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A big pat on the back for Gordon for passing some much needed new legislation:

Animal eggs OK to use for human stem cell research
No change in abortion limit
Lesbians and single women have equal rights to IVF
Screening allowed for 'saviour siblings'

Well done!

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Prompted by this


which to me is unacceptable.

Yes, by all means convert those who wish it. But how many does the pope personally convert? And at Easter? This is sending a message that Muslim converts are somehow 'better' than others and is a blatant 'up yours' to Muslims. Hardly designed to promote tolerance and respect. Like the author of the Danish cartoons, the Pope has been much praised (cheack the comments section) for 'standing up' to Muslims. I however, fail to see why either should have been published.

Free speech laws are not ends in themselves, but rather tools to preserve a law-abiding society. One limit on free speech is not being allowed to say 'Let's all go rob a bank', because we don't trust all members of our society to be honest or mature enough to ignore that sort of incitement. Likewise, we ban outright racial hatred in public because we don't trust certain elements of Britain not to take it to heart and commit crimes because of it. Of course, it would be more desirable to educate and enrichen the population to the point where the National Front are met with universal derision, but until then we have free speech laws. So free speech laws are meant to preserve public order. The Danish cartoons certainly did not do that - rioting, deaths and threats of terrorism followed. Of course, it would be more desirable if we could remove fundamentalist tendancies from our society, but until we do, free speech laws are one way of preserving public order. So this is my take on it: any action or public speech which is likely to disrupt public order should not be allowed. But the people likely to react to it should be targetted for social or educational policies to 'defuse' them.
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Mum took me to the health club she and Dad are members of today - they got a good deal for three years membership with guest passes included. It was wonderful - clear, empty pool, followed by jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, hot showers and free(!) hairdrying. I had a wonderful time, but it got me thinking about when I'll be able to afford it...

Not for a while, obviously. I won't be earning for another 4 or so years, and even then maybe not enough. Recently, all the graduate employers have been coming to Cambridge advertising internship, graduate training etc. I have friends who are earning £8,000 in the summer, and hope to walk into a £40,000 job.

Now I didn't become a doctor for the money, far from it. But it is a little galling to think of how much you can earn doing something like investment banking which is (I think) easier and less worthy. But there's the possibility that doctors may not even have the financial security they were promised by the time I get there, with all the competition for jobs. And having tried to economise as a student, I just hope never to become truly poor.

So what was the point of this? Am I asking for a world in which the 'merit' of what you do is judged and you are paid accordingly? I don't think so, because most jobs are necessary to run a society. You need your door-to-door double glazing salesmen and your bailiffs in a modern society. Perhaps, then, it is just that people give more. There comes a point when you actually don't need that much money. Would it really do people harm to have their salaries capped at say £70,000 a year? Maybe we should try and persuade people to have a voluntary 'cap' and donate the rest to charity? Would I even be able to do that if I ever open up a swanky private practice on Harley street? What are your thoughts?

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Just finished our first night. It couldn't have gone any better. This is such a nice feeling :).....
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I'm meant to be performing in a sketch show on Wednesday. It's been fun so far, but the rest of the cast have now really upset me about something. I'm particularly cross with three of them and I'm not sure I can face spending most of the rest of the week with them. Thing is, I also want to do the show, I don't want to let them down and I am proud of what I've contributed. Oh, decisions, decisions! What's worse is that at the moment I'm looking like a prima donna - five out of the eight of the group are properly tone deaf, one doesn't want to make a fuss so when I say to the last 'You keep hitting wrong notes. Let me do this song. You do the other three great' I look like sour grapes as to everyone else he 'sounds just fine'. I'm aware this is not the most serious problem in the world but it is way past my bedtime and I can't sleep for worrying about it. Oh, and I haven't sent my kentwell forms in yet and still need to clear with Patrick about skipping open days for Shabbos.

Harriet wants to go home.
Current Mood:
crappy crappy
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How old do you have to be before people stop taking the mick?

After the event on Sunday, which went very well by the way, the hotel tried to withhold our damage deposit. They had absolutely no grounds to do so but they were obviously hoping that as I was a student I'd be scared and stupid and just let them. As it was I mentioned the word 'lawyer' once and all their protests disappeared. In the meantime this means that I am very cross and we are four days further behind with sorting our finances. At times like this I fanatasise about getting these people under my knife later on....and treating them with the utmost respect and professionalism.

Maybe things will get easier when I have Dr in front of my name...

Current Mood:
angry angry
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Some things are JUST NOT FAIR.

Why did I have no problem with the fact that the righteous are punished and the wicked rewarded before bad things happen to me? How can all of this be part of the divine plan to make the world a better place? How can this seriously improve the world?

Is it heartless to comfort myself by trying to see the big, impersonal picture?

Is it stupid to comfort myself with vastly improbable hopes?

Hoping to see some (or all) of you soon.

Harriet xxx

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from Belfast this time seeing my aunts and cousins and having a thoroughly girly time, which was fairly novel for me. Went shopping for clothes for uni (last great fling on the parental credit card) and was 'Trinny and Susannah'd (what a verb!) by cousin Hannah and aunt Wendy and made to buy all sorts of interesting things I would never have picked up before. Also have straight hair and thus-created GHD lust. Culturally I visited a linen museum, and learnt where the phrase 'flaxen hair' comes from, also saw a woman spinning flax (done through her mouth to activate a glue in the fibres - ugh), and weaving beautifully fine cambric, also setting up a Jacquard loom pattern for a napkin, which required 2,000 hand calculated and made punch cards sewn together for the pattern. Have a new appreciation of the value of fabric now, and am even more keen to learn to spin and come to the woolshed sometime. Off to Kentwell tomorrow - yay! - I have been missing the viols and recorders and songs and Gentry people and bodices and meals on the sward etc etc. I think it will feel like coming home....:D
Current Mood:
excited excited
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...from Italy, which bar the rain and the cold was great! Most exciting moment was definately the Via Ferrata route up the side of a virtually shear mountain. Brother and I kept lobbing pebbles and hearing them bounce for about 30 seconds (there was a 600m drop into the valley).

Just cleared out my fabric store and realised that I have a problem. I thought I crossed the line a few weeks ago when I bought a remnant of really gorgeous silk noil, even though I had no idea what to do with it, just because it was beautiful. But today I found several more pieces of fabric which have yet to be allocated to a project, and no less than 8 half finished corsets, skirts, embroideries, quilts, knits etc which I have just GOT to get on and finish at some point. The question is, what to do first? I have a feeling it is a fatal mistake to start on a new one, but I have just recut a civil war era corset pattern to give a 20 inch waist (as opposed to the 24" in the original paper pattern) and I am very excited about it now. So, off to cut out that lovely taffeta........
Current Mood:
creative creative
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Ah...my first entry!!

Hmmm. To get everyone up to date I'd have to give a biography of my life so far which would be rather tedious and would take too long. Well, I've just come back from one lovely holiday in Kent and I'm off on again to Italy on Tuesday. So I will just say hello to everyone so my journal isn't embarassingly empty.


Current Mood:
ecstatic ecstatic
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