Monday, September 04, 2006

Bush Ass-ass-ination

I am loving the Bush assassination fiasco.



The Republican Party in Texas has said it is "shocking" and "disturbing" that a TV drama is to depict the assassination of US President Bush. Channel 4 will be screening the mock documentary on October 9th on More4. Some moron - John Beyer of UK TV pressure group MediaWatch - said the film was "irresponsible". He said it could even trigger a real assassination attempt and told the Daily Mirror: "There's a lot of feeling against President Bush and this may well put ideas into people's heads."

Bollocks! Anyone who has already thought about taking out the president is not going to be more influenced by watching a TV depiction. If this were the case then maybe people would be more likely to et healthy after seeing adverts for McDonalds salads or more likely to make their own time machine after watching Dr Who.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Time goes by slow slowly...

As usual, the summer posts tail off…although it is no quieter at work than any other time. The summer lull hasn't appeared yet.

The main event at work is the restructuring. I will find out which posts I am eligible to aplly for on 4th September, interviews on the 6th and then I am off on my holiday on the 8th. Not a lot of time to prepare, although my boss has given me the presentation title this week, so the bank holiday weekend is accounted for.




I am not as phased as I thought I would eb with all this uncertainty. I have been seeing my external mentors for advice and help in preparing for the interviews, which has been an excellent way of getting everything into perspective and taking a more objective view of my own performance.

**UPDATE**
Just found out today that the interviews have been cancelled and will be rescheduled. I bet it will be the day after I return from Mexico. I am really pissed off, as I wanted it all out of the way before we go on holiday.

Monday, August 07, 2006

crazy chicken in mexico



I have had a crazy few days which is reflective of not posting or reading blogs lately. We have had the electrician in last week finishing some work on the house and spent the weekend, tidying, painting, sanding, cleaning, fixing floorboards etc. looks great but non-stop.



I am also finding out about the new structures following my hospital merging with another. Looks like I am in a good position for a good job with more responsibility – but don't want to count my chickens before they are hatched!



I am trying to suss out the competition and starting to prepare for the inevitable interview. It will all mean a lot more work over the next few weeks, but everything should be sorted before our holiday on 8th September to Mexico. It seems ages away, but I am sure it will be here before I know it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Meet the Parents

I have been really enjoying the glorious weather the last few weeks, although it is a pain being at work during the day. I have conceded to the weather by wearing chinos and polo shirts rather than the usual suit, shirt and tie combo – I must admit to feeling a bit casual, but I can live with that. My hospital is still going through the post merger restructuring so there is a little part of me that thinks I should be suited and booted at all times – but it is way too hot to be wearing a wool suit (I know sheep never look too hot, but they don't have to chair meetings or chase around the county making sure there are enough beds open!)

My parents were visiting this weekend – including the first meeting with my partner's parents. We have been together for about 5 years (or so) and in our house for the last 3, but our folks have never met. It went well and they seemed to get on very well. We mat at our house and went out for lunch to the Barn, which is always a great meal. I was a bit off colour and not the most scintillating company, but my partner kept everything rolling along. By the time we had come back and had a cool drink in the garden I was exhausted.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Spring-cleaning

I have been doing some spring-cleaning on the blog – really I should be updating the whole thing and linking to my website that has never got past its infancy, but the weather is way too good for that. Time to update a few links before enjoying the last of the sun.

Anyway, it is goodbye to Honeytom, Welshcake and Jamie4U who have gone the way of others before them. Honeytom was a good read and I am sure he will be back in some guise in the future.

Welcome back to Rob who has started posting again and Brechi who has returned after time away.

Also welcome is JB, who I have followed for a while but never got around to linking.

Let me know what are your favourite blogs. Jay x

Monday, July 03, 2006

Up my street

We have had a lovely weekend with my brother, his girlfriend and my 18 month niece staying. It has been glorious weather and we have been outside most of the time. On Saturday there was a pre-school summer fete, at the church hall round the corner, so we took my niece along where I ended up buying a toy Dyson vacuum cleaner for her (I know it is cyclonic or whatever rather than a vacuum but…) She went for this straight away and it was amazing that a lot of the children went for the domestic toys – ironing boards, tea sets etc, even the little boys were very happy pushing their prams around.

As we arrived we met the lovely middle class earth-mother from up the street with her two children, then we bumped into the organiser who is also a neighbour. On our way out the vicar stopped for a chat – she is lovely and we have met her before. Circling the block home we decided to visit the local cows, but my niece was asleep by the time we got there. We then saw some friends out with their baby and waved at few other familiar faces. I was pleased my brother’s girlfriend got to see that we are settled in the neighbourhood and although we are close to town we still have a village feel – not quite the Archers but…

Speaking of which – it was fairly dramatic yesterday when Adam and Ian had a rocky moment over Adam’s apparent unwillingness to discuss fathering a child (although Mads sounds as awful as the awful Siobhan that Brian ‘dallied’ with). It is another sign of the progress in Britain in accepting gay men that this can be a major storyline in the Archers without a blink of an eye. It was handled just as any other difficulty in a relationship would be, with the fact that the partners are both men very much a small issue.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Arghhhh! My reaction when the boiler decided to pack up mid shower. My early morning day dreams were shattered as the water went from warm to cold in two seconds. Refreshing if you are in a tropical paradise, but not at 7 am when you then need to boil the kettle for a shave.



Luckily my brother is a Corgi qualified plumber/gas fitter/electrician so he is driving his family up tonight to fix the boiler. We get to go out tomorrow for a lovely day with my niece (now eighteen moths) while he gets to strip the boiler down!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Karma and road kill



I am hoping for some good karma today. Driving to work I slammed on the brakes to avoid a cute little bunny hopping across the road – I did check there was nothing behind me first, so maybe I only get half karma points?

Obviously, there are plenty of people not too bothered about karma as I then saw 2 rabbits, a hedgehog and (I think) a crow, splattered along the road. The road is usually road kill free, but today was like a little woodland massacre.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

35 and happy

I have been off line for a while – new web checking software at work and the home line has been down. Since I last posted there has been too much to post about, but..

I had my 35th birthday – and it was fantastic. A really excellent day with my boyfriend and then a great evening with friends. I think it is the best birthday since I was 30. I haven’t had the I’m-nearly-forty blues and think that I am exactly were I wanted to be at 35 – sexy boyfriend, comfortable house, good friends and a great job. Hooray for me!

Went to the deepest darkest south, well Hampshire, for a friend’s wedding and caught up with lots of old friends, stayed in a lovely country inn and gloated at how relaxed I lo0oked compared to all my friends with children.

My hospital has merged with another one and I am waiting for the new structures, and were I will fit in, but the new chief executive has said he has heard good things about me.

Become addicted to the awful big brother – Nicky to win.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Just call me Professor Jaymaster

I HAVE PASSED!!!
I HAVE PASSED!!!
I HAVE PASSED!!!
I HAVE PASSED!!!
I HAVE PASSED!!!
I HAVE PASSED!!!

Yes – I got a letter yesterday saying that I "had met the course requirements for completing the Masters of Science in Health Economics and Health Policy." Hardly the most exciting of endorsements – but who cares! I rang the University today and was told I got 65% for my dissertation against a pass mark of 45%. So not bad – not hitting merit territory – but I always knew that! I should be getting the comments from my supervisor in the next couple of days, so I can see what he thought of it.

It is great to know that all of the work was worth it and I can now bin all those dusty piles of paper. I am glad I did the MSc, but may have thought twice if I had appreciated how much work was involved and the difficulties of juggling work and study with a home life.

I celebrated yesterday with a bottle of beer, which took me about an hour to drink. The hard core party days of old are behind me now! We will be at a wedding this weekend, so I'll hijack their celebrations to celebrate my good news.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I have posted before about how the UK seems to have come a long way (under Labour) in challenging discrimination for gay men and women and delivering some really positive changes e.g. civil partnerships, repeal section 28, an equal age of consent, housing succession rights, hate crime legislation, same sex immigration etc.

This makes Ruth Kelly's voting record all the more abhorrent. Kelly is a member of the Opus Dei movement and has abstained in 12 votes on homosexual equal rights since 1997. She failed to support an equal age of consent after 1997 and missed votes on gay adoption and civil partnerships as well as the vote that overturned section 28. Ironic, as she is the new minister for equality!

Interviewed on 5 Live she refused (twice) to say whether she supported Opus Dei views that practising homosexuality is a "sin". She said "It is possible to be a Catholic and hold a portfolio in government. I am responsible for holding to the collective cabinet view on these matters but I firmly believe in equality and that everyone should be free of discrimination and I will fight to the end to make sure that's the case."

Fair enough – I think an MP can still have religious beliefs and I would rather know about their beliefs so that I can make a judgement about whether I want to vote for them or not. The point that she seems to be missing is that, in spite of Labour's record for gay (or human) rights, her comments ands stance continue to support the 'establishment' that oppressed gay people for so many hundreds of years. She should have the balls to stand up for gay rights by joining the government votes. It seems perfectly possible to be an MP without agreeing with every policy, so why can't she be a member of Opus Dei without supporting all of their views?
Get it together Kelly! More on this, here and here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Get Lost!



The second season of Lost started well with the discovery of the bunker and more of the other passengers being found, but I am not finding it as gripping as season 1. We are on episode 10 of season 2 now (the wonders of eBay and DVD burners) and I am finding the introduction of the new characters a bit annoying. I want to know more about Locke, Jack, Sun, Jin, Hurley etc, and we are seeing more glimpses into there past – showing more coincidences and linkages between the characters, but the 'must-see' feeling has evaporated a little. Someone who is up to episode 12 says this definitely comes back so I will persevere.

The Dharma Initiative is what i want to know more about. If you can crack the password here please let me know.



The old 'hot jack' we all love!



I will cram in a few more episodes this week and see if there is more to it all. I suppose that the first season was pretty character driven and this was always what kept you coming back, but the mystery of the polar bears, black smoke, the invisible monsters and 'the others' held it all together. SPOILER!! - looks like the budget was shot with the polar bear being replaced by black beauty!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The boy is back in town

I finally sent my dissertation off last week! In the end I was really pleased with it and thought it was pretty good. If you are interested in “How does economic evaluation influence the commissioning of local health services”! Let me know and I’ll send you a copy. I cannot imagine there will be a rush to read this but hopefully it will make the grade for me to pass my MSc. I should hear in the next few weeks what my supervisor thinks of it.

It has been wonderful to have the weight of the MSc lifted from my shoulders. We spent our first free weekend outside, clearing the garden, re-potting plants and buying a patio heater. It was great to spend the evening drinking wine, playing backgammon and not feeling guilty that I should be working.

The bank holiday weekend has been pretty busy too. We finally got a round to sorting out the hundreds of boxes in the loft that have been there since we moved in 3 years ago. Lots of rubbish and a huge pile for ebay. Recent ebay sales have paid for a new dining room carpet and the next batch should go a long way towards some electrical work and a new kitchen floor. On Sunday evening we went to see Morrissey at the Sage Gateshead. It was a great gig, with some tracks off his last album and a few knew ones from Ring Leader of the Tormentors. He also played Still Ill, Girlfriend in a coma, and finished with How Soon is Now. There was no encore which was a little disappointing and I think that it is the first gig I have been to were people were booing because the artist didn’t come back on. Obviously not everyone enjoyed it as much as we did – one lad said, “I could have bought a new pair of jeans for the price of the ticket!”



Yesterday we went to Wallsend to the Swan Hunter shipyard for the Pet Shop Boys composed soundtrack to Battleship Potemkin. It was a pretty crap evening all in all. The gates opened at 6pm for a 8.30pm start and the publicity promised entertainment while you waited. We did get there until about 7.45pm and then stood in the freezing cold with 10,000 people until the show finally started at 9.30pm. No explanation, apology or real introduction. By this time we were freezing cold with stiff legs and soon headed off for a cup of hot Bovril. After a further ten minutes we decided to sack the whole thing. It was a real shame for Newcastle that this wasn’t better organised. The shipyard made a great venue and the concept was unusual, it just didn’t work. Lots of people were leaving when we did and I don’t know how many were left at the end.



It is has been strange not posting or catching up on blogs for the last few weeks and I did toy with not starting up again, but realised I do enjoy blogging, even if it ids just for my own personal record. I am hoping to start a new site over the next few months, incorporating the blog, but I have got to get to groups with net fusion first.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

…nine thousand nine hundred and ninety eight, nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine....

Blogging has been off the agenda since we got back from the family holiday. We had a great time and it was lovely to spend time with my family, especially as my niece had just started walking. We spent many hours trailing her around the apartment while she opened drawers and cupboards, casting their contents aside. Towers were knocked down as soon as they were built and the boiler room held a strange fascination with a visit every 3 minutes to check all was in order. I think that my dad had a good 60th birthday as he also got plenty of time to sit around, drinking coffee, snoozing and attempting a 'fiendish' soduko.

Since we got back I have been full steam ahead on getting my bloody dissertation finished. It is due in next week and I have taken a week off work to get it done. It is going pretty well (don’t worry honey I will get back to it in a minute!!) and I hope to have it finished over the weekend. I cannot wait until the spectre of the damn thing has gone! Better get back to it….Jay x

Friday, March 17, 2006

AWOL

Away for a few days with my family to celebrate my father's 60th Birthday. Back soon. Jay x

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Silly Billy!

What silly boy Ashley Cole is. (Although pretty fit!)



After hearing that the News of the World's TV adverts promoting 'shocking revelations' about gay premiership footballers I have to admit flicking through the paper at the newsagent. The shocking allegations were that there are some footballers are gay (Never! – what a shocker), and that the gay footballers have sex with other men (What is the world coming to?! – this deserves a public inquiry). The 'story' was accompanied by silhouetted pictures of two footballers and a DJ who had been involved in 'shocking' acts, including a claim that claimed two Premiership footballers used a mobile phone as a sex toy. Another example of double standards from the tabloids who wouldn't find this even worth reporting if it was between a footballer and a woman.

Anyway, end of story…until Ashley Cole sues the paper for causing internet gossips to identify him as one of the 'gay footballers'. What??!! Maybe I have missed some huge internet debate, but I had forgotten the story and wasn't aware that some people were suggesting Cole was one of the footballers. Although Cole wasn't named in the stories, he claims certain hints and innuendoes suggested he was involved. By suing the press, even though he wasn't identified, he has only drawn attention to himself and fuelled the speculation.

Cole's manager, Wenger said "Ashley wants to clear his name because he feels there have been some wrong rumours, and I can understand that. Nobody likes to read these sorts of rumours. Maybe he has decided that because he is going to be married soon, he cannot accept any insinuation on his private life."

I can understand that the tabloids cannot be allowed to publish innuendo and rumour and present it as fact, equally, I wouldn't want stories to circulate about me based on unidentified rumours in the press, but this feels a little surreal to me – maybe I am missing the point here? The pictures below show why people would link these rumours to Cole. So either A) they are true and he would be better off 'admitting' it in his own words and getting the public to hear his sdie of the story, or B) He has enouygh evidence to sue the paper's ass off.

Not sure if I am just perpetuating this rumour - but the Pink News provides interesting evidence of the photo that sparked the rumours.

First is the NoW picture;



Second, is a picture of DJ MasterStepz and Ashley Cole from a Choice FM event. What do you think?