Showing posts from May, 2007

the epitome of efficiency

If you're a long established reader of this blog, you may remember me having a rant about my local council. Specifically, I complained about the fact that my recycling box 'would arrive within four weeks'.

I am now pleased to report, ladies and gentlemen, that I arrived home today, a mere 10 weeks on, to find my recycling box. It seems that our council has developed the knack of stretching time-scales as well as the truth. I'd honestly assumed that we'd been forgotten about and was preparing to endure the council switchboard after my exams. I'm quite thankful that I don't have to call them now, and even more so that I don't pay tax. If it takes so long just to deal with a simple, and routine, request for a recycling box imagine how much is wasted on faffing around* elsewhere.

*and believe me, I know about faffing around.

hypocrisy down under

I apologise for perhaps re-opening a can of worms, but this article reminded me of the recent fuss about the legislation to prevent gay people from being turned away from hotels and other public places. It was, if I remember correctly, generally seen as outrageous that someone could ban someone from such an institution based on their sexual orientation.

Down-Under, things are evidently a little bit different.

"The Victorian state civil and administrative tribunal ruled the Peel Hotel could ban patrons based on their sexual orientation."

So, where are the Human Rights and Civil Liberties folk, who should be decrying such an outrageous ruling? Not out protesting, because they "welcome the decision".

Now if you read the whole article, it is apparent that there has evidently been some trouble and this should be prevented. But to attempt to solve the problem by banning heterosexuals just defies belief. It's 'bigoted' and 'intolerant', you might say an…

Sunday morning with the paper

It's nice to have the chance to kick back with a newspaper on a Sunday morning, and even nicer when you're in Christchurch College hall. I'm enjoying a weekend back in Oxford, visiting old haunts and spending time with friends. Unfortunately I had to give my gown back at the end of the Chamber Choir's year so I can't ponce around later in the manner I would like; however, there's still much in the way of quirky tradition to experience, and next time I watch a Harry Potter film I can get all excited when they show the hall and say "ooh, that's where I wrote my blog".Defined by user

feeling positive

It is often said that 'God is a God of surprises' and that 'God's timing is perfect', and today - in a small way - I have found both to be true.


"In descending order of vehemence, my objections to the Tory species stem from a) everything they do, b) everything they say, c) everything they stand for, d) how they look, e) their stupid names and f) the noises I imagine they make in bed."

(Attributed to Charlie Brooker, in The Guardian).

Here is one of many reasons why I am not a fan of the Guardian. It likes to portray an air of intelligence, but in all honesty you could probably find more reasoned and mature debate than the above in the Daily Sport. And the Daily Sport would be more entertaining to read.

I'm sure that Mr Brooker believes that he is open-minded and tolerant (and far more so than those nasty Tories could ever be), and so it's quite ironic that the above quotation is anything but. Now, whereas I can understand that the article was probably slightly tongue-in-cheek I don't like the underlying sentiment. Especially given that if 'Tory Species' were replaced by anything else, Mr Brooker …

who lives in a house like this?

Originally uploaded by JP1984.
Call me juvenile, but I couldn't resist obtaining a photograph of this house-name. Can you imagine living there and having to verify your address over the phone to an insurance salesman or the like?

introducing (by popular demand)...

...JP's Whitelist. After all, it's good to be positive, and here you will find a list of people or companies who have done something exceptional or impressed me a lot. As you would expect from something defined as 'the opposite of a Blacklist'.

I am also pleased to have been able to cull my Blacklist. Whereas HSBC's Customer Services Department only served to entrench them further on the dreaded list, their staff in the Bath branch could not have been more helpful, and the erroneous charges were refunded. TfL have also been taken off; despite some faffing around they did offer to refund my Oyster card after the overcharging incident.

Finally I have also introduced a new 'JP Recommends...' section, which will hopefully develop in to a concise list of places I have enjoyed or maybe good books I have read and that sort of thing. After an excellent Mixed Grill (washed down with a pint of Brains*) I feel that the 'Ship Aground' in Dinas Cross is a de…

adhering to the stereotype

I was amused to find that the Guardian was being promoted on campus last week with the enticing offer of a 'free cereal bar'.

I don't feel that further comment needs to be made...

the post formerly known as observation (it's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife)

I thought 'observation' was a rather dull and unoriginal title for a post, especially as a lot of what I write is 'observational' in nature. I'll be titling things 'post' next.

Anyway, now that I've had some sleep I've been able to come up with something a little better. It's a song lyric I'm particularly fond of, and although my first reaction to reading that Prince is doing a gig in 'the venue formerly known as the Millenium Dome' was not "it's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife" I do feel that it fits well with the actual title of the song.


Due to a large amount of public opposition from the Students Union here on campus it came to my attention that Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party (BNP) was due to be speaking on campus next Monday.

In their own nanny-state way the SU decided to hold an emergency general meeting (EGM) to propose a no-platform policy aimed at preventing Mr Griffin, and others like him, from speaking at the University. I do not feel that this was the right approach, and such a denial of Freedom of Speech is typical of the "tolerant" attitude which is currently so trendy.

I responded to an email from the SU President, and my views on the matter can be summarised as follows:

"Whereas I have no problem with the SU being obviously anti-BNP, I struggle with the proposed motion to pass a no-platform policy.

Like most, I am not a BNP-Supporter, but I do not feel that the SU should impinge on anybody's freedom of speech. University is a time when students really learn to think a…


I think that the first thing I should do whilst catching up on things I wish to say in the Blogosphere is to say a belated thank-you to all of you who in some way marked my birthday last week. I really appreciated the cards, the texts, the Facebook messages, the generous gifts and the fact that I ended the day laughing as I came back from the pub.

It was strange not being in Oxford for my birthday this year. I didn't get up at the crack of dawn, the streets were not lined with tens of thousands of people and I did not go punting. Nevertheless I enjoyed the amazing weather, which I made the most of by spending much of my day outside in The Parade, and I made sure that despite it being a very busy week I still relaxed and enjoyed myself.

guess who's back, back again...

If you thought that the title might be referring to some sort of competition then I am sorry to disappoint you, as the answer is too obvious to warrant any sort of prize. And no, it's not Slim Shady.

Anyway, it's been a very intense few weeks but having handed in my final piece of coursework this morning I have found myself with a quiet hour to kill on campus and thought that it would be an opportune time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and splurge some of the thoughts and observations which I have collected in recent days. Whether I will be compos mentis enough in my sleep-deprived state to grapple in depth with important events such as the recent election or Tony Blair's departure remains to be seen but I hope that you will stick with me nonetheless.

breaking the silence

If you're wondering why this corner of the blogosphere has been so quiet recently (especially given that it's election time) then perhaps the fact that for the second Thursday running there is still a hive of activity in the office at 11pm might offer some sort of answer. 'Intense' is a very understated description of my course but at least I've enjoyed what I've been doing this week.Back to it - and normal service will hopefully resume soon...Defined by user