Friday, July 30, 2010

Working From Home

I was thinking again about working the other day and I know that many of us can do our jobs from home with the technology we have yet we are not permitted to by our employers. Even in this economic climate – most businesses would rather spend more money on having everyone come into an overpriced office than stay home and work based on targets. Why?

Well, I say that while companies are coming to grips with the sensible way of doing things, more and more and more workers will take the freelance route. I wonder what will happen then?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Stars on UK Screen

How comes so many big Hollywood stars have been on the UK small screen lately?

We had Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz on Top Gear (prior to Andy Garcia a few weeks ago), and Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and Kevin James on The One Show!

Now US stars come over here all the time to premier their movies here but I can’t ever remember seeing them on everyday UK TV shows. So what’s up? Rumour is that the Cruise Diaz film is bad and they showed up on Jeremy Clarkson’s sofa in a bid to stave off the bad reviews. That would make sense out of their appearance. But still . . .

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Lost Art of Conversation

One of the things that exasperates me about English culture is the fact that most English people seem incapable of carrying on any sort of conversation – and by conversation, I mean an exchange of ideas. Especially women. The list of topics to prattle on about (it certainly is never an actual discussion on these topics) is as follows:

· The weather
· Whatever the hell you did or plan to do on your weekend (why the hell do they care?)
· Where you are going on your holidays
· Any other airhead subject like the dilemma of your eye shadow not matching your dress (I am not making this up – this was couched as a ‘problem’ in a bride magazine. In my defence I was newly engaged and naively thought these mags could help. Boy was I wrong!)

It drives me nuts. There are a few English women who are compos mentis but it is a very small number.


A good reflection of the level of intelligence of our women is the magazine rack. Take a look at the mindless tripe you’ll find in the so called women’s section and you will want to top yourself.

What is the deal? Do English women like operating on empty (brains) or do they feel pressured to do so because the vast majority of English men seem to like their women vacuous? Andy why do they? (the men that is). Are they threatened by a woman with brains? The answer sadly seems to be yes. I asked some male friends of mien if they preferred outstanding looking and dumb or good looking and smart. They preferred the former. How depressing! Even a good looking smart woman is less desirable than Gracie-Lue Freebush (watch Miss Congeniality for the reference)

If this is so, it’s a very sad statement on women in a supposedly first world country.

Trust me, if you want a good conversation you are forced to seek out the tiny minority of Englishwomen interested in conversation, men – or foreign women.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bin Fear

Yesterday I read an interesting quote. It basically said ‘what would I do if I wasn’t afraid?’ The answer to that was rather enlightening. The list was as long as my arm! Basically, it included everything I really want to do but don’t because I am afraid of stepping out. A lot of it has to do with money. If I do what I want to do, in the immediate aftermath I would be income-less and my home etc. would be in jeopardy. That’s what it really comes down to.

On a similar vein, last night I was watching some money show and they focused on a guy who has given up money for the past 18 months. He seems to be doing fine. And though I have no desire to go his way – there was an interesting lesson to learn from him. Money is a tool to get certain things, (and just certain things, not all things) done. It shouldn’t be a weapon. And to many people it is a weapon – one used against them, by them (and the wider society) to keep them in fear. If we keep wanting to buy more stuff then companies can keep making money you see, even the debt we get into to buy the ‘more stuff’ is advantageous to many companies.

I want to let go of that fear. I hate it, it is paralysing. So with God’s help I aim to bin it.

Many people who have become wildly financially and spiritually successful took certain calculated risks and came out on top. It’s time I did likewise. What about you?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? It’s worth thinking about. . . then doing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baiting the electorate

Is anyone else fed up of journalists baiting politicians on behalf of us the electorate? I just watched a so-called feature on the Milliband brothers on Channel 4 news and as a voter I heard little that was of importance to me and much that seemed to be geared towards getting a rise out of both men. We are in interesting times and I for one want to hear from politicians on the hustings, how they will do their job if elected. I don’t give a toss about a dust up between rivals. I wish journalists would share my view.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bathrooms – the last bastion of gender separation

‘Don’t put your handbag on the bed it’s been all kinds of nasty places,’ says HRH.
‘All kinds of nasty places, what do you mean?’ I ask him.
‘Well bathroom stall floors for one thing.’
‘No no no, when I am in a bathroom stall I hang my handbag on the peg.’
‘Peg? What peg?’

It was at that point that it occurred to me. My husband would have had no opportunity to go inside a women’s bathroom stall so he had no idea there were pegs on the back of the doors to hang your bag and coat. And I had no idea that there were no pegs on the back of the door in men’s bathrooms. I went on to reveal (to his amazement) the presence of nice smelling hand soap and hand lotion (in the better bathrooms) and sofas and separate mirrored waiting areas (in the even better bathrooms known as powder rooms).

It got me thinking. In this day and age there are very few areas of life that are not integrated in gender terms. I reckon the bathroom is the last place that exists where genders are separated. I know that there are some smaller places where there is maybe one bathroom that men and women share but I don’t think guys notice the hook on the back of the door for the simple reason that their backs are to the door when they do their business (well most times!), and I imagine they don’t give a thought to the low gray rectangular box next to the toilet either.

Men and women are equal and different. We aren’t the same and in the midst of a lot of misunderstanding about what it means to be equal, on both men and women’s part, it is good to reflect on the differences too. The differences are part of what makes us so interesting and so able to complement each other.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The US of UK?

So, there’s another nutcase gunman on the loose in the UK and this time he has managed to evade the police for several days. It really does look as though all countries ape the US is absolutely everything. Well this is one aspect of life in the US I can do without. First that nutter in Northumberland and now this guy in Newcastle. I know it’s not scientific to say so but it doesn’t say much for the north does it?

SO many theories have been posed as to why people go postal. I think we will have to start looking at the possible reasons really hard and really soon. Today I actually felt nervous about going about my business. The thing is – there is no defence against a madman who kills randomly.

We all need to be more emotionally mature.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Let us do what needs to be done, now!

We need to be accountable and we need to finish things. I was in a meeting today that typifies the British attitude to doing almost everything. Several of my colleagues were to have investigated certain issues and research certain information in order to complete some work. They came to the meeting having not done it. When the matter came up, said people made statements to the effect of ‘Well I can’t do so and so until I know such and such.’ Keep in mind that they were supposed to have researched such and such but didn’t. They weren’t challenged and the issue at hand was dropped. Now this issue is something that could win a lot of business but the powers that be seemed to be satisfied to let it slide on the basis that finding out this information is seemingly impossible or they don’t have the stones to make the relevant parties do what they are supposed to.

I was aching to scream at the relevant people, ‘So, you don’t know such and such, then why on earth didn’t you go and research it like you were supposed to then? Get up now and go and do it and report back to us in half an hour!’

Too many times I witness this ‘don’t care, can’t be bothered, lazy, ineffective attitude. It gets us nowhere! Let us pull ourselves up and do what needs to be done people. For goodness sake, the level of inertia in the UK is horrifying! It’s that same attitude that loses us World Cup matches and allows thieving bankers to continue in the same vein in spite of the massive fallout and taxpayer bailout. Does England have a pulse? If we can’t find it our inertia will kill the nation – there’ll be nothing whatsoever left because the rest of the world who have the brains and go getter attitude will sweep up opportunity after opportunity and those Brits who are alive and kicking will simply migrate.