Archive for November, 2007

Not for the Squeamish

Do you see that crack in the plastic?  My little boy did that – with his leg.  He fell on it and he now has a huge purple haematoma and a zig-zaggy shaped cut from the sharp metal bit that cuts the sellotape.

The bruise is shaped like a butterfly – the cut in the middle being the body and the bruises at either side being the wings.  But my little boy says it’s a racing car – one of those roaring, revving things with the huge wheels. 

He had a swimming class with school yesterday and I was bothered all day that the strict lady instructor would see the nasty bruise and think he was an abused child.

Nobody came and took him away from me so all is well in the world.  Well apart from me being poorly and all sorry for myself.  There aren’t enough hours in the day and I don’t have time to be ill so I guess I’ll have to stock up on the oranges and lemons.

Normal blogging will resume just as soon as the great gods of time are struck with a rare dose of  benevolence and extend the extremely limiting 24 hour clock by an hour or three.

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Bali: Climate conference

bali-balloon.jpgThe Bali summit is almost here.  For those not in the know, it’s a gathering of leaders from 200 or so nations who are going to talk about the Kyoto Protocol and what might happen after it runs out in 2012.  It’s to be hoped, by the way, that they are making every effort to minimise their conference carbon-footprint as much as possible.

I guess we can expect some disharmony and a certain level of obstruction from the usual suspects but on the upside, we did recently lose a key obstructionist because of John Howard being booted out of office (yay!) and being replaced by the much more Kyoto-friendly Kevin Rudd.  It’s been said that there probably won’t be enough time for the new Aussie government to get all the legalities in place in order for them to sign up to Kyoto but no doubt they will be warmly welcomed into the K-ring.

For anyone who feels so inclined, Greenpeace are giving us the opportunity to send a message to the conference.  In their usual gimmicky style, they have come up with the idea of attaching our messages onto balloons which will then be released over the venue.  I’m inclined to think it’s as much a Greenpeace publicity stunt as it is an effort to get the climate message through – I’m pretty sure the officials won’t bother to read the messages as they float away into the sky. 

Anyway, maximum respect to the scientific community and environmental groups who should be commended for their work but for now, to repeat what everybody already knows, we only have a decade or two.  The world has already seen many climate change victims and so, taking into account the impact on the vulnerable communities and the poorer countries, we need those policies and agreements – the binding treaties.  We need that breakthrough now.  We don’t need any more passing the blame and squabbling over which country is worse than the other.  We need honesty and harmony and we need courage and resolve from our leaders.  

It can be done.  It-just-has-to-be-done-now. 

BNP and Oxford Union

When the indignant protests came regarding the BNP being allowed to speak to the Oxford Student Union, my first thoughts were big deal, let them speak.  Challenge them.  Let them reveal their true agenda.  Trap them with their own lies and bigotry.  In other words, let them dig their own grave.

But it’s a sad fact that every time these right-wing extremists are given a platform, racial hatred increases as do attacks on minority groups.  And it hurts me to admit that the BNP do manage to incite the hatred and the anger among the disillusioned . . . that somehow, some people buy into the BNP myths.  And so, I think it was a bad decision to provide them with such an established and approved platform that is Oxford.

I can’t put it any better than this comment made by Dr. Lewis MP, who resigned his life membership in direct response to the decision:

“Nothing which happens in tonight’s debate can possibly offset the boost you are giving to a couple of scoundrels who can put up with anything except being ignored.”

Give your wallets a rest

Today is Buy Nothing Day which will be one of many for me because I have no money to spend and it’s a tormenting five days till the next pay day.

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote about the last Buy Nothing Day.  I wonder how much we’ve spent on must-haves in that time.

Consume less.  Share more.

Preachy Mum

Am I incapable of expressing myself on her level?  Where did my mothers instinct go?  I seem to always say the wrong thing. 

I was just trying to teach my daughter a bit of a life lesson, you know, some good-old-fashioned guidance.  It was regarding something she said which I thought was a bit snooty but clearly I totally misjudged the moment.  

We were our way to school and it went something like this :

The car in front was a nifty, nippy little peugeot and a very nice one too.  My daughter said it was horrible.  She said it was a chav car. 

I said oh and asked her what a chav was.

She told me a chav was someone who lived in a council-house, wore trackies, listened to rap and that MC stuff, got drunk a lot and did drugs.

I took issue with her, gently, on the council-house bit and told her that people who live in council houses are not necessarily chavs and I added . . . whatever that is . . . in an effort to demonstrate my non-stereotypism which is probably a bit dishonest of me.  And I reminded her that her friend lives in a council house and that I hope she never says such things in front of her. 

She took issue back with me, telling me that she knows not all people who live in council-houses are chavs, but that all chavs live in council houses – that it’s part of the chav criteria (she didn’t actually say criteria, she’s a clever girl but her vocabulary range is still within the limits of an eleven-year-old).

Then I said that many people do drugs, get drunk, wear trackies and listen to MC and rap but don’t live in council houses.  What are they called? 

She picked up on the subtle sarcasm that I tried to hide and she tutted and sighed.

I told her . . . I just wouldn’t like to see you looking down on people.

She slammed out of the car saying that she wasn’t going to tell me anything again because I-always-take-things-too-importantly

I am just not cool. 

On Monbiot article

George Monbiot wrote an interesting and most important article in yesterday’s Guardian.  He’s aptly titled it … Ban the Bomb – But Only in Iran.

Informative and fair, it tells of the double-dealing double standards of American foreign policy pertaining to the Middle East. 

American political bias in favour of Israel is stupidly undiplomatic and grossly irresponsible given Iran’s unpredictability.  In short, it’s a big reason for Iran’s determination to proliferate. 

Read the article here.

Mum Boast

My middlie was presented with the Star Pupil of the Week award at school and the best part of this award, according to middlie herself, is that she gets to “push-in” in the lunch queue.  She gets a one-week pass to go right to the front of the queue and order her lunch.

Prize-winning perks aside, it’s an encouraging and comforting award from my perspective as she’s had a bit of a tumultuous start to her new school year, something that we totally failed to expect, so here’s to settled times.

And my little rugby player scored endless try’s and got about a  million tags in his three rugby games on Sunday.  And in recognition of his talented game-play he was given the prestigious status of Man-of-the-Match.

‘Twas so funny watching his face during the presentation because although, being his modest self he was trying his best not to smile, his proudness was bursting through and the huge grin just-wouldn’t-be-supressed.