Monday, April 28, 2008


This week, I was pushed out of the office unwillingly* to go to a conference on employer brand engagement. It was v interesting (I am ignoring the voice inside me that wonders how I ever got interested in this. Aren't I supposed to be saving the kids and the rainforest? Or leading a crack UNIT team? Isn't that what was supposed to happen?). I suppose I like the fact that ultimately it all comes down to people and human psychology, and manners, which are pretty straightforward really.

But in terms of the experience itself, all I need tell you was that in was in a generic hotel with coffee that leaves that dry taste in your mouth and you'll get what I mean.


One of the speakers was the head of internal comms at Google.


Ooooo the shiny things at Google. Wheee!


Anyway. Hooray for conferences sometimes is our message here. Although it does tend to turn into a game of swap-the-business-card**.

Mine is sort of a blue and white affair. It's quite nicely designed and everything, but a bit stark. Partly because I'm also cited as a 'consultant', which makes me cringe a little. One of my mates had a business card with a smooth card that another of our friends liked to rub over his face with his eyes closed tightly shut. This is the inevitable picture in my head whenever I look at someone's business card.

Oh dear.

* Srsly. I have a lot to do. I have next week of, mkay? Am off to France and Spain. VROOM.
** You made to register to view this link. But I have to say the FT site

Sunday, April 27, 2008

And also, while I'm here...

As noted by Oli and others - hooray!

Although I hear strange and dangerous whispers abroad that they may not be able to secure all the cast from the pilot, which would be a right old shame.

Still. Well done there, Cohen.

It's like being fleeced by a children's party invitation

After much discussion along the lines of 'well I can't be arsed to pack everything and move it anywhere else' my flatmate and I decided to renew our tenancy contract for a year. For some mysterious reason the lettings agent decided to send us not one, not two, but three two-page tick-box forms allowing us to indicate whether we wanted to stay or feck off (one of which had a different date for no reason at all. They are messing with our heads.).

This week, after letting them know our choice, the post brought a jolly little missive from them saying they was going to be a rent increase.

I say jolly because, as my flatmate pointed out, 'the bastards have written it in comic sans'.

I feel a strongly-worded telephone conversation coming on.

It's even more annoying because the original letter prompted a spate of domestic activity. I bought a new shower curtain.*

Anyway. I've clearly been rubbish and not posting of late. Rest assured, it's not the dreaded ennui** noted elsewhere - I have always been this lazy (although as an aside if I can't use YouBoobs for blog posts, I'm fooked).

...I'vejustbeenreallybusy. Okay that's beyond the lame event horizon, but I've been partaking of interesting and culturally significant thingies (like this, this and this).

That last thing was the result of a bet with my eldest nephew. He reckoned nothing could be scarier than films, so I took him to see it having caught it in Brighton back when I was a student (I had to sleep with the light on for two nights. I'm well 'ard.). Plus as a good middle-class, Gruaniad-reading uncle I have to enrich the cultural lives of my nephews as much as possible (buying them playstation games doesn't count, apparently).

At the interval I turned to Nephew The Elder (who for comedy purposes I should point out has only just become a teenager):

ME: "So, are you enjoying it?"
NEPHEW THE ELDER: "Yeah it's really good. It's like they're giving you a three-way perspective on the same story to make it more real and scarier. It's not scary but it's very good."
ME: "..."
NEPHEW THE ELDER: "Can I have an ice cream please?"

I've also had a cold and been 'dating'. Which is a whole world of pain post in itself.

The world (and specifically radio 4) has also become a slightly less sprightly place with the passing of the glorious Humphrey Lyttelton. It has been an excuse for the papers to print some of his best lines. How wonderful to be able to chuckle fondly at obituaries. This is my favourite:

On charades
"The experts' expert was, of course, Lionel Blair. Who could ever forget the opposing team captain Una Stubbs sitting open mouthed as he tried to pull off '12 angry men' in under two minutes."

Finally, everyone has to head on over to Quinquireme and check out Patroclus's extremely revealing newspaper inequality project, here and here.

Phew. All this blogging after so long has brought on one of my heads. If anyone wants me I shall be in a darkened room with a damp flannel and a slim volume of poetry...

* Which involved several increasingly panicky mobile phone calls from Habitat. I'm not good a decisions.
** ...have just learnt how to spell ennui. Am chuffed. Thank you blogosphere.

UPDATE: Patroclus has in fact started a whole new blog tracking the letters issue. T'is to be found here. Thanks Patroclus!