Tag Archives: Variations on Normal

Reasons to be cheerful – Part Two

There’s a hawthorn tree in there. No really.

Coincidentally, I was feeling cheerful this time last year. This is why I’m in a good mood now.

1. I planted a hawthorn tree. Few things are better than planting a tree. Putting down roots. Engaging with nature. Creating a legacy that will last till…  Well, I hope it’s still there. I haven’t looked since the weekend. Better check it tomorrow. It’s tucked away in a corner between the village recreation ground and the allotments.

2. I encountered someone who has changed her mind and admitted she was wrong. She’s discovered she can’t wipe away what she wrote. But she’s apologising and rejecting the wrong. I find that refreshing. Good on you Nadia.

OK, I admit it. Some people’s hole digging productivity was a lot higher than mine. But surely that’s what Scouts are good at?

3. It may take a while, but given time and a fair wind, even a writer who it seemed had been written off, can get a publishing deal Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, In the village

Surprise as parent wins wet t-shirt contest

Hee hee – it’s great isn’t it? Whatever you were hoping for can’t be any better than this pic.

It’s catch up time with some of the strong things other people are up to.

Ras Jacobson from the Lessons for Teachers and Twits blog (for which I once revealed a shocking piece of personal history* via here) accidentally stumbles on to someone in trouble in webland. Very challenging and involves annorexia. Have a look here to see how she handles it.

Noble Cause Corruption (a police officer posting anonymously) is Continue reading

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Filed under blogs

Instead of washing that paintbrush, do this instead

I’ve been painting the outside of the house (with some help from my resident hat genius). But the part I hate is cleaning the brushes afterwards so they can be used again.

I clean them for two reasons:

  1. I might just be able to reuse them. That sometimes – rarely – does happen.
  2. I can feel my Dad’s pained expression at the thought of the waste involved in using a brush just once. That’s the main reason.

Do you have those brushes wrapped in plastic bags or propped up in empty containers that once held white spirits – long evaporated? As the days and weeks and months and years pass – the brushes harden into a state that makes them worthless by the next time you come to use them.

And you think to yourself, who was I kidding? I should have chucked them in the bin back then, instead of having them cluttering up the place.

But throwing a perfectly good, albeit painty, paintbrush away just doesn’t seem right. Sometime during the period between you storing it and then retrieving it, the morality shifts. But when exactly it becomes OK to bin it, is hard to pin down.

So the charade is repeated.

But what if there was an alternative Continue reading

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Filed under art

New ideas. Like ’em or loathe ’em?

Here are four new ways of doing things – how hide electricity pylons, how to pay for medicare, how to get building materials up to roof level and – most importantly – how to store beer.

1. Hiding those ugly pylons. Dominic Wilcox at the Variations on Normal  blog has come up with an answer to two difficult questions at once – what to do with landfill? And how to beautify electricity pylons?

His cheaper alternative is to simply rename pylons, Mini Eiffel Towers and the public will adore them, maybe even pay to go up them Continue reading

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Filed under life

20 reasons why it’s all kicking off

This is an attempt to find common reasons behind all the upheavals happening in the world at the moment. It’s from the BBC Newsnight‘s economics editor Paul Mason, who’s also on Twitter.

As the cartoon on the left from Buttersafe suggests, having a wee scoot around the web is a way to lose aeons of time, but you sometimes find interesting things like Paul Mason’s take on the global social dynamic.  The short version identifies graduates, often female,  with no future, but access to social media and less tied to old ideologies as drivers of change. See what you think of his longer version:

We’ve had revolution in Tunisia, Egypt’s Mubarak is teetering; in Yemen, Jordan and Syria suddenly protests have appeared. In Ireland young techno-savvy professionals are agitating for a “Second Republic”; in France the youth from banlieues battled police on the streets to defend the retirement rights of 60-year olds; in Greece striking and rioting have become a national pastime. And in Britain we’ve had riots and student occupations that changed the political mood.

What’s going on? What’s the wider social dynamic? Continue reading

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Filed under art, politics

Great inventions that could change your life

1. Beer Protector – First of all, not everyone has given up smoking. And just because the smokers have left the bar for for a drag, it doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned their pints.

Is it not bad enough for them that they’re forced to indulge their filthy habit outside, shivering in the drizzle hunched over their sputtering butts, without having to worry that someone will hand their unfinished glass of Guinness to the barman and say: “I think this one’s dead.” Continue reading

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Filed under life, media