Category Archives: ideas

ideas and creative writing

The masks we wear

It’s odd isn’t it, that we can appear one way to to a vast majority of people online and yet somehow, should we meet those people, the way we appear is almost totally at odds with that former representation.

It can even change online, people who have multiple blogs for example, on one blog you may see that person as someone you’d love to know, and yet another blog could make them seem to have nothing in common with you and therefore not ‘worthy’ of your notice.

I was just thinking this as I browsed around mybloglog. We pick and choose the aspects of our personality we wish to show online and we pick and choose which online ‘friends’ complement those aspects best. I have made some good friends online over the last few years – at least I like to think of them as friends, we’ve spoken on the phone, exchanged addresses and there’s a standing invite to visit each other should the opportunity arise.

The thing is, despite the duration of those friendships, we know nothing about each other really.
I like to think of myself as a good hearted, pleasant easy going FUN lass – ok, I have a temper and I know I can be unreasonable at times, but who can’t eh?! That representation is reflected in this blog, but then I think back over my life, at work places and colleges and realise that, actually – I’m not that nice, I’m not that easy to get along with.. It takes a certain type of person to put up with me for long which is why I only have the one long term friend who remains in regular contact.

Kinda puts a new light on my online persona wouldn’t you agree?

Online I can be the person I want to be, we all can. I think that’s what makes blogging and instant messaging and forums so seductive, the reason why people can become addicted to a virtual life to the detriment of their real one. It’s not a new thought I know, but I’ve never put that thought into personal terms before.

I’ve never sat and thought, well, actually I am different online. I’ve always upheld the belief that I am ME no matter where I am or how I’m interacting with people.
Yet, today I admitted to myself that I do lie on here in a way that makes me seem a better person – I’ll omit the odd detail of something or censor myself, for example, if I’m having a crisis or I feel shitty I may throw up a happy happy joy joy post instead of how I’m really feeling. I may write something great/ intelligent and insightful on here – and then go to my cfs blog and whinge about how I’m braindead and can’t think.. Both of these aspects of my personality are there at the same time, yet someone reading only one blog would think that I’m either a total misery or an interesting person. It’s all perspective and the way in which we distill those personality traits. The danger lies in believing in the distilled version of yourself and forgetting about those unpleasant personality traits we live with daily instead of actively working to become that person we want to be.

I know I’m not there yet, my social skills are a tad lacking on occasion and I cannot wholly blame my illness for that, it’s a lack in me. Online I can hide that but I don’t live online, as much as I may wish I did, so while the way I write my blog will not change, I should really look at just what it is I wish to be and do something about it.

Blogging is definitely the new sex.

You see, my previous post was just a fly by thought, since then a few more things have occurred to me that tend to confirm that thought as a valid one.

I think there are three types of people where sex and blogging are concerned:

  1. People who prefer sex to blogging.
    These people may have a blog, but they’ll have been coerced into starting it by some friend or acquaintance, after a few weeks or months it’s fallen along the wayside as they concentrate on more tangible things – like sex.
  2. People who prefer blogging to sex.
    Within the blogosphere they are happy and to hit that post button brings a little frisson of satisfaction that’s hard to beat. Everything is seen with a view to how best to blog it and their reading list is ‘the length of a babys arm’ a social life is just something they have to fuel their incessant need to blog, they post from mobile phones, internet cafes and keep a wealth of posts to one side so that on the rare occasion their attention is claimed by something else, the blog will not suffer – and they’ll <em>always</em> be back – even after they quit and say ‘never again’.
  3. People who love both equally.
    These people tend to be the ones who combine both passions, yes, these are the sex bloggers. From dating advice to outright porn, these individuals are happy day in and out as they search for the perfect image to accompany the write up of their latest sexperience.

But wait, there’s more..

These are in fact the virtual equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease. Ok, Ok, ‘fact’ may be the wrong word to use for the pedants amongst you, but you have to admit it’s a decent simile; they’re pretty viral and they spread from blog to blog the same way an STD spreads from person to person, you show a little love, some intimate contact and look – a meme appears with your name on it.

People tart up their blogs with the most pleasing templates they can find and add many plugins and widgets (the virtual equivalent of make-up and plastic surgery) all with the aim of making them more attractive.. Why? so that people will visit and interact – some people even spend more time on tarting up their blogs than they do themselves (see person type #1)

The blogroll is almost like the notches in the bedpost with Technorati, Alexa and all their ilk reading like the HELLO! magazine of the blog world “..and look who’s linking up with rosevibe today..” even the link terms are sexually related (link-whoring, showing some link-love etc) so it’s an impossible observation to escape once it’s been pointed out to you.

Blogging is sex.

Now, this post may sound as though a great deal of thought has been expended upon the subject, that’s really not the case – I’m not a deep thinker *grin* but seriously, after reading this can you honestly say that at least one small part of you isn’t nodding in agreement? 😉

Is blogging the new sex?

Seriously, that thought just raced across my mind as I was looking around for new things to put on my blog. (you know, toys as opposed to content – I’m selfish like that)

I know, I had a thought – roll out the flags! It’s probably not even a new one, I bet at least <em>dozens</em> of people have had it before me.
But just take a minute to look at the similarities..

Sex – better when someone else is interacting with you, blogging – better when someone interacts with you.

Sex – there’s always someone claiming to be an ‘expert’ telling you that ‘this is how you do it, these are the tools you need.. There’s books, videos, you name it and someone’s writing about it.. Oh wait, was that sex or blogging I was talking about there..?

I mean C’mon! People are making money blogging about blogging – does this make them the porn stars of the blogosphere? I’d really like to know, since blogging is turning into a major online industry (there was even talk of regulating it not long back and I daresay there will be again in the future) does the fact that I’m even writing this post make me some kind of minor ‘fluffer’..

The things that cross my mind eh?!

My happy place

Since I’ve been such a misery all day I felt a little effort was needed in order to shake off those blues before bed. Stef started the process with our little trip to the trafford park driving range (open til 10pm, £10 for 100 balls and the hire of 2 clubs, it’s one to remember) but i’m still not back to cheerful so..

I’m creating my perfect happy place, the place I would build/ buy if I had a fair ol’ ton o’ cash to hand and nothing else to do. I think this may be something that runs over into a couple of days because my happy place will need pictures, photoshop is in for a pounding on the morrow methinks..
First of all – my dream house:

  1. 4 bedrooms
  2. 1 study
  3. 1 games room (pool table/ air hockey/ big tv & games consoles plus decent card table that can be used for jigsaws)
  4. Basement library with hidden passageway to the outside (Just cos..)
  5. Lounge
  6. Kitchen/ breakfast room
  7. Dining room
  8. Utility room
  9. Workshop (equipped for everything from wood to metalwork – must also have inspection pit)
  10. Conservatory
  11. Indoor pool (this is a dream house)

This has to back onto a small woodland park – nothing fancy, a few deer dotted about the place for prettyness and awww factor – no hunters allowed.
It has to have at least one old willow tree and several silver birch, and oak and a beech – and a climable horse chestnut. It needs to be wild enough to be pretty and house wildlife but tame enough to walk in without worrying too much about the consequences (so no wolves/ bears etc).

The other side of the wood needs to back up onto a climbable cliff face (good for abseiling purposes) There also needs to be a waterfall (complete with hidden cave behind the water) that falls into a pool suitable for swimming (gotta have a skinny dipping picnic pool in your happy place!) that leads onto a stream that runs through the wood to finish at the resevoir that borders the other end of the property – this can be used for canoing and windsurfing practice.

At the top of the cliff will be a go-kart/ mini moto track that’s set far enough back that the sound is covered by the noise of the falls.
There will be a golf driving range and putting green at the opposite side of the wood to the waterfall and the bar will be in a building separated into sections, booths that can hold up to 15 people that can be used for karaoke or music practice rooms – these can also be linked into the recording studio (just a basic one) for the use of visiting friends. (it’s also where most of the car parking facilities will be since the house has space for only 3 cars)

I want everything to be as self sufficient and eco friendly as possible so there will be wind turbines at the top of the cliff and everything gets composted/ recycled as much as possible, I want there to be a farm by the driving range that supplies most of the food for my happy place, everything else can be ordered online because there will be a massive wireless network in place so that whereever you are on the land, as long as you know the passwords you can log on.
(I may want things eco friendly but I refuse to go without net access)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.. I feel so much calmer and ready for bed, I can guarantee pleasant dreams after envisioning this little lot *grin* mesa happy bunny now.

Go – Let me know what you’d have in your happy place. S’an order!

Go on then..

..Sum me up in 1000 words.

Or not *grin* I was interviewed today by Sean (some of you may remember him, he was the filthy beast with whom I used to live before getting this here lovenest with my honey) he’s now studying journalism at Salford uni and has to interview ‘someone interesting’ apparantly my CFS/ME issues come under that heading lol
Whaddaya know! Here was me thinking my humdrum life was of no interest to anyone but you little lot (all 6 or 7 of you regular visitors.. and by the way, how come only 3 of you ever comment? I love that K, Kelly and more recently HK have found something to say – but why do you others lurk so..?)


Anyhow it proved to be an interesting experience, he even said that it could prove to be an issue he would like to make a full feature of, says he’s going to talk to his tutor about it to see if she thinks he’d be able to find someone willing to print a story about it.. I have my doubts to be honest – not as a reflection of his writing skills (far from it, the guy is a phenomenal writer) but more of the ‘newsworthyness’ of the story.

Lets face it – the only CFS/ME stories you see in UK print follow along the line of yuppie flu and ‘positive thinking proves to be the cure’ it’s very disheartening to the many thousands of people suffering from the illness, but that’s the way of things I guess.

Who knows – maybe Sean will be the first person to really change this *grin* he did suggest I write about it myself, I mentioned i’d thought of writing in to some of the housewifey type magazines you get in waiting rooms that offer £250 for your real life story.. He painted a picture of an army of women drumming up support and making the government stop pussyfooting around and front up the cash for some decent research – apparantly all it takes is one Richard and Judy interview to have committees forming the length and breadth of Britain. It’s a nice thought..

Right, I’m 2 minutes past my allotted bedtime so i’ll skedaddle – tomorrow I’ll be throwing up a few pictures of the jewellary I’ve been working on, they may not be great pictures but they will be here – feel free to comment on my creative genius 😀

Oh what a beautiful morning!

It is absolutely gorgeous out there today. Bit cold still, but the front room seems so warm and inviting when the sun streams through like this – and to think I used to avoid the sun where possible (well, ok so I’m not planning on going outside in it for long, but i’m not hissing behind closed curtains either)

We need bread and stuff so I’m going to walk up to aldi later and i’m actually going to hang some washing outside for the first time this year, that will probably wipe me out but i’m in such a good mood I hope it doesn’t – I may ring Kay and see if she fancies karaoke tonight – it’s been soooooooooo long!

Right, the tunes are pumping (quietly) I’m on the Joss Stone, Maroon 5, Amy winehoouse, Garbage, Nickleback, Frou Frou and Damien Rice playlist today, it’s quite fitting for the weather I feel.

Just thought I’d share this dream I had with you the other night, it’s been a while since I did that *grin*

Basically I was a scriptwriter and this is the sketch I was working on for some comedy/drama thing:

Greg – oily smarmy character with a hint of boyishness about him (think guy secretan from green wing)

Olivia – Fairly uptight and insecure, streak of ruthlessness and the ability to melt at the slightest compliment which then completely transforms her actions towards that person.

Sarah – Basically a female guy, feminine lager drinking football supporting.. Jodi Kidd type

The back story is that Greg and Sarah get it on, he shows his true colours she vows to get even. Knowing he loves his car more than life itself she arranges for it to be crushed on reality tv show ‘revenge’.
Unfortunately Greg is not around to see this happen because he is at a conference with Olivia (whom he hates) However, the show is aired live on tv and Greg see’s it in his hotel room, first outrage then grief as he collapses and changes the channel because he cannot bear to see his pride and joy being mangled. This is when Olivia walks in to see whats wrong (she knew about the revenge thing because Sarah asked her to let her know his reaction) Amazed that he isn’t watching the revenge show despite constant priming throughout the day she asks whats up.

Unable to speak, Greg merely gestures at the tv which is now showing a program on the plight of abused children in thailand, tears are streaming down his face and Olivia backs out of the room quickly.

She calls Sarah who is also sobbing wildly. (cut to split screen to see both sides of the conversation)
Olivia: whats wrong – didn’t the car get mashed?

Sarah: Of course it did! it’s not that. I’ve just seen something really crappy on tv is all – its just total shit that this kind of thing still goes on *sniff*
Olivia: um..its not that Thailand documentary on channel 4 is it?

Sarah: Yes actually – now cheer me up, what did Greg say about the car?

Olivia: ah.. well..

Sarah: *giggles* he’s livid isn’t he?

Olivia: No actually he’s in tears in there, completely unable to speak – I think-


Olivia: no, let me finish – he never actually saw it happen, I don’t think he knows yet..

Sarah: what do you mean ‘he doesn’t know yet’?

Olivia – well he was just watching the same documentary as you and I’ve never seen a grown man so affected, he’s sobbing like a baby in there, curled up around the remote as if he’s lost his best friend.. Listen (holds phone up and the sound of sobbing from the next room is clearly audible)
Sarah: SHIT!

Olivia: yep – if he’s that bad over some kids he doesn’t know – you may just send him over the edge with this little stunt.. best find him a new car quick if I were you.

Sarah: I didn’t know he was so sensitive, c’mon – did you?! He must be so insecure to hide himself behind that crappy persona of his.. oh my god! what am I going to do? I can’t be responsible for him cracking up – not now.. I mean.. shit!

Olivia: Uh huh, I told you it was a bad idea..

(cut to next scene where Sarah is frantically trying to find someone who stocks Gregs car – a futile task because it’s a classic)

There was a hell of a lot more, in my dream i had practically the whole series down – but this is the scene that had me in stitches – just the look of shocked horror on her face when sarah realises what she may have done.. Priceless *grin* Stef wasn’t half as tickled by this as I was but I guess you have to have ‘seen’ it in it’s entirety – it’s like green wing (which is where I assume I got my muse) you need to have come to like and know the characters to really ‘get’ it.

Right, I’d best get on with my day methinks – the shower won’t start itself..

Dirty weekend in Durham

Well, not really a dirty weekend, but it sounds good *grin*

One of Stef’s friends got married on Saturday, we had to go really – he made Stef do a reading at the wedding (which he got through in magnificent style despite his qualms about using the word ‘foibles’ *chuckle*) When we tried to book a room at the hotel where the wedding was being held there seemed to be none available so we booked a cottage in West Aukland instead:

front roomkitchen

As you can see, the cottage was gorgeous, not a warm place by any means, but certainly comfortable, the furnishings were obviously handpicked to suit the surroundings – and there was even a framed picture of Henry VIII on the windowsill.

Lumley castle hotel appears to be very much the same – albeit on a larger scale. The wedding was fabulous and the best mans speech definitely one of the funniest I’ve heard (and seen) in a while, peppering the pauses with childhood photo’s of the groom on the big screen was just sheer genius!The best part had to be the dinner though – just thinking about that food has me salivating! Never have i had such an outstanding meal at a wedding – and I’ve been to a few, I’m more than happy to go back and eat in the restaurant if the wedding fare was a true sample..

It was not just the food that made the meal though. We were entertained muchly by the cousin of the best man. He has some interesting theories about our history and that of an alien race due to return sometime in the next 4 years (I was carrying on duel conversations so I missed the exact details) he quite happilly passed around photo’s of stones from Scotland and slightly farther shores as proof of alien life.

Stef had to jump in and question his sanity though when he unveiled his money making scheme.
Apparantly he has the coordinates of a pyramid deep under the sea, found while travelling the world in search of these stones. He wants to sell this information to the highest bidder and go on an expidition to document it – and I’m talking millions of pounds here – the guy doesn’t think small!

I know, it sounds like the synopsis of a hollywood blockbuster – to be honest he’d have more luck selling an idea for that than these coordinates, but after checking with his cousin it seems he is deadly serious.
They all treat it as a big joke but I’ve rarely come across a person as passionate as he is about his cause, he takes the ribbing good naturedly but about him there’s an air of “I know Im right so say what you will, i’ll leave you with your
delusions, you’ll soon be laughing on the other side of your face..”

He’s even got a radio interview scheduled in Berlin about it, apparantly he figured there’s a higher percentage of people over there likely to be interested in what he has to say, Britain is just too small..

Would you believe the guy was willing to pay some company £35 a month to keep a website going!? It’s not even one with a database or shopping cart, he just wants a small 1-2 page affair with writing and sample pictures, I told him he was nuts to pay that – especially considering he already has the domain name and email set up. After a long chat I said I might be willing to help him set up a website, I hate to see people ripped off and £35pm for what he wants is bloody daylight robbery! I’ll let you guys know if anything comes of that but first I’ve promised my bass player I’d do one for his business so that takes priority – he asked first.

Anyhow it was a great day, we didn’t do anything too taxing but there was a lot of standing around and conversation tires me, towards the latter part of the meal I was stumbling over my words again and resorting to more of the dark chocolate fix to get me through (I don’t think anyone noticed though, they were all drinking so I probably fit in quite well)

Sunday was a bit of a let down because I’d obviously used up my energy quotient the day before, but at least I was spending all day in bed in extremely pleasent surroundings, today we stopped off at Botany bay on the way home, what a waste of time and money! They make you pay to go in and it’s basically a big pile of cack! it’s just a cluster of trading units 90% of which is crafts and junk, on the plus side after seeing what they were charging for some of the stuff it made me feel better about my jewellary making skills – I saw nothing as intricate as my stuff, I should really start selling it soon.

Beady things

I’ve been toying with the idea for some time now of trying to sell some of my creations on Ebay since there’s really nothing else I can do to raise money and fund my hobby, this has led to me also thinking of ways to link my website and make it do something useful as opposed to just sit there.

I have problems concentrating on anything for long periods of time – the only thing that absorbs me enough is web design, but since I can’t always focus on a computer screen for long periods, having enough concentration is not really a problem there. It’s a challenge but I think I can handle it – I just have to try and curb my natural impatience and work within the limitations imposed by my illness.

Here’s how I’d like it to work:

  1. Remodel my site from the css and html upwards, make it so that my blog and the cfs site fit into it more naturally
  2. create alternate style sheets (for printing, pda’s etc)
  3. Create an image gallery for my beadwork (to link to from ebay)
  4. sort out a shopping cart and secure payment options (more hosting scripts to play with.. oh joy)
  5. Take over the world

Ok, maybe #5 is a little on the overly ambitious side, but it’d be nice if I could actually garner an income again from something other than benefits. Because of my concentration difficulties and the headaches etc, perhaps web design is another dead end for the moment, but I’m still hopeful that something will come out of this illness apart from a lot of time spent in bed or on the couch.

I hate feeling useless.

I’m a writer..

I can say that quite truthfully now. I was asked to contribute an article or 2 for an M.E. website, this is the result.
I know, it’s not really a big thing in the grand scheme of things, but I was quite chuffed that not only did they ask me, they’ve used the article and asked if I’d be willing to do more.. Is that a ‘hell yeah’ you hear? I think so.

On another note, this is something Stef pointed out to me the other day. Christmas lights are already up around the towns. They’ve been up for nearly a month now.

Forgive me if I’m wrong.. But isn’t the government trying to get us to be more responsible regarding energy wastage? We have to turn out lights when we’re not in the room, turn down radiators and heaters by just one notch at a time – they want us to conserve as much energy as possible because we’re using more than they can supply..

Yet they put up christmas lights over a month before the christmas period. Surely that should be one of the first wasteful practices to shed? Ok, to celebrate the season, if they must use lights, they could put them up no earlier than Decmber 20th and take ’em down no later than January 6th but no..They need to fuel the christmas frenzy so that people will shop shop shop right up until the last minute.

It’s the one thing I hate about christmas – for years I was the biggest humbugger going, purely because of the way commercialisation has taken over. I’ve had a couple of good experiences since meeting Stef so I no longer wish to hide myself away at christmas, but I do avoid town as much as possible – easy enough to do with internet shopping.
Sadly though commercialism is not just around at christmas – even if it does seem most prevalent then.

Advertisers are the worst – again, the government claim they’re trying to stop waste of all kinds, new recycling schemes are being rolled out all across the country, they’re even talking about removing the waste disposal fee from the council tax bill and replacing it with a ‘pay as you throw’ plan instead, yet the people who create most of this waste don’t seem to be held accountable.

Surely if advertisers had to pay the same amount in disposal fee’s as they spend on creating this rubbish we’d see less junk mail. It crossed my mind the other day as I saw this remington advert that not only do advertisers pollute our streets and homes with this junk, they pollute our minds and corrupt our young.
I mean – how else can you interpret the tag line “it’s whats on the outside that counts” as anything other than encouragement for shallow thoughtless thinking? That’s the worst kind of pollution going as far as I’m concerned – it may take time and money but we can eventually clean up a physical mess, the mental damage this kind of thinking promotes can be seen every day in the packs of kids wandering the streets secure in the knowledge that as long as they look good they’ll go far in life – never mind actually learning anything useful!


I was looking through the musofinder forums for a link I posted a while back.. Instead I found one of my best ideas..

Why is it the best ideas are always a quick flash of inspiration?

I reckon the first thing they should do is legalise all drugs and add bromide to them, that way they can tax ’em to the hilt and stop the people daft enough to use them from breeding in one fell swoop – maybe then they’ll lower the tax on petrol…
as if.

This was during an impromptu discussion on things the government need to sort out, even now I think it’s a corker of an idea – I should become a benevelent dictator *grin*
Seriously though, I really need to start making lists of these, hmmm.. A new direction for my list blog, could prove interesting..

Well, I’ve been entertained by the new chick at the in-laws, she never stops twittering, loves company – in fact craves attention so much she was attatched to my shoulder for 3 hours after Stef pushed her off. It’s amazing how great chickens are as pets, they’re certainly the only pet I’ve heard of that gives you something back *grin* this one’s a little young for laying though, even when she does the eggs are likely to be small.
Everyone should have chickens.

On education..

Ok, master mutta got me thinking (stop laughing you lot, I do happen to think on occasion!)
I know he wasn’t really referring to education in the UK but in a more general sense, the thing is, his post does raise some valid questions:

  1. What is the purpose of education?
  2. How can we produce employable students faster?
  3. Can 2hr exams really reflect a student’s abilities?
  4. What role should parents play in their children’s education?
  5. Does making education free and compulsory solve or compound the problem?

Now if you look to the comments of said post you’ll see that my response to #1 was thus:

Education is supposed to help prepare a person for life after education, give ’em the best start possible

(which is basically what the first definition on says if you check the above link.)

The easiest way of producing employable students at a faster rate is to specialize as soon as possible. This is where the old apprenticeship schemes were invaluable, not only were the students learning, they were actually working as they learned.

We were talking about hospitals during our recent visit to Yogi’s – unsurprising since his mother is a radiographer and I’ve recently experienced the ‘delights’ of hope where she used to work.
She was discussing a student she recently had in her department, apparently they no longer teach these radiography students anatomy.
Now, forgive me.. But if I’m being sent off to x-ray I would like for the person putting me in front of a radioactive device to have the knowledge of where to point said device so I don’t have to go back and have it done over and over again..
And they say there’s no dumbing down *shakes head in disgust*

As for these 2hr exams. It’s ridiculous – there is no falser environment than an exam room, how can you judge a students potential based entirely on that? I know coursework plays a part in the proceedings, but to assign such a large portion of a students final mark to a one off event seems to me a tad unfair.

Now we come to the meat of the matter as far as I’m concerned.
I’ve had a look at what passes for a curriculum designed to prepare a child for life after education. I have to say I’m not impressed.

Gone are the seemingly obvious subjects of home economics and domestic science, in their place we have ‘citizenship‘. My interest was piqued by this title I have to say – It seems quite Orwellian, perhaps even a tad Marxist, alarmingly so for a supposedly democratic society wouldn’t you say?

I had to chuckle when I read the aims of said subject though:

Citizenship education equips children and young people with the knowledge, understanding and skills to play an active part in society as informed and critical citizens who are socially and morally responsible. It aims to give them the confidence and conviction that they can act with others, have influence and make a difference in their communities.

Ooohhh-kay! and from the growing rate and number of youth related crime in this country it’s obviously having a big effect.
Just thinking back to my own schoolday experiences, looking at the curriculum and the current number of idiots streaming from our school gates – I have to say I’m all for homeschooling.
There is a saying that if you want something done properly , do it yourself. Now I’m not saying that if I want a shower fitted properly, or a new boiler installed I’d do it myself – I’d just rather not have anyone employed by the government do it (trust me on this, you should see the pigs ear the council workers made of our re-wiring and boiler fitting, the british gas guy went on at quite some length about the level of incompetence displayed)

This same feeling most definitely applies towards my children (imaginary though they be right now) I have nothing against most teachers, for the most part I feel they have the hardest job in the country – especially with the way the system binds their hands before they can do it.
I just feel that our education system needs ripping apart and returning to a sterner age.

As with most things these days there is a definite feeling that the government have got it all wrong. More and more people are turning to homeschooling out of dissatisfaction for the current system. It is not as a lot of people seem to believe, illegal to do so – according to the 1996 education act, it is parents who are responsible for providing their children’s education ‘in school or therwise’, suitable for the age, ability and aptitude of each child.

This is where my answer for question #4 becomes apparent. A responsible parent plays the most important role possible in their childs education, they put a great deal of thought and care into the consideration of who will best form the groundwork for their childs future.
This is why I would homeschool for as long as funds and knowledge will allow.

With homeschooling everything becomes a lesson – and lessons do not have to be dull exercises written in books or learned by rote, everything has a practical application and can be taught as such, you need no classroom when you have the world itself to learn from.

Manners should be taught as standard and by example – children are the greatest mimics alive, their earliest standards are fixed by observing those closest to them.
I’m ashamed to say I have a cousin who really should never have been a parent – yet she has three lovely children. Children who all have mouths like sewers and who think nothing of kicking a person out of their way and demanding anything they want as opposed to requesting politely.

We all know kids like this and we deplore them, the people we should really deplore are their parents and the people who have allowed television standards to drop knowing full well that bad parents leave children in front of the tv at every given opportunity.

Education starts at home. The first teachers a child knows are it’s care givers, if they don’t set the right pattern first then the right pattern will never be set.
But I’m going slightly off topic here, mainly because people like my cousin make me want to beat them soundly over the head and sterilise them forever so they cannot harm another childs future through their stupidity.
Yes I know that sounds incredibly arrogant, but no mother should kick her 2yr old child out of the way of the tv and call it a little shit while holding a fag in one hand and a beer in another, nor should she force her children to call every new man in her life ‘dad’, they can do it as and when said man proves himself worthy of the title.
But hey, what do I know eh?!

Anyhow, back to homeschooling.
Once walking, talking and potty training are out of the way there are so many things you can begin teaching a child that will be of actual use in life – lets face it, how many times at school did you say to yourself “whats the point of this?” only to leave school and find that, actually, there is no point.

I would have to teach my child:

  • reading
  • writing
  • maths
  • gardening
  • cookery
  • sewing
  • art
  • languages
  • computing
  • sport
  • sciences
  • music
  • drama
  • decorating
  • woodworking
  • transport and maintenance (car/ motorbike/ cycle)

Obviously I’m not completely proficient in all of those subjects, but for most I have a basic knowledge and I’m not averse to sharing the burden with other parents or people with better credentials than me with the rest of the subjects.

In a homeschooled environment it would be very easy to combine, gardening, cookery and biology. Not only would my child know how to grow his or her own food, they would know the science behind what makes a plant flourish, they would also know just what nutritional value there was to be had in each plant and why it was good for them – they would also know the best ways to prepare and cook said plants so that they were tasty while retaining said nutrients which in turn allows us to teach chemistry.
As an added bonus a child will always at least try a dish they’ve cooked themselves and so I doubt I’d have a great deal of trouble feeding my lot a healthy balanced diet.

Sewing, art, woodwork and decorating could also be combined and this should bring into play the science of physics along with more than a small helping of mathematics.

Computing could also be linked into any and every one of the above tasks, from word processing, to databasing and spreadsheets, photoshop, email, internet and the basic care and maintenance of a pc from the ground up (easy enough to do when the other half is an I.T consultant)

As to languages, I’d take a course or have someone come to the house and I would learn alongside my child, we could do our work together and make a game of it by competing to see who can speak most fluently when we holiday in that country (because why learn a language if you are never going to visit the place it is most spoken?) this in turn would help teach that most basic of concepts, tolerance for the beliefs of others, it is my hope that by keeping a child constantly amused and entertainingly taught, they would then find curiosity in things I have not greatly touched upon, and take it upon themselves to use the tools I’ve given them to explore to their hearts content (obviously I’d be keeping an eye on this exploration, kids are still kids after all)

Oh yes, in my mind I have it all planned out. All that’s lacking is the home and child.
And a large dose of reality *grin*
I doubt very highly this would come about without a great deal of compromise between parents, my views on certain things and his do differ quite a lot, that and when he reads this and see’s the bit on sewing, gardening and cooking.. Well, I bet you’ll hear the laughter in Canada K.

The thing is it would be just as cheap to homeschool as it is to send your child to school, once you take into account uniforms, school trips and dinners, miscellaneous costs throughout the year for materials, transport and all the other little fee’s that appear unannounced..
Another plus, without the influence of peer pressure and bullying, it is likely your child will not suffer that deplorable lust for branded products, which not only makes life less expensive, it means your child will learn to see through advertising gimmicks and make informed purchasing decisions once they are in a position to do so – instead of merely going for the same thing everyone else is buying in order to ‘fit in’.

Yup, I really can’t see the advantages of school over home other than time.
Because of work many parents cannot afford to stay home and teach their children and so they look for the best school they can find and hope for the best. There is nothing wrong with this – but to these parents I would say “in what way do you supplement your childs education? What do they learn from you?” I know what people like my cousin would say and it’s usually a 2 word expletive.
The response I’d expect from people like myself is that they’ve tried to provide anything they feel the national curriculum lacks.

Question #5 is a bit of a tough one since I have no hard or fast opinion on this. I applaud the fact that education is (for the most part) free, if that were to change it would be a sad thing indeed.
The thing I would change is the compulsory part. If children don’t want to go to school then don’t make them – offer a couple of alternatives instead.
Bring back the apprenticeships, have community projects that the children can participate in until they feel they would like to be educated in a more formal way – make it so the schools are not bound by age, make it so they are bound by inclination.

If, for example, every person in the country is allotted up to 11 subjects of their choice for free, more kids would stay in school and be attentive because they’ve decided themselves what they’d like to do.
I’d suggest for the first 2-3 years of schooling they are offered tasters in every subject you can think of and then at the end of that time can choose the ones they wish to focus on, just no more than 11.
Should they show an aptitude for one or 2 subjects then pending a reference from the teacher they can go onto further study – for free.
Once they’ve shown this much aptitude it should be a matter of ease to find companies willing to offer work placements and possible jobs just as certain vocational courses do now.

Obviously there’s much to be tweaked in this vision for the future *grin* but I’ve just noticed that it’s gone midnight and I’d like to be asleep before the idiot downstairs starts playing his music again (in the vain hope it doesn’t wake me up tonight) I hope this proved entertaining and enlightening for you master mutta – I thank you kindly for the inspiration and hope others stop by and put their tuppence in for you.

Looking back

I’ve spent the last few days being completely knackered, tonight – I can’t sleep.. wide awake, buzzing and more mentally alert than I ‘ve been in months.
Obviously a good time to have a look through all my old text and word documents to clean out old unwanted files – which led to me deciding to update my cv – which led to me checking my blog for a certain date (see, blogs are useful) sadly this led to me getting sidetracked by some of my old posts.. It happens occasionally.

Anyhow, I came across a meme I did at the request of Master K:

Ten Things I’ve Never Done, But Intend to Do Before I Die:

  1. Get divorced
  2. Design a funky looking website that actually serves a purpose.
  3. Have a child
  4. Learn a foreign language well enough to converse easily in – probably Spanish, but considering Italian, Portuguese or Esperanto (What can I say, Harry Harrison sold me on that last one)
  5. Learn to dance properly – salsa, tango, waltz and one other
  6. Complete an ambitious hobby project – without help!
  7. Ride a jetski/ windsail – watersports generally (of the non fetish variety!)
  8. Get a tailor made outfit
  9. Buy the perfect home – and home is the operative word there.
  10. Get up at 7am on a regular basis and like it .

I’m quite chuffed, In the space of a year I’ve managed to complete 2 and a half of those listed there (#1, #6 and I’m halfway there with #2 I just need to get it looking funky, the purpose part is covered)
The thing is, in just a year I’ve changed my mind on a couple of things. I remember writing this and at the time I really wanted to do all those things, now though my list would be more like this:

  1. Buy a house and create the perfect home
  2. Have a child – or 2.
  3. Write and record a song I can be proud of
  4. Learn Italian
  5. Get a tailor made outfit
  6. Ride a jetski
  7. Own a car
  8. Visit Italy, Germany and Ireland
  9. Buy a beautiful (and expensive) work of art
  10. Learn as much about web design as I can

I need to win the lottery blatently.

It’s decided

Was chatting to Neil last night and in the course of our conversation he helped me to solidify an idea in my mind of the website I want to create as my course project.

I’m going to make a site about M.E./ CFS.
I know there are a lot out there already, but the information’s is so varied they tend to be quite confusing – and the ones that do offer the most up to date and understandable information tend to ask you to pay to become a member.
The plus side of all this means I can also use the project for my photoshop course, as the end product needs to be a poster advertising something – I’ll just advertise my website *grin* means I can cut the time as well because all the images I end up using in my poster can be used on the website.
So for the next couple of weeks I’m going to be sourcing content and hurting my eyes by tampering with pixels. The blog facelift will just have to wait (again) I may be asking a couple of you for help and advice *glances at Debambam and Smidsey* and I’m finally going to have to go purchase myself some webspace and another domain name (only this one’ll get more use than musicalmixer ever did)
Oh and I’ve now got a copy of reason – so once the course has finished I’ll set myself to properly making some music to play for y’all.
*grin* assuming any of you come back after the terrible neglect I’ve shown this blog the last few weeks..

Good luck sparkybabes..

Sparx has a tidy idea:

I’m announcing a new competition. I want to find something that makes people laugh yet will not upset or cause offence to anyone, anywhere, no matter their race, gender or faith. Not even, and I going to be totally strict on this point, not even if they still think Burberry is cool.

If any of you can actually come up with this gem of humour, let me know – or alternatively go tell the man himself!

I’ve found a forum that tickles my fancy – it’s karaoke based and seems to be full of people I’d really like to meet. So much so that when I head down to see Claire in a couple of weeks we’re going to a karaoke run by one of the lasses in the forum – I’m looking forward to that, it sounds like it’ll be mental *grin*

It’s just another carrot on the end of the stick for me to want to move down south – despite hating London… *sigh* the grass is always greener isn’t it?

featuring a pregnant pause..

I’m beginning to think someone somewhere is trying to get me to go down the pregnancy road.
Seriously – the last 2 weeks have given me a vast selection of email junk, varying from the usual viagra and penis extension rubbish to the worryingly more frequent ‘find a fuckbuddy’, ‘sex addicts in your area’ and an assortment of new mother books, how to handle a first pregnancy and various links to nutritional guides for the pregnant woman.

So come clean, which of you has signed me up for a spot of puppy pushing eh?

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting some equipment and starting up my own karaoke – or at the very least a load of backing tracks and going out gigging again. I used to do the pub/ club circuit a while back and quite frankly I hated it.
I was the singing part of a duo called ‘Electric blue’ (and boy did I feel like a tit when the DJ at a holiday camp in wales pointed out the previously unknown fact of a certain movie of the same name to me and the rest of the audience midway through the gig) I loved singing, but I hated most of what I sang and the places we did *shudders* rough does not even begin to describe some of ’em.
It didn’t help that the lad I was working with thought he knew what people wanted to hear and I had to really argue the toss to get anything decent into the set – he was a really good keyboard player but he was also only 18 and every decision was also discussed with his parents…
It got very trying.
I hated it so much that I didn’t even sing at a karaoke for over a year following that experience – I just completely lost all joy in music. I guess part of my hesitation stems from not wanting that to happen again now I have the buzz back.

But I’ve been offered a paid weekly gig if I can get something together.
Decisions decisions…

Personally I’d love to get a band together again because that’s more fun, but it’s also more equipment, more hassle and less money after the split. If I can get a guitarist or a keyboard player then that’s not as bad moneywise – but it can limit what material we can do. If I get a load of gear and use all my backing tracks then I don’t have to rely on anyone else – but then it’s just me doing karaoke all night and one gig a week isn’t enough to justify the outlay of all the equipment I’d need…

Guess I’ll just have to turn it down and remain incredibly flattered.
Shame though – the money would be most welcome.