Friday, 30 September 2011


Just a quick one to say I've just updated the x-ray page with the pics from March and September for anyone who's interested. Progress is good!

Spot's Spot : what season is it?

Hello, Django here, sorry I've not posted for a while but I've been busy... er... sleeping and stuff. Oh and, you know, inspecting the garden and being really important.

It's been seriously hot here the last few days and yet getting dark at 7.30pm - it's all wrong!  I'm terribly confused, one minute it's autumn and the next it's mid-summer. Still, it's nice to get some extra sunbathing in...

I went to the office today but it was too warm, even though they put the fan on for me.  So I was a bit fidgety, I think Mum got a bit annoyed, oops.  I like it better there in the winter when the heater is on, then I'm happy just to sleep in front of it.

I've been promised an early walk tomorrow because it's going to be hot again, so I'd better get to bed - I need my beauty sleep you know!

Bye for now,
Django x


Aaagghhh I have so many things I want to blog about!!

  • Courts and judges
  • Rambler Cottage and To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Over-medicating
  • Old people and the fear in their eyes
  • Politeness
  • Proactive rather than reactive

Ohhhhhh - you choose!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Change of track

I was going to write a sociological blog post entitled "Criminal Court or Theatre Stage?" but instead I spent the evening making Quince Jelly, walking Django round the field in the dark, and on the phone to Mr H for 55 minutes because I was feeling down and needed to talk to him.

In between I also managed to eat re-heated lasagne (always best on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th nights) and watch Doc Martin on ITVplayer.

Tomorrow I am going out socialising, a pretty rare event for me! Our sailing club is holding a Scalextric evening which sounded like fun, so Mr H was sent to get our box of cars out of the loft last time he was home. I might even treat myself to eating out while I'm there, and will hope not to let down the fairer sex with my performance on the track (it's been too many years since I last played).

So, I might get back to criminological discussions later in the week, if I can remember what it was I was going  to say...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

What's your car called? and are you sorry?

Anthropomorphism, for those of you who don't already know, includes the bestowing of a human personality on a non-human thing eg. an object or animal.

We all do it all the time, without even thinking about it. We swear at inanimate objects which won't co-operate - just like I almost did at my watch which was clacking on the side of the laptop until I threw it off in annoyance.  We expect our animals to understand when we've had a hard day at work, and why we don't want them dragging their water-dribbling mouths across our study books.   We name our cars (well, sometimes) and talk to birds and plants as if they understand what we're saying.

We often don't understand why others react in situations differently from how we would react.   'How could they have done that?' 'Oh my goodness what possessed her to buy that coat'.  'Look at the way that idiot man is driving' 'That woman was so rude'.   We attribute other people with our own values and beliefs and assume everybody thinks the same way, but they don't.  I suppose we think that our way of seeing the world is the right way, so people who don't are somehow inferior.

Today I heard on the news a judge describe a murderer as displaying an "extraordinary and chilling lack of remorse". Oh really?

Reading the news story, Andrew Lindo strikes me as having psychopathic tendencies or similar.  None of his behaviour was that of a 'normal' human being - from the double life, to the murder to the huge lies he told to family and friends.  Yet the judge was surprised that he showed no remorse?  Did he expect Lindo to turn round and say "I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to do it"?  Did he really think it extraordinary that he did not?

Is it realistic to expect a psychopath to show remorse - I suspect not.  By definition, a psychopath does not have the same social values or way of thinking as the average person. Why then do we expect them to suddenly react like an average person?

Is that not the same as expecting a dog to apologise for coming in without wiping his feet?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Surveillance... how do you see it?

I have been thinking about surveillance mainly because my course is starting off with it as a subject, and how it can be seen in different ways by different people.  For the purpose of this post I am limiting the word to mean police presence and CCTV etc., not all the other data that is collected on us which also comes under the term.

In my course DVD, the scenario is a large shopping centre in a relatively poverty-stricken area of Leeds (UK).  As well as CCTV which is constantly monitored, the centre boasts several security guards and a full time police constable. Security is very visible and the people interviewed in the centre said that it made them feel safe; in fact there was a group of people who went there regularly to 'mall walk' for exercise, as they didn't feel safe walking in the public parks nearby.

But I started thinking that if I went to a shopping centre and it was full of security guards, cameras and on duty policemen, I'd think that it must be a risky place to be - otherwise why would you need all the security?

A friend in the States commented on her facebook page yesterday (she knows who she is and I'm sure won't mind me quoting her!): "Huge police presence, as usual. I don't recall seeing so many green helmets and automatic weapons, though. I confess that has made me a tad uneasy just now." and it made me think again about the effects of visible security on the average person.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.  Does a very visible security personnel presence in a 'normal' every day public place make you feel safer?  or more at risk from some unseen threat?

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Pfft having written a long letter to Mr H this weekend now I feel I have nothing to tell you!   So I hope some rambling drivel will suffice for now...

I spent most of the weekend gardening, and looking at bees.  We are suffering a bad wasp year with the little ******s hell bent on getting into our hive. Interestingly though, I have noticed that once they are in there they want nothing more than to escape, which is odd as you'd think that once in they'd sit and nosh on the honey stores.  Maybe the bees tease them about their odd appearance and they can't stand the embarrassment.

I overdid it somewhat at the garden centre yesterday, it's their fault for having plants at reduced prices and 3 for 2.   So I then spent lots of time planting (once I'd decided where on earth I was going to put them!  I also cleared the top vegetable patch so that is nice, clean, damp earth just waiting for some compost/fertlizer.

Yesterday I accidentally walked for two hours, I didn't mean to but ended up exploring and didn't have a watch so had no idea how long I'd been out until I got back to the car.  It did explain why I was aching quite a lot!  On the way I met some D of E teenagers hiking - we kept overtaking each other and the third time I saw them they were obviously a bit lost so I put them straight as to where they were. It made me realise that we never did that sort of thing at school, at least I was never offered it - or maybe no-one ever thought I might like it?  having said that, Mr H did it at his school and said it was really annoying as apparently they made they carry hat, scarf and gloves even on swelteringly hot summer weekends.

Spot the Dog!

So that was my weekend, oh and I have started on my course which is beginning with stuff about surveillance - quite thought provoking. I got the name of my tutor for this year and was disappointed that it is a man; the last two years I have had women tutors and got on well with them, I somehow feel that a man is going to be quite different. Well, I shall give him the benefit of the doubt until our first tutorial and assignment feedback!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Brain required

Today is our annual meeting of representatives from around the country, so I am having to dress with my best smile and manners.    I'm not very good at meeting stuff; I prefer to have my head in something technical, but it has to be done.  And I've got to help with taking minutes today, ugh!

When I went to last year's meeting I was on 2 crutches and non-weight bearing - that made me realise what a difference a year has made!   It's looking like a beautiful morning so I will be cycling to work - now that I have the van here rather than the car, my bike is transport of choice to work as it's just easier.  I have just ordered some good waterproof over-trousers, they cost me almost a tank of fuel but if I cycle to work every day I'll have saved that in a month!

Right, time to get my brain into gear and get dressed and breakfasted.  I'm still recovering from last week and looking forward to the weekend when I'll have time to do those things on my list!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

My next challenge

I have started dipping into my next OU course, Welfare, Crime & Society, although it doesn't officially start until 1st October.  

It sounds as though it will centre around the 'entanglement' of social welfare and crime control and already I'm feeling quite excited about it - I think it's going to be very interesting.

I don't know yet who my tutor will be, but I hope they are as good as my first two have been.  I'm going for a Grade 1 for this year, so will be counting on you to chivvy me on if I am slacking or feeling despondent!

A week of reality - or was it?

As Karen S. noticed, I didn't have the time or energy to post last week!   It felt as though Mr H was home for about three weeks not one (in a good way haha!) and yes we were still speaking to each other by the end of it. We were both exhausted though, having worked our way through the list of things we wanted to do!

It was a suspension of reality in a way, because we wouldn't normally spend a week's holiday at home together - it was a bit like having 4 weekends back-to-back.

We both noticed how these days we are so much on the same wavelength, I think being apart has improved that (you'd think it would be the opposite, wouldn't you?).  On one day I gave him a hand to put the engine back into his A35 van... it was tricky and involved trolley jacks and blocks of wood, mixed in with brute strength and brains to get everything lined up.  Although it is years since we worked in an old car together, it just fell into place totally naturally, each knowing exactly what the other meant.  It felt really good.

(Not that we always agree on things, and sometimes talk at completely cross-purposes, but then we normally end up having a joke about the fact we don't have a clue what each other is talking about...!)

On Tuesday we drove 250 miles for an interview - for him not me - in an urban woodland area.   When we arrived we thought 'oh my goodness' as it was quite busy with visitors, it must be absolutely heaving on a bank holiday. The district was lots of small woodlands in a built up area so would have involved lots of driving on busy roads - the complete opposite of where he is now!  But it was half the distance away from home so that was a big plus point.  The interview went ok but we suspect that Mr H was the 'token outsider' since the other applicants were from that district; he didn't get the job, but he said that saved him having to decide whether he wanted it or not. Something else will come up, no doubt.

Walking Django after Mr H's interview

The other big thing last week was that I had x-rays taken. It turned into a bit of a long, stressful morning not helped by the fact I was really tired from the weekend, thankfully Mr H was on hand to rescue me when my emotions got the better of me.  The long and the short of it is that the x-rays looked ok apart from one area at the top break, which doesn't look as though it's got new bone growing, so I've been referred for a CT scan to check it out.  I'm not sure when that will be, sometime in the next couple of months I guess. I was glad about the referral as it is something positive to do, rather than just being sent away with a 'yes it's all progressing fine, see you in another 6 months'.  

The rest of the week we spent gardening, Mr H worked on the van, and other bits and pieces. Oh and I picked 206 quinces!  Oh My Goodness..... I am now down to 95 having got rid of some to friends and family and made two batches of quince jelly (so far). They are too good to throw away, so I might get imaginative with the preserving/recipes!

206 quinces

Oh and how could I forget? it was Mr H's birthday on the 4th... I baked a birthday cake and we had a nice day together. He was on his own in Scotland for it last year, and for quite a few before that we have been away for it, so it felt extra special this year being together at home.

So that was our week... he is now back north but Django is here for a couple of months.  It's good to have the company, and a reason to go for walks - it just doesn't work without a dog!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The week I've been waiting for

Mr H is home tomorrow!!!  for 10 days....  ooh will we still be speaking by the end of next week? ha.

And Django is coming back to stay for a couple of months.  I haven't missed him as much as usual, not sure why; but it will be nice to have company again and stop having to talk to myself.  

So tonight I will be putting the loud music on as it helps me concentrate on the clearing up the mess I live in, before he gets back. I may as well pretend to be one of those tidy wives haha ;-)