Friday, August 31, 2007

My Mum

This morning I got one of the consultant reports we've had to had done on my mum. Its all part of the legal case we're bring against the drive of the other car in the accident. It is a long note full of complex language, but essentially it states that she is not the person she was. The line that says it all is "Complications resulting from a Severe Traumatic Head Injury".

She is alive, well, still loving and as best she can be, active. Yet she is no longer the woman she was. I rejoice in her life, but I just can't help mourn the parts of her that are gone.

All because an idiot in a flash car decided to run a red light. You know what's worse? Said idiot's insurance company has declared fraud because his father "owned" the car and bought the insurance, but the car was only driven by the idiot. It means that though we'll get some money to take care of my mum, we won't get a lot. I am not a violent man, but I would sincerely love to take him into a back alley and give him a "Sever Traumatic Head Injury". I won't, because my ethics and will won't allow it, but a part of me would really really like to.

And so right now, for not the first time, I mourn for the living.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Its that time of year again, getting the kids all ready for school. Princess starts in reception (kindergarten) this year. I thought the boys uniform list was outrageous. Hers is just incredible.

Its all very cute, colour coordinated, and all marked with the school crest. Thing is, there is a piece for every possible occasion. To keep her warm there is a cardigan, pullover fleece and zip up fleece, sweat shirt and rain jacket, not to mention her school blazer. She needs a scarf, wooly cap and sun cap, and wooly gloves of the right colour. She needs a bib for doing arts and crafts and a white long coat for science. Then there's gym slips, dance leotards and swimming costumes. The pile of things is over two feet high.

She's only four, its only kindergarten, and she's going to outgrow it all in six months! Good thing we got a few hand me downs from other parents, but blimey!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

To meat or not to meat...

A bit of an argument broke out in my comments yesterday. I was extolling the virtue of a good steak, and Imperatrix, quite rightly, put a case for the opposition. She stated that meat production requires a disproportionate amount of energy and resources, as well as being environmentally damaging. The argument holds that calorie for calorie a piece of meat takes more resource to produce than corresponding edible vegetables. Second, that unchecked grazing could be very damaging to the land. Third, that modern farming methods used unnatural means such as growth hormones, medication and often feed was adulterated with animal products. The later being a pretty horrific thing to do to herbivores.

I did some scanning of the internet afterwards to look for and reference arguments for both sides. There is a lot out there, and I will not this time do proper quotation. If you’re interested I suggest you go out there and search a bit. There is a lot of material, and its easy to find. Unfortunately much of it is quite heated and emotional. Many of the diatribes on both sides do not use correct scientific procedure, and much also follows my sin of not correctly referencing.

That does not mean there is untruth, its just harder to find. To be honest, much of the above arguments hold water. In fact, a bit of dipping into the research shows it might actually be worse. Grain fed livestock can be intensely damaging. Intensive forced grain production can have a double wammy effect of topsoil erosion and water table pollution from fertilisers and herb/insecticides. Meat raised on a diet of medication, grain and animal by-product can be carcinogenic and is the root cause of mad cow disease (whoever came up with the idea of feeding cows dead cow should be shot). Worse, it can be nutritionally neutral or even negative. Plus its often pretty tasteless.

So, the argument against meat on environmental and health grounds is pretty strong. Children, do not buy factory reared meats. They are bad for the environment, bad for the animals, bad for you, generally just bad.

However… The corollary that all meat is therefore bad does not entirely hold true. At least to my eyes. On the environmental front there is opposite evidence that sound animal husbandry and careful pasturing can have a net positive environmental effect. The sad truth is that once man meddles with an environment it doesn’t immediately go back to its former state. In fact, it almost never does. Once we meddle, we have to keep meddling for a time to help it recover.

Take grassland for example. Once intensively farmed or overgrazed it will likely turn to desert, not naturally return to grassland. There is a human and capital cost to keeping it as grassland. Grass fed beef and lamb gives an economic incentive for farmers to maintain the environment. Done appropriately, with proper technique and careful grazing there is now evidence that there is a fairly significant net positive effect.

Grassland likes to be grazed, it needs it. Left alone it tends to overgrow, choke and die. It likes the feed of manure, it likes being munched down so the new season can grow. It’s a good thing. Also, grassland is often not really very good for other types of agriculture. Yes, there are types of grain that can be grown, but often not without fertiliser. Plus there’s an added bonus. Grassland is now thought to be one of the more significant carbon sinks. It captures CO2 and traps it in extended root systems. So careful grazing of cattle and lamb (for meat and the by-products leather and wool) can be a good thing. It also tastes better, though needs aging sometimes to tenderise.

Next, on to pigs and chickens. Both are good scavengers and can be fed human food waste (pigs especially are voracious omnivores (did you know they are a close cousin darwinianly)). We could, and should be using animal husbandry as part of our waste recycling programme. Curiously, there are farmers that still do this, but they are few and far between.

All of these animals can be raised in an environmentally productive way. There is a downside, which is why factory farming is at the fore, yields do decrease. Personally I think that is a good thing. A balanced diet should include more vegetables, grains and carbohydrates than meat, and our fast food diets are often the opposite.

To conclude, I generally respect people who hold to vegetarian values. They are idealists, and the world has few enough of those. Their diet can be healthier (though not necessarily, I’ve met vegetarians who ate appallingly). I just don’t agree with them. Meat, in moderate quantities, carefully raised, can be a good thing for diet and for the environment. You just have to put a little more effort into finding it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Perfect Steak Sandwich

It was a long weekend in England, and LL and I also took Friday off to make it even longer. There is nothing quite like a four day break to ease the stress and burden of life. It particularly helps if the weather is good, which it was, and the kids are in a good mood, which they were.

The other thing that helps is food, and we ate pretty well the last few days. There was some fresh trout (I took the boys fishing) both grilled and in a fish pie the next day. There was home made pizza, the first apple crumble of the year, and stewed peaches and raspberries (nectar of the gods (especially with ice cream)).

Yet one meal still stands out in my mind, steak sandwiches and salad. I am a committed omnivore. I will eat anything and everything. I have been involved in raising animals, hunting and in butchering. You should know what you eat, which is also why we keep a vegetable garden. Though I understand the vegetarian argument, I disagree with it. Animals eating animals is part of nature, and as part of the food chain I see no issue with meat as a part of a diet.

I do, however, strongly believe in humane animal husbandry though. I go out of my way, and pay a premium to find and buy from farmers who take appropriate care of their stock. Animals which spend a life in the open and grazing freely have a happier life, and are tastier. Factory meat is like factory vegetables, tasteless and unhealthy.

So, I do enjoy a good bit of meat, and there is nothing quite like a grilled steak. The best steak for a sandwich is thinly cut aged rump. Because its thin it only needs a short marinate, half an hour in a bit of wine and soy sauce does it. Grilled just a few minutes over a hot flame on each side and you are left with perfection.

The bread must be fresh, and I baked up some wholemeal and rosemary rolls in the morning. Add a bit of butter, some good French whole grain mustard, onions fresh from the garden then into the pan to be softened with a little butter, and a few thick slices of tomatoes (store bought unfortunately, our plants got hit by bad blight this summer). It is pure decadence on a plate.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ho hum

My mind has been spinning of late. The new job has filled up every corner of thought with new information leading to half formed thoughts of plans, to staff and who is good and where are gaps, and priorities, and politics.

Still, fun as that is, a small corner of my brain has been gloomy. Z remarked on it, Greavsie and OG had breaks to think, all through blog land there’s a hint of depression. I blame the weather. So my mind has gone back to other thoughts and darker times. In a way, it makes the present less gloomy, as life is actually pretty damn good at the moment. Yet, perverse boy that I am, the thoughts are still there.

Three points in time circle in my mind. The birth of my Princess, my father’s death, and another time. It might be time to post on that, to lay bare the memory. Yet not today.

Today is for being back to work, for talking my new boss through what we have to do. It’s a day for lunch with an old friend, and maybe, just maybe, taking some flowers back to the love of my life to tell her how much I love her. So, all you bloggers out there, remember life is at its base, good. There are horrors, that is true, but, in the end, life is good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


So Pirate Pete went into a right strop during breakfast on Sunday. He thought we should “go out” and do swimming or a indoor playground or a theme park or something. Staying at home is boring, especially near the end of summer break. I put on my best reasonable voice and explained how going out cost money, and worked out how many weeks pocket money were needed to pay for a swimming trip.

It didn’t work, he stayed in a strop.

Now, we try hard not to spoil our kids. Yes, we do go out and do things once or twice a month, but we don’t buy toys outside of xmas and birthdays unless they save up their pocket money (which they do). We try to make them aware of the cost of things, and discuss how not everyone gets to do things and travel for holidays.

Yet, when it’s a summer weekend, and its raining outside, and its been raining all week, it all just doesn’t matter much to a little boy who’s been bored and is pretty sure he’s going to be bored today. What do you do?

So, you get everyone outside and you (try) to fix his brother’s bike (which has a flat and bald tire, and is frankly unfixable without a new one). You let them much about with the house in the drizzly rain and get soaked. You get everyone to help with a tiny bit of carpentry to build a new hutch for the guinea pig’s cage. You get them to help wash the vegetables for the salad for lunch.

It works, moods improve, and though its not an exciting day, its not a bad one either.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm from Head Office and I'm here to help...

When first visiting offices you’ve never been to before you generally get one of three receptions. Either people are generally welcoming and want to be helpful to the new boss, if a bit nervous at what your opinion might be. Or, they are overly welcoming, but just put in the time with you before going back to their normal day to day, ignoring anything you might say or do. Or finally, they are openly antagonistic. The first is the most usual, closely followed by the second, the third is rare but perhaps the most honest..

Time will tell, but I’d judge I met more of the first than the second, and none of the third in the US. There’s a lot more of these meet and greet visits lined up, so time will tell. My position is a new one, for once in my career I’m not filling dead men’s shoes (a horrible term for taking over the job of someone just sacked, but all the more true because of it). The people I met where openly curious what I’d do, or where I’d take things.

That’s good. It gives me an edge I can use quickly. Also, because the function I’m taking over was fragmented and unorganised, there’s a lot I can do quickly to make an impact. Little things that aren’t hard, but people will notice.

Unfortunately there is also a lot of hard things to do. A lot of them. A big lot of them. The trick I’m going to have to pull is getting some consensus of what to prioritise, what to work on first. My brain is working overtime starting to work that out, and I still have a lot of countries to visit. But, the good news is I’m feeling pretty confident about it all. Its going to be hard work, but the chance of success is high.

So, on we go…

Friday, August 17, 2007

I heart heathrow

I never thought I'd say that, but over the years I've learned to loath JFK airport, and this week has only deepend the emotion. When I landed on Monday it took an hour and a half to get through immigration. Despite having a huge arrivals hall and over 30 officers running queues, it's just horrid. They take over 10 minutes to process each person. Well, except for me. Us Canadians get treated like honourary yanks and have minimal controls (don't even have our pictures taken), it just took that long to get to the front of the queue!

Last night? I had to do the very simple jouney from New York to Boston. Its a 35 minute flight. It just took forever to get off the land. First, Delta Airlines. You arrive and it takes a minute to check in with one of their machines, then half an hour in a queue to drop off your luggage (oh for the days when you could have two pieces of carry on luggage).

Then, I'd been "identified" as a random security check. This usually doesn't happen. I'm far too nondescript and modestly respecitble to get a second glance. Not yesterday though. Everything got checked. I half expected to be told to pull down my trousers and bend over. Blimey.

We were on time boarding, but then it took an hour, a whole hour, for the plane to get in the queue for the top of the runway to take off. Horrid. At the other end, in Boston, even though the arrival gate was a two minute walk to the luggage thingy, it took a half hour for the luggage to arrive. I would have quite happily climbed up the ramp and helped to unload if it would have made a difference! We were the only flight at that time of the night.

I won't ever complain about Heathrow again. Promise.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The boy on tour

So, its off to the states for the week. Travel is always going to be a component of the new job, but right now there's going to be a lot of it. The pleasure and problem of a global job is just that, going global. This week is dual, both meeting a number of the senior folk out there, but also digging through a morass of subsidiaries to find the ones that are truely worthwhile and can be leveraged better than the past. Should be fun, though I have to watch the waistline. People always want to show you a good time, when all you want is to disappear and sleep at the hotel.

Blogging will be interesting, as I'll be living out of hotels and borrowed desks. Internet access is not always good. I should be able to keep it up (well I am middle aged...) but don't be surprised if I disappear for stretches. I'll try to put up more business case studies, as there are already shapping up some rather interesting challenges.

But for now, its time to fight through the heathrow protesters and catch up on some of those movies I've missed recently. Ta for now...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Being Cross

Today, this report about the healthcare company Johnson & Johnson sueing the Red Cross for copyright infringement. Thought the Red Cross was founded before J&J used the symbol there is appearently an 1895 agreement that gave J&J total commercial rights to the red cross symbol. The Amercian Red Cross has been licensing the symbol for use on products such as children's first aid kits.

As consumers we have only one weapon against innappropriate commercial greed, to not buy. Over the years I've engaged in personl boycotts on companies that I felt made innappropriate or even immoral commercial decisions. I still don't buy Nestle products I'm so irrate about how they sell infant formula in developing and even developed countries.

So, can I ask, if you agree, that you stop buying Johnson and Johnson products? They are bang out of order on this one.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The daughter formerly known as princess

You’ve got to wonder if children are mind readers. Through her young life I have called my daughter “Princess” in my mind, but not to her in person. There are a host of endearments I’ve used, plus a few she’s chosen herself, such as “Baby Foal”.

Just this weekend, as I had mentally decided to stop calling her “Princess”, she plops herself in my lap and regally informs me that henceforth I am to call her “Princess”. No one else is mind you, just me. I suspect this has something to do with our playing princess and guard out at the rocks on the beaches in Cornwall, but the timing is uncanny.

So, like the aging rockstar formerly known as Squiggle, my daughter shall return to be called the appropriate honorific of “Princess”. Long may she live.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Alli did it seven times, Z eight, I’m just going to blather on.

In a way I come from a farming background, but not immediately. My great grandfather was an entrepreneur. Believe it or not, he held the original patent for ultraviolet lithography. He and his brother initially invented it to produce better printing plates. It’s a process that’s grown and morphed in a million different ways. Most particularly it is how printed circuit boards are still made today. In a small way, you can say that how you live could not have come into being without my great grandpa.

He developed a bad heart, and in those Victorian times the treatment was to retire to the country. So, he left the company they’d founded to his brother (it still exists today, run by a third cousin) and moved out West. Its what you did then, except being the man he was he didn’t just by a cottage with a few roses, he went large.

The ranch has been broken up, its now a suburb of a city in British Columbia. At its height over 10,000 head of cattle ranged over 6,000 acres of the Okanogan Valley. You have to know the region to understand, it’s a hilly area between the Rockies and the Coastal Mountain ranges. Dry as a desert, the hills are parched, but the lowlands have huge lakes fed by run offs from the mountains. So, the cattle where kept to the hills, but there where large tracks of planted fields. Tomatoes, cucumbers, you name it, its perfect warm sunny land with lots of water.

Enter my Grandfather. The world is moving on, and to keep the family business alive he starts a canning business to cope with all the vegetables. Transport isn’t quite good enough to cope with shipping fresh veg to Eastern Canada where all the people are. In time it becomes the largest cannery business in the Commonwealth. The troops in both wars where fed by my family (which was a problem really, the soldiers came home, saw the same label as they saw in the canteens and asked the wives to not buy it please).

Given the shift in family fortunes, my grandpa didn’t directly farm any more. That was left to a younger brother. Yet he grew up on the ranch, so their house always had large gardens. I still remember as a child going out to pick fresh asparagus for lunch, or these huge beefsteak tomatoes that you’d eat still warm from the sun.

My dad’s escape from the family business was to enter the ministry. Us true protestants don’t have bishops and popish foppery, but as close as you can figure, my dad was an archbishop (regional coordinator, but hey). I grew up poor as a church mouse, literally. We lived off the kindness of the congregations we lived in, but there was always a garden.

Yet as I aged, I didn’t do much gardening. I’m four generations removed from it actually. I tended to live in the cities, without much greenspace. I didn’t even keep pot plants much. Yes, I grew up with gardens, and enjoyed it. I left it behind easily though, it wasn’t a driving need of my soul.

All that changed when I met LL. She, as I did, grew up with gardens around her. Its what you do isn’t it? Yet for her, it’s a passion. I don’t think my LL could cope without good earth to run her fingers through. Our house is filled with plants, and the garden is alive with flowers, fruit and vegetables. I help out, joking I’m just the jobsworth in the house. Yet I love it really, it takes me back to times of joy and happiness. We raise the kids outside as well. They all have plants and parts of the garden that are theirs.

Plus, and perhaps most importantly, it gives us this. When I sit with a big cup of tea and toast of a weekend morning when the weather is right, this is what I see. Kind of makes it worth while.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What housing crisis?

A recent report by the housing federation claimed its research showed housing prices would continue to rise. This despite the governments claims it would vastly increase house building. This was because the rise in households would continue its relentless increase, and there was just not enough housing stock to deal with it.

Want some interesting statistics? The rise is households is significantly greater than the rise in population. The rise in population is due primarily to immigration, not organic growth (ie more babies). Without immigration the population would likely begin a slight fall.

So, we have a problem, not enough houses. Yet I can’t help thinking that building more houses is dealing with the symptom rather than the cause. This country, almost uniquely in the G8, has maintained its green space in a relatively unspoiled manor. There is more forest in Britain today, than there was 100 or even 50 years ago. At a time when global warming is the crisis of the day, how can we even remotely consider building more houses?

Worse, we live in a country where the infrastructure is already insufficient. We will run out of land fill sites within the next 10 years. Main trunk roads are already over utilised. The alternative transport systems, trains, are also suffering from over use. There are worries about the supply of water, as seen in the last couple of years, and the sewage systems. Building more houses just adds to the burden of all of the former.

Try looking at the root causes instead. Why is household growth greater than population growth? Very simple, there is a net increase in the number of single adult households. Fewer people are living together as couples or even extended families than in the past. This simple fact seems completely ignored in the analysis.

Yet government policy continues to support single adult families. You get more benefits as a lone parent than as a couple. Divorce has been made increasingly easy. Common law couples are given more rights, which discourages marriage (married couples, despite the high divorce rate, are more likely to stay together, and for longer, than unmarried couples). We have a government quite happy to meddle in social affairs, so why not reverse the trends they have set?

Next is population growth. I’ll declare self interest. I am an immigrant to this country. I believe immigration is healthy and wise. Its is a known economic truth that immigration in the developed world leads to GDP growth (the measure of a country’s net wealth). That growth is significant enough that it means a net increase in GDP per person, which means the input from immigration is more than an average individual. This is down to numerous causes, but can be simplified. Immigrants can be crudely separated into two piles. The first pile is highly educated professionals who work in areas that greatly increase net wealth. The other pile is highly motivated, but unskilled. These take up the jobs that natives don’t like, and thus free up the native population to take on education and higher wealth increasing work.

However, when is it immigration enough or too much? Some immigration is healthy, too much, when it puts such a strain on the infrastructure is unhealthy. I don’t know what the figure should be, but when you hear that 10% of the population of the UK has come here in the last 10 years, something’s wrong. It is too much.

I just hope and pray that decisions aren’t made now on the symptoms, that loose the precious ecology of our countryside that will never be regained. Lets look to the real causes first.

Monday, August 06, 2007


I debated writing this post, as I hate coming across as a pretentious posh git, but I guess I am, so I'll post it. So, have you ever heard music so perfect it makes you weap? I did (again) on Saturday. Its LL's birthday this week, and I managed to bag some tickets to Glyndbourne. Its technically a private music festival, and tickets can be hard to come by, but there's always a ways and means. We went to see an operatic setting of Bach's "St. Mathews Passion".

First, Glyndebourne is always a treat. Its a gorgeous setting, and everyone gets dressed to the nines (DJs, Leisure suits and Evening Gowns). You arrive early and wander about with a Pims or Champers through the gardens, settle in for the first act, have a long intermission for dinner, then have the second act. Traditionally dinner is a picnic on the lawn, and people go all out for this. Because of the horrid weather this summer, I booked us into one of the restaurants. Got that one wrong, though it was a lovely meal.

But... what you go to Glyndbourne for is the music. St. Mathew's Passion is one of my favourite pieces. There is music I would have everyone in the world listen to. Some pieces need to be heard live. As good as technology is, there is no replacement for hearing with all the emotion, interactions and even mistakes. I've heard this piece done live three times before, and this was easily the best. These were performers at the top of their craft, with a conductor who knew exactly how to bring the best out.

There are perhaps 10 pieces I would have everyone listen to, and wish beyond hope that they could hear it done with such joy and perfection. True, it was a fairly odd staging. The Passion is just a story, meant to be told to the faithful. Bach's piece is a musical telling of it, meant to be done simply. To translate it into opera, the director placed it in a school. There was tragedy, and the parents where together to watch a mummers play to help them with the grief at the death of their children.

I was sceptical that this would work, some of the critics had been scathing. One said that taking an core Christian piece into an aethiestic setting was just wrong. It didn't come across that way at all, as a telling of the passion, it worked. However, the director was being a bit too clever. To keep the action moving on stage during the music, there was often odd little set pieces. All were allusions or pieces of symbolism. Most I got, but a few still escape my best thoughts. If anyone has a clue why the evangelist (St Matthew, the narrator) would peel and chop an apple, then rub the bits into his face, I'd love to know. Though some where complimentory, some where just a distraction, like the apple thing. Also, the staging itself, though appropriate, was done without accoustics in mind. Given the director often had the singers facing away from the audiance, it muddled the sound. That's nie on unforgivable in my books.

Mostly though, the music just took me. With the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the pit, you can't go wrong. They play with a core belief of using the instruments and techniques of the Baroque age. Thus, for example, you get the music on 17th century harpsicords and organs. They are also all consumate musicians (the orchestra is player led), and every time I've heard them, the music can not be faulted. Nor could it that night, not a wrong note was played.

The song also was a joy. The music moves between chorus and solo, with pieces using the full vocal range. There are segments of such perfection I wept. Jesus in the temple, facing the roar of the croud to crucify him shakes your soul. Then the lament of Mary Magdelaine, done with a solo soprano with oboe and flute fills you with grief. I could go on (and on), but it was a truely lovely evening. I just wish everyone could hear it that way.

Friday, August 03, 2007


So, new job, new toys. I’m back in the land of blackberries. The current drug of choice is the 8800. Visually it is very nice. Thin, black lacquer and metal finish. Nice large colour screen. A small trackball for navigation, a significant upgrade on the old side dial of previous models.

I started my love of PDA gadgets with the very first blackberry. It didn’t even have a colour screen, just plain grey text. At the time, the concept for encrypted push email (ie, it shows up on the device without you having to do anything) was radical. It was a real pleasure to use. Its simplicity of design and function was its strength. All it did was email. It just did it really really well.

Now the world has moved on. Both Apple and Microsoft have re-entered the fray and Blackberry has had to continually evolve its devices to keep up. The 8800 is the latest and greatest version of that.

Thing is, I don’t think I like it very much. My last device, a Treo with Microsoft Mobile, was great. It was a small computer, complete with Microsoft Word and Excel. The screen was vibrant and was touch sensitive. That meant navigation could be done with a finger nail, pen or any old thing you had about. It was really easy to use, and behaved in many ways just like your desktop does. Its main fault was being a bit clunky, far too thick. I also used it as a phone, and the screen was always getting smudged from being up against my cheek.

So on to the 8800. Like I said, it looks great, and I have to say the keyboard is a pleasure. Very tactile, keys formed to be easy to hit, layout good. The screen is very bright and clear. I think it has better resolution than the Treo. Blackberry has also done much better on battery life. My Treo needed charged at the end of every day, intra day if I did a lot of calls. One week on and I have only just had to charge the Blackberry. That is a big plus.

Its very fast. I’ve often noticed it buzzing with a new email before it pops up on my desktop inbox. That’s really quite something when you think about it. It has built in GPS, and I'm intrigued by this, but am still playing with it. So far it has helped me find a supplier's office, so clearly has a use. Yet on another try it decided I was in Yorkshire rather than London, which was not very useful at all.

The problem is navigation. The little trackball is all right, but to move between functions means spinning it and clunking lots of key sequences. Navigation on the Treo, because of the touch screen, was a joy, really easy. Its just awkward on the Blackberry. That may be unfamiliarity, but I adjust easy. I think it is just poor. Because its something you do all the time, it’s a constant irritant.

So, there are many pluses. Speed, look and feel, good keyboard, great screen, even greater battery life, fun features like GPS yet that one drawback, a clunky navigation. I shall report back at some stage when I’m more used to it, but for now the thumb is quavering half way.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What the...

So Katie Price, aka glamour model Jordan, has had a baby girl. To huge press excitement she and husband Peter Andre have named her “Princess Tiáamii”. They quite carefully explained that the second name is an amalgam of each of their mother’s names.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I, like just about any heterosexual male, have noticed pictures of Jordan in passing. I can’t say her enhanced form is particularly my type, but hey, she’s nice to look at. LL and I even watched one of those fly on the wall documentaries meant to support flagging carears. She’s clearly a gutsy woman, taking no prisoners in using what’s she’s got to make a go of it. LL actually quite admired her, whilst at the same time being a bit appalled at making a living from selling nude photos of herself.

Thing is, she has no style. Its all pink ruffles, and faux statues, and in your face “Admire me or fuck off”. There’s not much more substance or depth than all that. Now she’s gone and named her daughter “Princess”. I don’t particularly care about the “Tiáamii” thing. Poor girl will be teased about it, and in later life her name will give people preconceived ideas about her, but hey.

It’s the “Princess” thing that’s got to me. I mean, if they used “Princess” as a term of endearment I wouldn’t particularly have cared. They’ve just gone and made it public and official that their daughter has been called “Princess”.

Now, even though I only called my Princess, Princess in my mind or this blog, I just can’t do it any more. I stumble over the word in my mind with a rather comic horror. I’ve had to admit to myself that yes, I am a snob. My nose is well and truly stuck in the air as I look down at other lowly human beings. I just can’t use a term about my dear beloved child that Jordan uses. Worse, I would be appalled to think someone might actually assume I use it because she has.

The horror, the horror…

So, henceforth I shall no longer refer in this blog to my daughter as “Princess”. She’ll have to live with just being my youngest Beloved. Which is not to say the two boys are not beloved, they are, absolutely. Its just not the done thing to refer to your boys as beloved. They’ll just have to remain the pirate and thief who stole my heart.

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. As you were…