Friday, January 26, 2007

all animals are equal...

I've been watching the debate about gay adoption with interest. It's a shame that it's the homosexuality issue which has reared it's ugly head again, but I do feel that it highlights a much deeper issue.

The basic question is whether or not the rights of conscience can be subjected to legislation - Rowan Williams believes not.

Thousands of people evidently disagree with Dr Williams, as has been very evident on the BBC Have Your Say page recently, where there are lots of sometimes venomous comments along the lines of "no-one should consider themselves above the law, especially religious groups".

Now, these people are of course entitled to their opinions but there is a definite lack of consistency here. There was no such bleating going on when a Muslim WPC refused to shake hands with a male on her passing out ceremony on religious grounds. If religious reasons are not above the law then why was this allowed?

Monday, January 22, 2007

15 seconds of fame

Last November I made the trip to Cardiff to celebrate a friend's birthday. We went to the Bay and had a good night, despite the fact that the area lacks soul.

At the end of the night three of us ended up walking back across town, which was something of an experience. Mein Host led us on a little bit of a wild-goose chase, but eventually, after passing the first fight we saw that night our route took us through the aptly named "Chippy Alley".

Unbeknown to me at the time, a camera crew were filming somewhere in the area and as I waded through the piles of polystyrene cartons (yes, really), weaved through the groups of drunkards and dodged the overflowing bins, I made my way in to the shot. So, as I learned at the weekend, you may have seen me making a TV appearance (not my first, I should add) in the background of a programme for S4C...


...on binge drinking.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

see what exams do to you

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.



When one is revising Asymptotic Methods, anything and everything else becomes more interesting and Dave's cartoon today is beautifully relevant.

"More interesting things" include correcting the grammatical errors in yesterday's post, but I must get back to revision/go to bed before I feel the urge to correct the fact that it was also something of a non-story.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

chichester: the detroit of england's south coast?

If like me you've been to Chichester and enjoyed its beautiful cathedral and quaint streets you might be a bit surprised by this post.

I was listening to the local news a couple of weeks ago, and evidently Chichester is not the quiet, safe, town it would appear to be. "11 people attacked at Chichester Railway station" was the headline. This to me would seem pretty big news, but the newsreader was more concerned with the statistics and the fact that apparently it was now - wait for it - the third most dangerous West Sussex town.

So this got me thinking. If we're talking about a mass attack on 11 people, the towns fighting for the top spots must be terrifying places to be. But if we're talking about statistics compiled since the dawn of time, then who cares?

I think we just need to be thankful that I was probably one of three listeners that morning. Otherwise we might have seen a downturn in Chichester's tourism industry or an increase in the number of mass attacks because no-one took the warning seriously.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Late Night Love

In case you were wondering, today's title is (sadly) not a reflection on what I have been up to recently. Well, not in that sense, anyway.

Recently I have been listening a lot more to the radio. It makes the early morning bus journey more interesting and all that. But more on that later - I need to get back to the point.

So there I was last night listening to said radio, dozing off as Graham Torrington used his infinite wisdom and experience to reassure and advise his listeners with just the right number of meaningful "mmm's". I was contemplating the phenomenon that everyone has heard of Graham Torrington (or 'GT' if you're cool enough) and yet would probably rather not admit it, when I heard a name I recognised. It was, after all, a slightly unusual name.

As the caller started disclosing her problems I realised that I also recognised the voice. Listening more carefully I found that the discription of her situation was also familiar.

If there's one thing more embarrassing than having to admit that you met through an internet dating agency it's probably having to call Late Night Love to sort out any issues. And now a few people across the nation know that her parents find my friend arrogant.

If only he could travel back in time and make amends...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

the name's P...

...J P. I bet you didn't see that cliche coming; there are of course no prizes for guessing what I am about to talk about.

Yesterday I (finally) went to see the new Bond film with my family, and...

...I thought that it was excellent.

I quickly dispensed of my predjudice that Bond should not be blonde and enjoyed the typical Bond action, the element of suspense and the inclusion of a posh girl. There was a disappointing lack of risque one-liners although the trademark humour is thankfully still in evidence. Despite the fact that Bond is always slightly 'unreal' I felt let down by the last one and was greatly relieved to find that the same mistakes have not been made.

Unfortunately the rest of the family have completely succumbed to the lurgy today and the Vicarage has not been the hive of activity that it usually is. Meanwhile, I've been plodding on climbing my revision mountain.

Monday, January 01, 2007

happy new year

I wonder how many people have written a post with the same title as this today? I note that 2006 began with the same title, but 365 days on I still feel no need to be original, witty or funny. So there. Still, I hope that you have a happy new year anyway.

Unfortunately, Mother P follwed the rest of the family and was unwell at the end of 2006. Along with the nation's other great parties this meant that we sadly had to cut right back on the festivities. Much as it was a great shame not to have had an evening of fun and laughter with friends and family I am at least pleased to report that my family is very much on the mend.

I am also pleased to report that for me 2006 ended in a suitably random manner; after a very quiet evening I was to be found shortly before midnight accompanying the vicar, who, carafe of wine in hand was attempting to get in to his own church. More precisely, we wanted access to the tower, for which the Reverend has no key. Our knocks and cries resulted in success and the bellringers welcomed us in to join them as they rang in the New Year. It was certainly a novel and interesting place to be as the clock struck midnight, and with champagne, party poppers, good company and the joyous peal of the bells 2007 began well. Let us hope that it continues that way.

On the subject of the New Year, I was skimming the BBC Have Your Say about the New Year Honours and was most amused by the chap who felt the need to rant that people who work in antiques are never recognised for their skills and services. Does anyone else share his pain?

Finally, given the way in which this post began, I feel the need to congratulate Corinne on breaking with tradition. My RSS feeder has just loaded her latest entry and it seems that she began 2007 with "it's the tea lady!".