Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blogging Serendipity

Tim in Thailand's latest post has just led me to the Follow The Yellow Brick Road blog, winner of this year's Manchester Blog Awards.

Coincidentally, a recent post on that blog has a link to the Advice To Sink In Slowly art project, in which students at University College Falmouth - which is right here in Penryn - have designed some really beautiful posters containing useful advice for new students starting at the college.

Coincidentally, Mr BC is at University College Falmouth RIGHT NOW, guest-lecturing to some of those new students on how to forge a career in professional writing.

Coincidentally, one of his bits of advice will undoubtedly be to start a blog in order to get your writing out there, which, coincidentally, is what Tim's original post is all about.

I know, it's well coincimental.

But anyway, aside from the Thailand-Manchester-Penryn blogging connection, the Advice To Sink In Slowly posters are well worth a look, and indeed, at a fiver a go, a purchase. Here's my favourite:

More lovely poster art where that came from here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


One thing I've noticed about having a tiny helpless baby is that you spend a lot of time holding the tiny helpless baby in your arms, thereby confining yourself to a small patch of sofa opposite the television.

Under these circumstances, it would take a stronger will than mine not to turn the television on and spend the entire day watching repeats of Property Ladder, Grand Designs and other fetishistic pre-Financial Apocalypse property shows.

Last night, while watching a repeat of Relocation Relocation, I felt a sudden stab of jealousy as Kirstie and Phil found a nice thirtysomething middle-class couple a fantastic stone-built cottage in a pretty village beside the estuary of the river Exe in South Devon.

"Ohhhhh," thought I to myself. "If only I could live in a lovely old stone-built cottage in a pretty village by a lovely river estuary in the West Country. How much more pleasant life would be. How much calmer, and more fulfilling, and less stressful."

It wasn't until much later, as I lay in bed waiting for Mr BC to return from London, baby sleeping peacefully in her cot as a CD of tropical lullabies played softly in the background, that I remembered that I *do* live in a lovely old stone-built cottage in a pretty village by a lovely river estuary in the West Country.

I am an idiot.

IN OTHER NEWS: The first time the health visitor came round to inspect the Blue Kitten, she wrote 'Lovely baby' in the Kitten's health record book. I don't know if this is actual medical terminology, but going by this recent photo of the infant, I don't think I can really argue with it:

Fig 1. Medical experts have detected loveliness in this specimen.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bathetic Policy

A masterpiece of bathos from the Easyjet travel insurance policy I accidentally bought the other day:

We will not cover you for any claim arising from, or consisting of, the following:
  • War, invasion, act of foreign enemy, hostilities (whether war is declared or not) civil war, civil commotion, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, military force, coup d’etat, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction.
  • Any epidemic or pandemic.
  • Ionising radiation or radioactive contamination from nuclear fuel or nuclear waste or any risk from nuclear equipment.
  • You not enjoying your journey.

Given that our journey is going to involve transporting a screaming two month-old baby in the car from Penryn to Truro, then on the train from Truro to Bristol, then on the coach from Bristol Temple Meads Station to Bristol Airport, then on the plane from Bristol to Inverness, then in a hire car to a hotel in Nairn, and then the same journey in reverse just two days later, I think Easyjet may have been wise to put that last clause in.

And this isn't even taking into consideration the potential psychologically-detrimental effects of the Blue Kitten's first audience with her terrifying 97 year-old great-grandmother, who lies in wait at the journey's end, possibly wielding an axe*. Although it would be quite difficult to blame Easyjet for those.

* It has been known.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Fountain Of Youth

Steve the plumber has been here yesterday and today, fitting a new super-efficient boiler in anticipation of the financial End Times, and removing a leaky old Victorian toilet which will not be required either before or during the Apocalypse.

Fig 1. Victorian cistern: here rust, and let me die.

This leaves me (well, us, but it is I who have taken up the quest with the appropriate levels of zealotry) with the opportunity to fit a fancy new toilet in the space vacated by the Victorian one.

Fig 2. Victorian toilet bowl: doomed.

My mission took me to the B&Q website, where I was immediately struck by the evocative and suggestive names of the sanitaryware on offer. I particularly liked this one, although I hardly dare to wonder if it lives up to its name, and if so, how it might work its magic:

Although perhaps if I'm really planning to install the Fountain of Youth in the downstairs cubbyhole, I could ride out the coming financial Armageddon by charging people a fiver a pop to, er, partake of its healing waters.

Who wants to go first?