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07 August 2019 @ 08:01 pm
In the past two days I have by coincidence watched and read two contrasting pieces on ethics and the refusal of medical treatment. One moving, the other horrifying.

The first, was the documentary The Conjoined Twins: An Impossible Decision, a programme considerably more nuanced than its title, although the second part of the title was also proved very much true. This followed a father, medical team, and hospital ethics committee as they considered the right course of action in the case of conjoined twins Marieme and Ndeye. It was clear that everyone involved really cared, and ultimately, that there was no simple decision available, but that there was more than one right one. The girls' father, Ibrahima Ndiaye, was, no doubt like many parents if they were in that position, opposed to separation given that it would doom one of the children before she would otherwise 'naturally' die; the medical team felt that if he wanted it, it would have been ethically acceptable to operate, but that not to operate was also an ethical choice given the medical evidence, and that the case for separation* couldn’t be considered strong enough that there would be any justification for the courts to override parental wish. One of the things that I felt the programme did well was show that with the benefits of the fact that parents are now much more involved and consulted in children’s medical care than they once were, this comes with its own pressures and downsides, of needing to feel you have made the right decision not only ‘now’, but in the future. It was a good example of a lot of people working together to try to find a place that was inevitably going to be sad, but in which it was understood that everything had been considered, everyone had been heard, and people's interests honestly considered.

In contrast, if you wanted a demonstration of why the courts should be able to require medical treatment of a child against a parent’s will, you couldn’t find a more powerful example than this Long Read in the Guardian, although this details the decision of an adult rather than a decision on behalf of a child.

Cut for the rant, and some brief mentions of unpleasant medical detail. Read more...Collapse )

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06 August 2019 @ 06:57 am
A reliable sign that I am having sinus issues is that instead of sleeping on my back I wake up pressing my face into the mattress.

Dreaming that you're being repeatedly hit in the face with a shovel is also a clue.

(It's not that bad and I'm off to work as usual, though I may leave early.)

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01 August 2019 @ 07:57 am
You know that sort of money-saving tip that can only come from someone who is both very rich and very stupid? Well, the Guardian has given me a new one:

She suggests making sure the seam allowance on a pair of trousers or a skirt is enough to allow you to let them out and the hem is such that you could make the garment longer if you need to. She also advises checking that shirts have a spare button sewn in so if one falls off, you have a replacement.

In reverse order...

- Spare button - yes. Though most important is to know where you put it.
- Altering hem length - can be useful. Though realistically this is something one does upon purchase or never, because the occasions on which you randomly need to make a garment 1 - 2" longer on a whim are limited, but a lot of skirts and trousers do have sufficient hem to allow for lengthening.(Radically shorter, I will concede, can be a fashion choice at any point.)
- Seam allowance on a skirt or trousers that is enough for you to let it out - no. No, no, absolutely no. Has this woman bought a mainstream commercially-produced garment in the past thirty years? The clothes she is telling people to buy simply don't exist. Seam allowances are narrow and serged. The only inch for a tailor to find is the inch that the tailor put there when they made your suit for you personally.

I am all for not treating clothes as single-use disposable items, for the benefits of keeping things in good condition so that they last longer. I can sew, I mend, I wash things carefully, I don't buy stuff I can tell is going to fall apart rapidly. But if you want the general population to look after its clothes, then probably your first piece of advice should not be to buy garments made-to-measure.

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The experience of preparing to get things done at work in order to be ready to go holiday rendering one in desperate need of a holiday. OK, I admit it would have helped if I had done the thing I spent all morning on a month or so a go, but there are reasons I didn't, namely that there were other extremely urgent things to do and I didn't have a spare day for this. Which is now both urgent and overdue.

Meanwhile I continue to fail to buy new walking shoes, which means I shall have to do even the easy walking in my leather boots, which are comfortable, but a bit over the top on some occasionas, and also the weather is looking a bit mixed. Of my travails with the Swiss railway ticket booking website, I shall not speak.

And finally, Good Omens fandom, I beseech you, can we call a halt to the every more tortuous attempts to come up with a cutesy name for Armageddon not having happened? It was funny the first couple of times, it has long since joined the sort of things that belong in an office party in Hell.

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06 July 2019 @ 07:54 am
I see that after last year's surfeit of flamingos, the print du jour is now the lobster. And indeed although it is perhaps not quite as ubiquitous as the flamingo, nonetheless, John Lewis has an inflatable one.

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30 June 2019 @ 09:21 am
My mother has accidentally got a book out of the library for holiday reading* that is a Sherlock Holmes/Cthulhu mythos crossover. Apparently the green snaking tentacles and the words "A Cthulhu Casebook" above the title were insufficient information to someone who hadn't heard of Lovecraft and didn't have any particular associations with them. Though unexpected eldritch hasn't stopped her reading it, it is definitely not what she was expecting.

* They are in the Yorkshire Dales for a week, I for a few days. In a terrible disappointment, the mains water here is from a difference source from north Leeds/Harrogate.

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25 June 2019 @ 07:12 am
Something* seems to be reminding me lately that I am the past owner of a couple of black silk shirts, ones of which - a rather nice sandwashed number - I had completely forgotten, but which when I asked my mother if I had owned such a thing, because I had forgotten so much I wanted to check, she instantly replied that of course I had. This absence from my wardrobe clearly needs to be remedied for the autumn.

Something that I will definitely not be buying this autumn is Boden's 'Olivia' skirt, which looks like this:

Boden Olivia skirt, navy with union jacks embroidery on it.

Boden in recent years has had a number of jumpers with Union Jacks on, ditto dresses, and spoiled tweed jackets' with 'London' linings covered with black cabs, flags etc. In the present climate it feels off-putting to say the least; there is no doubt a customer who would consider wearing that skirt in autumn 2019, but I am definitely not them. Add it to their non-hilarious 'the EU has banned us selling stripey Breton tops' 2019 April Fools email, and one definitely gets a sense that Jonnie Boden is not targeting my custom.

*By which I mean Good Omens.

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20 June 2019 @ 07:21 pm
I loved it. It isn't perfect - for me, episode 5 is definitely the weakest - but its flaws are essentially those to be expected from the book, and after waiting for decades I am delighted that this is the imperfect version that we get. Right, coherence isn't working: bullet points it is. There's a lot of 'I love' in here. Also some adaptation spoilers.

Read more...Collapse )

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In the meantime, have the dancing scene set to some new music...

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After he was dropped from Hell's payroll, Crowley opened a garden centre...

Good Omen Plants

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