Archive for June, 2006

A new sexual manifesto

Talking about raunch culture – Paris Hilton and her ilk…

Ariel Levy joined by Lynne Segal, Sam Roddick, Alok Jha and Zoe Williams.

Passionate, spirited, funny, inspiring and depressing.

We had a funny moment afterwards when we discovered the men’s toilets were locked, I guess City University don’t think men go to feminist debates, or as M said if they do, they would be happy using the women’s.

Go pick up a copy of Levy’s book, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.

Fairy cakes

Sunday I had a lovely afternoon at little R’s 4th birthday party (can you believe it). He spent the day happily playing, bouncing, chatting and running with lots of small friends. I got a little bit of quiet time in the garden with him after everyone had gone, which was lovely.

During bath time we had an in depth conversation about swimming, me trying to convince him of the joys of learning to swim underwater and explaining how not to get water up his nose, that has to be one of the worst experiences of childhood, your having so much fun and then whoosh you don’t know what’s hit you.

And talking of surprising experiences he was messing around sticking his hand in his mouth and lets just say he now knows what the gag reflex is.

In the money

Literally a ‘Cash Cow’ happily crazing on a London balcony.

Bermuda Triangle

I’m having such a nightmare with my email. I was using Eudora and all was fine until last Thursday when out of the blue I couldn’t get my emails. I kept looking at the preferences trying to see what was up, but it all looked OK and I could still send emails. I wrote to the server, but they didn’t offer any useful suggestions. So as a last resort I reverted back to Mail, successfully imported everything from Eudora and it worked for the first day and a half – now I can’t send any emails using my normal email address. So I can only send using Eudora and only download using Mail, which is kinda crazy. I have triple checked and both programs have the same settings, I don’t understand what is going on.

The visit

We just had our visit from the planning inspectorate for the appeal for next door. It was all very matter of fact; the inspector was not allowed to talk to us other than us pointing out factual things. It was four guys and me, when the inspector talked about the procedure for coming onto our property, he looked at David and not once at me (I imagined waving). There was a guy from the developers, not the gangster, but someone else, checked shirt, too much beer, he didn’t make eye contact with me either, which was just as well, because I couldn’t help but give him my ‘if looks could kill’ look at every opportunity. Then someone from the architect’s office, a suited estate agent type, who seemed friendly enough and a council guy in trainers and T-shirt, those two seemed very buddy, buddy. The architect allowed us onto our neighbors property, I don’t know if I’d ever been in the garden before, what struck both David and myself was just how tiny the gardens for the proposed development would be, much smaller than we had even imagined. We all walked around the estate, the inspector ahead and us straggling behind.

I realized for them and the inspectorate it’s as S said, just business, but for us at the very least it’s our home and our privacy, and emotional issues that connect with my Dad. The butterflies were doing their damnedest in my stomach and I couldn’t eat until everyone had left. Now we have to wait. But in the meantime they have appealed their second application. They waited until they had a date for the inspectors visit so the two could not be linked, an example where government imposed deadlines will lead to a waste of tax payers money, as the whole procedure has to start from scratch and we have to again let our neighbors know what is going on. It seems common knowledge that the system is designed to wear down any opposition to developers and strikes me as a form of government-sanctioned harassment or at the very least bullying. Why for example, are they even allowed to appeal an application that was unanimously voted against, if there had been some ambiguity, then fair enough and why if we lose at any stage do we have no right to appeal at all?

And they can keep putting in similar applications ad infinitum.

Brownfield sites

Politics here: At the moment there is a loophole in the government’s policy that allows gardens to be classed as brownfield sites, thus making it easier for developers to build on them. The developer who bought our neighbors property is trying to use this loophole to get his plans through, so unfortunately I have first hand experience of how this is working. Greg Clark MP has an Early Day Motion to close the loophole. Read more.

Can I urge you to write to your MP and ask him/her to support the Motion.

You can copy and paste the following and send it to your MP before 14 July (find your MP here):

EDM 2130 Removal of gardens from brownfield definition

That this House shares the concern of communities throughout the United Kingdom over the scale of residential development on garden land; recognises that the density and speed of such development can cause irreparable damage to neighbourhood character and cohesion; notes that the loss of garden land threatens urban biodiversity and environmental sustainability in our town and cities; further notes that garden land developments rarely exceed the threshold at which affordable housing must be provided and displaces the regeneration of derelict land; believes the official classification of garden land as brownfield to be inappropriate and misleading; and therefore urges the Government to amend all relevant planning guidance to remove gardens from the definition of previously developed land and thereby return decisions over proposed garden land developments to the discretion of local planning authorities.

Name: …………………………………………………………
Constituency: ………………………………………………
Date: ……………………………………………………………

Please return to the Table Office / fax to 020 7219 5245
/ email

Email trouble

I’m not able to download my emails at the mo – not sure why. It’s very annoying, but that’s why you haven’t heard back from me yet. Judy, yes love the camera, glad you do to – looking forward to seeing your pics on Flickr.

An eBay thing

Hi N – Big R’s eBay name is rosetree-1 – I’ve only managed to put one thing up so far, but I have a growing pile to add. The stuff, sorry antiques, are going to vary, but there is an amazing vase I’m going to put on soon, I’m just having trouble taking a good picture.

Good food

Saturday was lovely; I ventured north of the river for the first time in a while and met up with the folks from yoga in the park. Then went to a meeting and met J who I’d been talking on the phone to for a while and turned out to be exactly as I’d imagined (hi there). Then I finally got all caught up with C who I’d not seen in ages, we went and had a lovely dinner in Belsize Park, not the main bit, but the lovely village-y bit. We tried the Hill first, but you know when you go somewhere and there are so many people and everywhere expects you to have been thinking in advance and booked ahead and neither of us had the energy to fight for a table. The place we ended up was lovely, all genteel and local and we got a table outside and enjoyed the lovely evening weather.

Female Chauvinist Pigs

I just booked for this – it could be good…
Guardian Debate – A New Sexual Manifesto with Ariel Levy, Sam Roddick, Lyn Segal, Alok Jha, Zoe WIlliams, Madeline Bunting – Monday, June 26 7:00 PM.

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