20 November 2009

All that glitters

Am I the only person to detest the ubiquitous "cash for gold" adverts?

With the arrival of LittleLanky, we've been watching more tv than usual (because we're at home more), and the credit crunch seems to have spawned a proliferation of jewellery buyers; these seem to have taken the place of the "have you been injured at work?" adverts.

Although I concede that, primarily, I find these ads irritating, my point here is that I can't imagine who they're aimed at. I also can't imagine many people are sending in their big hoop earrings and heart shaped pendants.

Hopefully, as we climb out of recession, they will disappear as quickly as they arrived on our screens.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

12 November 2009

Cricket's coming home?

If the recommendations in David Davies' review are implemented, the Ashes will become one of the so-called 'crown jewels' of British sport, meaning that they will have to be on terrestrial television. The BBC's report is quite upbeat on the chances of this happening, but I can't help feeling a bit tentative about the whole thing. The income from Sky TV is massive for the ECB, and I can't see them being too happy with slashing that amount to bring the Ashes back to terrestrial TV. The ECB will argue that the income from TV rights has helped to fund a resurgence in grass-roots cricket, which has to be good. I just hope a workable compromise can be found so that the needs of the viewing public can be satisfied along with those of grass-roots cricket.

Handle with Prayer

The Church Mouse has details of a proposed new BBC2 series which has a C of E Priest as the central character. It's called 'Handle with Prayer' and it stars Tom Hollander - a proper actor! I think he'll make a good vicar. One to watch out for.

10 November 2009

Bloody Shameful

I have no time for the red-top tabloids in this country. I can't see what positive contribution they make to society, unless you count titilation as a positive contribution. I was particularly horrified, then, to read this trash on the Sun website. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a massive Gordon Brown fan, but I think that he needs to be given a bit of credit here.

We're talking about the Prime Minister of the UK! That's a pretty demanding job, you know. He works all hours, and probably barely gets time to spend with his family. I was actually very impressed that he takes the time to hand-write a personal letter to the family of each deceased soldier! When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter? I know I haven't written one in years.

I realise that the family concerned is grieving, and that they have their own, possibly legitimate, complaints against the UK government. I also acknowledge that I will (hopefully) never know what the family is going through, and how it feels to lose a child in warfare. My problem with the whole thing is that it comes across as a tabloid-engineered publicity stunt against the PM. I thought that when I read yesterday's 'story', but it was confirmed when I heard on the Today Programme that the Sun had recorded the phone call between the soldier's mother and Gordon Brown for use on their website (the Sun story said that the lady recorded the call on her answerphone).

It seems to me that the Sun have taken advantage of the family for the sake of a cheap story against Gordon Brown, and the more they persist, the more convinced I will be.

Ultimately, I really can't understand what the fuss is about. Here's how I see it:
  • He hand wrote a letter in an age where email and phone calls are the norm, and even typed letters are rare! I think this is impressive.
  • His letter is not a generic template; it's clearly specific to the situation. He could have just signed a spell-checked generic template, but he didn't.
  • His handwriting is poor - big deal! So's mine.
  • He made some spelling mistakes, and performed minor corrections. That's what we used to do before spell check!
Finally, at the risk of being labelled a pedant, and I don't want to sound disrespectful here, but someone who is criticising another person's use of language should maybe check their own a little more carefully:
"Jacqui hit back: "I don't want to sound disrespectful here, but it was an insult to my child. There was [sic] 25 spelling mistakes - 25."

6 November 2009

Clever, clever babies

This article is fascinating! Especially to a new parent. Apparently, research shows that a baby in the womb has already started to recognise the accent of their mother. So much so, that when they are born their cry has characteristics which are linked to the same accent. They show this by observing a different type of cry in families with different accents/languages.

I already knew that the whole process of growing a new life was amazing, but this just confirms it. I don't think it proves a watchmaker type argument for the existence of God, but it does make you stop and think a bit.

5 November 2009

Triple-cross posting

David Keen, whilst cross posting one of my posts about a post by Mike Peatman, has linked to a great set of graphical representations of some epic movies including Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

The church of the state

I saw the news today that the name of the new Bishop of Peterborough has been announced. The wording of the press release made me think, though. I know the C of E is the established Church, but it does seem odd that the Prime Minister's Office make the formal announcement. No offence to Peterborough (it's a very nice place), but I would have thought the PM's office have more pressing issues to deal with.

3 November 2009

That would be an ecumenical matter

Mike Peatman is obviously not quite busy enough yet in his new role! He's found the time to pen a rather witty Father Ted style summary of the Pope's offer to accommodate some of our more conservative brothers. Go and take a look!

2 November 2009

Just hold on a minute!

On the Today programme this morning, it was claimed (though immediately clarified) that the M1 was the first motorway in the country. I don't think so! I think you'll find that the M6 Preston bypass was the first stretch of motorway to be completed in the UK, opened by Harold Macmillan in 1958. The BBC's web article is better!

Lancaster City Museum had a good exhibition to mark the anniversary, but it didn't seem to warrant the national coverage given to the M1's anniversary. Of course the M6 doesn't go anywhere near London, so that probably explains the lack of coverage.

Trawling the archive, I see that there was a story on the BBC news site in December, but I don't remember it making national radio, or spawning a musical!

1 November 2009

All Saints

Just returned from my first 'Reflect' since the birth of LittleLanky. Thanks to all who have kept the ship afloat; there seems to be a healthy number of attendees with some new faces.

Tonight I was bold! I experimented with a 'Litany of the Saints', which I've only ever heard before. I got some music from Mr Walton, and with the help of a WAV file and a few minutes rehearsal, it all worked out ok.

The nice thing about it being an ecumenical service was that there was a good number of Roman Catholics who weren't phased at all; they helped everyone else to pick up the responses in quick time.

I also got the opportunity to play one of my birthday presents; Howard Goodall's Enchanted Voices. I'd heard bits on Classic FM, but the entire album is very very good. It's very good Reflect music too.