Saturday, May 26, 2007

It's real cake!



By the way, I appear to be 50% gay - which according to the test means I'm a happy well-adjusted hetero babe. I'm a babe! But one of my gay friends is only 43% gay. I'm not sure I trust the results.

That'll learn 'em!

I need to do some article writing for work - we make use of a "Lawspot" in one of the local papers, and have been trying to think of some kind of hook to link my efforts together. Needless to say, 300 words isn't an awful lot of space to establish a hook and get across the actual law point! I haven't actually written any yet although Lasting Powers of Attorney is looking a pretty good bet.

Anyway, L and I have been talking about this - some kind of witty catchphrase to make will writing seem more exciting and appealing. After the success (dubious or otherwise!) of the recent "Ditch the Bitch" and "All Men are Bastards" posters a few years ago (extolling the benefits of some divorce lawyers) we came up with "That'll learn 'em" or variations on a theme :

- Husband told you your bum looked big in that skirt? Cut him out of your Will - that'll learn 'im!
- Grandchildren never visit you? Cut them out of your Will - that'll learn 'em!

ad infinitum....

Blog apathy

This isn't good - I was all keen about updating my blog last weekend, then have had a really busy week and can't get motivated somehow...but I shall stop moaning.

So, last weekend - pretty great really. Went up to Nottingham to help celebrate a birthday - drank far too much wine and champagne, ate at a great restaurant in Southwell called Funny Peculiar. Went to see Magicians on Sunday afternoon - very very funny. The finale was filmed at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham and some of our friends went along. You can see them in the film! There's a great shot of R giving a very disapproving look to his neighbour. Definitely buy that when it comes out. Sunday evening we went to see Richard Herring live at a club in Nottingham - generally very funny even if some parts of the set I really didn't get on with.

Back to Ipswich Monday and trying to sort out by email getting a laptop and projector organised for my presentation Tuesday morning - never have the day off before a presentation when you haven't made sure that absolutely everything's sorted! But anyway the talk went well and I managed to coordinate powerpoint, the laptop and the projector - hurrah. Even gt a couple of choccy biscuits out of it!!

Been out every night this week so far - but it's bank holiday on Monday which can't be bad.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Play it again

Okay, okay this is the last one today!

I went to a BBC Play it again event in Cambridge today - it's the series of "roadshow" events taking place up and down the country to accompany the BBC1 series. It's an attempt to encourage people to become more involved with music - start up an instrument if they've always wanted to, dust off the instrument they learnt as a child and just get back into playing again. The events welcome all ages and abilities and if you can't play, you can sing or play percussion.

There were tons of people at the Cambridge event this morning. Started off by listening to the BBC Concert Orchestra playing the overture from West Side Story and they we got a chance to join in. The director of the day had adapted the theme of "Tonight" for orchestra and written some new words for the singers. Basically there were four different lines which could be played - all of which fitted together and moved from basic to quite tricky. The orchestra, singers, percussion, saxophones (because there were 24!) and guitars all practised as different sections, then came together for a final performance at the end of the morning. It really was great! I'm enthusiastic about music anyway but it was great to play with the BBC Orchestra. All the members of the public were seated next to a professional so we got help and encouragement from them and the chap leading it (Tim Steiner) was ace - really made everyone feel totally involved.

Had a surprisingly large range of instruments too - the guitar section was most varied, there was a mandolin, banjo, accordian and melodian as well as the guitars.

I really enjoy this kind of thing, but do tend to get a little carried away and start thinking about taking lessons again or doing other musical things like learning a new instrument, but realistically, it would be very expensive and I probably wouldn't be able to put in the time needed for practise. Maybe later in life?? Anyway, fully enthused for the concert at the end of June I've just downloaded to whole programme to my iPod so that I can at least get more familiar with how the pieces sound! And apparently the Pines of Rome are on Fantasia 2 - I think that might be coming out from the cupboard again....

Flying the Flag

Not the clearest of pictures, I must apologise, but a representation of our views of the songs last night at Eurovision!!! Note the UK flag at the top - we all thought Scooch were brilliant - but it was not to be...

The party was great though - went up to Nottingham to see our friends there for the do. The host had kindly split Europe into 4 geographical regions for the various couples to support, but a rather too enthusiastic elimination of western European entrants in the cunning semi-final meant that the host's region only ended up with 3 songs! We had 7 which wasn't too bad, and our themed contribution was from Germany - Holten Pils, Reisling and home-made black forest gateau. A triumph in the taste department - but don't talk to me about grated chocolate and how you can get it on to the side of a cake ... Greece was one of ours, which we thought was a good song - other favourites were the Ukraine and Sweden - although emphatically not Serbia (bah).

Chris had also kindly prepared rather dubious fact sheets for each country - some facts true, some facts blatant puns and others just ...well... rather strange. Take Turkey for example :

3. The Turkish National Football Stadium is lit by 4 floodlights; Light A, Light B, Light C and the famous Turkish D Light.

4. Turkey is often criticised for their oppression of the Kurds. They also oppress jam, marmalade, chutney and preserves of all kinds.


There were also special awards for Scariest Lead Singer (think that went to Finland in the end), Most Sexually Offensive Dance Move (the Ukraine for that one groin thrust at the end of the song) and Least Clothes on by end of set (Sweden for the removal of the jacket - but disappointingly for all party goers, a lot less stripping on stage than in previous years!).

All was going well until the voting - but we're all off to Malta on hols next year!!!

House of Fun

Listening to Radio 2 on the way to Nottingham yesterday - a caller's claim to fame was that he'd been in the video for Madness' "House of Fun" which was apparently filmed at the Pleasure Beach in Great Yarmouth!! I have carefully scanned the video - I think I recognise that roller coaster!!!

STEPping on

Friday - STEP conference in London, update on Trust and Estate matters. Pretty good really, although a massive bundle of notes to have a read through. First section was on the FA 2006 changes and the recent case of Phizackerley. Fortunately one of the speakers was Chris Whitehouse - witty, sharp and acerbic about the Revenue. Very entertaining and has the uncanny ability to imbue all his advice with a very relaxed air as though there really is nothing to worry about at all. Also reassured us all that Phizackerley wasn't really the catastrophic herald of the end of tax planning in Wills certain newspapers would have had us believe.

Second section on contentious estate issues was a but dull - although enlivened by a tale of the almost perfect crime committed by a solicitor - sadly the devil was in the detail and trying to buy a car from the estate for around £25 less than the market price was apparently the undoing!

Lovely lunch - although as usual really pity the poor souls who have the first afternoon session. And it wasn't the most interesting of topics either - the Mental Capacity Act. The main problem being not being that the subject itself isn't interesting, but that the bits of the Act we're most interested in haven't yet come into force, so there are no interesting cases or anecdotes to keep us awake and instruct us in how to work with the new rules. Just lots of going through the act's provision and the Codes of Guidance.

Final session was on unusual Grants of Probate - not anticipating this to be particularly stimulating but it really benefitted from a lively speaker with lots of tales of how she and her department have come across them.

Even managed to get a seat on the train on the way home. Hurrah.


A big thanks to L for making my snack all the more enticing. (It's Nutella)(really)


Dropped my rosin at orchestra on Thursday - saw it slip gently from my hand and slowly drop to the floor as if in slow motion where it promptly smashed to smithereens. Well...good excuse to buy a new shiny block!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Somehow managed to smack myself in the chin with a lever arch file as I was getting in the car to come home tonight. Bonus.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Work's been pretty busy as usual - and if actually getting on with the client stuff isn't enough, we are all being encouraged to get out there and business development our little socks off (so much so that where there was previously one non-chargeable time recording code for "Business Development," now there are 7!!!! - or 8, can't remember).

So, last week my Thursday afternoon to evening consisted of a tax seminar at the neighbouring accountants, followed by a reception marking the opening of new offices of a stockbroker in town (office very hard to find - above the Alliance & Leicester - very small signs!) followed by orchestra. Then 2 meetings on Friday, one with a thoroughly pleasant IFA and then another stockbrokers in the afternoon. This week I spent Tuesday evening with a group of my work meeting a group of accountants from the town and Wednesday out for lunch with another IFA. I'm getting my hours in!!

It's really strange - I'm so used to being the "junior" person at one of these BD meetings I've never really developed a knack for the kind of small talk/business talk you need to be able to make when you go to one...and be able to start up conversations with complete strangers! Slowly getting there - but the point of this is, having always been a junior member of the team, it somehow felt wrong that at the Wednesday lunch I was the senior colleague! I kept looking round for backup from one of the partners!! Still, I know it all takes time and the more I do the better I'll get - well.. that's the theory anyway!

Still, although my general conversation isn't great, my conversation stoppers are absolutely marvellous! Take Tuesday evening - there we are all sat in the restaurant, people at my end of the table (two men from my firm older than me and 2 ladies from the accountants, a little older than me but much more trendy) have been happily chatting about their pinups - Debbie Harry, Simon le Bon etc. Then someone asked me. Now you wouldn't think this would be too terrible, but I've never particularly been one for pinups or idols, even as a child. No posters on my wall, or cravings to go to concerts. So I panic. I could lie, but a) this doesn't really occur to me until too late and b) I get worried that someone will ask me a followup question about that person that I can't answer and my lie will be revealed - embarassment all round.

Okay, so first thing that comes into my head - Scott Bakula. Had a BIG thing for him in Quantum Leap (and he's still pretty cute). So I say him. Have to explain who he is. Still not much comprehension. So, and this is the really, really clever bit - the only other thing I can think of he has been in recently is Enterprise. Star Trek. Yep. Conversation dead as a dodo.

I really need help.

(on the plus side, I did see a good menu in the pub afterwards - one meal being served was brocilli and cheese bake. Yum - sounds almost bacterial)