Sunday, 29 November 2009

Annoying "Christmas" advertising slogans

At the moment I'm trying to decide which of the following I dislike more:
  1. Ann Summers: Have a Horny Christmas
  2. MacDonalds: Salivation is Nigh

Both are tasteless, so I suppose I don't have to choose. I'm just hoping not to have to add more to the list.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Pregnancy musings (6)

Last weekend my sister and her brood of four came over from Birmingham for a viewing of the bump (we had not seen them since announcing bump to the world). My brother-in-law commented that I "carried it all on the front" (I had not been aware there was another option), whilst my youngest England-based nephew said "I don't mean to be rude, but are you pregnant or have you already had the baby?" (which confused me somewhat, sitting there as I was doing a rather good impression of Obelix). And bump is definitely growing apace: my stomach has started emitting noises from somewhere I was sure I had left my lungs, and my lung capacity has definitely reduced again. Bump's new rule (and it has been issued with many) is to stay put for at least another two weeks and to be at least 5lb in weight (otherwise it will be "Destination: plastic-box land" and neither mother nor child are likely to like that).

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Remembrance Day

In Britain this was the first anniversary of the Armistice ending WW1 to pass without the attendance of eye-witnesses, the last three veterans residing in the U.K. having died in the past year. A British soldier from the war still lives, but in Perth, Australia.

In another connection between Australia and WW1, I have had in my possession for some months the 1916 diary of a friend's grandfather, which I offered to transcribe for her (although with pregnancy there has been a major hiatus on this front). So, to mark the war, lest we forget, I have flipped forward to 11 November 1916:

"There was a straff of unusual violence last night
our first Div had ten guns blown out we never heard if any of the men got knocked
it has been rather a fine day & the mud is like glue a mans feet weigh somewhere near 1 cwt
Fritz put some busters very near us last night & today"

Pregnancy musings (5)

As a PhD student I took over three years to formulate an answer to a question no-one else was really interested in. I don't feel this equips me to come to a snap decision about whether to have the swine-flu vaccine. I'm trained to want to sift lots of evidence about (frankly) unimportant questions, not respond quickly to important questions without sufficient evidence. Feel I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Artefact of the week (2)

Two artefacts from Norwich Cathedral, which I visited on Thursday, for you:
(1) the Despenser reredos
(2) the Pelican lecturn
Both of these survived the Reformation by being hidden: the reredos disguised as a plumber's table, the lecturn buried in a garden. Shame that the powers that be there felt the need to put a hole in the lecturn stand in order to feed a microphone cable through it, though.