Saturday, 27 October 2012

Chill out weekend

We seem to have either been away or had various appointments at weekends for the last couple of months, which has been good fun but quite tiring! This weekend was totally blank and I intended to keep it that way.. So when Mr H said he was going up to see his brother I secretly looked forward to some chill out time alone at home.  I also wanted to get some study reading done, which is much easier without other people here.

My Saturday wasn't particularly restful but that was fine, everything I did was my choice. I did a tough class at the gym, which is my escape place (there is never anything else I 'ought' to be doing, when I'm there).  Then as it was a beautiful day Django and I went up to the Forest for a bracing, breezy walk before coming back for lunch and a bit of studying. Me, not Django, that is!

After a quick visit to my parents in the afternoon, I cleared out one of the veg patches ready for manure. So as I say, not very restful, physically at least! But it was relaxing, and this evening Django and I are in front of the fire with study books and a bit of tv.

When Mr H was living in Scotland, some of our best weekends consisted of just that kind of thing, dog walking and gardening, and general chilling out.

This time, the best thing is that I know that Mr H will be home tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


I went to the library the other day to do some studying, and of course also looked for any relevant books. I ended up taking out two books on political philosophy, which is something I'd never heard of before. One of them is titled "Justice. Doing the right thing" and some of the content is very relevant to my studies since much of what we ask ourselves in my course relates to 'what is crime and what is justice', a very complex subject!

So, I have read the chapter on Utilitarianism, and the familiar name of Jeremy Bentham who seems to pop up all over the place. As far as I can make out, utilitarianism says that any decision should be taken based on what would cause the most happiness for the most people at that time. Sounds reasonable until you start thinking about it more deeply, for instance does that make it ok to intentionally kill one person to save five? In its basic form it takes no account of moral virtue or ethics and reduces everything to a cost-benefit exercise, which doesn't work in real life (or at least, it upsets a lot of people).

I have just started the chapter on libertarianism - people should be able to do exactly what they want as long as it doesn't cause harm to anyone else. Sounds reasonable... But who decides what constitutes harm? And doesn't everyone have their own interpretation? Some people mat think short skirts cause harm by distracting car drivers, but the wearer would no doubt refute that.

More stuff to get my mind spinning!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Culture shock?

I was away at a conference at the weekend.
On Friday against my better judgement I'd had 2 glasses of red wine before 4pm... This is someone who maybe has a glass with the evening meal, I'm not really supposed to drink with the meds but I've started liking the taste again. I did regret it on Friday because by 7pm I was feeling maudlin, the symptom I get worst. I decided no more drink that night so of course when out for dinner that night some of those who were drinking (everyone else) started... "what's up? Are you pregnant?" etc. guaranteed to wind me up!
In our culture it is weird to not want alcohol, and it's worse if they know that you're not actually teetotal (or pregnant). It wouldn't be the same with other things unless you are part of a drug culture or other peer pressure situation.
"hey Juniper, not going to step in front of a car? God you're so BORING!!!!!"
Anyway I stuck to my guns, and furthermore on Saturday which was the main dinner night with champagne reception, I had one glass of fizz and drank water for the rest of the evening. I had the best evening and the most-laughing-until-I-cried moments I've had for a long time.
My friend, herself several sheets to the wind, said "Juniper is so much more fun when she's not drinking!!"
I have to agree with her. The one time I stayed up at an annual dinner and danced til 2am, I was stone cold sober. Usually I'd be heading to bed at 11pm feeling ill.
Maybe next time someone asks whether I'm pregnant I'll just say yes. That is if I can stop laughing...

Monday, 8 October 2012

21st Century...

Well, here I am, finally caught up with the world.  I now have not only a Kindle but am writing this on an IPad. Admittedly a second hand G1 version but an iPad nevertheless.

All those years of saying "never!" and here I am, feeling a bit of a traitor.

I guess driving a 44 year old car kind of makes up for it?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

My brain is back in use!

It feels good to be studying again, my brain is clicking back into gear after a summer off, I can feel the cogs grinding and gradually working up to speed.

My first assignment is based around opium and its uses both legal and illegal, and it's a fascinating trip through social history. I now know about the 'Opium Wars' and more recently the 'War on Drugs', both examples of how the actions of people in power have influenced the use (and abuse) of opium and other opioid drugs (eg. morphine, codeine, heroin).

My tutor this year is a woman and so far seems very nice; I get the impression she'll be giving good, constructive feedback which is so important.

So, watch out for Crime and Justice discussions coming up on a blog near you.... that is, here!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

TP 215 : Shiny

The Bullring shopping centre, Birmingham

Management - punishment for a previous life?

I read an interview with a manager this week who said that she didn't allow office back-biting to go on and just got people into the same room to sort it out.  She said that normally all parties ended up laughing about it by the end. Really?  I bet once they got back to their desks the smiles are off their faces and they are sticking pins in to wax models of 'the other party'.

All work places have their share of back-biting, and I can see that getting the protagonists to discuss it is good, but surely it depends on the subject matter?   If it is complaining because somebody isn't pulling their weight, or has done something incorrectly, that is totally different to character-assassination on personal grounds.

I do get fed up sometimes with being expected to be the middle-man, and would like to say 'oh for heaven's sake just sort it out between you', but it just wouldn't work in many of the cases. Like the ones that consist of "Grrr, she just walked in the room and I was annoyed, it's the way she puts her bag down!"

I know that there are people who read this who are experienced in such matters in the work place, what do you think?