Who says that nothing exciting happens in aldershot?
BBC NEWS | England | Hampshire/Dorset | Army marks 150 years in home town

Our office is on the parade route. There is lot's of tatty red white and blue bunting and union flags everywhere. It's also pissing down with rain and there are lot's of wet policemen but absolutely no-one else in sight. I'd take some pictures of this marvelous spectacle but unfortunately I've left the camera at home. Oh dear.
This is a Jim Carrey film I actually fancy seeing(!!)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - Review

Review quote: "It's Got: Excellent performances from Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst, and a surprisingly restrained (and therefore tolerable) one from Jim Carrey"

I Really like "Being John Malkovich" (same writer) and this type of film has a certain appeal to me. I'll have to watch it on my own though because Layla would probably rather boil her head than watch any film that isn't LOTR or POTC!

I did a bit of playing with the digital camera the other day and used some of the software that comes with it to produce this panorama of my office. It is actually 8 images merged together.
My desk is in the bottom left with the HAMA bead father christmas and other artwork from C! The office is a converted Wesleyan church, hence the arches.

I now need to think of something else to produce a sweeping vista of!!!
Now you can either view this as blasphemy or as a satirical take on the commercialisation of religion. Judge for yourselves (I think it's hilarious!)


The Other Thing

Oh yes, last Friday I went out to the pub at Lunchtime with my work colleagues, something I don't usually make a habit of as I find that we don't have a lot to talk about.  Anyway, I started talking to a couple of fellow programmers and after an interesting talk about the Mark Steele Lectures on Radio 4 (must try to get these on CD, anybody got them?) I mentioned our home education of Claudia. There was an interested response and I was asked why we'd decided to do this and I gave the abridged version.  I was then expecting the usual socialisation/teacher qualification questions but instead got "Ah, that's interesting, because I was home educated" from one of my colleagues!  I nearly dropped my pint!

It turns out that he was taken out of school at 13 (he's in his early 30's), for reasons that I haven't asked him about yet, and educated by his mother.  He said that the first thing his mother did was teach him German (as she is Austrian) but that he mainly got down to learning whatever he wanted by himself with his mother's guidance.  His father is a university lecturer and had very little to do with his home education - indeed he told me that one of his frustrations was that he if he was working on a particular problem and could not get past a certain point and asked his father for help, his father would insist on going right back to the beginning and working the whole thing through again (like a lecture really)!

He told me that home education had been good for him but that it had been very hard for his mother and warned us that it is hard work (of course we know this already ;) ).  (I really must delve into the reasons behind his being pulled out of school and what sort of approach they took).  It should also be noted that this was the 80's and support must have been pretty thin on the ground.  He said that another frustration was getting access to "institutions" and "resources" to gain knowledge or qualifications that he and his mother couldn't manage themselves.  He is a university graduate so I'll have to ask him what qualification route he took.

I explained how nowadays home-educators are well organised and there isn't the isolation or lack of resources that there might have been in the past.  I also listed our numerous world wide contacts via the internet!!

The socialisation question didn't really come up, even with the other colleague in this conversation who has four children and had an absolutely crap time in school himself. He told me that he went to a top grammar school but learned absolutely nothing and only felt that he was achieving something at university.  He felt like a cog in the wheel and school and said that, despite the schools high academic reputation, he was ignored if he didn't meet the required performance standards.  However, his four children are all at school his two youngest girls (5 and 7 I think) "love school" apparently but his two older boys seem to be having difficulties (they have a very sullen approach to school and school work) and only perk up and show an interest when he sits down with them and helps them with their homework. Hhhhmmm, could it possibly be that these boys want some sort of interaction with their dad?  Also, I wouldn't put up with Claudia being unhappy or "sullen" in any situation, I'd want to know the reason.  However - ours not to reason why....

We all talked about HE and Education in general for ages and it was refreshing to actually find some common ground with the people I work with!


Interesting piece on Home education combined with home working - the benefits of. This is not really news to us but it is good to see anybody recognising the benefits of home education even if it has to be combined with something else. Now if only this guy would post an article about the benefits of home education in it's own right, rather than simply supporting the parents right to make this decision, then we'd be getting somewhere.
Brian's Education Blog � Home working and home educating

I was just thinking that my increasingly bouffant hair and beard is making me resemble actor John Ritter (I refer particualrly to the 80's when he had a particularly big hair and beard - him and the beard starred infamously in Blake Edwards' 'Skin Deep' - another favourite 80's film of mine) Well I just googled him and found out he's dead and has been for 6 months.

Really sad. I liked him. CNN.com - Actor John Ritter dead at 54 - Sep. 12, 2003

I must help this man... I recieved this email this morning....
COUNSELLING,ASSISTANCE AND PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITY NEEDED. First and foremost,i will like to inform you that i got your contact via a research conducted by my very self on a bussiness publication,at least to avoid the quest ,as to the mystery behind the possibility of this contact . I thank you for your kind and esteemed attention to this letter.I contact you with a deep sense of loss and personal tragedy.I would have contacted you earlier but I had to observe the traditional period of mourning.This letter is based on the happenings and events in Zimbabwe,a country in Southern Africa engulfed by strife brought about by the desire of the monster ,President Robert Mugabe to take over farms through extreme forms of violence.This violence and brutality claimed the life of my father ,Mr John Ada (R.I.P.),a tobacco farmer whose farm was invaded by the barbaric ,so called war veterans.I am the only child of my late father from his first wife,having lost my mother in 1994.As at the time of my father’s death ,I was a student studying to take over the running of the farm after my graduation. My father was not a white farmer but he was targeted for his fierce and blatant opposition to the legislation of President Robert Mugabe’s government to seize all white owned farms (please update on Zimbabwean situation on the internet or other sources) My father was a member of the Opposition Movement For Democracy Party in my province.My late father died on 4th December 2001 after the attack on his farm on 23rd September 2001.He was physically brutalized and manhandled leading to a 3 months hospitalization at the Harare Clinic. Before his death,he informed me on his sick bed of the existence of some of his property including a sealed security strong box containing the sum of US$14 Million which was the money meant for the purchase of Agro-Allied mechanized equipment. The money was in cash because he got the information of the attack and managed to remove the box to Dubai,United Arab Emirate, where he deposited the box in the vault of a private security company which is an affiliate of a london based security company, under false declaration.He handed over the documents of the deposit to me for safe-keeping.The security company is not aware of the contents of the box. I require your assistance in order to transfer these funds to your off-shore location using your influential powers and due to the good investment climate in your country,I will like you to assist me in investing the funds in a good and viable business or preferrably create a partnership opportunity for me in your establishment, in order to secure my future. I will disclose to you in details all arrangements which I have made, in order to transfer this money under your supervision because I am severely limited by my asylum seeking status here in South Africa and helpless, since i dont have the necssary potentials to do it alone.I cannot lay claim to the ownership of this money as a refugee here,this is why I require your honest and God-fearing assistance.I am prepared to offer you 25% of the total transferable sum for your assistance ,there is no single risk or problems associated with this transaction as I have checked and double checked all arrangements in order to avoid mistakes or risks to your credibility and reputation.I await your reply for further confidential details. Thank you in anticipation of your earliest possible reply.God bless you. Yours Sincerely MR OLIVER ADA
Naturally I am moved to the point of tears. I have offered this poor man any assistance I can possibly provide and I would urge all of you good people to do the same.

You're Love in the Time of Cholera!
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Like Odysseus in a work of Homer, you demonstrate undying loyalty by sleeping with as many people as you possibly can. But in your heart you never give consent! This creates a strange quandary of what love really means to you. On the one hand, you've loved the same person your whole life, but on the other, your actions barely speak to this fact. Whatever you do, stick to bottled water. The other stuff could get you killed.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Bad, but good as well...
Our house is coated in dust again. Despite trying valiantly to screen off the rest of the house, the removal of our kitchen ceiling/bathroom floor caused a dust explosion. It could have been a lot worse but it is just too depressing :( .
On the other hand, all this destruction seems remarkably positive to me because I can now see the last task in this enormous undertaking just waiting for completion. We just need to put in some steel box lintels to make a reinforced floor (a job for next weekend now) and we are ready to put in a new bathroom. Civilisation awaits!! What is really getting us down is that we now have a week of surviving in a kitchen/bathroom/pit with nowhere to put crockery/cutlery etc. with the prospect of more destruction next weekend when we put in the new floor. We need to put on a brave face though; when that floor goes in we really do have the end in sight!!!