Friday, October 01, 2010

7 Quick Takes: 1st October


1. Politics. What do I think of Ed Miliband, the newly elected leader of the Labour party, and therefore a potential future prime minister? Let's just say that a man who somehow didn't manage to make the effort to register himself as the father on his son's birth certificate, and who has been "too busy" to marry his partner, but expects to "get around to it eventually", isn't giving out the message about the importance of the family that I would want to see from any political leader. Whatever party he belonged to, he wouldn't be getting my vote.

2. I took my Mum to hospital yesterday for a consultation with an anaesthetist. He confirmed that the reason her operation was postponed at the last minute in June was because the anaesthetist didn't feel able to treat her due to her history of heart surgery and a note on her file about chest pains. The chest pains were a red herring (nothing more than a few twinges several months earlier, which had been given undue prominence on her notes), she has since had a clear ECG, and the anaesthetist is now aware that her heart surgery was triggered by the discovery of a long standing heart murmur, not by heart disease. Result: she is good to go! A couple more pre-op appointments are needed, but after that she should finally get her knee replaced.

3. My TV highlight of the week was Downton Abbey, a new costume drama set in post-Edwardian England. Glorious costumes and props, and Dame Maggie Smith as the dowager Countess. Something to look forward to on Sundays evenings.

4. And more historical TV pleasure ...  Michael Wood's Story of England, which looks at the history of England from Roman times to the present day through the eyes of a single English village (Kibworth, in Leicestershire). I love this approach. Looking at local and small scale history, and using it to throw a spotlight on historical times and events is very much my preferred way of tackling historical research, so this is right up my street.

5. Transcribing tithe records has got me intrigued by field names, and the reasoning behind them. Sometimes it is apparent that the farmer who worked a farm at the date when field names stuck had no imagination whatsoever, with a sequence of names along these lines: Six Acres, Twelve Acres, Upper Wood, Lower Wood, Eight Acres, Barley Field, Pick Any Very Boring Field Name. Lots of names are descriptive, but rather more poetically so - Apple Tree Close, Butterfield Croft, that sort of thing (I made those up, but you get the idea). Then there are the inexplicable ones. Hither Lagger? Further Backside? ... huh?

6. Cherub is developing a liking for adjectives. She amused Tevye by informing him that her new fleece lined raincoat is "soft, and warm, and protective".

7. Tevye was seriously alarmed when he heard a yell from Star "Dad! Quick! Fire in my bedroom!". Fortunately he misheard. It was a spider in her bedroom.

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4 comments:

Pamela said...

Can't wait until Downton Abbey comes to DVD here. It looks very Upstairs, Downstairs-ish.

Theresa said...

Darn! I tried to watch that Story of England because it sounds really great. But all I get is a message saying "not available in your area." I wonder why?

Like sunshine in the home said...

Let's just say that a man who somehow didn't manage to make the effort to register himself as the father on his son's birth certificate, and who has been "too busy" to marry his partner, but expects to "get around to it eventually", isn't giving out the message about the importance of the family that I would want to see from any political leader. Whatever party he belonged to, he wouldn't be getting my vote.

Totally agree dude.

Sorry about the 'dude' we're watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Missed both Downton Abbey and the Story of England. Too busy, chuh.

xx

'Becca said...

Let's just say that a man who somehow didn't manage to make the effort to register himself as the father on his son's birth certificate, and who has been "too busy" to marry his partner, but expects to "get around to it eventually", isn't giving out the message about the importance of the family that I would want to see from any political leader.

Good point! I am a happily unmarried American who thinks that an unmarried father could be a fine political leader but only if he's a decent person: Married or not, a decent person takes responsibility for his child; a decent person "gets around to" ceremonies that are meaningful to him; a decent person owns up to what he truly believes rather than pretending to value things he doesn't value. Unfortunately, very few decent people go into politics!