Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Crossing the junction of St Stephen's Green and Merrion Row this morning, listening to Moaning Ireland (RTE Radio 1). Ahead of me at the junction, three Loretto schoolgirls were in earnest conversation and appeared to be rehearsing some highly choreographed dance routine. On the radio, an equally earnest UCD Modern History Professor discussed the recently catalogued collection of Eamonn De Valera's personal papers now accessible to the general public & historians alike.

I was amused to think that comely maiden might still be dancing at the cross roads after all these years.


Monday, November 28, 2005

Questions Asked, Answers Questioned

I'm slightly worried. Up until now, I'd have found my political views best reflected in the policies of the Progressive Democrats. Now that's not the reason that I'm worried but maybe I should be!

Is it just me, or has everyone noticed the recent PR campaign by Michael McDowell to rehabilitate his image? He's been appearing on various TV and radio shows where the presenter is "interested in finding out about the man behind the ministry". The questions are so consistent between interview that I've no doubt they were written by the Minister's minder.
  • "You are a father who wants to keep his private life private. Is that difficult?"
  • "Tell me how you met your wife"
  • "How right wing are you?"
  • "How do you pronounce your surname? - it's quite unusual and people say it so many different ways!"
  • blah .... blah ..... blah ....

Each "question" is designed to allow Michael trot out some homespun tale that is designed to show how reasonable he really is. God, he even doesn't mind how you pronounce his "very difficult name"!

I'd like to know

  • How he'd assess his own performance as minister?
  • Why he can't deliver a dedicated traffic core?
  • What has he done about Garda corruption?
  • How he thinks threatening journalists with jail is the work of a liberal democrat?
  • Why he resurrected some antiquated piece of legislation (1924 Dublin Metropolitan Police Act) to contrive a kangaroo tribunial in the Rossiter case (instead of using his own framed legislation)?
  • How long will he need to continue this PR campaign - until Mary Harney resigns leadership of the PD's or until the next election?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Roy Keane against the world?

Another playground brawl?

It's all in the Balance

George Best, it seems, had balance. And balance is important in a footballer acccording to those that know. Balance is also something prized in journalists and pundits. I don't know if in his playing days that Eamonn Dunphy had any balance. But it is quite evident - even to those of us that know nothing about football - that the TV pundit cum journalist doesn't really have any balance.

Now I know there is a school of thought that says the most important thing in punditry is to have strong opinions. But I would have thought objectivity is also an important attribute. Recently watching from some remove as I was - okay so I shared the TV sofa with Tony but I was dug into a great book - it was still clear to me that Mr Dunphy had lost the plot more than a little.

I think loyalty is a most under-rated attribute and when it comes to defending his friend Roy Keane, Mr Dunphy is nothing if not loyal. However it must be possible to defend one person constructively rather than totally disrespecting someone else. Roy Keane is probably a brilliant family man, footballing genius and general hail-fellow-well-met. But surely it's possible that Niall Quinn is each of these things also.

Why does it always have to be an either/or situation. Could they both not be great sons of Ireland? Just because Roy might not be best friends with Niall, does everyone have to take sides like some sort of school yard squabble? I've a sneaky regard for Mr Keane but will also admit to being more than a little impressed with Mr Quinn. The one person who comes out of the whole thing looking more than a little stupid, purile, partisan and unbalanced is Eamonn Dunphy.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Sometimes it is good to talk

Sometimes it is good to talk

I know that this might be a sacrilegious thought here in Bloggerland but I think sometimes talk radio is just so hard to beat. I caught a discussion yesterday on Newstalk’s “The Right Hook” on the insidious commercialisation of our children’s education.

At the outset I have to say, my first reaction when I came across George Hook was one bordering on revulsion. How could this inarticulate self-opinionated rugby pundit credibly host a radio chat show? I’ve since revised my opinions of Mr Hook. Despite – or is it because of? – his less than word perfect delivery, he does manage to create some engaging radio.

Yesterday’s programme included a discussion between a Glasnevin teacher (called Joe, I think) (*) and Paul Allen (of Paul Allen Associates, Public Relations). The teacher seems to have started a campaign against what he sees as the blatant exploitation of school children and direct marketing in the class room. You know that sort of thing – Tesco’s Computers for Schools scheme provided schools with pc’s by parents collecting shopping tokens. McDonalds have sponsored GAA Hurling gear that includes bibs emblazoned with the golden arches.

Teacher Joe demanded that a halt be put to this sort of thing and convincingly argued that the classroom should be free of such endorsements. He noted that safety lessons “brought to you by Renault, the safest cars in the world” were a reality in some schools (*).

Despite – or is it because of? – his public relations expertise, Paul Allen was much less convincing against restricting such sponsorship. His argument seemed to consist of ‘every facet of life is a marketing opportunity, there is near media saturation with images being bombarded at every corner. So there is no point in trying to stop it. Oh, and by the way, Independent Newspaper’s have an excellent campaign’. He patronisingly noted that Joe is making a noble effort but that he should live in the real world – and see the Super Supervalu promotion for what it was – captain’s armbands for the kids (*). Joe insisted that class rooms should be a sanctuary from such highly tuned marketing and that our children should not be for sale.

Children as young as three are asking their mums to shop in Tesco’s or Dunnes or Esat so that their school can win computers or gym gear or the Young Scientist of the Year competition. (Slight exaggeration, but you get the drift.) Paul seemed incapable of constructing a reasonable counter-argument and so tried to ridicule Joe with the image of teachers having to peel Fyffe’s labels of lunchtime bananas. Such nonsensical non-sequiturs demonstrate what I’ve always believed, Marketing heads are about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

George enriched the discussion – and covered for a poor mobile telephone line – by playing devil’s advocate to both sides of the argument and reminiscing about pestering his mum to by Horlick’s jars as a child so he could get a Dan Dare Intergalactic Spaceship or something (*). And he didn’t even lick Horlicks!

Excellent, engaging radio. As I said, sometimes it’s good to talk radio.

Photo : Penguin Books

(*) I know that the lack of accurate detail will prevent me from being either a journalist or a fully fledged blogger. Or in the case of Redmum, both!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Erring on the side of caution

Strange as it may seem, my brain works much faster than I can type. Granted, I can't type all that well which is something of a bummer with this whole weblog lark.

Now I can claim all sorts of mitigating factors. For instance, this ergonometric keyboard was clearly designed for the proverbial Shakespeare-on-a-typewriter chimpanzees engaged in a useless demonstration of random events. I know for a fact that the QWERTY keyboard configuration was a male conspiracy to counteract the inherent greater female dexterity.

But if I'm honest the reality is, I'm so impatient to get my thoughts down, that I move on the next idea before I've finished typing. I also tend to disappear down the closest tangent long before I have articulated fully my first thought. I'm a dreadful speller and my attention to detail is also quite pathetic. Throw in my previously acknowledged sub-conscious nervous tick, and you'll begin to wonder is this the work of an aforementioned ape.

For this reason, I've started to save some of my blogs as drafts which I revisit 24 hours later. It does of course mean that few of my mutterings are contemporary but on the plus side they should at least be intelligible if not intelligent.

I also find that on reviewing my drafts, I can reduce the number of redundant phrases, you know the sort of thing - "stupid idiot Corkman" can be abbreviated to "Corkman" with no editorial loss . I also invariably find that a good few of my most spontaneous posts never see the light of day. Which is probably just as well.

I've heard of English Lit scholars arguing the toss about hidden messages within Joyce's Ulysses. Years of toil have gone into clarifying subliminal symbolism in Yeat's works. It is obvious to me that both men, like me, just weren't vey good typists, probably couldn't spell to well and had no proofreading capabilities work talking about. Why they didn't just save their works as drafts and allow a 24 hour cooling off period, I'll never know.


This post was saved over 24 hours ago. On reading it back I find 17 grammatical & 12 spelling mistakes! Given that there are only 30 or so sentences, I think this demonstrates my point!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Digestion Problems - Help Required

No doubt that the more experienced bloggers among you (which lets face it is pretty much everyone) watch the continuing education of Paige with a wry smile. She how she has discovered how to post a picture. Look at her first tentative steps at customising the template that she uses! And see how she tentatively edits HTML code to insert a link to blogs like she is taking her life into her own hands! Every one of these steps are major hurdles for the technophobic yours truly. I'd imagine that from where you are sitting these are merely baby steps.

I marvel at the simplicity of how I can post my thoughts. (And I admit, at times it does seem like more time has gone into the presentation, the blog template than I put into the content.) But at the same time, I am filled with wonder and awe at the stuff you guys can all the great stuff you do with your blogs.

There are so many really excellent blogs out there. I try to check out as many as I can every day. So much so, that there never seems to be sufficient time for me to compose my contribution. Is there a really neat way of "aggregating" up a personal selection of entries from different blogs? A sort of personally constructed digest? Which at the same time would allow me to add a comment to the entries?

Monday, November 21, 2005

You look wonderful tonight

You look wonderful tonight

So far, I’ve managed to navigate my twenties without having to give too much thought to Eric Clapton. Today, for some strange reason - is it Eric Clapton day by any chance? – I’ve been assaulted by three blasts of “Wonderful Tonight” on my radio.

Someone please tell me that this is an ironic take on a love song. I can’t believe that anyone can make such a dull, morose song and claim it as a statement of affection. Everything about it, his throaty groan, the mangled guitar and funereal timing scream depression.

Taking the song literally, this lazy eff-er is lounging on the bed watching his missus get ready for a night out. He’s thinking that she looks wonderful tonight. She’s thinking, don’t catch his eye cos it will only encourage him. He’s all horny and he’ll only end up getting her best frock ruined. They go to a party. He gets smashed out of his head despite clearly being the designated driver. She has to drive him home. (She was probably wise to the fact, which is why she didn't drink through the party). He's so pissed she has to help him to bed. And to cap it off, he tells her she looks wonderful whilst being too blind drunk to distinguish her from the duvet! Message to all drunk men everywhere, no woman ever takes any comfort from a pisshead telling her how well she looks.

I understand it that my parents and their generation think that this is the pinnacle of music brilliance. Agghh!! I’ll never understand them.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Revulsion Therapy?

Can someone please explain how a picture of Corporal Willie O'Dea parting his moustache with a pistol glorifies a gun culture? Remembering that that eijjit is Minister for Defence, perhaps we should have our army carry lollypops and save us all these guilty pangs.

While we are at it, perhaps this Christmas we will all stop buying toyguns, violent video games etc for young impressionable minds (who incidently generally don't buy the Irish Times).

Friday, November 18, 2005

"€60 to visit Accident & Emergency!", the tabloid screams. Scandalous state of affairs, just what is this country coming to?

The problem with overcrowding in A&E is multifactored. One element of it is that many of those attending have not had an accident and most of the cases aren't emergency. The triage nurse has to prioritise precious medical resource and hence the less urgent cases sit in A&E for many, many hours. The situation is exaccerbated because rather than paying their GP €45-50 per visit, Joe Public waits until his ailment is so serious that he becomes an emergency admission.

The only way to stop this element of the problem is to make visiting your A&E less attractive or make going to your GP more so. We can either cut the price of visiting the GP or increase the cost of visiting the A&E department. I'd say why stop at €60? I'd happily pay twice that amount to be able to get emergency help when I need it.

We seem to know the price of everything and the value of nothing. In a society where a 16 year old will spend €300 on a mobile phone and €7.50 per drink, €60 to have your stomach pumped by a highly skilled clinical nurse seems great value for money. Ever tried taking your car into a garage to have its oil changed? Or get your wheel balanced? Here a semi-skilled apprentice will relieve you of at least €60 for the privilage. And while we are at it, why not make visiting A&E if your accident was alcohol-induced €500 per trip.

We might appreciate the boys and girls in the A&E as much as we do Dave in Quickfit and Sean in Pravda.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dilbert Rules Okay

I've been a fan of Dilbert every since I realised that he completely understands my pain.

If you've never worked in a big company environment, you'll probably think that it is a remotely amusing cartoon. But if you've lived the cubicle lifestyle and been managed by objectives then I'd say you too are spooked by his perceptiveness.

Sometimes the observations are just so on the money that you feel that not only have you worked with him but you probably had a 10:30 with him that morning. Like all good cartoons, everything is exaggerated to a point where it is so unfeasible that it has a scary realism.

Also, like all good cartoons, one character gets all the good lines. With Dilbert, its his faithful canine consultant, Dogbert. (He's a consultant 'cos it combines the two things he likes to do most Con people + Insult people)

Classic Dogbert Consultancy

Dogbert : If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day
Dogbert : If you teach a man to fish, he will buy an ugly hat
Dogbert : And if you talk about fish to a starving man, then you're a consultant!

I've recently discovered that his creator, Scott Adams has his own blog and its worth checking out. (see Inspiring Links).


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"The most clever, the most cunning" & Bertie Ahern

Liz O'Donnell is a politician that I admire greatly. Intelligent, articulate and opinionated, she is respected for her interest in Northern Ireland, Human Rights and Overseas Development Aid. Issues which are unlikely to buy her too many votes within her Dublin South constituency. In general she comes across as more astute and less self-serving than most of her fellow TD's.

Her critics have described her as something of a loose canon. (Of course any woman with an opinion is dangerous and can only be thought of as a lethal weapon. Funny how Conor Lenihan is a maverick politician but Liz is a loose canon.) While I admit one sure sign of an impending election is a broadside from the bould Liz, when has re-establishing one self in the public consciousness at a critical time been a crime?

Now I'm with Liz on the need to separate Church and State. Still her swipe at Bertie Ahern seems more than a little unnecessarily personal. As far as I'm aware, "All Hallows" is not a commonly recognised euphemism for the Catholic Church Inc. Of Ireland. And although I know precious little about Bertie's domestic circumstances, even I was aware that he has a personal affinity to the Vincentian institution and that he lived nearby.

In the wake of the Ferns report, it is completely acceptable to highlight the need to separate Church and State instruments. Personally, I think that one of the best ways would be to acknowledge how the Catholic Church has been a power of both tremendous good as well as despicable evil. We can be no more a la carte with our secularism than we can with our religion.
The swipe at Bertie seemed calculated and premeditated. It certainly wasn't the work of a loose cannon.

So this got me thinking. What if it was all a ruse. You know a contrived spat between Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats that wasn't going to do either Bertie or Liz any harm. Both come out of it looking strong to their particular constituencies. It creates the semblance of debate between the government partners but one that can be soon forgotten. Of course what it does do is knock Fine Gael's Ard Fheis off every news bulletin and relegates it to page 3-4 of most newspapers. The haste with which both sides kissed and made up was quite telling.

Nice one Liz, I'd nearly move house just so that I could be in your constituency.

Oh Dear Enda

Dear Enda,
I was wondering if you would think about making trigonometry optional in the Leaving Cert also? I find it nearly as difficult as Irish and certainly less useful. And when you are at it, perhaps you could look into irregular French verbs, Hamlet and the political history of the Balkans?

I'll be 18 next year and will definitely vote for you seeing as you are such a brilliant leader of the Opposition.

Is mise le meas,


Some folk fret that the Republic is a cold house for Unionists. I can assure them it isn't any warmer for the rest of us.

Monday, November 14, 2005

It is only a game (#1)

I don’t “get” rugby.  I never did and probably never will.  Growing up in Donnybrook left me with no affinity for the sport at all.  I just know when it is best to avoid Kiely’s.  In fact, I don’t get many of the ball sports that regress the average male to a whimpering 10 year old boy.   My boyfriend Tony and I have discussed this comprehension gap quite a few times.  The most animated of these came during Liverpool FC’s “incredible” (his words, not mine) sojourn to the Champions’ League title.  I’ve a very pedantic point of view, I realise.  I just can’t figure how a team that isn’t champions are allowed to play in a “Champion’s Competition”.  That would be like letting men run in the Women’s mini marathon.  (The clue is in the title, chaps.  Dressing up as nuns is no excuse and simply reveals how uncomfortable you are with your own sexuality.)

But back to minority sports like Rugby.  The game itself seems to have been devised by someone with a pathological hatred of entertainment.  The objective, as I see it, seems to be to advance the ball as far into the opponent’s territory as far as possible whilst never passing the ball forward.  Kicking the ball of the park seems to be a particularly commonplace strategy.  At times of confusion, a core of the biggest player’s do a sort of collective show of strength to see which side can push the other back.  Oblivious to the earnest contest, the smallest of the players throws the ball into this “scrum” and awaits its exit from the melee.  Wholesale violence is regularly perpetrated on the opposition (and it seems to be, in some cases on one’s colleagues).  People regularly stamp, gouge, bit and spit at their opponents.  At the end of the match, the victors pretend to be very sporting and applaud their vanquished foes off the park in the most patronising of manners.  Large sections of a team can play for the entire year and never touch the ball.  Every position has a strange sounding name except for one.  The occupant of this position is ostracised with a derogatory name of “No. 8”.  (This reminds me of a twist on a particularly cruel stunt used when picking sides in ladies hockey.)
In case anyone gets good at the sport, the organising body change the rules constantly.

I know nothing about rugby (although I’ve pick up the odd gem from the brilliantly ironic Ross O’Carroll-Kelly) but even I knew that Ireland was going to get trounced by the “All Blacks”.  Seeing grown men cry at the failure of one bunch of professionals from beating another bunch is somewhat disconcerting.  There are many more important thinks to cry over.  Child abuse, the homeless, disasters in Asia, famine in Africa and War in Iraq are few that spring to mind.  I suppose I should take some comfort from the fact that these men are showing their emotions in public.  That has to be a good move.  But now that it is safe for another few days to enter Kiely’s finest in Donnybrook, why not stop in for a quiet one and a discussion of the real issues and stop obsessing about if Shane Horgan hurts as much as you do.


(Apologies for the absence of blog entries for the last week.  A number of domestic crises made me realise that there are more precious things in life than talking to myself.  Thankfully these have now passed and all parties are making speedy recoveries.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Brand New Friend

I spent this weekend in the company of my 3-year old neice, Catherine. And it has to be said that with the exception of one scary moment on the M50, it was a real joy. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't really spent much time with her during her first three formative years. I've tended to see her as something of a burden and definitely as a cause of much trouble despite her tender years.

As any dutiful aunt would do, I showed up at the Rotunda with obligatory flowers for my sis and teddy bear for the new "sprog". She lay there all wrinkled and yellow, roaring at the top of her lungs for an hour. My sis and I have always been close but I didn't think it polite to tell her that I didn't think she was the "cutest thing in the whole world". Or indeed that the public ward down the corridor was full of similar sounding creatures. That my car was clamped on Parnell Square, is clearly not Catherine's fault. I can hardly expect a 2 day old child to know that there is a poorly advertised clearway for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon on the east side of side square. But if she had not squawked her way through my visit, I'd have had my aunt duties dispatched in half the time.

I suppose on some level I probably resent the fact that she seems to have taken over Aoife + Tom's life completely. They both turned into parent bores and seemed to have checked their intellect in at the door of the maternity ward. Every burb, gurl and fart was highlighted as being a highly individualistic and artistic statement. I object to the fact that two funloving and gregarious people could be so devastatingly drained of life. I certainly blame her for the disaster that my sophisticated dinner party of two years ago became. Trying, perhaps too hard, to demonstrate my domestic goddess credentials to a young Italian accountant, I’d the soft lighting, exquisite menu, atmospheric music, excellent guests et al only to be thwarted by roars of my beloved neice. Believe me it is hard enough to seduce an accountant – Italian or otherwise – whilst being serenaded by Norah Jones and a 14 month colic-ridden Northsider. I am probably being unreasonable blaming Catherine for the fact that Alessandro hooked up with my best friend from Primary school. Rachel had the advantage of being single, a smoker, knowledgeable about the FRS’s of relevance to corporate governance and not having a possessed infant staying the night in her gaff.

So imagine my surprise to find this chaos machine has turned into a young lady. (Now I don’t know about you, but I think I was 17 before I turned into being a young lady. ) And not just a young lady, but a kind, sensitive and hug-giving one at that. Catherine brought me a gift – a beautiful drawing of me in my new apartment – complete with the perspective that only a 3-year old understands. (I’ll never get drapes to fit those windows). We explored Sandycove beach, collected shells and wrapped them as individual gifts for Tom + Aoife. We shared popcorn, nail varnish and movies “that make me sad”. I thought that the English Patient was a credible choice of tearjerker until Catherine told me about Sponge Bob and his unfortunately shaped pants. Over the space of 2 years, this infuriating infant has developed into a mature, mischievous madam. She can do Irish dancing, ballet and waltzing thanks to Riverdance and Walt Disney DVD’s.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve not turned all broody. It will take more than one fun-filled weekend to make me want to have a baby. (Actually it takes 4 smirnoff ice’s on an empty stomach to do that!) I was happy to had her back to Aoife who seems to have been refreshed by a 4 hour indulgence in the Dundrum basilica. But I’ve made a wonderful new friend – one who sees things with such refreshing optimism. I’ve set a date for her next visit – a sleepover. I am even thinking of inviting her to my next dinner party.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Nervous Tick

Nervous Tick
Several years ago, I work for a publicly listed Irish company.  This company knew every trick in the book and generally treated both their customers and their employees with utter contempt.  Never one to let the truth get in the way of making money, they were a triumph of style over substance.  Everyone of their senior management was more incompetent than the next and the whole organisation flew by the seat of its thread-bare pants.

This company always liked to push the technology as far as it could go.  They always insisted on having the latest version of Microsoft Office/windows but like everything else, their IT system was a cobbled together hotchpotch of pirated software and half-baked ideas.  Groups of 20 or more staff shared the same login id to reduce the number of site licences required for those piece of software that the company couldn’t steal.  None of their employees got any training and their particular version of software didn’t have any of the help files installed (pre-release version was the standard line from the IT manager).

Unsurprisingly their network was highly unreliable.  Between 8–10 system crashes per day was not uncommon.  My colleagues and I lost countless hours of work from files that were corrupted during these crashes.  There was one particular detailed financial analysis document that I remember working on.  I’d spent over six months pulling together pivot tables, bar charts and pages and pages of pro-forma data.  The night before I was due to make a presentation to the Finance Director, my document crashed.  Unfortunately, not only did my pc crash but so too did the entire network.  I wasn’t too worried because I knew that the beauty of the network is that everything was backed up to tape on a weekly basis.  Fortunately this was a Tuesday night (17:47pm on Tuesday 1st June 1999, if you must know – that timeline is burned in my brain forever.)  Being a Tuesday, I’d at most only have lost 2 days work.  

It was at this point that I learned that the network manager had opted for a “parallel randomised tape back-up regime” which sounded pretty technical and reassuring to me.  This sophisticated disaster recovery plan came unstuck however because the guy whose job it was to switch the tapes had left the company a year previous.  Hence the randomised tape back-up strategy meant that they had two back-ups of the network but both versions contained identical copies of all files (“resilience swapping”).  Worse still both tapes had the corrupted version of my file.  My presentation to the Financial Director was a nightmare that I’d not wish on my worst enemy (i.e. the IT Director).  Suffice to say that I’ve never really recovered from the ordeal.  

The worst part of it all is that I’ve developed a nervous tick that involves a subconscious and repeated “Cntrl + S” manoeuvre with the little finger and index finger of my left hand.  I can’t stop and think without nervously tapping a quick control + S or five for safety’s sake.  Any keystroke eavesdropper on my machine gets a lot of useless static.  This involuntary nervous tick has served me well over the years.  Until now that is.  With, this harmless reflex is translated into a “Go publish” command and as a result there have been a lot of unintended half-blogs.  A sort of pre-mature bloggification, if you will.

Damn those bastards to hell.  I hate them.  I despise that organisation with a vengeance normally reserved for Scooter Libby and Carl Rove.

(I know that putting “Hate”, “Libby” and “Rove” in the same paragraph is a shameless attempt to pull some covert CIA traffic onto my blog, but you have to understand where this girl is coming from.  I’m a woman on the edge!)

But I feel so much better for having shared that with you.  You are such a wonderful listener!

Suitably Humbled

Dear Blog,
As you know, I'm new to this game. I just love how with ease (okay with some help from Tony), I've been able to jump right in and blog to my heart's content. It's been so easy and I've been exposed to a whole new world of brilliant bloggers. These guys and girls are invariably witty, funny, relevant and interesting. They seem to just catch the right angle on everything. They are a great source of inspiration.

Of course, I've not quite sussed out the rules, nuiances and etiquette yet. And so, I've made a few mistakes along the way. A recent confusion about when to comment and when to link has caused some unintended offence amongst some of the community. I can plead mitigating factors but I appreciate that my half-baked attempts may have seen ill-mannered.

So for the last week, my normal blog time has been spend scouring for "Blogging for Idiots", "Blogging Etiquette" and "Bloggers Weekly" (you know the sort of articles, how good is your blog life and how to get the perfect e-orgasim). Alas, this investigation leaves me none the wiser and even more confused.

So I'm sorry for the slow blog rate, I'm sorry for the offence I unintentionally caused. But sometimes a girl just can't seem to get it right even when she trys really hard.

Yours humbly,