12 December 2007

'Looked After Children' no more

My wife is a Social Worker and she told me last night that 'Looked After Children' are now to be known as 'Children that are Looked After' ...

'Looked After Children'
'Children that are Looked After'
'Looked After Children'
'Children that are Looked After'

??

Do they really believe it will make any difference?

Of course I'm sure there will be a cost associated with the change.

10 December 2007

Missed it again!

I have just realised that yet again we have missed The Royal Variety Show.

Some years Mrs Jenks and I happen to catch a snippet of it and we call our kids down to see the last few acts. Every year we say that we really must remember to watch it all next year; even just most of it ... this year we didn't even catch a snippet! I fear our children will be deprived of seeing the whole show, just once! What makes it worse for our poor children is that they often show flashbacks of the various acts at the end of the show - the acts that they missed.

Are we the only family that are unaware when it's on? I suppose this is the danger of selective viewing, you miss the adverts for shows. Oh well, will somebody please remind us next year, if not for us then for our children’s sake - I have this suspicion that next year this time ...

04 December 2007

Swans with shades

This might be obvious but we live near the Thames but not so obvious would be that our village has an assocaition with swans. Anyway, I heard that a crew was filming locally and made use of 'trained' swans instead of our local common or garden variety of swans (I'm not much of an ornithologist I'm afraid).

Now I have this picture in my head of swans with shades, reclining on director's chairs - do you think they have equity cards. Imagine the tantrums, you don't want to be near an angry swan!

(PS "Swans with Shades" is a unique phrase in Google and takes you to this post ... and I was hoping for a picture.)

Cheques and permission slips - grrrrr!

I'm fed up with writing out cheques for school and filling in forms. The other day I had to request another chequebook from my bank, the last one they sent us was at the end of October!

Piecemeal requests for cash, £2 for this, £5 for that - sigh. Permission slips. Newsletters. Bigger sigh. I just have so many better things to with my life than fill in forms, tell people that yes my son has had a tetanus jab, write out my address, email, telephone numbers over and over again .... and write another confounded cheque ... for £2!

I wish I could tell the school 'Yes, you can take my child wherever you think is appropriate (I trust you), email me the details, here's £100 (or whatever) - take out what you need, when you need it and let me know periodically if the pot needs filling and roughly where the money went.' Not complicated, less paper, less time and surely everybody will be happier.

I received a form yesterday that listed 'all' the contact details associated with my child that was held on record. It was 'all' correct but for some reason I have to keep writing out this information on forms! If I really have to sign a form, why not do a mail merge??? It's a closed loop system, parents submit details, parents check details - all records are correct and technology has helped save time and money.

Oh well. I feel a little better now, sorry.

03 December 2007

My bad timing and hairy chests

Hairy chests, another example of my bad timing...

I grew up being told that you're a real man when you get a bit of hair on your chest. That chest of hair was a sign of your arrival at manhood.

That was the 70s.

I remember one of the more serious swimmers at school shaving his body to reduce drag in the water - most of my friends were horrified, such sacrilege. What if the hair didn’t grow back??? So this thing about hair on your chest was really quite important – get the picture.

Enter a rather hairless teenager (namely me, not unusual for teenagers really) waiting for those hairs to emerge … waiting … waiting … waiting … hoorah!

Alas, arrival of hairy chest occurs just as it goes out of fashion.

Men now seem to shave, wax (ouch) or something? I can’t imagine they’re born like that and I’m not sure it’s ever discussed down the pub. In fact, I imagine most men would be worried if there was ‘no’ hair to remove. I think you notice a little confusion here and a distinct lack of research.

But my main point is that it is another example of my excellent timing. I might add that I am not planning on any shearing of my torso either – Mrs Jenks has said that she is quite happy just the way I am. Besides, it might come back in fashion ;-)