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Tuesday 23 November 2010

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

Beep beep. Beep beep. Yeah.

I don't seem to do much driving any more these days. Working from home most days means that my car stays mainly in the garage, and if it wasn't for one day a week in the office we could quite easily give up being a 2-car family. (There is of course also the fact that we recently spent a small fortune on building a double garage, so at least that is getting some use!). My husband on the other hand, has around an hour's commute each way down the motorway five days a week to contend with.

When it therefore comes to driving at the weekend, you would think that I would be happy to take over any driving, to give him a break. The truth of the matter is, however, that I am fundamentally lazy and would much rather be ferried around. Since the invention of sat nav, it's not like I even have to map read any more (which is a good thing all round, as I am sure we would be divorced by now if I did) and I can therefore quite happily sit looking out of the window humming along to the radio.

If I look at other cars on the road, I notice this is overwhelmingly the case in other cars - man driving, woman on passenger seat. My parents are the same, despite the fact that my father did not get a licence until relatively late in life (I must have been in my early teens), and therefore has a lot less driving experience than my mother.

We've all heard the statistics about women drivers being safer, so why is it still a case of:

Car = Manly pursuit

Answers on the back of an AA Road Atlas to the usual address please.

Monday 22 November 2010

Answering Service

This post is inspired by my Twitter friend Mr Drop4Three, who is much better at these vlogs than I am and is attempting one a month as part of #vlomo10...

I thought I'd at least trial the technology - next time I might even make an effort...

Thursday 18 November 2010

Random thoughts of the week

(Forgive me, am typing on mini phone keypad)

In no particular order:

- Can someone please invent teleporting sometime soon?
- What some people consider hand luggage really takes the p*ss
- What is so important that you have to answer your mobile whilst on the toilet?
- Why don't humans have sleep reserves, like they have fat reserves?
- Hearing Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas' on Monday made me want to scream
- Seeing my first snow of the winter in Helsinki this morning, however,made me feel instantly Christmassy
- Every now and then modern technology still astounds me; amazing how quickly news of a Royal engagement in far-away Britain made its way round a Finnish conference room

Thursday 11 November 2010

Why is it. ..

..that despite my best intentions,  I never see much other than an office and a hotel room when I go anywhere on business?

Thursday 4 November 2010

Hear No Evil...

Alison Curtis via Flickr

I happened to catch a trailer for last night's "File on Four" on Radio 4, which was apparently about young, British muslims being lured into fighting for a Jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda in Somalia. In the end, I did not have the chance to listen to it, even though in some ways the subject piqued a certain macabre interest in me.

I've always been a bit of a current affairs buff. Force-fed a diet of Radio 4 ever since I can remember, I grew up with the Today programme starting the day, and PM at tea-time. Eventually, I even started listening to what was being said, and became hooked on the tales of political machinations of the day (the will-she-go-won't-she-go of Margaret Thatcher's final days being a particularly vivid memory). In-depth, background reporting of strange foreign lands mesmerised me.

And yet recently I find myself avoiding the news more and more. Part of this is down to the fact that I am just busier since having children, and when I settle down to watch television of an evening, I want mindless entertainment, rather than anything too taxing. However, there is also a part of me that just doesn't want to hear it any more.

Let's face it; bad news is just terribly depressing. Take international terrorism, for example - start thinking about it for too long, and you realise how hopeless the whole situation is. Whilst we in the UK had to contend with terrorism related to the conflict in Northern Ireland for a long time, with hindsight this seems small and manageable in comparison. There appeared to be a specific goal, and it was limited to a specific number of people. Compare and contrast this to the threat from Al-Qaeda and its cronies, where the threat could apparently come from anywhere in the world, and the goal is inexplicable and incoherent at best.

Don't even get me started on the apparently random acts of violence that you can read about in any local paper these days!

I sometimes look at my children and think - should I really have brought you into a world where you have to worry about what's in your ink cartridges? Where someone might just knife you on the street because you looked at them in a certain way?

So, forgive me if I don't read the papers as often as I used to. Sometimes I just think ignorance is bliss.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

The Perfect Sandwich

So, there I was this morning, listening in to an apparently endless series of conference calls, whilst simultaneously keeping an eye on Twitter (multitasking of course being an incredibly important skill that I need to practice to keep me sharp for the workplace), when I spotted a tweet from Jay, highlighting her latest blog post. I popped over, and promptly regretted the fact that I had not yet eaten lunch. It prompted such a rumbling in my tum that I started fantasising about food...

All I had time for today, however, was a sandwich. This did not bother me at all - in my eyes, the humble sandwich is a wonderful invention, and has been a regular meal for a lot of the British population since it was invented.

So it got me thinking - if I was only ever allowed one single kind of sandwich to eat for the rest of my life, what would I choose? First, I thought of tasty Scandinavian open sandwiches - maybe a bit of smoked salmon on rye bread...

...but much as I love them, I had to dismiss them purely on the grounds of practicality - sadly, they're not really great in a packed lunch. The rye bread is not soft enough to absorb the topping, and a sandwich needs to be "closed" to keep it from falling apart.

I would therefore like to sing you the praises of the humble cheese sandwich. Not just any cheese sandwich, however - there is a definite art.

The bread has to be fresh, cut by hand from a loaf. I don't mind if it is white or wholegrain, as long as it has the right amount of softness in its bite. The cheese has to be a thick chunk of mature farmhouse cheddar - smooth and creamy, yet with the right amount of nutty bite and crumble. Add to this some juicy tomato slices, and a crispy lettuce leaf. No pickles, no sauces - I wouldn't want anything to spoil the cheddar.


Go on - tell me; what's your favourite sandwich? I'd love to know!

(By the way, to work out the dimensions of your perfect cheese sandwich, try the Cheddarometer! )


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