EDitorial ± 25-Nov-2003
The sun is out, the sky is blue
There's not a cloud to spoil the view
But it's raining, raining in my heart
— Raining In My Heart, Buddy Holly
Flicking through the trusty Guide, saw this preview of a Radio 4 programme on Wednesday:
He interviewed everyone in the banking hierarchy about their thoughts on organisation culture. He also discovered that however much everyone moaned about the way things were done, nothing ever changed. This was because the employees were exercising their right to moan, which performs an important if not essential function and has nothing to do with actually changing anything.
(BTW, chap in question is named John Weeks, and his "discoveries" form the basis of his new book, Unpopular Culture: The Ritual Of Complaint In A British Bank.)
Hey, I thought - and perhaps you think this too - that sounds like my place of work. Last evening I then launched into a ten minute rant about (some of) my curent colleagues, and their unlimited capacity to carp. Could be about management, absent colleagues, the coffee (free!) or even the fruit (equally free!).
One possible factor: most of them are a little older than my Peter Pan-like self and have worked in the same company for 25 or more years. It could easily get you down, I said to wifey. That's nothing, she said: try working in local government. She described the series of steps she went through while working there:
- you believe the complaints — after all, you're new to the company, and what do you know?
- you begin to doubt — you start to see for yourself how things are
- you try to help the moaners — but soon realise that they don't welcome constructive suggestions or for anything to really change
- you then have a choice:
- you ignore everyone,
- you join in,
- or you find a new job
I'm making my own sweet way through these same steps at present, being somewhere between starting to doubt and trying to help. Lucky I'm an optimist, eh what?!
Be seeing you!
EDitorial ± 18-Nov-2003
Synapse (Part 2)
Make sure you're connected
— Connected, Stereo MCs
- Me and t' wife were at the premiere of Love Actually on Sunday evening
with Hugh, Emma, Alan and a generally stellar cast. Well, I say premiere, it
was more of a preview screening, truth be told. Also, strictly speaking, the
stars and starlets were no more than moving images on the screen, which was in
UGC Cinemas at Cardinal Park, Ipswich.
Everyone's in it, from Ant & Dec to Marcus Brigstocke to thingy who plays Jack Bauer's accident-prone daughter in 24. Takes a while to get your head around who's who. Lots of laughs, a fair bit of schmaltz, and Bill Nighy's ageing pop star pretty much steals the show. In the fortunate position of playing Keira Knightley's new hubby is a chap named Chiwetel Ejiofor...
- ...whose surname reads like a challenging Scrabble hand. Earlier on that
same Sunday, a medical student named Harshan Lamabadusuriya became the 2003
national Scrabble champion. On the web you can even replay each of the three
move, which is fun. First word on the board in the final was
- ...which can mean both hello and goodbye. Hello Goodbye was on Magical
Mystery Tour, the Beatles' 1967 album. Unlikely cover stars of the current NME
are none other than the Fab Four, thanks to their remixed version of
This displaced the ubiquitous Dido on Amazon as number 1...
- ...and who should jump straight in at number 1 on the singles chart this
week but those cheeky young whippersnappers Busted,
outselling even Britney. They're due to play in Christchurch Park next summer, as
Charlie is the local boy made good, which should please
- ...who's been engaged in online auction frenzy with her younger sister.
Both were asked to tidy their rooms and, as encouragement, I said they could
have the money for any unwanted items sold on ebay. So eldest sold a cuddly pig
for a quid, then middler flogged some boots for £3.82. So eldest dug out
some riding boots, again outgrown, which went for £11. Then middler found
some much nicer boots, final price £14.37. Current stalemate while both
go in search of more boots...
- ...while the high street chemist of the same name (albeit with a capital)
have been doing a rather good offer: spend £50 and get a new Philips
Freeview box for half-price. Arriving
shortly, following today's online purchase, should be stacks of razors,
toothpaste and other "essentials", and hopefully a shiny silver digital box
to pick up CBBC...
- ...so the boy can gorge himself on
Balamory. Altogether now:
what's the story on Balamory, wouldn't you like to know? I can already sing
the tune without ever having seen an episode. It's filmed with real people, a
shock for pre-schoolers, on an island location somewhere in Scotland...
- ...where Sarah-down-the-road was born. Been working with Sarah on
Project X. Would like to say more, but can't. Very hush-hush. Might generate a
tiny bit of income, though not enough to stop my day job in
- ...in which David Brent is due back soon for a Christmas special. Wernham Hogg's voice of reason, of course, is Tim, played by Martin Freeman, who has one of the many parts in Love Actually...
Be seeing you!
EDitorial ± 10-Nov-2003
This Autumn breeze shall strip the trees
And freeze me to the bone
— Three Sisters, The Divine Comedy
Ample words. Let's take a gander at some seasonal shades, some transient tints, some - if you will - autumnal hues. Oh, once this page is fully loaded, try rolling your mouse over the pictures.
Be seeing you!
EDitorial ± 4-Nov-2003
Five Hire A Cottage In Dorset (Part 2)
Dorset? Again? And why not?! We had such a good time on our one week back in August that we decided to return for a second week during half-term. Predictably the weather wasn't quite the same, but we still found plenty to do. No sign of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, alas.
A Hegley-esque warning: this week's entry contains rhyming language.
After walking round Winfrith we drove
A short distance to find Lulworth Cove
Had lunch up a tor
Threw stones, Durdle Door
Back for baths and a roast from the stove
A day out with Thomas for us
Down to Swanage, the line's terminus
Carriage filled with small boys
Making plenty of noise
Then we bumped back on Bulgy The Bus
An early-ish trip to the doc's
Confirmed Theo had caught chicken pox
At the Blue Pool were trees full
Of squirrels, so peaceful
Then up and down Corfe Castle's blocks
At Monkeyworld, pop in and you'll
Find chimps who've been treated so cruel
Then rain, it stopped play
So we hurried away
To find Nemo at UCI, Poole
Sherborne's considered a classic
Though conditions were nearing the brassic
Saw the ceiling, fan-vaulted
Of the abbey, then bolted
To a museum of all things Jurassic
Wonderland promised big treats
But no rides, no attendants, wet seats
This was Alice's dud-land
So a quick trip to Studland
And back home for Hallowe'en eats
Be seeing you!