Internet highlights – w/c 11th September 2016

15 09 2016

#someecards #hillaryclinton #trump #2016

A photo posted by The official Someecards. (@someecards) on

Yep. True. 😊

A photo posted by Cecelia Ahern (@official_ceceliaahern) on

Internet highlights – w/c 4th September 2016

10 09 2016

Man fined for his car’s SHADOW crossing a solid white line

Huw Edwards always starts the news in exactly the same position

Calming things to say to an anxious child

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Having grace for ourselves

8 09 2016

I wrote this recently for our work intranet… people seemed to appreciate it so I thought I’d bung it on here too…

When I was at university I studied Mathematical Sciences (essentially Applied Maths), this meant an awful lot of contact hours plus countless problem sheets for when you weren’t in lectures or tutorials. In short, if you weren’t on campus you always had some work over your head that you knew you should be doing. When I graduated I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but one of the few things I knew was that I wanted my evenings and weekends back – definitely no further study or graduate schemes!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate of going the extra mile, of hard work, of giving one’s best, but at the same time I’m also a huge advocate of looking after ourselves, of letting ourselves look after ourselves. I truly believe it’s important to have a good work life balance, to take lunch breaks, to log any overtime done to make sure time is taken back. I believe it’s an important element of health – physical, mental and emotional; it’s not laziness, it’s self-care.

Not only that, I think it makes us better employees. I can definitely bear witness that working through lunch means I’m pretty much useless all afternoon, which is why unless there is something very urgent or important on, you will always see me take a full hour break. That one hour vs the three in the afternoon with decent productivity is a good balance! If we keep doing the extra without taking time to rest, we risk burn-out.

Of course there are exceptions. In January this year I was in this office until 10.30pm for a major data pull, which was important at the time, (and I made it home just before the Indian takeaway closed!), as long as it doesn’t become a regular habit.

We’re told in the Bible, by God, to rest on the Sabbath, Jesus himself rested – what better example could we have?

We need to have grace with ourselves to let ourselves look after ourselves.


Matilda – by Roald Dahl

7 09 2016

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that this is the last in my Roald Dahl binge, and after this I’ll be going back to books that take a little longer to read!

For this book, I’d not read it but I had seen the film – classic

Matilda is a supernaturally bright little girl, who has parents who literally couldn’t care less about her. I’m honestly surprised they fed her sometimes. When she starts school she has a teacher (Miss Honey) who appreciates and values her, but a headteacher (Mrs Trunchbull) who is scarier than most children’s book baddies.

A theme that runs through most of Roald Dahl’s books which is even more prevalent here is that it’s ok to take revenge on someone (normally an adult) if they are mean and horrible. Matilda finds ways to take revenge on her parents, and also the Trunchbull, and there’s nothing wrong with anything she does!

Some of my favourite one-liners:

  • “There are many things that make a man irritable when he arrives home from work in the evening and a sensible wife will usually notice the storm-signals and will leave him alone until he simmers down.”
  • “If it’s by an American it’s certain to be filth. That’s all they write about.”
  • “I’m afraid men are not always quite as clever as they think they are. You will learn that when you get a bit older, my girl.”
  • “I think Mr C. S. Lewis is a very good writer. But he has one failing. There are no funny bits in his books.”
  • “I cannot for the life of me see why children have to take so long to grow up. I think they do it on purpose.”
  • “My idea of a perfect school, Miss Honey, is one that has no children in it at all.”
  • “Margarine, Matilda thought. She really must be poor.”

In the film Matilda’s “powers” come to light quite early on, and she has all sorts of adventure with them. With her parents, at the Trunchbull’s house, all-sorts. But in the book that’s just one short section at the end. In a way I preferred it that way though; a simpler story but makes the chalkboard stuff way more effective and impressive.


Internet highlights – w/c 28th August 2016

3 09 2016

If the Simpsons were to end, the perfect final episode.

Hotel room requests

David Tennant is going to host The Crystal Maze!

Ingenious Japanese inventions

Great social media response from Skyscanner

What to do if you witness Islamophobia

Less talked about panic attack symptoms

Things to know about Christians who struggle with anxiety

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The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me – by Roald Dahl

31 08 2016

Another one that I had actually no clue what it was about! The funny thing is, I’m fairly obsessed with giraffes but have never even associated that obsession with this book!

It’s only about 70 pages, so I read it in one sitting. Billy notices the old sweet shop has been bought out by a window cleaning company, which just so happens to be run by a giraffe, a pelican (so *that’s* what a Pelly is!) and a monkey (he sings a song about them which includes the title of the book, so he is “me”). They get a job cleaning the windows of the Duke of Hampshire’s rather large house…. any more and I’d be giving the main drama away as it’s so short, so I’ll just leave you with the rather charming ending:

We have tears in our eyes
As we wave our goodbyes,
We so loved being with you, we three.
So do please now and then
Come and see us again,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.

All you do is to look
At a page in this book
Because that’s where we always will be.
No book ever ends
When it’s full of your friends
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.

the giraffe and the pelly and me

The Witches – by Roald Dahl

30 08 2016

I really wasn’t looking forward to reading this book – as a child I vaguely remember watching the film and pretty fairly terrified, but it’s part of the list so had to be read!

It wasn’t too bad in the end. The tale of a little boy who’s Grandmamma teaches him about witches and what to look out for, so when they accidentally come across their annual convention, they hatch a plan to get revenge for all the children those witches have destroyed. Because witches hate children!

The good news is that Dahl gives us the things to look for to spot witches, so we can be on our guard!

  • A REAL WITCH is certain always to be wearing gloves when you meet her… because she doesn’t have finger-nails. Instead of finger-nails she has thin curvy claws, like a cat, and she wears the gloves to hide them.
  • A REAL WITCH is always bald… A REAL WITCH always wears a wig to hide her baldness.
  • Witches have slightly larger nose-holes than ordinary people… A REAL WITCH has the most amazing powers of smell.
  • The eyes of a REAL WITCH are different from yours and mine. Look in the middle of each eye where there is normally a little black dot. If she is a witch the black dot will keep changing colour, and you will see fire and you will see ice dancing right in the very centre of the coloured dot.
  • Witches never have toes… The feet have square ends with no toes on them at all.
  • Their spit is blue.

And here are some of my favourite lines from the book.

  • “In fairy-tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks, and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES.”
  • “I am not, of course, tellng you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one.”
  • “You can’t go round pulling at the hair of every lady you meet, even if she is wearing loves. Just you try it and see what happens.”
  • “Children should never have baths, it’s a dangerous habit.”
  • “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.”

the witches