Sunday, May 27, 2012


Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

Friday, May 25, 2012

Time is free, but it's priceless

I am working really odd hours for the next few months and as part of that it means that I will be working a lot of weekends, but with days off during the week.  My concern is that when I am off during the week I will just waste away the day at home and will have done nothing expect watch day time television.  So I have arranged lots of things to do (although I have realised that I need to be careful that I don’t wear myself out by doing too much.  Some days I start work at 7am…).

I was off work today but didn’t get to sleep in.  The freeholder texted gone 9pm yesterday to say that some trial holes would be made today to check on the subsidence.  What she failed to mention in the text was that they would arrive at 7.15am and wake me up by parking outside my bedroom window and then start drilling at 8.30am – having got another neighbour out of bed to move his car.  I sent the freeholder a somewhat terse text to tell her that she needed to provide much more notice and much more detail in future, and that as I have to get up at 5.30am tomorrow (yes!  On a Saturday!  And a Sunday!), I am sure I would feel my lack of sleep from today.  I told her in January, and then reminded her in April, that I would be working unusual hours and specifically asked for a schedule of works so that I could plan accordingly.  Oh, how pleased I am that today or tomorrow she will be served with a notice telling her we are taking over the management of the property.  Perfect timing.

Anyway, back to doing things with my days off…  Today I met up with a school friend.  We first met at the tender age of 11 years old on the very first day of high school.  Today I met her off her train at King’s Cross, and while I was waiting for her train to arrive bumped into someone I used to work with.  I am having lunch with her in a couple of weeks so tried not to summarise too much of my life in the five minutes we spent chatting in case we had nothing to talk about over lunch.  Somehow I think we’ll think of something to talk about though…

Yesterday I did some volunteering with The Conservation Volunteers.  I’ve never done anything like that before, but it was really good.  Being a newbie made no difference to what they were willing to let me do.  I ended up wading for a couple of hours in a lake clearing blanket weed.  They provided the waders and explained what to do if I fell over in the water, in order to make sure that I didn’t drown – helpful!  Anyway, if you are at a loose end, I’d really recommend giving them a go.  I know someone else who volunteers with them and thinks they are great.  They are all over the country, so you don’t have to be London based.

Next week, I am out for dinner a couple of times with friends, I am going to find out more about training to be a solicitor (a possible career change, although I am now wondering about doing something similar that doesn’t involve four years of part time study etc etc), going to a house auction (purely to see what it is like, if I end up buying somewhere, something has gone seriously wrong!), and other such things.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Do Some Good Today

Today I received an e-mail from my local councillor passing on an e-mail from a constituent.  The constituent’s e-mail referred to the Home Office consultation that is currently taking place on same sex marriage.  It said that they didn’t think it had much publicity and encouraged people, particularly those who had strong views against same sex marriage, to respond to the consultation.  It gave some quote that it appeared to attribute to the local MP encouraging people to object to the proposals.  My councillor encouraged us to circulate the e-mail to those in our e-mail contact lists.

I was so angry to get that e-mail.  I sat and fumed and tried to decide what to do.  I passed a copy to my MP and asked if that was indeed a quite from him and asked what his views are on the proposals.  I also wrote back to my local councillor and told him that I was very offended to be sent such an e-mail and the consultation sought views from all, not just those who held strong views.  I said that I hoped we lived in a society that did not discriminate based on race, gender, disability, sexuality or other irrelevant factor, and that whilst I understood that some, including religious groups had concerns, the consultation explicitly explained that it excluded such proposals as same sex marriages being allowed on religious premises.  No same sex marriage will be allowed on religious premises, even if that religious group would like to be able to conduct such a ceremony.

The councillor wrote back and apologised.  Although I am not 100% clear on whether he was sorry he had offended me or whether he was sorry for the content of the message.

In an attempt to undo some of the harm done by my councillor circulating that e-mail, let me encourage you to respond to the consultation.

It is not acceptable to discriminate against someone based on their sexuality.  It would not be acceptable if you substituted “race” for “sexuality”.  We live in a society that should be about fairness and equality.  Please support the government’s proposals - words that I never thought I would say given our current government!