Sunday, 29 July 2007

My favourite poster

dj has very kindly bestowed upon me a Thoughtful Blogger award. I get to make some other awards, which I'll do at my leisure over the weekend (promises, promises...)

One more for the mantelpiece...

And as a newly thoughtful blogger, I'd like to share one of the most thought-provoking images I've ever seen: The Earth at Night. I first saw this when it fell out of my father's copy of National Geographic on a poster a few years ago and immediately became my most favourite poster image ever. Ever. And still is. There's a decent sized image here for the benefit of all curious souls.

Even more exciting which I've only just discovered: for those of you acquainted with Google Earth, there's an Earth Lights layer courtesy of NASA which is truly spectacular and awe-inspiring and will lead to sleepless nights (though maybe this is only the case for geeks...). More details here.

Happy travelling...

My nipples explode with delight...not.

I slept amazingly well last night thanks to two chlorphenamine maleate tablets I munched before going to bed. Some nasty little critter decided to bite me earlier in the evening. Damned biting things. I get bitten a lot. Living as I do in the middle of the heavily wooded, swamp-like remnants of an old quarry, home is a haven for all sorts of biting creatures. Stray the Super-Midget* never seems to get bitten. Nor does Badger. Just me. All the little biting things LOVE me. But I don't love them. I'm no fan of inter-species loving...

A few days ago I woke up at about 6am to find the cat berating me for not having fed it. Nothing too unusual here. The cat frequently comes in after a long hard night out in the deepest, darkest swamp. Half dazed, my mind wandered back to the previous evening, which I had a spent cavorting round London with a rather lovely young man. And then I felt a rather strange sensation - a weightiness coupled with something bristly on my chest. I wondered if I was still asleep, but decided the recognition that a day's work beckoned made this unlikely. So, if I wasn't still asleep and subject to random subconscious stuff, what WAS that? I opened my eyes, somewhat reluctant to admit that they day had indeed begun, and was shocked and horrified to discover that the unusual sensation was caused by the afore-mentioned cat attempting to obtain breakfast from my right nipple. Licking. Nibbling. With teeth. Ouch. Owwwwch! Not to mention the "Eeeeew" factor. Ick! Eeeeeeek!

The said cat found itself flying unceremoniously through the air shortly afterwards, projected by my good self. This would have been a fine plan of action on my part had the cat released my nipple of its own volition prior to being thrown across the room. Sadly, this was not the case and the pain which shot through my chest as the cat was forced to release my nipple during its high-velocity flight alerted me to the fact that perhaps my ability to make sound decisions based on good judgement is rather lacking prior to consuming my morning mug of coffee.

I am pleased to report there are no signs of lasting damage to myself or the cat.

*That's Super-Midget in the sense of being somewhat larger than an actual midget. Stray's not quite a midget, though a decent argument could be proposed for being super. She's just a bit small for the purposes of being a person, but I thought "Super-Midget" was a better, kinder description than "Sub-Human".

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

My hovercraft is full of eels...

As a consultant, I'm used to navigating through minefields of vacuous phrases and management-speak. However, the programme on which I work at the moment has over its lifetime invented a whole new language.


Things that need to be done are grouped into workstreams, each of which has a range of solution options. Groupings of solution options (one per workstream) form programme portfolios. TWAs (three word acronyms) intractable to anyone but those entrenched in the programme abound, but no phrasebook has yet been developed for the uninitiated. This programme is certainly no paragon of plain english, but this much seems to be par for the course large programmes which have festered for a few years, and being a consultant, I adopt a flexible approach to my understanding of such phrases - one man's solution option is another man's work package. If these things are defined in context, and their meaning is understood, I will use them.

However, one chap with whom I currently work has developed a range of vacuous and unfathomable metaphors which are particularly worthy of comment. Following a watershed moment last week in which it was evident that a large chunk of work performed to date has been of dubious quality, he described the situation in the following terms:

On Monday, as a train whose wheels had come off, was now in a siding, not quite yet at Clapham, had been shunted down the line a bit but wasn't a total wreck.

Yesterday, we discovered that we had a "ravine problem". This is one in which we were 80% of the way to building a bridge across a ravine (or as I would put it, finding some solutions to the problem that the programme is meant to be fixing), but that 80% is totally useless until you've got the final 20%.

Today, we apparently find ourselves in trucks heading to the front line, and not being able to be part of the battle because we hadn't yet reached the bridge.

Confused? So am I. Utter meaningless rubbish, isn't it? So, today's Monty Python Hungarian Phrase Book* prize for clear communications goes to this rather charming and imaginative chap at work.

This reminds me, Pixie has very kindly nominated me (and many others) for a bright pink Rockin' Girl Blogger award. Despite never knowingly rockin', I accept. I shall not be making future nominations, not because you don't rock (or aren't girls) but because being a classical violinist by training, I feel somewhat under qualified to pass comment. Instead, I shall at some point over the coming weeks bore you all silly with the saga of my new violin.

*A sketch in which the phrase "My hovercraft is full of eels" is provided as the translation for "I would like to buy some matches", and "My nipples explode with delight" is a suggested response to being dragged away by a policeman.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

8 more things...

Following my inability to run quickly enough to outpace being tagged, I present eight random facts about me which might be moderately interesting. For those of you who fall asleep before finishing this post, thank my tagger, Anna MR, for curing your insomnia, or otherwise send curses for the recurrence of your narcolepsy.

Here are the rules. Play by them or flex them as you see fit:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Post these rules and eight random facts.
3. Tag eight other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Now, anyone who has noticed the brevity of my blogroll will realize that this last point might be a little taxing, as it appears that in addition to my tagger, I have only six friendly acquaintances in the entire blogosphere. I shall therefore name only one victim at this time and withhold naming my other seven tagees until I have sufficient friends for when I’m feeling particularly vindictive.

Here goes then. 8 facts about myself.

1) I spent a night at Osaka airport (incidentally, the most pleasant airport at which I have spent a night) before an early morning flight. As I presented my ticket at the check-in desk, it occurred to me that my tickets were for the previous day’s flight. I spent a few moments trying to work out how that could have happened before coming to the inescapable conclusion that I’d been a complete numpty and turned up on the wrong day.

2) In Moshi, Tanzania, there is a police report which records me to be a member of the tribe of Sheffield Wednesday. This followed an extremely excruciating process of my trying to explain in bad Swahili to an incredulous cop that I didn’t have a tribe. Having already used England and British to describe where I was born and my nationality, it seemed I wasn't allowed to reuse them as my tribe. Nor would my surname do. So I resorted to my local football club, which was satisfactory.

3) I prefer Yorkshire puddings that didn't quite rise as intended. Seeing as it took me 18 years to learn to love gravy, I developed a taste for soft, doughy puddings (they are so much easier to swallow than the dry, crispy, well-formed ones).

4) My grandmother challenged me to a drinking contest on her 80th birthday. I didn’t accept, mostly because I am far too courteous for things like that but also because I knew she was capable of drinking me under the table.

5) The only time I recall being certain that I was about to die was when I was being dragged along in the Zambezi river and had been submerged for probably about twenty seconds. I couldn’t tell how close or far from the surface I was, and any swimming action was totally futile against the strength of the current. In a moment of pristine mental clarity, the like of which I have not subsequntly experienced, one clarion concept isolated itself from the general panic swarming around my head. But for the fact that the river spat me out shortly afterwards, it seemed that my final thought upon this life was destined to be “Bugger”.

6) I used to work with some vicious visible lasers and had some rather funky red lab specs to keep me from going blind. After a day-long stint in the lab without any blue light, I emerged into the corridor, removed my laser specs and stared at the notice board. The blue notice board. It was blue, really blue. BLUE. Amazingly BBBLLLLUUUUEEEEEEEE. I felt like I seeing something from another planet and was for some reason compelled to touch it to make sure it was really there, was actually real and solid and not some figment of my imagination. It was fuzzy, furry, but real enough, and jaw-droppingly blue. It was only after perhaps half a minute of my fondling the novel blue-ness of the board that I realized my supervisor was standing behind me observing the scene and shaking his head sadly at the sight of yet another graduate student coming apart at the seams.

7) I made a speech in very bad Swahili to hundreds of schoolkids whilst a chicken, which had just been presented to me as a gift, helped itself to my upper arm. I couldn’t tell if the kids were laughing at my poor Swahili, or the sight of the daft white woman not even knowing how to hold a chicken…

8) One of the most memorable things I’ve seen in ages was a group of seagulls during a storm a few weeks ago. I was sitting in the office in which I work, on the 20th floor, watching the storm approach from one side of the building, listening to the rain and then the hail bouncing off the windows as the storm engulfed the building. The fork lightning stabbed through the sky from a starting point somewhere beneath me. As the storm lifted, I noticed a clump of birds flying in a strange manner. It took some moments for me to realize they weren’t actually flying, they were being hurled around the sky by the winds, completely without control. The sun was low enough in the sky to lend a yellow glow to the gulls. They looked magnificent against the dark stormy background. The whole thing was breathtaking and I wish, I wish I had have had my camera with me that day.

Woo hoo! And now that’s done, I tag Kindablue, a previous tagger, in revenge for the earlier incident.

Everyone else, consider yourself warned...

Saturday, 21 July 2007


This is so much harmless fun...

In another life...

Now go and make your own here. Thanks to Sam C (currently blogless) for pointing me the way...

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Spotted on the journey home...

There are three things about my journey home on Friday which stick in my mind:

  1.  In a stretch of terraced housing next to the Clapham-Woking line, there are four houses in a row with near-identical trampolines in their gardens. There are maybe another five or so trampolines distributed amongst the remaining houses in the terrace.
  2. Outside Woking station, there is a bright orange machine which on its side proudly declares itself in large lettering to be a "WET SPOT MACHINE".
  3. Walking down to the underpass outside Guildford station, I found myself confronted by three youngish women with monster-sized buggies. They walked three abreast. With the mammoth size of the buggies, there was not sufficient room for me to get past.

The first observation struck me as a powerful demonstration of the force of "pester power". I can just imagine the sequence of events, conversations, tantrums and capitulation that resulted in the insidious invasion of trampolines throughout this terrace. It doesn't take much creativity - one family gets a trampoline, the kids next door pester their parents, meanwhile the family over their other fence have succumbed and bought their sprots a trampoline, leaving Mr and Mrs Bloggs in the middle with kids telling them at every opportunity that everyone else has a trampoline, wearing them down over the course of a month or six, until the emotional blackmail, hunger strikes and threats of phoning Childline all became too much and a trampoline appeared in the garden whilst the kids were at school. Kids learn quickly. Similar things happens a few doors down. And so on, until there's a rash of trampolines taking over a neighbourhood.

There's not much to say about the WET SPOT MACHINE... I wonder whether it makes wet spots or cleans them up. It makes me laugh, and there's precious little humour to be had on my commute home, so the WET SPOT MACHINE is rather dear to me. I do find it fascinating that it needs to explain what it is on the side. Think about it - when was the last time you saw a sewing machine that said "SEWING MACHINE" on the side? Or a random piece of industrial machinery which declared its essence on itself in large lettering? I actually cannot think of a reason why anyone would need to write WET SPOT MACHINE on the side of the machine, except to give people like me a chuckle on the way home. And for that, I thank them. I should like to nominate them for an honour, except I don't know who they are.

The three youngish women with their babies on buggies who were terrorising commuters of Guildford by blocking the underpass by walking with their buggies three abreast made me despair for the genetic inheritance of their kids. One of them actually hurled abuse at me for getting in their way. I pointed out rather politely (under the circumstances) that there was no way both myself and the three of them with their spacious and capacious buggies could continue in our desired directions unless they rearranged themselves such that they were not blocking the underpass in piston formation. They were kind enough to teach me some new words and insults before running over my foot and lower leg with (thankfully) the least oversized of the three buggies. As they disappeared, I found myself hoping that, in the not-too-distant future, one of their kids would want a trampoline...

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Everything hurts

Yesterday was a busy day. To fully explain, I need to wind the story back about a year, to when one of the directors at work mentioned that he knew a guy who had a pair of 12ft drop tanks in his garden. This was exciting news. They were potentially the ideal objects from which to construct a catamaran-style raft.

I had heard a rumour that the lovely people at the Guildford Lions (think Rotary club, and you'll not be far off) organised an annual raft race on the River Wey. I thought that sounded fun, and managed to persuade a few colleagues that if we took part in the race we a) wouldn’t die, b) might have fun, c) would raise some cash for good causes, and d) if we did die, we’d at least make the local news doing so.

Three days before the race with an assortment of plastic bottles, rubber dinghies and noddy paddles, a colleague and I pitched up in a massive garden to inspect a couple of drop tanks. For those of you who have never seen a drop tank, here’s a quick introduction to these lightweight and fluid dynamic wonders.

They are quite large things, and not easy to transport, unless you have some friendly people willing to lend you a large vehicle with sturdy roof rack. Here’s what they looked like when we got them back to the office.

A rushed paint job and a couple of days later, strapped together with a couple of aluminium ladders, they were paddled down the Wey, all the while sinking slowly. Being good scientists and engineers, we had calculated the buoyancy of the craft, and worked out how quickly water would have to ingress to sink us. It was one hell of a rate (we did after all have about 2000kg of spare buoyancy), and there were no apparent holes below what we thought would be the water line. With the benefit of hind sight, a few more days’ preparation and leak-testing would probably have been a good plan, nevertheless, spurred on by the thought that the faster we paddled, the less chance we had of sinking irretrievably, we oozed across the finish line in an incredible third place. Not bad for a bunch of novices with a couple of days’ preparation and about 500kg of excess weight (water) by the time we’d reached the finish.

This year, I thought things were under control. We pitched up at the office at half twelve, a good two and a half hours before the off, following a slight panic over our transport vehicle spraying diesel all over the place. A quick repair later, all was well. Meanwhile we busily applied gaffer tape to all the holes we’d discovered, printed off a new pair of raft numbers, and got ourselves and our flat pack craft to the river.

A quick assembly job and donning of santa hats and fairy wings later, we were ready to launch. By this time, most other rafts were well down the river, leaving us space to overtake one raft at a time, and more importantly, allowing the earlier rafts to draw the worst of the spectator ammunition. Sorry, did I not mention this? It is traditional to watch the race armed with water or flour bombs to aim at passing rafters. Those people lucky enough (or in this age of flood-awareness, foolish enough) to live on the riverbank busy themselves with BBQs and take aim at the water babes with high pressure hoses. This is not a sport for the faint-hearted.

The assembly job may have been too quick. In the absence due to injury of our original action man, it transpired that we may not have done quite so good a job of securing the ladders and tanks into a raft as we did last year. I discovered this when, shortly after a flour bomb had taken out our secretary and main supplier of santa hats, and as my fellow bow-sider wriggled to avoid the small arms heading her way, she appeared to be causing the drop tank on which we were sitting to rotate. I was just remarking on this, when I realized that unlike my two fellows on that tank, I was not safely perched on a ladder.

The river was cold.

It is not easy to clamber back onto a freely-rotating drop tank, whilst retaining fairy wings, tiara and wand in situ. Badger was usefully on hand to get some pictures….

I was unimpressed by my dunking, but hauled myself back onto the raft, regained my paddle and tucked my feet under the ladder to give me some means of stability. I paddled in that posture for the next forty minutes, periodically checking the water line to gauge how much of the drink we’d taken on. It wasn’t much. The gaffer tape was doing its trick. Hallelujah.

Things started to hurt after twenty minutes or so. The surface of the tank is pretty rough, and with the benefit of hindsight, wearing shorts may have been a bad plan. The backs and inners or my legs were by this time covered in shallow abrasions. My arms, shoulders, stomach muscles and lower back were beginning to burn, and my hamstrings were more stretched than they have been for a good six months. That was after twenty minutes. We were nearly halfway…

We had a water fight with a pair of scout rafts who cried foul of the grown ups splashing them. I maintain that a) They started it, and b) they had come with intent, having a crew member whose sole role was to take aim and fire at other crews. Needless to say, we gave them a good soaking as we lumbered past. A few more overtaking manoeuvers later, we’d nearly finished. Our fan club (all three of them) were on the bank to cheer us home. It was heartening, and our paddling quickened with our raised spirits.

I was completely unaware as we sprinted over the finish line of just how scratched and grazed my bum was. Despite being in acute pain last year for a good four days following the rafting, I had assumed I would magically be accustomed to this rafting lark by now and that a similar fate would not befall me. That I am standing whilst typing this might suggest otherwise. No matter, I was unaware. We were pleased. We had put on a good show, and gaffer tape technology had not let us down. There was no need for a repeat of last year's Herculean efforts to get the raft out of the water, it was by comparison as light as a feather.

A few hours of trophy giving (none for us, alas), raft dismantling and transporting later, I was home… and knackered. Absolutely, completely, totally shattered, but not then in total agony.

Today is different. Everything is tight. My hamstrings are tight, my arms don’t straighten, my shoulders and neck resist even the slightest effort to move or twist. I had a bath, which soothed the aches and pains, but which made me acutely aware of the tiny abrasions on my legs and bum, with the stinging pain mapping out the bits of me that had struggled for forty minutes to stay in contact with the tank. I’m doing a rather bizarre walk as well, with short strides enforced by the stiffness in my legs. I do hope it sorts itself out overnight before I wander into a meeting doing a scene from the Ministry of Silly Walks. Ouch. So sore. Whimper....

Still, on balance, it’s all been worthwhile. I'm looking forward to next year.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Tiny terrors, grand designs...

I've alluded on previous occasions to the sense of unease that small people ignite in me, and the reasoning behind this. Until recently, I didn't think it extended beyond small humans. I'd certainly never previously felt scared of flies, until a couple of days ago when I was reviewing some pictures I'd taken in the garden and found this little chap staring me in the face.

Miniature monster - the stuff of nightmares...

Now, I appreciate the design of the thing. I think the wings are pretty neat, and I'm rather jealous of its ability to fly at will. I like the idea of having an exoskeleton – I think I’d feel rather safe with one of those protecting my vital organs instead of the minimalist cage design which most of my organs squeeze into. And I could do with looking a bit more scary and capable of doing damage, instead of having the sort of face which people trust on the basis that I don't really look able to outwit anyone. Having said that, I don't much care for the compound eye, and I'd have a fit if I woke up with legs that hairy, wings or no wings. I suspect that if had a similar design, I'd miss my opposable thumbs, and probably also my internet access. Come to think of it, I’m not jealous, I’m actually rather content with being the species of my birth and I’ll forego the ability to fly for the safety of not dying in vain in a long-forgotten spider's web.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The agony of choice

I'm finding it difficult to get immersed in the book I'm currently reading. It's a hefty tome from Edward Rutherfurd, and I get the feeling I need to sit down with it for a decent hour or so to accustom myself to the style before I’m able to absorb the detail whilst reading on a train. I cut my losses after about twenty pages and turned to a copy of the T2 that someone had thoughtfully left on the table in front of me.

The cover of T2 proclaimed that Tesco now sell 38 different types of milk, and raised the question of whether freedom and choice really make us happy. This article got me thinking...

I recalled a time nearly ten years ago when I had just come back from living and traveling in Tanzania. I had been living in remote villages, with meals consisting of various combinations of rice, beans and lentils, occasionally supplemented with fresh fruit or vegetables. Our meal choices were between beans and rice, lentils and rice, beans and lentils, and for a special treat, rice with beans and lentils would be served up. Then for the rest of the week, we would swap the order of the ingredients and have rice with beans instead of beans and rice.

I remember that I dreamed on more than one occasion about manor houses with fine dining halls overflowing with all varieties of meats, fruits, deserts and even cheeses, for which at that time I had no love. Then I would wake up, salivating, under a mosquito net in a canvas shelter sleeping ten other people, with rain beating down on the canvas. The strange thing was, despite having vivid dreams of varied foods, I wasn't aware of being any less happy for want of salt of vinegar crisps. Or any crisps, come to that....

Back in the UK, and back to the reality of sourcing food from a supermarket instead of a weekly market a half day walk away, I felt disorientated and somewhat dismayed by the vast array of foods available. My heart sank as I wandered down aisle after aisle filled with pasta of different shapes, colours and packaging. The meats which were of so regular shapes looked like they had been grown in moulds. The aisle which totally overwhelmed me was the one with the beverages. After six months of drinking chlorinated water, I could only stare in bewilderment at the sheer number of different types of orange squash. It was sickening to me that such disparities should exist. I couldn't articulate the sense of injustice I felt, so instead did the only sensible thing under the circumstances and burst into tears.

People stared. A lady asked if I was OK. I didn't quite know if I was. I suppose I wasn't really OK, yet had anyone asked why I was crying, I wouldn't have had much of an answer beyond telling them as they could well see for themselves that there were twenty different types of orange squash.

There were many incidents that brought me to the brink of tears while I was in Tanzania. One that I recall was triggered by the disparity in the level of choice that individuals could exercise. A young lad had cautiously approached me as I sat on top of a large boulder in a broad plain at the bottom of the village writing my diary. I had initially noticed him when he was some distance away, keeping a watchful eye over his herd of perhaps 40 cows. Over the course of the next hour, they wandered generally in my direction, and eventually the lad climbed the boulder and sat near me. I greeted him, and we got chatting. He was 18, as was I at that time. His family had 38 cows, which he herded for 6 hours every day. He'd stopped going to school when he was 12, as his parents couldn't afford to pay the fees, and consequently he couldn't get a job, not that there were any jobs available in the village. The nearest employment was in town, 2 days’ walk away, hardly commutable. He would have to move to town for a job, and that was impossible - he was needed to herd the cows.

I was quiet. He wandered off the boulder to follow his herd. I sat thinking about my brother, who had recently graduated from Cambridge. When he was 18, he wasn't herding cows. He had a world of opportunity and choice at his feet. Not only did he have plenty to eat, he had a choice of what to eat. Able to choose what to do with his days. So much choice, and this lad had almost none, though judging by the smile on his face, he had made at least one choice. He seemed to have chosen to be happy. I watched him wander off into the distance, blurred by the tears in my eyes. I wasn't sure why I was crying, but I did wonder whether any of the possessions in my backpack or the choices I would have the agony of pondering in future actually had any impact on how likely I was to be happy.

And so back to the 38 different types of milk which Tesco are selling. I suspect that if they only sold one variety, the type which came out of cows, it wouldn’t bother me. I would probably buy it. I would probably stick it in my tea. And I would probably get used to it and proclaim to like the taste of it after a few weeks, yes, even if it was the banana flavored variety. I also suspect that my levels of happiness would be unaffected if for the rest of my life, I was only permitted one shape of pasta. I would however prefer that my food choices were more varied than choosing two from rice, beans and lentils, and that if I wasn't too keen on cows, I could choose
another manner in which to earn my living. 

So, how much choice is too much, or too little? I can't decide - you choose.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

The reassuring presence of armed officers...

I was a little disturbed to find a large number of armed police milling around the station this morning. I know the queues for tickets yesterday were exceedingly long (extending out of the station and into the car park) and the language of some commuters may have strictly speaking constituted a breach of the peace, but I hardly thought it warrented such a heavy-handed response. It then occurred to me that perhaps the government really WAS serious about enforcing the ban on smoking in public places, but having half of Surrey police on patrol at the station with their fingers twitching on big, scary-looking guns slung around their torsos still seemed like overkill to me.

Apparently, in view of recent events, the officers were providing "general reassurance". Oh good. Then I shall remember to feel reassured instead of a sense of looming danger the next time I see the station looking like the anticipated location of an armed standoff...

Monday, 2 July 2007

How DID I get this job?

A fringe benefit of commuting to work is having a lot of time in which to think random thoughts. Via an unremarkable and completely disinteresting sequence of events, I happened to be thinking today about whether I would have got the job as my parents' daughter and my brother's sister had I not have been born to it. I wondered for a moment what exactly I would put on my cv if I had to convince my folks I was the daughter for them...

Dr But Why?

Profile: Dynamic, independent daughter with somewhat offbeat sense of humour and own transport seeks position of absentee maverick in well-adjusted and independent family for weddings, funerals, birthdays, and other family get-togethers, and support at the end of the phone whenever a hug is needed.

Skills and experience:
  • 28 years' experience in similar position;
  • Dedicated to the delivery of tea in bed;
  • Early riser;
  • Good listener;
  • Skilled mover of garden furniture and sacks of manure;
  • Good at sharpening knives, own steel;
  • Patient with geeks and distant relatives;
  • Useful as ersatz walking stick with which to descend Mt Vesuvius;
  • Look amazingly cute dressed as the Queen of Hearts;
  • Can listen attentively to 'dry runs' of lectures on good practice in colposcopy
    and gynaecology whilst simultaneously eating dinner and complimenting the cook.
  • Brownie badges in cleaning, reading, cooking and first aid;
  • Reasonable grasp of language, including understanding of family-specific terms such as crozzled and donger;
  • Innate knowledge of the correct order in which to serve Yorkshire puddings and roast beef;
  • Morally immovable on the position of never eating a Bakewell Tart;
  • 2 x chromosomes;
  • Genetically related to and spitting image of almost every single living relative.
Salary Expectations:
  • Bolt hole in Yorkshire;
  • Unconditional Love.

I wonder if I would have got the job...?