This is not a test. Unless it is, and no one told me so I haven't revised, which means I'm going to fail. Thanks for that.
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Friday, July 29, 2005

Charities are among the worst payers in the UK, according to a new survey.

There are a few facets to this, should charities pay above the odds for their employees, they are, after all, a charity.

But because they pay less people leave the sector and move about the sector more (just my observations) and the charities do not then get to keep the really good people because they can be better rewarded for their work elsewhere.

Richard Evans, chief executive of voluntary sector headhunter CF Appointments, agreed low pay was an issue for the sector but said it was dangerous to paint a homogeneous picture. "There is some evidence at middle and senior management level that some salaries are beginning to improve," he said. [Third Sector Pay in charities is 'better than tourism, worse than teaching' July 27]

Isn’t that always the way, the few who do the hard graft, and the up and coming middle managers, don’t get the rewards they’re entitled too, but nevermind, the middles do.

The statistics also show a gender gap, with men in the not-for-profit sector earning an average of £25,747 and women £22,313. [Third Sector Pay in charities is 'better than tourism, worse than teaching' July 27]

This is something that really bothers me, of course this is the general rule across many organisations, but it fills me with rage even so. I hate to think that a man doing my job would be paid more than be because he is a man. How on earth can that be justified? I do look around the office and wonder if this directly feeds back into the organisation I work for. I know that there have been previous (large) differences in pay across department for job with almost identical job descriptions!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dove Ads

The Dove ‘campaign for real beauty’ has had a lot of interest both here and in the US. Some feminists are praising Dove for using ‘real’ women in their ads, while others are more cynical about their intentions. I am among the cynical group.

Dove is a cosmetics company that makes its money out of our insecurities. This ad campaign has been cleverly designed to appeal to women while subverting the very message it purports to convey.

If the ‘real’ women in these ads are so beautiful and wonderful as is being claimed then why would they need this miracle ‘firming’ cream, designed to turn them into slinky creatures that conform to modern beauty standards. The use of ‘real’ women in these ads further undermines our perception of our own bodies – here are women that are supposed to be like us, but notice they still uphold the perfect beauty standards in many ways; flawless smooth skin and glowing complexion.

On the surface this claims to celebrate women’s bodies, but it is still undermining them. For many the qualities shown remain unattainable (most of us will never have perfect rosy skin), but claiming these women are ‘real’ only serves to support the beauty myth. As these ‘real’ women, with all the celebration of their real beauty are still not there (perfect, that is why they need to use Dove’s product), firiming cream and the struggle for the perfect body keeps them smiling, so it should us.

If they can attain it, and remember they’re ‘real’, then we should be able to too. After all ‘real‘ women like these are just like the real women in the street and the work place as we see them everyday. Shouldn’t they be grinning while they later on expensive creams that do nothing for them?

Dove are a large corporation, they have a team of advertisers working to trick us into buying their products. They are not women friendly, and never have been. They’re not ethical either, their products are tested on animals.

There are some great links regarding this, pulled together on the f word blog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Gower

I've just come back from an all weather holiday on the Gower in Wales.

I stayed on a campsite near Nicholaston, which had it's own farm shop, and a (pretty much) private beach, a mere 5/10 minute walk through some woods and over sandunes.

Here are the pics.

Here we see my friend and travelling companion, Miss Grossman, navigating said woods.

And the sand dunes.

Our reward was a huge beach, with some great cliffs to boulder on, although the rain prevented me getting any climbing done.

We went into Swansea for the day, here's the castle...

And we visited the Mumbles, which is as cute and quaint as they want you to think. It has a great pottery shop selling handmade pottery from the mumbles, an over priced pier, crazy golf and Verdis the ice cream parlour, which is rumoured to be great, but the lactose intolerant among us can't enjoy that!

Here's some pretty boat pics from the Mumbles.

And a shot of the village itself

Finally here are a selection of photos taken from our last evening, when the weather finally began to feel like July instead of September/October time.

Sunset at Rhossili

The final two I'll have to post via flickr, blogger doesn't seem to want to get along with them, god knows why!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The all powerful Tescopoly

Tesco have started a war on the small businesses.

They’re out buying, out selling and under pricing local shops, and heading a campaign to close many sub-post offices, much of which are the centre of small elderly communities who will feel the loss most. Not to mention their rather Orwellian approach to marketing (the link I had to this has expired, but log onto the ecologist's website, register and search for it, it's worth it and it's free.)

Or follow the link and join in the battle to break up Tesco, as advised by government think tank the New Economics Foundation.

Monday, July 11, 2005

My dad is coming home


On a slightly different matter my work has now introduced a new web police service, the aim of which is to stop good workers being tempted to surf the net and waste time.

Shame then that it no longer blocks blogger!

Although it does block ebay; a fringe obsession of mine…

Things are looking up kids ;o)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

my dad

My dad is still in hospital, but he's doing ok.
They still have him on a blood thinning drip, and he will have to be connected to a heart monitor for a couple more days, but he's walking about and is keeping his spirits up.

I went to visit him last night with my mum and my brother. He walked from his bed to us as we waited in the corridor. The nurses did not want us to go onto the ward because they were fighting to save the life of the woman in the bed next to my dad's. As we sat talking on the chairs in the corridor we could hear them charging the defibrillator.
Sadly they did not manage to save her.

I can only imagine how distressing this must have been for my dad.


When we left he went back to his bed, to sit looking in the opposite direction to what was going on. I wish we could have stayed with him; but visiting hours were over.

When he was admitted they said he would have to be in hospital for 5-7 days. Today is his third day, so he should be home again soon. His discharge is dependent on how he gets on while he's in hospital. He's had a couple of episodes of angina in the past few days, but hopefully this won't mean he has to stay much longer.


I'm going to visit him in an hour or so. My brother is with him now; we're taking it in shifts so he's not on his own for long periods. It gets so lonely in hospital, frustrating and so boring.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My dad had a heart attack last night.

I was round for dinner when it happened: it was incredibly unnerving to watch. At the time we didn’t consider for a second that it could’ve been a heart attack, we thought at best very bad indigestion at worst an attack of angina.

The whole thing lasted over 2 hours. It came on about 6:45 as he was on his way home from work. He had dinner. He sat with us in the living room. He then went upstairs, and after what was probably half an hour my mum called NHS Direct who put her through to the Ambulance service.

The paramedics arrived quickly, and at this point he had probably been suffering symptoms for about 2 hours. They gave him some angina medication and oxygen straight away, and wheeled him out to the ambulance that was parked on our drive for an ECG.

I waited inside with the dogs and after what seemed like forever watched them pull away taking my dad and my mum to the hospital. This must have been about 9:30.

I stayed at my mum and dad’s with their dogs and waited for a telephone call. At 10:45 I went home to collect some things, I planned to stay over and wait for their call.

At about 11:50 the phone rang; it was my mum calling to be picked up from the hospital. I knew at this point my dad had to stay in, but she didn’t tell me what had happened, just that he was alright.

I picked mum up at 12:30, at which time she told me my dad had had a heart attack. The paramedics diagnosed it in the ambulance.

It was only mild, she said, and he’s alright.

There are many ambulance teams in our region, and two based very closely to my parents house. The local team came to answer the call, which was very lucky. They are the only team in the region that begin treatment for heart attacks straight away. They may have been the reason he only had a mild attack.

He had been warned in the past that his blood pressure was too high, that his job was too stressful and that he had too much salt, but he stubbornly carried on. We all thought he was indestructible.

I feel terrible for my mum, she must have been terrified. I’m going to visit him tonight. They say he’ll need to be in hospital for 5 – 7 days. I’m going to try and find him a good book at lunch time.