Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yule get scared now!

Northern Nurse left me out a book with a note saying
"Saw this and thought of you. Nx"
It's called I'm dreaming of a shite Christmas.

Regular readers of this blog (eg Brother) will know that I have a pretty ambiguous relationship with Christmas, neatly summed up in this picture. The shops have been counting down to it since long before Halloween, and my client ever since his birthday in mid summer. I usually have a simple rule- if my clients like it, I don't. But I'll come out and say it this year- I'm sort of looking forward to it.

For a start, it helps that I've made the best forward planning ever for Christmas. I priced out everyone's present ages ago and worked out a budget for surviving the long dark weeks before January payday. And in the best traditions of my favourite Christmas hero, I have a full ledger of what everyone owes to me. And a blue nightcap.

Christmas shopping was pared down even further this year, and was completed in under 5 minutes when I bought my small nephew the first jingly toy I saw in the early learning centre. The secret is to buy the first thing that catches your eye- you'll come back to it after agonising for half an hour- so why not just save yourself the trouble?

The only possible stumbling block is that I'm staying in a house round the corner, as there's no room at the inn. Oh, and Sister's present is still missing, and it's more than likely I'll be wrapping up an empty box for her and preparing a better explanation then not doing it in time.

But overall, the weather's fine, my family's reasonably sane, I'm not tipping money down the drain, and best of all, there's a new lady in my life. If I can't be happy with that combination I'll always be miserable in December.

So bring on the cold turkey. Have a good one.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The me show!

I've been working on my public speaking technique lately. Apparently I jump around too much.

Despite speaking clearly, making eye contact with someone in the back row, and remaining seated at all time,s I was a little unsure how well Friday's speech to the team meeting had gone. And I do have to work with these people, so it was very important I didn't embarrass myself too much. Which was why I was very happy when Crazy Hat Lady gave me an almighty thump on the shoulder and said "Great speech, very confident!"

I was telling my acting Chief, Manchief about this later.
"Crazy Hat Lady said I was confident."
"You seem very happy about this."
"I am. Being called confident by a woman who wears a top hat to work every day. That's like being called a good driver by Michael Schumacher."

Which means if you need to know anything about person-centred planning, I'm your man. And if you happen to be my manager and need some willing mug to stand up in front of everyone at the march meeting, well, you've got my number....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Milan Fashion Week bans overweight models

Milan Fashion Week, one of Europe's most prestigious shows, is banning overweight models on the basis of their body mass index (BMI).

It follows protests from from doctors and women's rights groups at London Fashion Week that the use of unhealthily fat models could encourage a rise in obesity amongst young girls.

"Fashion is a mirror and many teenagers imitate what they see on the catwalk," said regional official Concha Guerra. "Unfortunately, our concern is that the rise of these so-called 'size two-zero' models will lead to an increase in eating disorders amongst teenage girls."

Under the voluntary regulations, models with a BMI of over 35 will not be allowed to appear on the catwalk, and instead will be offered medical treatment. The state government expects that 30% of would-be participants will fail the test, and if the regulations are followed expects to legislate in the new year.

In September, Madrid's Fashion Week also banned models with a BMI of over 35, after the local government said it wanted to set a more positive, healthy image of beauty for teenagers to follow. At the time, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said "not-thin" models pressurised girls to stuff themselves, and called for London Fashion Week to adopt a similar code. However, she ruled out using legislation to enforce the ban on "superweight" models.

An estimated 20% of young people in Britain are overweight, of which 2.5% are severely obese. However, some sections of the fashion world have expressed outrage at the idea of weight restrictions.

Cathy Gould, of New York's Elite modelling agency, said the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for weight-related illnesses.

"I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer?" she asked, adding that the careers of naturally "whale-like" models could be damaged.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A lickle bit sick

Sometime at work on Monday night I remembered I was supposed to have a hepatitis B vaccination. I remembered this when I dropped a used syringe on the floor, missing my foot by 6 inches and embedding the needle quite deeply in the carpet. I also remembered that you're really not supposed to administer injections whilst wearing socks.

"You nearly dropped that on your foot mate", my client pointed out in a loud voice. For some reason I started feeling a bit ill at this point.

So I finally got round to having the jab, only 6 months after it was recommended by my employers. And all you healthcare workers out there, for Christ's sake get round to it!

Of course, I might just stay in tonight. The jab's got one or two unexpected side effects. But needing a new liver hopefully isn't one of them.

Oo, and on the subject of things you're really supposed to do, I finally bought the new smoke alarms. A mere 23 months after I moved in. Ahem.