Yes, the Radio Times is wrong. In 2009 Boxing day is today!
Boxing day falls on the first weekday after Christmas day. Which isn’t necessarily the 26th of December.
So… now you know!
Back in September, new regulations meant old fashioned incandescent (OFI) light bulbs can only now be sold in clear types.
In our house we were down to one light fitting with an old fashioned bulb in it. The R63 spots in the kitchen were replaced this time last year, following an assignment for an OU course on sustainable living. I’ve not regretted it either. The bulbs light the room just as well as the ones they replace, and they have outlasted enough of the old type to be saving me money.
Which left one solitary light fitting in the bathroom unable to accommodate the now standard compact florescent bulb. Which, to be honest, needs a bulb equivalent to 100w to provide sufficient light. We’ve all known for some time that the end of the 100w bulb was due, but we just didn’t get round to getting that light replaced.
Fortunately there was a solution. It has to be noted that compact florescent bulbs come in a variety of different shapes and wattages. But I’d already tried and failed to squeeze one into the space available. CF bulbs are not the only type of bulb out there, Philips and GE produce a halogen bulb that is the same shape and size as the OFI 100w bulb. I bought the 100w equivalent and it is a brilliant stop-gap measure. It lights the room just as well as the bulb it replaces, and fits in the same amount of space.
It’s a shame that it’s come to this to be honest. It would be nice if we could all have gradually moved ourselves onto the new technology, and restricted our purchases of 100w OFI bulbs for those few remaining fittings where a standard CF bulb of the required brightness won’t fit. But too many of us were sticking with old fashioned bulbs for reasons other than the merely practical. The obnoxious, ignorant “Wah shud ah”s have basically spoilt it for the rest of us.
I’m certainly nice enough to be embarrassed by my intransigence, rather than incandescent (ha ha) at the inconvenience.
We seem to be becoming increasingly paranoid about photographers. People taking photographs are being frequently challenged by police. We have increasingly weird ideas of image rights and what permission is needed to take photographs in public spaces.
It is often argued that people taking photographs of things some people don’t think are interesting should expect to have to justify themselves. This is a bad and small minded argument, however it doesn’t even apply here. He was photographing a church. An actual architectural landmark. Surely that point could be appreciated by even the most unimaginative of idiots?
Petitions about photography on the Number 10 website have been met with the response that photography in public places is not illegal. This misses the point- it needs to be made clear to the police that it’s not illegal and a greater degree of suspision is required before challenging people who photograph in public places. ACPO have in the past issued guidance on what the legal position of Police Officers challenging photographers is. The message appeared not to be getting through to the officers on the ground. Now worried by reports of misconduct in the press, ACPO are issuing their members with a warning. I hope it gets through to beat officers this time.
I’m wondering whether the mistrust of photographers is a problem with police culture, or one in society as a whole which is affecting some individual officers conduct. Either way- the paranoia must stop.
Being watchful and careful in public will make us safer as a nation. But this must be done calmly and intelligently. Fear, paranoia and mistrust do not make us safer.
Gosh it’s cold out!
It’s only ten minutes to work, I’ve been in the office ten minutes and I’m still freezing.
I’m reading Bad Science at the moment. It’s a great book, and everyone should read and understand it.
There’s a bit of a rumble about a man who was Fined £550 – for leaving wheelie bins out. The story has made its way into the Daily Mail as an example of little bureaucrats pushing people about.
Now there are two reactions to this. A knee-jerk shriek of ”But that’s outrageous” and a sensible “That’s really weird, there must be more to it.”
Gareth Robinson has been fined £350, plus £200 court costs. But not for simply leaving a bit out for a week or so. He claims they were left outside for “two days at the most”.
It does seem a bit unreasonable that the council swooped down on someone for leaving their bins out for a couple of days. Turns out- they didn’t.
Reading beyond the headline shows this was not a one-off occurrence. Neighbours apparently find the Robinsons’ bins problematic, as there have been many complaints to the council. Mr Robinson had numerous warnings and notices about his bins before being given a fixed penalty of £60. Like the many warnings, he ignored this too.
Then he was summoned to court. He failed to appear to challenge council’s actions, and was fined in his absence.
There’s no mention in the news as to whether his neighbours had a quiet word, but if he’s the sort of man you can approach like that, it’s unreasonable to assume they didn’t.
The headline seems to imply that he left his bin out one day, and had a £550 fine land on his doormat soon after. This is not the case.
I’m going to write about something incredibly trivial that winds a lot of people up. Many justifiably.
In recent years supermarkets have come up with an innovation, parent and child parking spaces. As a parent with a baby I have found these spaces incredibly useful. Sure I could cope without them, but they do make life a whole lot easier.
However there is a tendency for people to use these spaces when they don’t have a child of any sort with them. Lets be clear we’re not talking about disabled people unable to get a disabled space, or people parking at 10pm at night, in a storm when most of the car park lighting has inexplicably failed and half the spaces are empty anyway. We are talking about peak times during the day when the car park is busy, and perfectly able-bodied people. So now, I’ve set the scene.
Anyway however much detail I’ve gone into describing the abusers of P&C spaces, this post isn’t really about them. Or is it?
Sorry, this is going to get horribly meta.
What I’ve noticed is that on occasion, parents put out by the selfish minority will have a moan, and rightly so. Trouble is that these moans often attract the weirdest of people. Nasty, unpleasant, and antisocial people who seem actively put out by the very existence of car parking spaces reserved for parents of small children.
Now I can quite understand that some people don’t see the point. Yes my mother coped without these spaces when I was a baby, but the thing was she coped without a car full stop. What I don’t understand is the people who are vehemently and angrily opposed to parent and child spaces, to the extent they feel the need to put down anyone who raises the slightest objection to the abuse of them.
Maybe these commenters are just the perpetually angry nutters that David Mitchell writes about here. But they do seem numerous. Often they raise spurious examples of the sorts of people who would be put out by the spaces.
It is true that there is no law protecting these spaces. But a petulant cry of “there’s no law against it” isn’t a valid justification for a stroppy teenager’s actions, and is just silly coming from anyone over the age of 21. Yes stores extend these spaces merely as a courtesy in order to attract custom, but that does nothing to the legitimacy of these spaces. Supermarkets are entitled to set terms and conditions for the use of their land, providing it is prominently advertised. Sure they rely largely on goodwill and good manners to police these spaces. But does that mean able bodied people who use the spaces to avoid a slightly longer walk or scratches on their expensive car aren’t being anti-social and selfish? No. Not one but. The opposite in fact.
Do I buy the argument that these commentators are merely outraged on behalf of the elderly or disabled and are not personally put out by the existence of parent and child spaces? No. In fact I think it terrible that they use others as a proxy in order to create a fig leaf for the childishness of their own views. It often seems to be a case of being annoyed by someone getting a perk that is not available to them, and then scrabbling around for reasons to justify their petulance.
When not traveling with Matthew it always amuses me to see, perfectly able bodied people, jostling around for the spaces in the quarter of the car park closest to the store entrance. I giggle as I drive into a space in the quieter end, collect my trolley from the park nearest the car, and walk into the store while they are still searching for the elusive close space.
There are stores with covered walkways that enable parent and child spaces to be sited further away and leave some prime, non-disabled spaces for others. This is a good implementation of the idea and I have no problem with it: where it’s the most practical solution. If it’s just being done solely to mollify the sort of nasty, selfish, aggressive individuals who have their noses put out of joint by the mere fact stores show a bit of consideration to those of us with small children, then I really object.
These vile aggressive people do not deserve appeasement.
I think the friends and aquaintances who read this will fall into two groups. Those that have already experienced what I’m talking about, and those who will glaze over when parents start talking about their little ones.
Our son is just about 10 months old. He was 7 weeks early, and spent his first four weeks in a special care unit. He is reportedly doing well, even though he is small. At his 8 months check he was said to as well developed as any 8 month old, sitting up and smiling and reacting as the nursery nurse expected.
He’s just reached 18 pounds. That’s 8.18kg in today’s money. That’s between the 9th and the 25th percentile on the graph, relative to his due date), so nothing to worry about. We rarely now get comments about how small he is, indeed we often get people saying things like, “he doesn’t look like he was premature.”
He’s just started crawling, but is not racing around as many predicted. Everyone who sees him comments on his smile and how happy he seems.
He loves his toys and indeed any object can provide endless fascination. He’s really good with stacking cups, preferring to try and dismantle a tower of cups, rather than knock it over. He also has a shape sorter and seems to, more often than not, chose the right shapes for the side uppermost. This may be his loving parents over interpreting, or skewing things unconsciously by the way we place the shapes on the floor. He learned how to use a toy where you feed a giraffe plastic blocks in a couple of minutes.
And this is the thing. He seems a bright boy, who is happy much of the time, but is this just his proud parents seeing what they want to see?