Saturday, October 29, 2005

Prince Charles has given quite an interesting interview on the BBC about his views on sustainable farming, the importance of doing something about global warming, and family farms in Britain.

I really don't see what everyone's problem with Charles is. He's a guy who's been in the media spotlight his entire life, so of course he hates the media. Wouldn't you if every single event in your life was considered to be newsworthy? I don't agree with his views on fox-hunting, but I can see that it is very much a part of British culture and think that the issue should have been dealt with differently than it was. But with his environmental views, I think he's spot-on. Basically, I think that the Prince is a nice guy who, if he hadn't been rich, famous, and a royal, would have been one of the kids that was in the chess club and got teased loads in school. The only problem that I think that Brits truly have with him is that they liked Diana more, and are pissed that he married not only again but to someone equally as nerdish as himself.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Just read a quite worrying post on City Hippy, a fantastic British site about green living, that people are warning that we might be having a natural gas shortage over here this winter, as it is supposed to be colder than any winter since 1995/6. There could be rationing, with UK businesses facing a possible 3-day week to save energy use so they don't have to tell us that we're only allowed heat four hours a day.

This is insane.

North sea natural gas production peaked in 2000, and the only thing that they seem to have done is to arrange for a pipeline from Norway that won't even be completed until 2007/8. They would have had years to see this coming, and it's been five years since peak production. Surely that means that they should have done something to fix it besides an idiotic pipeline from Norway?!

I agree with City Hippy that something needs to be done now, and think that their idea of rationing energy at home now will probably save some heartache down the road. But the government needs to start a massive campaign of public education, telling people that it just isn't acceptable to have the thermostat set at 30 degrees all winter. In addition to the many other stupid things that people do, such as keeping the heat on, then opening all the windows to "get some fresh air".

I think the problem is is that most people aren't connected enough to their environment to realize where any of their energy comes from, or where their waste goes and what it does after they bin it, or where their food comes from. Without understanding this, at least a little bit, it makes it difficult to get their head around the fact that they're screwing everything up. Penny Poyzer and her show, 'No Waste Like Home' was a good start, but we really need to be ramming it down people's throats to make a difference. And not only people, but businesses too. Even more so, actually. The more business has to think about their actions, and be forced to take responsibility for them, the better off the consumer is and the less energy will be needed.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

After some thought: I'm depressed. I'm 24 and I just got a job in f*cking retail. Again. I'm essentially still doing the thing that I started doing at 16 when I looked at the people I worked with and thought, "I'm going to get a degree so I don't have to do this for the rest of my life." And here I am. Working in retail. Trying desperately to pay bills whilst being happy that at least I can afford to try to pay them. What was the point in going to uni? Why couldn't I have been good at math, or like children? Then I could have been a scientist, or a teacher, or something that people want to employ me for instead of yet another pointless arts major.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Some questions for contemplation:

Why can't I get a job outside of retail?
Why is everything in this country so damn expensive?
Why did I have to move to a city where it's so hilly?

I managed to get a job with A Major Clothing Chain (AMCC) at Castle Point Shopping Centre, about 5 miles (and several big hills) away from my flat. Following the wonderful advice given by Heather from Dooce, I'm not going to mention much about my new job. Although I'm sure everyone will be thrilled to know that, much like with Lush, you'll get to read fun, entertaining snippets of customer service hell once in a while.

On a happier note, I saw Serenity and it kicks f*cking ass. If you haven't seen it, go. Go now. The special effects were perfect because you couldn't notice them. Everything about it was completely believable, and it is one of the best done sci-fi films I think that I've seen. I'm definately going to be purchasing it the second it comes out on DVD, and if I could afford the insanely expensive cinema tickets more that once every three months I'd go and see it again.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tomorrow I have an interview at The Body Shop (o, ye place that is so far removed from Lush) and then on Wednesday I have an interview at the Gap (look! you can see my ethics sliding down the drain as we speak!). I'm hoping that the Gap will hire me, pay me lots of money and keep me after Christmas is over. Why is it so difficult to find a real job???

The incredibly helpful people at the Home Office were totally unable to tell me when I might be lucky enough to have my passport back from them. They were also totally unable to tell me if I got my residency, whether or not I might know soon, or anything else useful in any way, shape, or form. Go all forms of government, you just rock so much.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

So. I've finally given in to the inevitable (and to the greatly mounting bills sucking the blood out of my bank accounts) and went around handing in CVs for depressing, crap, retail jobs once again. After almost a month and a half of not working, I'm beginning to think that there is just not a place for a photographer in the world of Admin. Woo hoo.

I'm also waiting to hear back from the lovely people at the Home Office about my visa application. After sending them more paperwork than would fit in the envelope the first time, they sent me a letter back asking for even more pointless paperwork. Go you guys. Obviously, a letter from September 2004 and a letter from November 2004 saying that I lived in the exact same place is not enough to prove that I also lived there in October. Dear God, how could I think that? Morons.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I've just realized that I'm offically in my mid-twenties. Fuck.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Last week, M's dad took the two of us to Kingston Lacey, one of the many National Trust properties in Dorset. It was given to the Bankes family after the wife of Sir Ralph Banks successfully defended Corfe Castle against the Parlimentarians during the English Civil War. The castle was eventually taken by treachery and destroyed, although the ruins are still very impressive. Kingston Lacey house is absolutely beautiful, and walking around the grounds was lovely too.

The National Trust ( does a fantastic job of maintaining loads of properties, gardens and landscapes. I sometimes feel, however, that with so much history in Britain unless they really start making places like Kingston Lacey attractive and very accessible to everyone, they're going to start having a hard time of it. While we were there, there were lots of people walking around...but the majority of them were either elderly Brits or tourists speaking a different language. The cost of getting into the grounds of the house is fairly expensive (£4 per adult), and seeing the house even more so. It just seems like they're wasting an opportunity to do so much with some of these places. It makes me wonder what will happen 50 years down the road.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bush tells Americans to drive less.

"I mean, people just need to recognise that these storms have caused disruption and that if they're able to maybe not drive ... on a trip that's not essential, that would be helpful.
If it makes sense for the citizen out there to curtail non-essential travel, it darn sure makes sense for federal employees ... We can encourage employees to car pool or use mass transit, and we can shift peak electricity use to off-peak hours. There's ways for the federal government to lead when it comes to conservation," he said.

Okay, Clever Guy, maybe if your moronic government hadn't taken away everyone's public transport, that would be helpful. And maybe if most American cities and towns were designed for both people AND cars, instead of just cars, it might work. I mean, the 15 minute walk to the grocery store near where I grew up was possibly the most ill-suited area for pedestrians that I'd ever seen. After cutting through the elementary school's playground (which you could only do as long as school wasn't in session), you had to walk on the unpaved shoulder of a very busy road for 12 minutes of the walk. Then, trying to cross the road was a challenge in itself. I'd once walked to the library while my mom was at the store, and was heading back with my usual massive bag of books. I stopped by the light, and waited for the happy 'Walk' sign to appear. I had literally STEPPED OFF THE SIDEWALK when the 'Don't Walk!' sign started flashing, and before I was halfway across the light changed and people started honking at me.

How are Americans expected to wean themselves off cars when the suburbs aren't supplied with the necessary public transport? How are they supposed to start walking when nowhere except the centres of major cities are set up for pedestrians? Why on earth is The Shrubbery persisting with tax breaks on oil when the money should be going into massive campaigns to get public transport improved and to encourage people to take it? Why isn't his government pushing alternative means of energy and encouraging people to develop them?

Oh, that's right, I forgot. Oil will never run out, the hurricanes have just disrupted our supply for a while. Global warming is a myth, and therefore couldn't have had anything to do with the hurricanes in the first place. And the hurricanes themselves were obviously sent by God to punish the den of sin that New Orleans was. Of course. How could I possibly forget.