Are Prisons Too Soft?

The government is assessing whether prisoners should be given iPads to help them keep in touch with their families while on the inside. They could also be used to help with literacy, numeracy, and help convicts to gain skills ready for the outside world.

Wow. Continue reading



Yes it changes sometimes, but is that really such a big deal?

Whenever even a minor change is unveiled there’s always a cry of “It it ain’t broke’, don’t fix it!”.
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It’s good to talk…

NOTE: This conversation took place between my daughter and I on Facebook late one night. It made me chuckle so I thought I’d share it with you all.

My Daughter: I Think I Have Like A Mild Case Of Keratosis Pilaris 😉 On My Thighs And Elbows 😉

Me: Err…..what is that?!

My Daughter: Like Little Spots Or Bumps That Are Like Red. I Have Always Had Them.

Me: Do they hurt or itch?

My Daughter: No. Why?

Me: Just asking. You’ll probably grow out of it, but you can try gentle exfoliation and using soap-free cleanser

My Daughter: Well They Itch Sometimes.

Me: Might be because skin dries out in winter

My Daughter: But I Have Always Had Them. Since I Can Remember. Like For Years.

Me: It starts in childhood

My Daughter: Wtf? Are You Googling It?

Me: It gets worse around puberty, but usually improves after that. Often disappears at adulthood. Lol, I’m on the NHS website

My Daughter: But I Think I Have That. And There’s Like Nothing You Do Moisturizing Can Make It Less Noticeable But Not Go Completely.

Me: Moisturising and exfoliation help, but it will fade in time. I’ll have a look at it tomorrow.

My Daughter: Apparently It Doesn’t Go.

Me: NHS website says it does normally

My Daughter: Well Google Doesn’t.

Me: The NHS is a website run by trained medical professionals

My Daughter: And Google Is Cool.

Mind Mapping Tool

Obviously this isn't the Mind Map I created. I didn't want to inundate you with all my ideas in one go. Much better to let them trickle out over the months ahead....

Obviously this isn’t the Mind Map I created. I didn’t want to inundate you with all my ideas in one go. Much better to let them trickle out over the months ahead….

I’d been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to focus my mind; to bring all my random thoughts into some kind of order. To figure out some kind of plan. Not for life – I’m sure I’m destined to never know the plan for that, but for this blog. I wanted to plan what I want to blog about so I recognise the ‘useful’ thoughts when they bounce around my head.

I decided that a mind map would probably be a good idea. And being a bit of a geek, I Googled “free mind mapping tools” and came across an amazing website:

It’s just so easy! An amoeba could do it (providing they had some thoughts in their head to start with). It’s easy to customise, move sections around, change colours and when it’s done you can download it as a PDF or PNG.

Maybe it will be useful for homework, maybe to impress your boss. I was just so impressed that I had to share.

And I think I might need to get out more….

Modern Technology

I was at work today, working hard doing about fifteen things at the same time, as normal, when I was suddenly awe-struck by technology.

I’m in my mid thirties, so I’m old enough to remember actually having to go to a friends house to find out if they were in. We communicated either face-to-face or through handwritten letters. The closest I came to technology was playing games on my Spectrum 128K.

And yet there I was today, working in a database that people in the US are also using; emailing PDFs to Dubai; sharing files on Dropbox with people all over the country, and arranging an online training session with a company I’ve signed us up with. On top of that I was keeping up with my family abroad on Facebook, and keeping up with tweets from all over the world on Twitter.

Is it just me that finds that absolutely amazing? The power to do so much is at our fingertips; the possibilities are endless.

I think I’m part of the lucky generation because I CAN remember a time before this. It won’t be long before the past is as foreign to us as the Middle Ages.

I think tonight, after video chatting with some friends on FaceTime on my iPod, and watching some telly on NetFlix, I’m going to go to bed with a book. Not my Kindle tonight. Because as much as I love this amazing new world and all it has opened up for me, I’m not quite ready to totally give the past up just yet.

I Love My Job!

I love my job. It’s exhaustingly hard work, a delicate balancing act and a constant challenge, but I love it.

In addition to my actual job role I also have many other roles to play.

I provide IT support. I research extra material. I provide Reception duties. I proof read. I help judge competitions. I assist at events. I locate information for colleagues. I check invoices. I compile reports for people when needed. And I often end up being my boss’s PA.

And that’s on top of my actual job, where I already have a huge amount to do:

I manage the database. I manage the adverts on 2 websites. I moderate two public forums. I keep our domains (currently over 30) up to date. I follow all auctions that are selling a certain product and upload the data to one of our web pages. I’m responsible for all circulation issues, the online store and our subscriptions bureau. I ensure the server is backed up successfully daily, and monitor data levels. I upload 14 magazines a year to our websites. I manage the digital editions of 3 magazines. I update all software and hardware when needed. I raise invoices. I manage our Retail Partners through Affiliate Window. I download product feeds. I create reports from Google Analytics. I use Google Adserver. I research app and e-book developers.

This is all my ‘regular’ work – so doesn’t include other projects I’m given (which happens at least once a week, usually more). And I’m sure there’s more that I’ve missed out.

But I love my job. I look forward to going to work. The challenges are often great but it’s so stimulating. I’m not an expert in many of the tasks above; quite often I have to research what I need to do online before I start work. But to me, that’s fun.

I love to find things out. I love to learn new things. My workload is almost too much but I find it exhilarating working three heartbeats from total meltdown. I find it really focuses my mind. And I don’t feel stressed while I’m doing it.

Some people say this is because I’m a mum. That once you’ve had a kid you can cope with crazy demands on tight deadlines. But I disagree.

I was born like this. I need to be busy. Unplanned periods of inactivity are painful.

My tempo is quick. I talk quickly, I laugh quickly and I work quickly.

And I’ve always been like that.

In college, my Theatre Studies tutor did an activity with my class. We had to stand in a line, blindfolded, and then we had 30 seconds to walk forwards as slowly as we could – and we weren’t allowed to stand still.

At the end of the 30 seconds we took our blindfolds off and looked at where we were. At the time I was shocked to see how far across the drama hall I was compared to my classmates, but now when I look back it makes sense to me.

At one point about 5 years ago I was working 5 different jobs, volunteering at my daughters school, studying for a degree – and I still had time to take my daughter to swimming lessons, football club, and anything else she was doing at the time.

My conclusion is I’m in the perfect job for my tempo. I’m never going to tell my boss to ease up on giving me more projects, because I can cope with anything.