Thursday, 27 August 2009

The 'Write' Stuff

For most of the morning, I have been distracted with thoughts (and searches for) of employment and in particular, that of writing as a career (or at least a supplementary one). Anyone who knows me in the flesh has probably had the extreme pleasure of hearing me harp on and on about wanting to 'write things' and getting really excited about it. After my final (one hopes) exam on the 8th of September, I will be taking the employment search to the enthusiastic stage, whereby I will be dressing in my semi-best and knocking on doors. I vow to be the most enthusiastic temporary coffee and tea maker, envelope stuffer and photocopier there is...

In addition to the above, I am going to seriously consider freelance writing, if only to find out if I really am cut out for it. Ever.

Onto the books...


p.s. As much as I think babies and children are sweet in appearance, watching Supernanny and Nanny 911 chill me to the bone.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Kids books to have happy endings?

I am watching the Wright Stuff this morning (as per usual) and am awaiting the next talking point which is about the fact that children's books should have happier endings. As a bookseller, this is of particular interest to me. According to former children's laureate, Anne Fine, modern books are too "bleak". I suppose that would be true if all children's books were like that but not all children are interested in fairies and bubbles and sunshine. I have had a few requests from little boys (at the bookshop) for war stories and action stories. This would suggest that there is in fact a market for this type of thing. Even the Harry Potter stories which are fantasy have an element of death, evil and suspense BUT on balance, a strong sense of friendship and morals. I just think whilst this is a valid opinion when you consider the numbers of books which feature "bleak" themes such as murder, suicide and violence, there is a danger of 'mollycoddling' or shielding children from the harsh reality that is life if you take these away. Obviously, these books are not being forced on the children and they are becoming interested and choosing to read these books. Even the classics aren't all that tame!

*Nannying alert*

I have to agree to an extent though, and say that I have been slightly alarmed by some of the newer titles coming onto to the market, but I would have to consider the individual child and judge whether I thought that they would be affected by what they read. If all children's books had happy endings, there would be a great disappointment to these children when they got old enough and realised that they'd been somewhat brainwashed and that bad things DO happen in the world.

You can read the article here...



Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Text messages as evidence in French divorce

I'm watching 'Caribbean Food Made Easy' on catch up television and just reminiscing about good times/childhood in the Caribbean. Jerk up that chicken Mr Roots!

I also am reading yesterday evening's Evening Standard (which I was too tired to read on the train last night) and came across a very interesting little snippet on page 20. The article was entitled, ' Le text d'amour...messages of love that prove adultery'. It follows a ruling by the Supreme Court that text messages can now be used as evidence in a divorce in France. The article went on to say that the ruling would mean that it is easier for people to get a divorce as French people often had to wait for extended periods of time if they could not prove that their spouses were mistreating them. I don't profess to know anything about French law but this ruling sounds like it will be both a positive and both a negative. Negative in the sense that drunken, incoherent texts often float around and if the basis for a divorce is on these messages, then we all need to be on our best behaviour and not drink and text (as many of us, not mentioning any names, have done after a 'good' night out).

The article also stated that emails are also accepted as evidence in trials. It really didn't clarify whether this was just in France but if anyone who practices Family Law knows whether texts and emails are accepted as evidence in England and Wales, I'd love to hear about it.

Interestingly enough, the article ended with the following,

"The decision overturned a 2007 ruling by a Lyon court, which had declared that using phone exchanges in court was a breach of privacy."

As if airing your marital laundry in court wasn't breach of your ex partner's privacy enough. (sorry if that made NO grammatical sense whatsoever)

Obviously, I haven't been married (yet?) so will never really be able to fully understand what divorce must be like. Heck, I've never even been in love...and I digress...

Night all!



Green Parrots/ Parakeets in London?

Hello blog watchers,

This is probably old news because I may have tweeted about this a few days ago but I have only just uploaded the photos onto my laptop. Here are the photos of the green parakeets which I saw in the tree behind my West London 'home'. I had no idea that they are supposedly now 'native' to England and have been breeding since an apparent escape from captivity, decades ago. You can read about the Green Parakeets as reported on the BBC News site in 2004.

Truth really is stranger than fiction! There were about 30 of them in that tree and by the time I managed to grab my camera, rush to the window and pap them, the battery ran out! The last photo is probably the clearest I could get from where I was.


Make the most of the good weather bloggers and readers!



Thursday, 20 August 2009

Returning to the Code of Conduct

Yes dear blogwatchers,

I am going to have to get my head down and get studying for Professional Conduct, the exam which is on the 8th of September! More updates will be coming soon. I really have to get it right this time...


New Moon

I felt that I needed to comment on the Twilight Saga, which is currently taking the world by storm. Teenagers and adults alike flock to the bookshop daily carrying armfuls of the stuff, manic grins on their faces. I must admit that I too enjoyed the first instalment, Twilight, and read it in one sitting (give or take a few pages). However, on reading New Moon, which I still haven't read COMPLETELY, I was left feeling disappointed and uninspired. BUT, I do quite like Jacob.

The Twilight film, I did not enjoy. I didn't feel it lived up to the book. It may have been because when reading the book, I was able to imagine things that were not quite portrayed in the film. It may have also been because I watched it with my niece so wasn't really paying attention to it. The New Moon trailer though, looks AMAZING. So I will be watching that and hopefully it will inspire me to read the rest of the books...


p.s.You can watch the trailer below...if you desire. Keep an eye out for hunky Jacob!

The Twilight Saga - New Moon
The Twilight Saga - New Moon

p.p.s. I'm 23! *groan*

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

I think I'm turning Japanese...

For a while now, I have had an undescribable fascination with Japan, it's culture and people. I think it's because it's so different from my own Caribbean background. I'm sure I've posted about this before, but as I'm sat listening to my Japan CD, Japanese fiction in hand and my cupboard stocked with sushi rice and sushi nori seaweed sheets, I think it's about time that I come to terms with it.

I'm not sure where this stems from to be perfectly honest. I can't remember whether this started after I first tried sushi whilst at university or when I first read/watched 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Golden. Whereever it started, it has further deepened since I began working at the bookshop, just over a year ago. I then began to have access to Japanese fiction and crime, which quickly worked to appease my thirst for knowledge about the culture, so far away from my own.

One of my dreams, amongst many, is to visit Japan and learn about the Geisha tradition and learn more about the food too. First, I'm going to have to get to grips with the language which has taken a bit of a back seat recently...meaning I am back to square one in terms of anything I may have learnt. Still, I can count to ten!

Ichi. Ni . San. Shi. Go. Roku. Shichi. Hachi. Kyuu. Juu.

I was going to post a video of the well-known song which inspired the title of this post but on realising the hidden meaning, I think I will refrain from it...

Currently though, I am reading Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto and although it is a very short story, I haven't read enough of it to be able to comment on the book in enough detail. Needless to say, I am already enjoying it as it is the closest thing I will get to Japanese life at the moment! I should be reviewing it when I am done...which shouldn't be long now. It must be said: I love the fact that her name is Banana!

Everyone has something that they're 'into'. Find yours and get passionate about it!



Currently, I am listening to a song that sounds like a combination of Zouk, Soca, Pop and with Latin elements called 'Koza Renka' and is sung by Takashi Hirayasu. Love it! T'is a pity I'm not able to find an audio clip of it online.

On getting older

Tomorrow, I shall turn 23. Hip Hip Hooray, Whoop-di-doo...Birthdays are overrated anyway. I used to get excited by birthdays when I was younger, when presents and singing really mattered. Now, getting older fills me with a mixture of dread and excitement of what is to come.

So, we'll see what the new year will bring...preferably a job!



Friday, 14 August 2009

A 'Good' Shake

I can't remember where I read this. It may have been in one of my favourite books, Little Women. I don't believe in corporal punishment (per se) but reading about someone administering a 'good shake' to a defiant child (and please don't think I'm condoning this especially with the controversies surrounding 'shaken baby syndrome') made me think about this. I'm using it as a substitute for the proverbial 'kick up the backside' and not to mean abuse.

I believe that sometimes everyone needs a 'kick up the backside' or a good firm shake by the shoulders. A wake up and smell the coffee kick. A 'get a grip' kick. A 'chin up' Scottie kick. A reality-check kick.

Recently, I've gotten these hypothetical 'kicks' when I check my bank balance or look at the BIG picture in relation to my life. One way or another though, we all get them. It keeps us grounded and makes us stronger.

Think that's enough philosophy for one day. I'm planning on macaroni and cheese and peri-peri wings for dinner so I'm going to roll my sleeves up and get cooking!

Om nom nom



p.s. Bend over!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

I don't BELIEVE it...

...'Victor Meldrew' style. A MILLIONAIRE MP, Alan Duncan has the cheek to complain that he feels that MPs are "treated like shit" and are "forced to live on rations". At a time of financial hardship for a lot of people, this is hardly an appropriate comment to be making. Is it?

If he feels that his wealth isn't up to par (or his job not fulfilling its expectations), he is more than welcome to send some of it my way to pay off some of my tens of thousands of pounds of student debt. Not all of us have rich mummies and daddies or parents who care enough about their education to provide for us.

Cheeky so and so.

I don't believe it!



p.s. AND exhale...

(Read the story here)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A tragic story set in Trinidad

Currently, I am reading The White Woman on the Green Bicycle a fabulously written story, set in Trinidad and with the dialogues (of the Trinidadians) written phonetically to represent the dialects of the island. When a British couple move to Trinidad in the 1950's, the husband, George Harwood immediately takes to the island life, whereas his wife Sabine initially struggles with the racial segregation and isolation. It is not until she accidentally stumbles upon a political gathering in which the future Prime Minister of Trinidad, Eric Williams, is delivering a speech, that she finds island life is becoming bearable. Over the decades, she writes him hundreds of letters in which she tells him about her hopes, fears and dissatisfaction with her marriage and life. She never sends the letters. They are her outlet. However, when her husband discovers her secret stash of letters, their lives take a turn which ends in tragedy.

One of the main things I liked about the book was the way in which the action over the decades, which started in 1956 and continued to present day, was split up and its order not chronological. This meant that you found out the tragic end nearer the beginning but were left wondering about the back story of the couple and their time in Trinidad, which made the book compelling reading.

I am currently on page 379 of 437 and although I don't want the story to end, I can't wait to continue reading!!


I'm missing the Caribbean sunshine and my family.


One day CBC shall return!!



I haven't posted as much as I'd have liked recently because I'm feeling increasingly homesick. Missing St. Lucia and the way and pace of life over there. In short, I need a SODDING holiday!!

I hate wallowing and feeling sorry for myself. (I do annoyingly have the occasional lapse) Maybe this is my problem...not wanting to talk about my problems. My REAL problems and feelings. This is MY coping mechanism. It's not shutting anyone out. It's just that in my opinion, my problems are just that; my own and no one else's. There are times where I'll moan to my nearest and dearest, (or even on this blog) seeking reassurance and comfort. The majority of the time, I put on a 'brave face' and get on with it.

Am I unique? No. Everyone has their problems and different means of dealing with them which I respect.

I am not afraid or too proud to ask for help or to admit when I'm feeling a little down but I'll make no apologies for occasionally keeping 'schtum'.

It's no secret that I've been trying for some time to secure a legal job for some time with little success. It's no secret that I'm not particularly thrilled at this fact and that it gets me down from time to time. But it's something I have worked very hard for thus far and am not about to give it up. Obviously, I AM being realistic. I knew it was never going to be easy and that I was never going to jump straight into a £100k a year trainee role out of uni. BUT, I know MY capabilities and strengths and am tailoring my applications to suit.

I am just slightly frustrated (understatement of the year) at the whole process which I know a lot of graduates and prospective lawyers are also feeling...

The big question is whether it really WILL be worth the hassle in the end...

Monday, 10 August 2009

Leniency of judges

I don't think it will come as a surprise that there are those rulings which you look back on and ask yourself what the judge was thinking. However having 10 sentences increased on appeal for leniency is a little negligent don't you think? I thought there were sentencing guidelines in place to deal with this very thing. Understandably, the guidelines are just that; guidelines. But despite the fact that the differences in circumstances between each matter must be taken into consideration, they are there for a reason.

One judge, Crowther, "... handed a community rehabilitation order to a defendant convicted of gross indecency with a child. This was increased to 18 months in prison."

Rehabilitation order for gross indecency? Where is the deterrent? Or the punishment?

Though reading further, it seems that the JCO are trying to protect the decisions of the judges by saying,

"... sentences could be increased for several reasons and overturning the original decision did not necessarily reflect badly on a judge’s performance."

Fair enough. There IS truth in the statement...




Read the story here

On an it sod's law that the title of "most lenient judge" goes to a woman?

Double murder in Ipswich

A 15 year old girl and her 41 year old boyfriend (...yes 41) were arrested on suspicion of murder where two dead bodies were found in Ipswich. Very interesting to see what comes of this story and how it develops (if it does) and eventually goes to some form of trial. Early days I suppose.

Read the story here



Monday, 3 August 2009

Catching the 'Golden Snitch' that is pupillage...

After reading Minx's post on her pupillage application woes, I have been left with a bitter taste in my mouth. How does a woman as qualified in many ways as this not have pupillage? It gives me the beginnings of an inferiority complex about my own application situation. I know only too well how competitive the profession is, even more so in the case of BVC students seeking pupillage. Though, I too went to the wrong university, didn't get the best A-Level grades and don't have a fraction of the experience or qualifications as Minx...

I think the recruiters need to pull their socks up Minx!



p.s. It seems only wizardry to Potter standard can capture that Snitch!