lizziec: (Horrible Histories Dick Turpin (noose))
I had a couple of really fucked up dreams last night that left me feeling frightened and wtf-ing when I first woke up. Not the faintest idea what my brain was on.

In the first dream I was trying to escape from The Silents, but they kept chasing me. Then, just when I thought I'd got away they were there in front of me. It was at that moment that Ben's alarm went off and I woke up enough for the dream to stop, only for a new one to start.

This second dream was so stupid I could barely believe it.

I dreamed I was a commando in WWII, sent as part of a huge team on a secret mission to bring down Nazi HQ in France. I was in charge of jamming the communications of the Germans by taking over their communications post and then running it until the rest of the commandos had finished their mission.

The problem is that I couldn't speak French or German (nice to see that my unconscious is true to me like that), so I messed it up. A French guy came over to me and started to talk and I said "Je ne comprends pas" (which is pretty much the only French I know), when he switched to German and I was sunk, because I don't even know how to say "I don't understand" in German, so then he calls in some friends who start to try and question me, and I keep my mouth shut and say nothing, lest I give myself away. That's when I realise I'm still wearing my British uniform, with "Commando" as a shoulder patch on one arm, so I start standing next to a pillar so the enemy can't tell I'm a British commando from the shoulder patch because it's next to the pillar. Because apparently in my brain these people are too unobservant to notice the British uniform and only the shoulder patch would give me away.

I woke up just as the other guys in the room started shouting "Englisch".

Stupid brain.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/433230.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Horrible Histories Dick Turpin (noose))
I had a couple of really fucked up dreams last night that left me feeling frightened and wtf-ing when I first woke up. Not the faintest idea what my brain was on.

In the first dream I was trying to escape from The Silents, but they kept chasing me. Then, just when I thought I'd got away they were there in front of me. It was at that moment that Ben's alarm went off and I woke up enough for the dream to stop, only for a new one to start.

This second dream was so stupid I could barely believe it.

I dreamed I was a commando in WWII, sent as part of a huge team on a secret mission to bring down Nazi HQ in France. I was in charge of jamming the communications of the Germans by taking over their communications post and then running it until the rest of the commandos had finished their mission.

The problem is that I couldn't speak French or German (nice to see that my unconscious is true to me like that), so I messed it up. A French guy came over to me and started to talk and I said "Je ne comprends pas" (which is pretty much the only French I know), when he switched to German and I was sunk, because I don't even know how to say "I don't understand" in German, so then he calls in some friends who start to try and question me, and I keep my mouth shut and say nothing, lest I give myself away. That's when I realise I'm still wearing my British uniform, with "Commando" as a shoulder patch on one arm, so I start standing next to a pillar so the enemy can't tell I'm a British commando from the shoulder patch because it's next to the pillar. Because apparently in my brain these people are too unobservant to notice the British uniform and only the shoulder patch would give me away.

I woke up just as the other guys in the room started shouting "Englisch".

Stupid brain.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/433230.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Horrible Histories Dick Turpin (noose))
I had a couple of really fucked up dreams last night that left me feeling frightened and wtf-ing when I first woke up. Not the faintest idea what my brain was on.

In the first dream I was trying to escape from The Silents, but they kept chasing me. Then, just when I thought I'd got away they were there in front of me. It was at that moment that Ben's alarm went off and I woke up enough for the dream to stop, only for a new one to start.

This second dream was so stupid I could barely believe it.

I dreamed I was a commando in WWII, sent as part of a huge team on a secret mission to bring down Nazi HQ in France. I was in charge of jamming the communications of the Germans by taking over their communications post and then running it until the rest of the commandos had finished their mission.

The problem is that I couldn't speak French or German (nice to see that my unconscious is true to me like that), so I messed it up. A French guy came over to me and started to talk and I said "Je ne comprends pas" (which is pretty much the only French I know), when he switched to German and I was sunk, because I don't even know how to say "I don't understand" in German, so then he calls in some friends who start to try and question me, and I keep my mouth shut and say nothing, lest I give myself away. That's when I realise I'm still wearing my British uniform, with "Commando" as a shoulder patch on one arm, so I start standing next to a pillar so the enemy can't tell I'm a British commando from the shoulder patch because it's next to the pillar. Because apparently in my brain these people are too unobservant to notice the British uniform and only the shoulder patch would give me away.

I woke up just as the other guys in the room started shouting "Englisch".

Stupid brain.
lizziec: (apod - lightening-moon)
I've recently been reading my brand new copy of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (my old one, that I had had since I was 8 or so, fell apart from being read rather a lot). I got my new copy through the [livejournal.com profile] lj_uk Christmas Wishlist exchange - it's this edition (2008). According to Barnes and Noble (and various other sites) this book is recommended for 8-12 year olds. I'd agree with that, seems like a good age to read it for the first time.

My edition has a foreword called "Why You'll Love This Book" by Michael Morpurgo, Children's Laureate from 2003-2005. Bear in mind, when reading what comes next that this book is recommended for ages 8-12. His style in writing the foreword suggests that he is talking to these young readers.

The fifth paragraph starts:
"When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, published forty years ago, speaks to us of a time most of us know only through books of history and fiction, through archive film, as well as through movies. It is from The Diary of Anne Frank to I am David and Schindler's List and The Pianist that most of us have our haunting but distant insights into the lives of those who had experienced the terrors and horrors of Nazi persecution and extermination..."

I understand that 8-12 year olds may well have read the former two (The Diary of Anne Frank and I am David) - I know I had read at least one of those at that age (Anne Frank), having both a taste for the historical and something of a fascination with all things WWII (and Holocaust - I think I was a rather odd child). However, I highly doubt they have seen the latter (Schindler's List and The Pianist), not least because they're both rated 15. Don't get me wrong, they're both right up there as favourite films, I think they're amazing. But they're definitely not for children of the age the book is primarily aimed at.

I dunno. That part of the foreword just felt rather odd. Surely, given the writer's status as a former Children's Laureate, he would be aware of what a child of that age has been exposed to, and what they haven't?

lizziec: (apod - lightening-moon)
I've recently been reading my brand new copy of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (my old one, that I had had since I was 8 or so, fell apart from being read rather a lot). I got my new copy through the [livejournal.com profile] lj_uk Christmas Wishlist exchange - it's this edition (2008). According to Barnes and Noble (and various other sites) this book is recommended for 8-12 year olds. I'd agree with that, seems like a good age to read it for the first time.

My edition has a foreword called "Why You'll Love This Book" by Michael Morpurgo, Children's Laureate from 2003-2005. Bear in mind, when reading what comes next that this book is recommended for ages 8-12. His style in writing the foreword suggests that he is talking to these young readers.

The fifth paragraph starts:
"When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, published forty years ago, speaks to us of a time most of us know only through books of history and fiction, through archive film, as well as through movies. It is from The Diary of Anne Frank to I am David and Schindler's List and The Pianist that most of us have our haunting but distant insights into the lives of those who had experienced the terrors and horrors of Nazi persecution and extermination..."

I understand that 8-12 year olds may well have read the former two (The Diary of Anne Frank and I am David) - I know I had read at least one of those at that age (Anne Frank), having both a taste for the historical and something of a fascination with all things WWII (and Holocaust - I think I was a rather odd child). However, I highly doubt they have seen the latter (Schindler's List and The Pianist), not least because they're both rated 15. Don't get me wrong, they're both right up there as favourite films, I think they're amazing. But they're definitely not for children of the age the book is primarily aimed at.

I dunno. That part of the foreword just felt rather odd. Surely, given the writer's status as a former Children's Laureate, he would be aware of what a child of that age has been exposed to, and what they haven't?

lizziec: (apod - lightening-moon)
I've recently been reading my brand new copy of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (my old one, that I had had since I was 8 or so, fell apart from being read rather a lot). I got my new copy through the [livejournal.com profile] lj_uk Christmas Wishlist exchange - it's this edition (2008). According to Barnes and Noble (and various other sites) this book is recommended for 8-12 year olds. I'd agree with that, seems like a good age to read it for the first time.

My edition has a foreword called "Why You'll Love This Book" by Michael Morpurgo, Children's Laureate from 2003-2005. Bear in mind, when reading what comes next that this book is recommended for ages 8-12. His style in writing the foreword suggests that he is talking to these young readers.

The fifth paragraph starts:
"When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, published forty years ago, speaks to us of a time most of us know only through books of history and fiction, through archive film, as well as through movies. It is from The Diary of Anne Frank to I am David and Schindler's List and The Pianist that most of us have our haunting but distant insights into the lives of those who had experienced the terrors and horrors of Nazi persecution and extermination..."

I understand that 8-12 year olds may well have read the former two (The Diary of Anne Frank and I am David) - I know I had read at least one of those at that age (Anne Frank), having both a taste for the historical and something of a fascination with all things WWII (and Holocaust - I think I was a rather odd child). However, I highly doubt they have seen the latter (Schindler's List and The Pianist), not least because they're both rated 15. Don't get me wrong, they're both right up there as favourite films, I think they're amazing. But they're definitely not for children of the age the book is primarily aimed at.

I dunno. That part of the foreword just felt rather odd. Surely, given the writer's status as a former Children's Laureate, he would be aware of what a child of that age has been exposed to, and what they haven't?
lizziec: (me - Lizzie-ben)
It's all snowy here, hence the icon - apparently the only one I have, in over 100, that features snow.

Apparently a severe weather warning has been issued for Kent valid from now till Tuesday. Will be interesting to see how all this turns out :) We're well provisioned, so lots and lots of snow would be lovely :D

I was amused by a piece in the February 2009 issue of BBC History magazine ("Footsteps" section) about the Jorvik Viking Centre, which I think will strike a chord with all who have visited. I've transcribed it below - sorry for any typing errors :)

Cut for legnth )
lizziec: (me - Lizzie-ben)
It's all snowy here, hence the icon - apparently the only one I have, in over 100, that features snow.

Apparently a severe weather warning has been issued for Kent valid from now till Tuesday. Will be interesting to see how all this turns out :) We're well provisioned, so lots and lots of snow would be lovely :D

I was amused by a piece in the February 2009 issue of BBC History magazine ("Footsteps" section) about the Jorvik Viking Centre, which I think will strike a chord with all who have visited. I've transcribed it below - sorry for any typing errors :)

Cut for legnth )
lizziec: (me - Lizzie-ben)
It's all snowy here, hence the icon - apparently the only one I have, in over 100, that features snow.

Apparently a severe weather warning has been issued for Kent valid from now till Tuesday. Will be interesting to see how all this turns out :) We're well provisioned, so lots and lots of snow would be lovely :D

I was amused by a piece in the February 2009 issue of BBC History magazine ("Footsteps" section) about the Jorvik Viking Centre, which I think will strike a chord with all who have visited. I've transcribed it below - sorry for any typing errors :)

Cut for legnth )
lizziec: (Big ben fireworks new year)
Typical, that on the day the Government withdraws the plan to keep MPs expenses secret my MP should write back to me about voting against the proposed measure.

For good measure, I'm putting a copy of his reply here. Bits in italics were handwritten and not always very clear ;)

Letter from Julian Brazier )

In other news, should you have any spare cash lying around (I know that this is unlikely given the current economic climate) and fancy putting it towards a cool cause, the National Railway Museum in York are trying to gather funds so they can finish their restoration of The Flying Scotsman. "Steam our Scotsman" - the campaign to raise money to finish the restoration.
lizziec: (Big ben fireworks new year)
Typical, that on the day the Government withdraws the plan to keep MPs expenses secret my MP should write back to me about voting against the proposed measure.

For good measure, I'm putting a copy of his reply here. Bits in italics were handwritten and not always very clear ;)

Letter from Julian Brazier )

In other news, should you have any spare cash lying around (I know that this is unlikely given the current economic climate) and fancy putting it towards a cool cause, the National Railway Museum in York are trying to gather funds so they can finish their restoration of The Flying Scotsman. "Steam our Scotsman" - the campaign to raise money to finish the restoration.
lizziec: (Big ben fireworks new year)
Typical, that on the day the Government withdraws the plan to keep MPs expenses secret my MP should write back to me about voting against the proposed measure.

For good measure, I'm putting a copy of his reply here. Bits in italics were handwritten and not always very clear ;)

Letter from Julian Brazier )

In other news, should you have any spare cash lying around (I know that this is unlikely given the current economic climate) and fancy putting it towards a cool cause, the National Railway Museum in York are trying to gather funds so they can finish their restoration of The Flying Scotsman. "Steam our Scotsman" - the campaign to raise money to finish the restoration.
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
A bit of an update entry here, using crappy phone camera pictures to show a little of what I've been up to :)

Firstly, due to a deal between mum and Pete I was the agent delivering 43 beers to Pete (and buying said beer), leading to a rather odd looking collection of goods when I made the purchase - 43 beers and a packet of naan bread for our dinner that evening. I'm fairly sure that the collection would have looked a whole lot less odd if it hadn't been for the naan bread.



The clunking of that lot in the car sounded quite dreadful as I accelerated, braked, turned corners... Luckily nothing broke :)



In other news, the Christmas Market is now in town! There's a stall that sells cool keyrings and 3D wooden puzzels. I've got some pictures of the keyrings, but not the puzzels :( Also, not the full spectrum of keyrings - there are lizards and frogs, and elephants, and giraffes and all sorts, all made from natural rubber :)





There's a stall with mulled wine and hot chocolate (regular hot chocolate and hot chocolate with rum or amaretto).



There's also a stall selling all kinds of Wurst, cooked over a barbeque. This stall is ben's favourite! :D



Finally, I took this picture of a very funny card:

NSFW! )

Carols at the Cathedral tonight. I'm really looking forward to it :D It always feels like Christmas is really on its way when we have them. It also really enthralls the history part of me, as we stand in the Nave of the Cathedral with all the lights off, holding lit candles and singing carols, because I feel a real connection to the past - 100 years ago, 400 years ago, 1000 (or so) years ago there would have been people there doing much the same thing. It's hard to articulate, but it feels amazing.
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
A bit of an update entry here, using crappy phone camera pictures to show a little of what I've been up to :)

Firstly, due to a deal between mum and Pete I was the agent delivering 43 beers to Pete (and buying said beer), leading to a rather odd looking collection of goods when I made the purchase - 43 beers and a packet of naan bread for our dinner that evening. I'm fairly sure that the collection would have looked a whole lot less odd if it hadn't been for the naan bread.



The clunking of that lot in the car sounded quite dreadful as I accelerated, braked, turned corners... Luckily nothing broke :)



In other news, the Christmas Market is now in town! There's a stall that sells cool keyrings and 3D wooden puzzels. I've got some pictures of the keyrings, but not the puzzels :( Also, not the full spectrum of keyrings - there are lizards and frogs, and elephants, and giraffes and all sorts, all made from natural rubber :)





There's a stall with mulled wine and hot chocolate (regular hot chocolate and hot chocolate with rum or amaretto).



There's also a stall selling all kinds of Wurst, cooked over a barbeque. This stall is ben's favourite! :D



Finally, I took this picture of a very funny card:

NSFW! )

Carols at the Cathedral tonight. I'm really looking forward to it :D It always feels like Christmas is really on its way when we have them. It also really enthralls the history part of me, as we stand in the Nave of the Cathedral with all the lights off, holding lit candles and singing carols, because I feel a real connection to the past - 100 years ago, 400 years ago, 1000 (or so) years ago there would have been people there doing much the same thing. It's hard to articulate, but it feels amazing.
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
A bit of an update entry here, using crappy phone camera pictures to show a little of what I've been up to :)

Firstly, due to a deal between mum and Pete I was the agent delivering 43 beers to Pete (and buying said beer), leading to a rather odd looking collection of goods when I made the purchase - 43 beers and a packet of naan bread for our dinner that evening. I'm fairly sure that the collection would have looked a whole lot less odd if it hadn't been for the naan bread.



The clunking of that lot in the car sounded quite dreadful as I accelerated, braked, turned corners... Luckily nothing broke :)



In other news, the Christmas Market is now in town! There's a stall that sells cool keyrings and 3D wooden puzzels. I've got some pictures of the keyrings, but not the puzzels :( Also, not the full spectrum of keyrings - there are lizards and frogs, and elephants, and giraffes and all sorts, all made from natural rubber :)





There's a stall with mulled wine and hot chocolate (regular hot chocolate and hot chocolate with rum or amaretto).



There's also a stall selling all kinds of Wurst, cooked over a barbeque. This stall is ben's favourite! :D



Finally, I took this picture of a very funny card:

NSFW! )

Carols at the Cathedral tonight. I'm really looking forward to it :D It always feels like Christmas is really on its way when we have them. It also really enthralls the history part of me, as we stand in the Nave of the Cathedral with all the lights off, holding lit candles and singing carols, because I feel a real connection to the past - 100 years ago, 400 years ago, 1000 (or so) years ago there would have been people there doing much the same thing. It's hard to articulate, but it feels amazing.
lizziec: (XKCD hokey religions)
I originally posted something like this when I first went on a trip to Ypres with my Special Subject class in April 2005. The original is here on my LiveJournal, and the version I'm posting now is here on my website.

I'm posting it again today because I feel it's appropriate for Remembrance Sunday.

Cut for legnth - it's very long ;) )

lizziec: (XKCD hokey religions)
I originally posted something like this when I first went on a trip to Ypres with my Special Subject class in April 2005. The original is here on my LiveJournal, and the version I'm posting now is here on my website.

I'm posting it again today because I feel it's appropriate for Remembrance Sunday.

Cut for legnth - it's very long ;) )

lizziec: (XKCD hokey religions)
I originally posted something like this when I first went on a trip to Ypres with my Special Subject class in April 2005. The original is here on my LiveJournal, and the version I'm posting now is here on my website.

I'm posting it again today because I feel it's appropriate for Remembrance Sunday.

Cut for legnth - it's very long ;) )
lizziec: (acid)
Recently I've been reading The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor (which, by the way, is an excellent book that I am highly recommending), and a couple of paragraphs jumped out at me as being completely and utterly appropriate to describe Gordon Brown and everything that is happening at the moment. As George Santayana apparently once said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Perhaps Gordon Brown should pay closer attention to the lessons History has for us :)

"In the September 1965 elections, the SPD made further gains. Brandt again failed to achieve victory, but the Social Democrats' share of the vote continued to edge upwards. The conservatives' share continued its decline, while the liberal Free Democrats lost quite heavily. But the conservative/liberal coalition, led by Adenauer's successor, Ludwig Erhard, hung on to power.

As Economics Minister, Professor Erhard had been the architecht of the West German 'economic miracle' after 1949, but, like so many long-serving successful second-in-commands, once he finally heaved himself into the top position he swiftly confirmed why he had always been the deputy and not the chief. Erhard proved inept at both party-politicking and foreign policy. Moreover, for the first time since the end of the war, German industry went into recession and a 'black hole' appeared in the state finances.
With half a million West Germans unemployed - paradisiacal, at just over 2 per cent of the work-force, as this may seem by twenty-first-century standards - in 1966 there was anxious talk of a return to the 1930s." (Pages 512-513)

See what I mean? ;) If you changed some words (Erhard for Brown, West German for Britain etc) it could have been written about our Iron Chancellor Prime Minister.

ETA: I just realised I don't have a history icon! :O This will have to be rectified!
lizziec: (acid)
Recently I've been reading The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor (which, by the way, is an excellent book that I am highly recommending), and a couple of paragraphs jumped out at me as being completely and utterly appropriate to describe Gordon Brown and everything that is happening at the moment. As George Santayana apparently once said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Perhaps Gordon Brown should pay closer attention to the lessons History has for us :)

"In the September 1965 elections, the SPD made further gains. Brandt again failed to achieve victory, but the Social Democrats' share of the vote continued to edge upwards. The conservatives' share continued its decline, while the liberal Free Democrats lost quite heavily. But the conservative/liberal coalition, led by Adenauer's successor, Ludwig Erhard, hung on to power.

As Economics Minister, Professor Erhard had been the architecht of the West German 'economic miracle' after 1949, but, like so many long-serving successful second-in-commands, once he finally heaved himself into the top position he swiftly confirmed why he had always been the deputy and not the chief. Erhard proved inept at both party-politicking and foreign policy. Moreover, for the first time since the end of the war, German industry went into recession and a 'black hole' appeared in the state finances.
With half a million West Germans unemployed - paradisiacal, at just over 2 per cent of the work-force, as this may seem by twenty-first-century standards - in 1966 there was anxious talk of a return to the 1930s." (Pages 512-513)

See what I mean? ;) If you changed some words (Erhard for Brown, West German for Britain etc) it could have been written about our Iron Chancellor Prime Minister.

ETA: I just realised I don't have a history icon! :O This will have to be rectified!
lizziec: (acid)
Recently I've been reading The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor (which, by the way, is an excellent book that I am highly recommending), and a couple of paragraphs jumped out at me as being completely and utterly appropriate to describe Gordon Brown and everything that is happening at the moment. As George Santayana apparently once said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Perhaps Gordon Brown should pay closer attention to the lessons History has for us :)

"In the September 1965 elections, the SPD made further gains. Brandt again failed to achieve victory, but the Social Democrats' share of the vote continued to edge upwards. The conservatives' share continued its decline, while the liberal Free Democrats lost quite heavily. But the conservative/liberal coalition, led by Adenauer's successor, Ludwig Erhard, hung on to power.

As Economics Minister, Professor Erhard had been the architecht of the West German 'economic miracle' after 1949, but, like so many long-serving successful second-in-commands, once he finally heaved himself into the top position he swiftly confirmed why he had always been the deputy and not the chief. Erhard proved inept at both party-politicking and foreign policy. Moreover, for the first time since the end of the war, German industry went into recession and a 'black hole' appeared in the state finances.
With half a million West Germans unemployed - paradisiacal, at just over 2 per cent of the work-force, as this may seem by twenty-first-century standards - in 1966 there was anxious talk of a return to the 1930s." (Pages 512-513)

See what I mean? ;) If you changed some words (Erhard for Brown, West German for Britain etc) it could have been written about our Iron Chancellor Prime Minister.

ETA: I just realised I don't have a history icon! :O This will have to be rectified!
lizziec: (Rocks fall)
I finally got round to photographing and uploading more pictures from "From Vision to Reality", as well as rephotographing those that were already there so they are better quality. They are here for those who want to look :) I've also made a new LJ icon.

ION: I went to see The Dark Knight this evening at Ashford. Twas good. Won't say any more though in case of spoilers.

lizziec: (Rocks fall)
I finally got round to photographing and uploading more pictures from "From Vision to Reality", as well as rephotographing those that were already there so they are better quality. They are here for those who want to look :) I've also made a new LJ icon.

ION: I went to see The Dark Knight this evening at Ashford. Twas good. Won't say any more though in case of spoilers.

lizziec: (Rocks fall)
I finally got round to photographing and uploading more pictures from "From Vision to Reality", as well as rephotographing those that were already there so they are better quality. They are here for those who want to look :) I've also made a new LJ icon.

ION: I went to see The Dark Knight this evening at Ashford. Twas good. Won't say any more though in case of spoilers.
lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.

lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.

lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.
lizziec: (apod - hale-bopp comet)
Why is it that the night before you have to get up super early it always seems particularly difficult to get to sleep? And last night I had trouble staying asleep too. Not funny, whoever's fault it is! I'm specifically looking at you, $deity!

Anyway, I'm off to London today (have to be on a train in less than 50 minutes to be there on time) to my edexcel moderation day (yes, I'm marking for them again this year!), after which, assuming I'm not dead, I'm hopping over East London way to see [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta. I know I'm an old hand at this, as I remembered to ask for a receipt when buying my train tickets so I can fill in and submit the expenses claim there and then. *Awards gold star to self for being organised like that*

It should all be quite nice, assuming I can stay awake :)

Have a nice day everyone :)
lizziec: (apod - hale-bopp comet)
Why is it that the night before you have to get up super early it always seems particularly difficult to get to sleep? And last night I had trouble staying asleep too. Not funny, whoever's fault it is! I'm specifically looking at you, $deity!

Anyway, I'm off to London today (have to be on a train in less than 50 minutes to be there on time) to my edexcel moderation day (yes, I'm marking for them again this year!), after which, assuming I'm not dead, I'm hopping over East London way to see [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta. I know I'm an old hand at this, as I remembered to ask for a receipt when buying my train tickets so I can fill in and submit the expenses claim there and then. *Awards gold star to self for being organised like that*

It should all be quite nice, assuming I can stay awake :)

Have a nice day everyone :)
lizziec: (apod - hale-bopp comet)
Why is it that the night before you have to get up super early it always seems particularly difficult to get to sleep? And last night I had trouble staying asleep too. Not funny, whoever's fault it is! I'm specifically looking at you, $deity!

Anyway, I'm off to London today (have to be on a train in less than 50 minutes to be there on time) to my edexcel moderation day (yes, I'm marking for them again this year!), after which, assuming I'm not dead, I'm hopping over East London way to see [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta. I know I'm an old hand at this, as I remembered to ask for a receipt when buying my train tickets so I can fill in and submit the expenses claim there and then. *Awards gold star to self for being organised like that*

It should all be quite nice, assuming I can stay awake :)

Have a nice day everyone :)
lizziec: (npower - orbs wot ben made for me)
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and I was reflecting on my drive back from Sainsbury's that I have real issues with this day being a "thing". The reason it is today is to coincide with the day that Auschwitz was liberated. That this is commemorated is not really the problem I have - it should be remembered. The issue I have is with there being a "Holocaust Memorial Day" in which everyone is told to remember the holocaust. The focus is on the Holocaust, and specifically (at least in the media) the Jewish element of it. Which in some ways it is fine - after all, the Jews were overwhelmingly the victims of the nazi mass murder policy, but millions of other people were also murdered during the Holocaust, including 3 million gentile Poles, not to mention the millions of Soviet "prisoners of war" and other soviet citizens (edit: an estimate found on an article on genocide on wikipedia suggest that between 16 and 17mn deaths attributable to the Nazis genocides in WWII of which 6-7mn are Jewish link). I feel a greater mention should be made of those.

My main problem though is that I feel it should be called Genocide memorial day. A number of quotes about HMD is that it's about action - remembering other genocides, thinking about racism and prejudice that still happens. If that is the case I feel it would be better served by being called Genocide Memorial Day, so that the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide and Darfur (among many others that have happened or are happening but that I cannot think of by name edit: Ben found a list on wikipedia), yet the focus is not on these others that have happened or are happening.

I dunno, that's what I think in a rather disorganised way. Hope I don't come across as Anti-Semitic, because that is not how I mean my comments. Argh. It's a subject that's irritating me a lot at the moment but is hard to talk about without sounding like a complete arse hole.
lizziec: (npower - orbs wot ben made for me)
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and I was reflecting on my drive back from Sainsbury's that I have real issues with this day being a "thing". The reason it is today is to coincide with the day that Auschwitz was liberated. That this is commemorated is not really the problem I have - it should be remembered. The issue I have is with there being a "Holocaust Memorial Day" in which everyone is told to remember the holocaust. The focus is on the Holocaust, and specifically (at least in the media) the Jewish element of it. Which in some ways it is fine - after all, the Jews were overwhelmingly the victims of the nazi mass murder policy, but millions of other people were also murdered during the Holocaust, including 3 million gentile Poles, not to mention the millions of Soviet "prisoners of war" and other soviet citizens (edit: an estimate found on an article on genocide on wikipedia suggest that between 16 and 17mn deaths attributable to the Nazis genocides in WWII of which 6-7mn are Jewish link). I feel a greater mention should be made of those.

My main problem though is that I feel it should be called Genocide memorial day. A number of quotes about HMD is that it's about action - remembering other genocides, thinking about racism and prejudice that still happens. If that is the case I feel it would be better served by being called Genocide Memorial Day, so that the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide and Darfur (among many others that have happened or are happening but that I cannot think of by name edit: Ben found a list on wikipedia), yet the focus is not on these others that have happened or are happening.

I dunno, that's what I think in a rather disorganised way. Hope I don't come across as Anti-Semitic, because that is not how I mean my comments. Argh. It's a subject that's irritating me a lot at the moment but is hard to talk about without sounding like a complete arse hole.
lizziec: (npower - orbs wot ben made for me)
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and I was reflecting on my drive back from Sainsbury's that I have real issues with this day being a "thing". The reason it is today is to coincide with the day that Auschwitz was liberated. That this is commemorated is not really the problem I have - it should be remembered. The issue I have is with there being a "Holocaust Memorial Day" in which everyone is told to remember the holocaust. The focus is on the Holocaust, and specifically (at least in the media) the Jewish element of it. Which in some ways it is fine - after all, the Jews were overwhelmingly the victims of the nazi mass murder policy, but millions of other people were also murdered during the Holocaust, including 3 million gentile Poles, not to mention the millions of Soviet "prisoners of war" and other soviet citizens (edit: an estimate found on an article on genocide on wikipedia suggest that between 16 and 17mn deaths attributable to the Nazis genocides in WWII of which 6-7mn are Jewish link). I feel a greater mention should be made of those.

My main problem though is that I feel it should be called Genocide memorial day. A number of quotes about HMD is that it's about action - remembering other genocides, thinking about racism and prejudice that still happens. If that is the case I feel it would be better served by being called Genocide Memorial Day, so that the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide and Darfur (among many others that have happened or are happening but that I cannot think of by name edit: Ben found a list on wikipedia), yet the focus is not on these others that have happened or are happening.

I dunno, that's what I think in a rather disorganised way. Hope I don't come across as Anti-Semitic, because that is not how I mean my comments. Argh. It's a subject that's irritating me a lot at the moment but is hard to talk about without sounding like a complete arse hole.
lizziec: (potterpuffs - ravenclaw)
Watching the news today I'm shocked that the economy hasn't completely collapsed. As The Daily Mash said this morning: "STOCKBROKERS are preparing for a third day of running around and waving their hands in the air, shouting 'nooooooooooooooooooo!!!'."

The amount of doom and gloom has been amusing, but possibly because right now I have nothing to lose. In a fantastic scheduling coincidence, True Movies has the whole of this afternoon taken up with The Day The Bubble Burst, a film about the 1929 Stock Market crash. Seems rather apt ;)

On the local news there was no Kaddy doing the weather to keep the boys amused and hanging onto every second of the bulletin, instead, there was Michael Fish with a rather strange (but cool) tank top with weather symbols covering his nipples. I don't think [livejournal.com profile] benc will think it a good enough substitute.

Michael Fish's Jumper )

My new meds are kicking in now, and instead of feeling very fuzzy, dizzy and somewhat stoned while also sleeping for about 18 hours each day I woke up before midday (a first since Saturday) and have felt relatively with it. A pity I have to up the dose tonight when I expect the aforementioned side effects to come back. At least I know they won't continue forever. On the upside, I am now sleeping through the night :)

Spent friday night playing GH1, 2 and 3 at Adam's house. There was also curry eaten. I'm much better at GH than I was the last time we had such an evening, which resulted in me being practically banned from playing on medium. Damn! I'll just have to get really good at Hard then ;) Pity hard is *so* hard. I'm stuck on the Kaiju Megadome set, so I've started on Expert to see if it will help me along with the last of the hard lot.

I've recently uploaded some new icons, which include some Third Watch ones (a series I'm very into at the moment) and the one I'm using today, the Epstein-Barr virus (also mononucleosis or Glandular Fever) which I had a few years back and ben got me for Christmas :)

Which old language am I? )
lizziec: (potterpuffs - ravenclaw)
Watching the news today I'm shocked that the economy hasn't completely collapsed. As The Daily Mash said this morning: "STOCKBROKERS are preparing for a third day of running around and waving their hands in the air, shouting 'nooooooooooooooooooo!!!'."

The amount of doom and gloom has been amusing, but possibly because right now I have nothing to lose. In a fantastic scheduling coincidence, True Movies has the whole of this afternoon taken up with The Day The Bubble Burst, a film about the 1929 Stock Market crash. Seems rather apt ;)

On the local news there was no Kaddy doing the weather to keep the boys amused and hanging onto every second of the bulletin, instead, there was Michael Fish with a rather strange (but cool) tank top with weather symbols covering his nipples. I don't think [livejournal.com profile] benc will think it a good enough substitute.

Michael Fish's Jumper )

My new meds are kicking in now, and instead of feeling very fuzzy, dizzy and somewhat stoned while also sleeping for about 18 hours each day I woke up before midday (a first since Saturday) and have felt relatively with it. A pity I have to up the dose tonight when I expect the aforementioned side effects to come back. At least I know they won't continue forever. On the upside, I am now sleeping through the night :)

Spent friday night playing GH1, 2 and 3 at Adam's house. There was also curry eaten. I'm much better at GH than I was the last time we had such an evening, which resulted in me being practically banned from playing on medium. Damn! I'll just have to get really good at Hard then ;) Pity hard is *so* hard. I'm stuck on the Kaiju Megadome set, so I've started on Expert to see if it will help me along with the last of the hard lot.

I've recently uploaded some new icons, which include some Third Watch ones (a series I'm very into at the moment) and the one I'm using today, the Epstein-Barr virus (also mononucleosis or Glandular Fever) which I had a few years back and ben got me for Christmas :)

Which old language am I? )
lizziec: (potterpuffs - ravenclaw)
Watching the news today I'm shocked that the economy hasn't completely collapsed. As The Daily Mash said this morning: "STOCKBROKERS are preparing for a third day of running around and waving their hands in the air, shouting 'nooooooooooooooooooo!!!'."

The amount of doom and gloom has been amusing, but possibly because right now I have nothing to lose. In a fantastic scheduling coincidence, True Movies has the whole of this afternoon taken up with The Day The Bubble Burst, a film about the 1929 Stock Market crash. Seems rather apt ;)

On the local news there was no Kaddy doing the weather to keep the boys amused and hanging onto every second of the bulletin, instead, there was Michael Fish with a rather strange (but cool) tank top with weather symbols covering his nipples. I don't think [livejournal.com profile] benc will think it a good enough substitute.

Michael Fish's Jumper )

My new meds are kicking in now, and instead of feeling very fuzzy, dizzy and somewhat stoned while also sleeping for about 18 hours each day I woke up before midday (a first since Saturday) and have felt relatively with it. A pity I have to up the dose tonight when I expect the aforementioned side effects to come back. At least I know they won't continue forever. On the upside, I am now sleeping through the night :)

Spent friday night playing GH1, 2 and 3 at Adam's house. There was also curry eaten. I'm much better at GH than I was the last time we had such an evening, which resulted in me being practically banned from playing on medium. Damn! I'll just have to get really good at Hard then ;) Pity hard is *so* hard. I'm stuck on the Kaiju Megadome set, so I've started on Expert to see if it will help me along with the last of the hard lot.

I've recently uploaded some new icons, which include some Third Watch ones (a series I'm very into at the moment) and the one I'm using today, the Epstein-Barr virus (also mononucleosis or Glandular Fever) which I had a few years back and ben got me for Christmas :)

Which old language am I? )
lizziec: (bookshop)
My first book of 2008 in the CBB Book a Week challenge 2008 has been Stasiland by Anna Funder. I brought it after Christmas with some Waterstones vouchers I had been given.

It's a series of stories written by an Australian who lived and worked in Berlin after Germany was reunited and began looking into stories of those who found themselves on the wrong side of it. There were accounts by people who had worked for the Stasi and those whose lives had been ruined by it. There were brief rundowns of the way in which the GDR (German Democratic Republic also known as East Germany) and the Stasi were run. It is very interesting and I couldn't put it down - I would recommend it to anyone who wants an idea how these organisations worked and their impact on people's lives but only had a very hazy idea before picking up the book. I could have told you what the GDR and Stasi were before, but now I have a much better understanding and want to read more. It is also truly scary in parts:

Radiation to track suspects )

On the levels of surveillance and infiltration of informers in all aspects of GDR life )

It also brought my attention to the "puzzle-women" of the File Authority. As the GDR collapsed the Stasi attempted to destroy by electronic shredder, and when those failed, by hand, the files it held on their own citizens. (which back to back would have stretched for more than 100 miles). The fragments from these were held in sacks and with the manpower available to piece them back together it would have taken more than 400 years to repair all the files that had been shredded (still more were not destroyed and are available for former East Germans to view - many now want to see their own files). The BBC News has a recent story about the switch to computers in the hope that the job will be completed sooner. It is fascinating.

In all a very very interesting book that leads me to want to read more about the GDR and the Stasi.

lizziec: (bookshop)
My first book of 2008 in the CBB Book a Week challenge 2008 has been Stasiland by Anna Funder. I brought it after Christmas with some Waterstones vouchers I had been given.

It's a series of stories written by an Australian who lived and worked in Berlin after Germany was reunited and began looking into stories of those who found themselves on the wrong side of it. There were accounts by people who had worked for the Stasi and those whose lives had been ruined by it. There were brief rundowns of the way in which the GDR (German Democratic Republic also known as East Germany) and the Stasi were run. It is very interesting and I couldn't put it down - I would recommend it to anyone who wants an idea how these organisations worked and their impact on people's lives but only had a very hazy idea before picking up the book. I could have told you what the GDR and Stasi were before, but now I have a much better understanding and want to read more. It is also truly scary in parts:

Radiation to track suspects )

On the levels of surveillance and infiltration of informers in all aspects of GDR life )

It also brought my attention to the "puzzle-women" of the File Authority. As the GDR collapsed the Stasi attempted to destroy by electronic shredder, and when those failed, by hand, the files it held on their own citizens. (which back to back would have stretched for more than 100 miles). The fragments from these were held in sacks and with the manpower available to piece them back together it would have taken more than 400 years to repair all the files that had been shredded (still more were not destroyed and are available for former East Germans to view - many now want to see their own files). The BBC News has a recent story about the switch to computers in the hope that the job will be completed sooner. It is fascinating.

In all a very very interesting book that leads me to want to read more about the GDR and the Stasi.

lizziec: (bookshop)
My first book of 2008 in the CBB Book a Week challenge 2008 has been Stasiland by Anna Funder. I brought it after Christmas with some Waterstones vouchers I had been given.

It's a series of stories written by an Australian who lived and worked in Berlin after Germany was reunited and began looking into stories of those who found themselves on the wrong side of it. There were accounts by people who had worked for the Stasi and those whose lives had been ruined by it. There were brief rundowns of the way in which the GDR (German Democratic Republic also known as East Germany) and the Stasi were run. It is very interesting and I couldn't put it down - I would recommend it to anyone who wants an idea how these organisations worked and their impact on people's lives but only had a very hazy idea before picking up the book. I could have told you what the GDR and Stasi were before, but now I have a much better understanding and want to read more. It is also truly scary in parts:

Radiation to track suspects )

On the levels of surveillance and infiltration of informers in all aspects of GDR life )

It also brought my attention to the "puzzle-women" of the File Authority. As the GDR collapsed the Stasi attempted to destroy by electronic shredder, and when those failed, by hand, the files it held on their own citizens. (which back to back would have stretched for more than 100 miles). The fragments from these were held in sacks and with the manpower available to piece them back together it would have taken more than 400 years to repair all the files that had been shredded (still more were not destroyed and are available for former East Germans to view - many now want to see their own files). The BBC News has a recent story about the switch to computers in the hope that the job will be completed sooner. It is fascinating.

In all a very very interesting book that leads me to want to read more about the GDR and the Stasi.
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
Ben is working on the new University webserver tonight (Castor) and for one reason or another I am here with him and dmc trying not to disturb them in a corner of their office.

As such I'm going to use this opportunity of being up insanely late with nothing better to do to write about a subject I've been meaning to actually write about for more or less the best part of a year - that is how long I have had the articles I have needed for this bookmarked in Firefox on my laptop. I know it's been about a year because that was when I was bored during the summer and spent many long days watching S1 and S2 West Wing episodes.

The episode that sparked me off on a wild interwebs search is called And It's Surely to Their Credit, in fact a particular exchange near the end of the episode between Abbey and Jed Bartlett:

Look behind the cut for the transcript of the scene that is the inspiration for this post )

(Transcript found here.)

Nellie Bly's story is just as amazing as suggested by Abbey in her argument with Jed so I feel the need to draw attention to her (being unable to unveil an actual physical monument to her as the fictional Abbey did!) so here you go.

Nellie Bly on that wonderful information source that is wikipedia.

Of particular note is the link to Ten Days in a Madhouse which is the actual article that Bly wrote based on her experiences in a Mental "Hospital". It makes very disturbing but compelling reading and if there is anything any of you on my friends list choose to do today (should you have read down this far!) it is to read that article and marvel for just a moment at Bly's bravery and pioneering work.

lizziec: (me - lizzieinnabaff)
A successful day today I think, despite a lack of sleep caused by late night and early morning. Or rather, early morning and early morning ;)

Ben and I went to town as I had a need for some new slippers and it seemed like a most excellent time to spend our Christmas vouchers. I would say "and our Christmas money", but we spent that on a new TV (19" w/s Samsung LCD of joy and happiness) - no more flicker for us! :D

Ben came back with several CDs he's been joyfully ripping all afternoon and I got a book (The Children's War: The Second World War Through the Eyes of the Children of Britain) and a DVD (The Pianist), which I sat and watched this afternoon while ben ripped his CDs.

It was seriously intense. More intense, uncomfortable and in some ways visceral and graphic than Schindler's List which is a film in a similar vein (and one of my all time favourite films). It was an amazing film of an amazing story - that of Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish concert Pianist who lived in Warsaw, eventually escaped the Ghetto after a very narrow shave and lost his whole family to Treblinka.

I highly recommend seeing this film, it's a definate must see. Just don't expect it to be pleasant viewing.
lizziec: (me - lizzieinnabaff)
A successful day today I think, despite a lack of sleep caused by late night and early morning. Or rather, early morning and early morning ;)

Ben and I went to town as I had a need for some new slippers and it seemed like a most excellent time to spend our Christmas vouchers. I would say "and our Christmas money", but we spent that on a new TV (19" w/s Samsung LCD of joy and happiness) - no more flicker for us! :D

Ben came back with several CDs he's been joyfully ripping all afternoon and I got a book (The Children's War: The Second World War Through the Eyes of the Children of Britain) and a DVD (The Pianist), which I sat and watched this afternoon while ben ripped his CDs.

It was seriously intense. More intense, uncomfortable and in some ways visceral and graphic than Schindler's List which is a film in a similar vein (and one of my all time favourite films). It was an amazing film of an amazing story - that of Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish concert Pianist who lived in Warsaw, eventually escaped the Ghetto after a very narrow shave and lost his whole family to Treblinka.

I highly recommend seeing this film, it's a definate must see. Just don't expect it to be pleasant viewing.
lizziec: (me - lizzieinnabaff)
A successful day today I think, despite a lack of sleep caused by late night and early morning. Or rather, early morning and early morning ;)

Ben and I went to town as I had a need for some new slippers and it seemed like a most excellent time to spend our Christmas vouchers. I would say "and our Christmas money", but we spent that on a new TV (19" w/s Samsung LCD of joy and happiness) - no more flicker for us! :D

Ben came back with several CDs he's been joyfully ripping all afternoon and I got a book (The Children's War: The Second World War Through the Eyes of the Children of Britain) and a DVD (The Pianist), which I sat and watched this afternoon while ben ripped his CDs.

It was seriously intense. More intense, uncomfortable and in some ways visceral and graphic than Schindler's List which is a film in a similar vein (and one of my all time favourite films). It was an amazing film of an amazing story - that of Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish concert Pianist who lived in Warsaw, eventually escaped the Ghetto after a very narrow shave and lost his whole family to Treblinka.

I highly recommend seeing this film, it's a definate must see. Just don't expect it to be pleasant viewing.
lizziec: (npower - cute)
Richard Holmes is coming to UKC on Friday 1st December (this Friday) on In the footsteps of Churchill from 6pm in Keynes.

I'm very excited.

I'm going - anyone else up for it? :)
lizziec: (npower - cute)
Richard Holmes is coming to UKC on Friday 1st December (this Friday) on In the footsteps of Churchill from 6pm in Keynes.

I'm very excited.

I'm going - anyone else up for it? :)
lizziec: (npower - cute)
Richard Holmes is coming to UKC on Friday 1st December (this Friday) on In the footsteps of Churchill from 6pm in Keynes.

I'm very excited.

I'm going - anyone else up for it? :)
lizziec: (potterpuffs - dumbledore flesh wound)
Today is the designated "One Day in History" which I mentioned in my last post, so for the first time in years (since I was an annoying first or second year undergrad) I'm going to lay out in no uncertain terms an exact (or not ;)) run down of what I've done with my day.

First, let me say that despite the 17th October being chosen for being "normal" or "usual" having no special significance, today was actually fairly out of the ordinary for me. Funny how when you go looking for a normal day, you turn out having something one that is quite of the ordinary.

I'm doing two jobs at the moment. The first is dropping kids at school and picking them up again (job1). After that I usually walk from Blean School onto the University of Kent's campus for my second (temp) job working for one of the departments there (job2).

This morning I woke up when the radio alarm went off at 6:15 and lay cuddling ben until the beepy alarm went off 15 mins or so later. I got up and wasted some time on irc before getting ben up to help bandage my ankle (which I sprained yesterday), getting dressed and heading to the job with the kids. Got them ready for school and then Ben turned up and walked them to school. Usually I'd do this, but I wasn't supposed to walk too much cos of the aforementioned sprain. Instead I drove to Park Wood and met Ben there, then drove him to work.

I had a cup of hot chocolate in the gulb before wriggling out of my jeans (for job1) and into my smart skirt (for job2) and heading over to PhysicsMarlowe. I did some general admin work, interrupted for 20 mins while we had a fire drill (so much for being on my feet as little as possible and keeping my ankle elevated!).

I had lunch in Rutherford with Rah and Claire (lovely Jacket Potatoes, though Rah's chicken looked rather radioactive).

The afternoon passed fairly uneventfully as I did data entry for an hour before heading off to job1 again. I usually walk them home, but again, to stay off my ankle I drove them home where I left them with their mum (my friend Sue) who was home early.

I came home and did stuff on the internet, waiting for Ben to finish work and tonight he headed back from work on his own so I didn't have to go out again.

We curled up and watched some TV together before having a dinner of bacon, fried eggs, oven chips and baked beans. I'm now watching old Casualty before heading over to Sue's for some ice cream and a gossip.

It's been a pretty lovely day really, and the sunset was just amazing :)

I suspect in 100 years people will look at this and marvel at how mundane it is, but I'm trying to give them an idea of what it was like living my life in 2006.

Clearly I need to spice up my everyday life a bit :)

[edit] I'm pretty pathetic. I'm very excited because my post/thread about One Day in History is on the front page of the TES Staffroom :D

Looky! )
lizziec: (potterpuffs - dumbledore flesh wound)
Today is the designated "One Day in History" which I mentioned in my last post, so for the first time in years (since I was an annoying first or second year undergrad) I'm going to lay out in no uncertain terms an exact (or not ;)) run down of what I've done with my day.

First, let me say that despite the 17th October being chosen for being "normal" or "usual" having no special significance, today was actually fairly out of the ordinary for me. Funny how when you go looking for a normal day, you turn out having something one that is quite of the ordinary.

I'm doing two jobs at the moment. The first is dropping kids at school and picking them up again (job1). After that I usually walk from Blean School onto the University of Kent's campus for my second (temp) job working for one of the departments there (job2).

This morning I woke up when the radio alarm went off at 6:15 and lay cuddling ben until the beepy alarm went off 15 mins or so later. I got up and wasted some time on irc before getting ben up to help bandage my ankle (which I sprained yesterday), getting dressed and heading to the job with the kids. Got them ready for school and then Ben turned up and walked them to school. Usually I'd do this, but I wasn't supposed to walk too much cos of the aforementioned sprain. Instead I drove to Park Wood and met Ben there, then drove him to work.

I had a cup of hot chocolate in the gulb before wriggling out of my jeans (for job1) and into my smart skirt (for job2) and heading over to PhysicsMarlowe. I did some general admin work, interrupted for 20 mins while we had a fire drill (so much for being on my feet as little as possible and keeping my ankle elevated!).

I had lunch in Rutherford with Rah and Claire (lovely Jacket Potatoes, though Rah's chicken looked rather radioactive).

The afternoon passed fairly uneventfully as I did data entry for an hour before heading off to job1 again. I usually walk them home, but again, to stay off my ankle I drove them home where I left them with their mum (my friend Sue) who was home early.

I came home and did stuff on the internet, waiting for Ben to finish work and tonight he headed back from work on his own so I didn't have to go out again.

We curled up and watched some TV together before having a dinner of bacon, fried eggs, oven chips and baked beans. I'm now watching old Casualty before heading over to Sue's for some ice cream and a gossip.

It's been a pretty lovely day really, and the sunset was just amazing :)

I suspect in 100 years people will look at this and marvel at how mundane it is, but I'm trying to give them an idea of what it was like living my life in 2006.

Clearly I need to spice up my everyday life a bit :)

[edit] I'm pretty pathetic. I'm very excited because my post/thread about One Day in History is on the front page of the TES Staffroom :D

Looky! )
lizziec: (potterpuffs - dumbledore flesh wound)
Today is the designated "One Day in History" which I mentioned in my last post, so for the first time in years (since I was an annoying first or second year undergrad) I'm going to lay out in no uncertain terms an exact (or not ;)) run down of what I've done with my day.

First, let me say that despite the 17th October being chosen for being "normal" or "usual" having no special significance, today was actually fairly out of the ordinary for me. Funny how when you go looking for a normal day, you turn out having something one that is quite of the ordinary.

I'm doing two jobs at the moment. The first is dropping kids at school and picking them up again (job1). After that I usually walk from Blean School onto the University of Kent's campus for my second (temp) job working for one of the departments there (job2).

This morning I woke up when the radio alarm went off at 6:15 and lay cuddling ben until the beepy alarm went off 15 mins or so later. I got up and wasted some time on irc before getting ben up to help bandage my ankle (which I sprained yesterday), getting dressed and heading to the job with the kids. Got them ready for school and then Ben turned up and walked them to school. Usually I'd do this, but I wasn't supposed to walk too much cos of the aforementioned sprain. Instead I drove to Park Wood and met Ben there, then drove him to work.

I had a cup of hot chocolate in the gulb before wriggling out of my jeans (for job1) and into my smart skirt (for job2) and heading over to PhysicsMarlowe. I did some general admin work, interrupted for 20 mins while we had a fire drill (so much for being on my feet as little as possible and keeping my ankle elevated!).

I had lunch in Rutherford with Rah and Claire (lovely Jacket Potatoes, though Rah's chicken looked rather radioactive).

The afternoon passed fairly uneventfully as I did data entry for an hour before heading off to job1 again. I usually walk them home, but again, to stay off my ankle I drove them home where I left them with their mum (my friend Sue) who was home early.

I came home and did stuff on the internet, waiting for Ben to finish work and tonight he headed back from work on his own so I didn't have to go out again.

We curled up and watched some TV together before having a dinner of bacon, fried eggs, oven chips and baked beans. I'm now watching old Casualty before heading over to Sue's for some ice cream and a gossip.

It's been a pretty lovely day really, and the sunset was just amazing :)

I suspect in 100 years people will look at this and marvel at how mundane it is, but I'm trying to give them an idea of what it was like living my life in 2006.

Clearly I need to spice up my everyday life a bit :)

[edit] I'm pretty pathetic. I'm very excited because my post/thread about One Day in History is on the front page of the TES Staffroom :D

Looky! )
lizziec: (potterpuffs - Fred and George)
Via [livejournal.com profile] ladymondegreen_ and [livejournal.com profile] no1typo

Make 17th October 2006 One Day in History day.

"We want as many people as possible - tens of thousands of UK residents - to record a 'blog' diary of this one day to be by the British Library and others as a record of our national life.

And we want to urge people to reflect in their diaries how history itself impacted on them - whether it be simply commuting through an historic environment, or how business history influenced their decision-making, or merely that they looked up some old sports statistics or listened to some pop music from the 1960s. It could be anything.
"

All this will be in a similar vein to Mass Observation (the diaries of some members can be found reproduced in Our Hidden Lives, a thoroughly excellent book which I own).

I'll be participating and I hope a large number of you guys on my friends list will also :)

The page to fill it out on is here. I'll also be writing mine out on my LJ :)

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