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11th March 2016

12:44pm: Short story Read more...Collapse )

7th May 2015

11:18pm: Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck
Someone please tell me that exit polls aren't really that accurate, right?
Current Mood: scared

21st April 2015

1:34pm: Senior developer vacancy
We're recruiting for a senior developer at mine - give me a shout if interested. It's at OPP in Oxford (www.opp.com) and I love it here!

25th March 2015

1:42pm: Politicians... you rock :-)

I completely agree with Leonard's mum in TBBT when Penny said that she must be proud (of her kids) "Why? They're not my acheivements!"

But still proud of the Scottish Parliament and the leaders of all the major parties there. (OK, happy and generally approving of the leaders of all the major Scottish parties. You all rock.)
So I don't always agree with you, but, when it comes to things that matter -

You stick together against the bigots.

A few recent examples:

Together against sexism.

11/3/2015. A photoshopped image of Nicola Sturgeon (SNP First Minister) in a tartan bikini on a Miley Cyrus-type wrecking ball appeared in one of the more unsavoury newspapers.

Her two main opponents in the parliament are Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader, and Kezia Dugdale, Labour deputy leader (and leader inside parliament as Jim Murphy doesn't have a seat).

Ruth Davidson tweeted: “Seriously? In 2015? This is where we are with women in politics? #EverydaySexism”

Kezia Dugdale tweeted: “Just seen the Sun coverage of @NicolaSturgeon – just like every other attack based on her gender, it’s utterly unacceptable.”

Together against racism.

On/around 14/3/2015, UKIP MEP David Coburn said, of the SNP Europe & International development Minister, "Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza".

Ruth Davidson: "Totally unacceptable. Our country is better than this. And he's got form. Mindless idiot."
Kezia Dugdale tweeted "David Coburn MEP is a racist in a pin stripe suit and Nigel Farage needs to sack him - @Daily_Record http://dlyr.ec/zQYgVk" and also wrote a column condemning it http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/blog/entry/UKIP-must-show-they-are-not-BNP-in-pinstripe-suits (it also appeared in the Daily Record, one of main tabloids).

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said: "This isn't the first time that Mr Coburn has been caught out for having vile views. People across Scotland, including even those who voted for him, will now want to see the back of him."

Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of Greens (and I believe their leader in Parliament) wrote column about it (and second cross-party issue, which will mention in a bit!) http://www.patrickharviemsp.com/2015/03/evening-times-column-politicians-should-join-together-to-stop-sexist-racist-homophobic-comments/

Willie Rennie, leader of Lib-Dems: "Astonishing comments from David Coburn MEP about Humza Yousaf. He's an offensive fool. I am embarrassed that he represents us in Europe."

Together against homophobia.

Ruth Davidson was subjected to homophobic abuse by an SNP member on twitter.

SNP response (quite a lot as it was one of their members): in First Minister's Questions, Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted to take the opportunity to "condemn unreservedly the vile homophobic abuse that was being directed at Ruth Davidson on Twitter last night and this morning".

She told MSPs: "The individual in question in that case has been identified and this morning suspended from membership of the SNP pending full disciplinary processes."

She had previously tweeted "Homophobic abuse of @RuthDavidsonMSP or anyone else is unacceptable. End of. Anyone engaging in it is no friend of my party"

Humza Yousaf: "Utterly disgraceful. Will investigate if member. Personally will push for expulsion. Zero-tolerance homophobia."

Aamer Anwar (SNP member - not politician but known human rights lawyer) "@RuthDavidsonMSP that was a vile attack on U, homophobia, sectarianism, racism, no difference- U shld never have 2 put up with it"

Jim Hume (Lib Dems) "Good on @RuthDavidsonMSP for calling out dreadful homophobic bullying #ZeroTolerance #Mindless #Idiots #NotOk"

Other stuff...

On a purely political issue - on an issue of fairness - all 4 of the other parties (SNP, Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dems) joined forces to call for the Green party to be included in the televised debates.

And finally - they do seem to be able to have a bit of fun together...

12th October 2014

3:13pm: 10341972_757044621010707_4972012064641689316_n

21st June 2014

8:38pm: You know a personal irritation about the referendum debate? It's encouraging me to post on FB instead of my natural habitat here on LJ...

19th June 2014

1:26pm: So we got the induction today about performance reviews. They spoke about personal development, courses, training, etc... and then said that it was important that you continued to develop, and the company will support that - and if that means you outgrow your role and find that the best way to continue your personal development is outside the company, that's fine too!

They are willing to pay for training that might end with your leaving.

I think I'm never leaving here ;-)

16th June 2014

1:02pm: WOO HOO!
Got extension agreed for my supporter assignments :-)

*Happy dance*

6th June 2014

1:08pm: From randomchris


"Concert at St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, on Friday 20th June at 8pm - and it will feature "O Praise The Lord Ye Angels Of His" which the choir commissioned from me last year! This is for the launch of their new CD "O Clap Your Hands", music from 1914-2014. Tickets are £10 - let me know if you'd like me to keep one for you."

29th May 2014

1:24pm: We're launching Career Clover today - I helped test it!
If anyone wants a friends or family discount, give me a shout - first report is free.


2nd May 2014

10:07am: Job at OPP - Head of Product Management
Job title: Head of Product Management

Reports to: Chief Commercial Officer

Responsible for: Management of the Product Management team [currently 3 heads]

Overall purpose:

Lead the entire product management lifecycle within OPP; managing cross department resources to deliver new initiatives and products, whilst ensuring optimum levels of support for the business across the lifecycles of the entire OPP Group portfolio of offerings, including those distributed under license as well as wholly owned intellectual property


An excellent opportunity for a skilled, visionary product management practitioner to provide a mixture of senior level leadership/inspiration and hands on contribution to a very busy team focused on the product development lifecycle including product strategy, market research, competitor analysis, design filtering and prioritisation, ROI construction and monitoring, product development, message and proposition construction, product launch, post launch analysis, and pricing strategy for a portfolio of offerings including public and customised training, psychometric instruments and associated reports, supporting publications and training aids.

Principal accountabilities:

1. Development and delivery of a market-leading product strategy to meet OPP Group goals, through a 12-18 month product roadmap

2. Delivery to this product roadmap through a highly resource efficient and timely programme and project management

3. Commissioning of ideas through efficient working relationships forged with supplier publishers, internal and external authors, and R&D content developers, identifying potential of new concepts in order to create new products and offerings that contribute materially to OPP Group product strategy and revenues.

4. Management of key relationships with supplier publishers to ensure the timely and efficient proposal and delivery of new products and product enhancements to match the needs of OPP’s customers.

5. Rigorous attention to the development of the team’s expertise not only in OPP’s full product portfolio, but also all key competitors and substitutes, so as to be a resource for the rest of the business in this regard, as well as to identify challenges and opportunities to improve OPP’s product offer.

Carry out other such duties as may reasonably be required, commensurate with the grade of this post.

This job profile is current as at the date shown below. In consultation with the post holder it is liable to variation by management to reflect or anticipate changes in or to the job.

24th April 2014

1:37pm: And something important...

Basics - mother may be deported with her young girls who could be facing FGM.
1:32pm: more good news...
I'm actually thinking I'm going to finish writing something!

Doing a couple of short stories at the moment - "The wall" which is about an alien race's first FTL experimental voyage, which runs into difficulties when it interacts with one of our experiments, and one I did a few years back and lost which I'm rewriting - not SF, mundane courtroom drama.

Book has problem that I can't get the motivation right. I was trying to set up a conflict between main married (m-f) characters that would have the readers sympathising with both sides of the argument, and seeing both of the pair as acting more or less equally reasonably/unreasonably... but every time I try to tell my dad about it, he is of the opinion that wife is being completely bonkers and of course she's wrong - how could anyone even think otherwise? (She wants to go into cryostasis and he doesn't, mainly because his faith says it's wrong.)

So I'm either going to write other bits of it, or write the shorts at the moment, just so I get into the habit of writing.

And get into the habit of not spodding on LJ... oh, right... um... never mind, eh?

23rd April 2014

3:37pm: Boss's daughter is fundraising
Hello everyone,

I’m embarking on a fundraising challenge, raising money for Raleigh International. They work with young people from around the world, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and give them the opportunity to work on sustainable development projects overseas.

Raleigh projects provide safe water, sanitation and education for remote communities in developing countries, as well as alleviating human-animal conflict and protecting threatened species. At the same time, they equip their young volunteers with knowledge of global issues, teamwork skills and self confidence.

Having volunteered with Raleigh in India, I’ve seen the transformation of communities and individuals which their projects achieve, and know that money raised goes a long way.

As a first step, I’ve set myself the challenge of living on $1 a day (for food and drink) throughout the month of May, in recognition of the poverty and hunger Raleigh works to alleviate. It’s going to test my maths and cooking skills (as well as my willpower) and seems a fitting way to generate support and donations. I’ll be writing about, drawing and photographing my progress, weird new recipes and inevitable chocolate cravings online, so you can keep an eye on how it’s going (and check I’m sticking to the rules). Visit http://bfgraleigh.wordpress.com/ to follow my progress.

The funds raised will go towards running Raleigh’s sustainable development projects, training their volunteers and providing support for their overseas expeditions. It will also go towards my fundraising target to allow me the chance to volunteer with Raleigh in Tanzania.

I know it’s a lot to ask but, if you can spare a few pounds to sponsor me, it will be very much appreciated.

You can donate securely online here: http://www.justgiving.com/BethFGrainger

If you’d rather donate on your mobile, please text:


Followed by the amount: £3, £5 or £10

To: 70070

Thank you in advance for your support.


22nd April 2014

2:34pm: We're recruiting :-) Give me a shout if you are interested (this is awesome place to work!)


1st April 2014

5:06pm: Another stamp on our Casualty Loyalty Card...
It's amazing how quickly you can get blasé about trips to A&E.

Thomas was bouncing on trampoline at Palmer Park when he landed awkwardly, and his leg bent under him. He started crying, and then couldn't walk on it - he'd take a step or two, then it would buckle under his weight and he'd fall.

So we headed to A&E.

Called Ian from town on way, then got in a taxi. We were seen for initial assessment pretty quickly - the problem I had was that as long as he wasn't walking, it didn't bother him, so he got very frustrated at my keeping him on my lap or on a chair - he forgot very quickly that it was sore and he fell last time he did that!

They gave him some paracetamol, and we waited to be seen again.

Then Ian arrived, which meant I could go for a pee! We got called in just after that... by which point, when asked "let's see how he's walking" ... he gave a slight limp on the 2nd step and then ran about fine.

So he's fine - they think possibly a slight sprain or twist, give him calpol if ness. Last night, he was bouncing around happy again.

Other than that, Mothers' Day was great! And yes, he will be allowed on the trampoline again next week :-)
1:40pm: Sunshine on Leith
I got this for Mothers' Day.

It is awesome! I cried through a lot of it.

It does occur that a good weegie like myself shouldn't get so teary-eyed over the Edinburgh skyline... but yeah, it is a beautiful city. Also being several hundred miles from either of them might make me more prone to a stab of homesickness!

It has been described as "'Mamma Mia' with the Proclaimers not Abba." Rubbish. That's a vary lazy and innaccurate review.

Don't get me wrong - I liked "Mamma Mia". I like Abba, enjoyed the film, good funny story... but the story was mostly fluff, a nice rom-com/comedy of errors.

Sunshine on Leith... it's got really strong stories, definitely enjoyable and funny, with love stories at its heart... but it's a lot meatier, and I could be wrong, but I don't think Mamma Mia involved the emotional aftermath of being an amputee :-) (Which was s sub-plot, but an important one.)

It's definitely worth watching!

21st March 2014

2:10pm: Watching Fireman Sam.

Is it just me or is he one of Ace Rimmer's incarnations?

19th March 2014

12:53pm: Someone I work with needs to rehome a friend's cat:

Due to a serious illness, I'm helping a friend of mine re-home her 14 year old cat, Chloe. She is a large black and white cat and I'm told she's fond of sleeping and being inside. She's quite affectionate towards people but she would be best suited to living in a home without other cats.

If anyone is interested - or knows anyone that might be - then please do get in touch with me. My friend would prefer that she went to a home rather than a cattery if possible.

13th March 2014

8:40am: You know what?

The whole deathjournal/comet/astronomer-killer plot I can do as its own story. It doesn't need to be shoehorned in as a motivating factor. That takes away from the real story there, and this will be fun to do by itself! I don't need to say bye-bye to it completely... I can give it centre-stage :-)
8:27am: Glad I went to supervision yesterday. I had had a really difficult situation facing a mum at one of the clinics that I don't think handled brilliantly, but talking it through made it a bit better - also supervisor & other supporters/helpers thought that I did OK supporting her. So feeling a bit better.
8:09am: I think I'm dropping the "deathjournal" from my story.

Which is making me feel odd. It has been an integral part of it for so long.

Basically - at some point in the future, there will be a fad (brief, but very intense while it lasts) for people (especially the young) to write a deathjournal... thoughts and feelings that you want people to know after you've gone, so that loved ones - or not so loved ones! - can find out the truth about x incident, or what you really thought when they did y.

Uni student dies. He had had a major fall out with his mum, and they weren't speaking at the time.

Grief-stricken, she had to know if he had forgiven her. The fact that his deathjournal was missing - and then found to be unavailable for the moment, but would be at some point in the future - was the major motivation for her actions that were the main turning point of the book.

I think I've got other, more believable, motivations for her to take those actions.

It saves trying to make a plausible reason why she knows where it is but can't read it right now (originally there was dangerous information that cannot be made public NOW because of corrupt polititians, but too valuable to lose also in the book, so as an astrophysics PhD student who was involved in sending a probe to a comet, he hid it on board, where it would return X years later when political situation was better... I had it that he wasn't thinking necessarily too clearly when he did that! Plot twist was that it was returning sooner than expected, and to hide this fact, interested parties started bumping off astronomers... yeah, dropped the serial astronomer killer a while ago. Now it's one poltical lobbyist who is killed. Comet returning early wasn't a plausibility issue by the way - notable, yes, but having its orbit affected by some near miss while on its way back to the Oort cloud - really not impossible.)

It was one of the weak points of the plot, I think, because I was trying to explain why reasonably intelligent people did some really dumb things - which isn't so difficult! - but also why they reacted emotionally in certain ways that didn't convince me.

So I've dropped it.

I think.

It's proving emotionally difficult to let it go!

7th March 2014

1:39pm: Deklaracio de Principoj
The finished version :-)Read more...Collapse )
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