sussex. Sainsburys has this awesome new scheme. They monitor their main competitor's prices daily on everything they sell, then they give you a money back coupon for the difference on any item that their competitor was selling more cheaply that day. Certainly keeps me coming back!

Tomorrow we'll re-connect with Portsmouth. Tally-ho!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Lego State

Washington State has passed a law to allow marriage equality. This should come to pass in the summer sometime. Naturally the bigot wheel has been rolled out. I can't even be bothered to look at their spew to be honest.

I see that the weather in Britain has become colder, even colder than here. I look forward to it.

A YouTube clip about Lego has me gobsmacked. It seems that real research has linked enhanced development in the thinking skills that are needed for science and engineering, in children who play with Lego.
The Lego company, according to Spokesperson Mads Nipper - has spent four years trying to find out how to market Lego to girls. You think I'm not going to say it, don't you?
But I'm afraid I am.
You make it pink and purple, you put the little people in short skirts, and you have them do girl friendly Lego activities such as keep house, visit the hairdresser's and, well, just generally hang about being girls. Of course I like arranging my house and going to the hairdressers, but I also like dinosaurs, sciencey things, splitting the atom, and other not-very-ladylike activities.

But, if you think about it, you don't really want girls going in to science and engineering, because there might not be enough to go round. Or it might become not cool, because girls like it.
Or something.

Good gracious. There are so many freaking layers of patriarchal oppression, tis difficult to know where to start.
And four freaking years to come up with what most people could groan and predict in five seconds.
Here's some free advice Lego, just market it to girls by simply putting girls in your ads, showing girls playing with it, by radically changing your mindset to the fact that girls like dinosaurs, aeroplanes and building things.