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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

KIT day 2...

I had high hopes for my second 'keeping in touch' day at work. If anything in the interim period between days 1 and 2, they had been in touch more than ever.

You can read about the success of day one below. I actually remembered what i had loved about work after that day...

It wasn't pretty this time. There were tears, tantrums and general unhappiness. What a contrast to the first day!

Next time I don't think I will take part in any KIT days...I'm going to be back at work soon enough and now I'm dreading it even more!

Not a success and still i didn't get to use any of my carefully packed things!!

The bane of big foot...

I have big feet. I'm not ashamed. There is nothing i can do about it. Its the way it is. Ive always worried about what people will think when they find out that i am not dainty footed...its been a big concern of my life.

It was bound to happen you see. My mother and father both have larger feet. I was bound to have them too. Personally, I think it helps my balance.

My problem is that manufacturers dont seem to want to cater for the bigger footed one. They seem to want to limit the sizes of the shoes they are able to offer. Why?! Surely they would be more easily seen on the larger foot?

I understand they may be prescious about their designs...but whats an inch or two more (ahem).

The alternative I suppose is a life of being bare foot. Not ideal really. Although one lady I read about has adopted a policy of never wearing shoes. She has opted to bare her soles, literally, for the last 12 months. She hasnt suffered too many adverese effects, save for the odd deposit made by our doggy friends. (this is why i would not cope with it one bit).

The issue though is choice.She has chosen to go bare foot. i have not.This would never be a choice i would make.I'm precious about my feet. I want them covered and protected not exposed to the elements!

I want to walk into a shoe shop and be able to try on any pairs that take my fancy. I want a closet full of pretty, shiny, hardly worn shoes.

So what to do?

There are more shoes available now than when i was younger.
At least now they dont promote the use of wide slippers in a velour material with a velcro strap for anyone over a size 7. They really were not practical and certainly not fashionable for a 15 year old girl.

Ill just have to keep looking and hoping. In the meantime I'm going to be proud of my big feet. They work hard everyday. Without them I would be lost.

Oh well i suppose its just how things are. Im sure ill cope one way or another. If not i could always go back to nature....

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gender denied...

This article is my opinion on a story featured in the Daily Mirror. It is in no part a judgement on the actions of others. i firmly believe that each should be able to do their own. That said, i believe that if you sell your story to a newspaper then you leave yourself open to comment.  In no way do i urge you to agree with my opinions neither in this article nor any other.

Just to clarify like....

Gender specifics...
Is it right to deny your child knowledge of their gender?
Well that's exactly what a couple,  featured yesterday morning  in the press,  did for 5 years. They shielded their child from the knowledge of his gender, choosing instead to raise him as  gender neutral. It was only when the child had to be registered for primary school that it was revealed that he is a boy.  Had they not had to reveal his gender at that stage it is suggested that they would have continued as they were.
It raised some interesting questions for me.
Can anyone truly be gender neutral ?  Surely gender is deeper than what toys you play with and what clothes you wear? Surely it is about human nature. It runs through most living organisms and assists their role in the procreation of themselves and of other species.
What will happen when he goes to school? He currently wears a uniform made up of male and female articles. How long will he be happy to do that? In the paper there is an image of him dressed in a fairy outfit and sporting a short boy like outfit. Wont that image come back to haunt him in years to come?
Children are resilient creatures but they can also be cruel. They look for any slight differences which make others stand out and use them as a weapon. They tease and laugh and this can have a big effect on a child’s life and happiness.
The first few formative years are the ones that stay with a child. Is it wrong to deny them their true identity? Surely it contributes to their personality not takes away from it?
Personally I think that it is selfish to want your child to defy boundaries which you think are in place in society. These Are boundaries which your child as no knowledge. I can’t help but feel that you are taking away a protective shield and opening them up to questioning, hardness and even bullying. Shouldn’t children just be allowed to be children and enjoy a child hood without having to defy/battle/challenge parent imposed beliefs?
 I think that in some way you would be suggesting to them that you are concerned with who they really are. That you are ashamed. Parents may think that this won’t happen. They think that they will have instilled enough security in their child so that this will be avoided. It won’t be. Maybe for the here and now it won’t be an issue. He’s young, probably won’t understand fully. The problem is that young minds grow and crave answers. At that point I'm not so sure that he will like the inevitable responses.
The biggest problem they have is that they went to the press. They put the difference out there. For anyone to access. They haven’t shielded him at all from bullies or even the public and that's a very dangerous position in which to place your child.
My concern is who they are doing this for. If a child decides themselves to take a certain course of action then that's fine; its their decision. If you impose your ideas on them then surely you are doing it for yourself? Of course people think they do it for their child. They do it almost to be different.
Ultimately I believe each to their own and I fully support the right to a private family life. The thing is that they are quoted in the papers and are clearly happy to publicise their decision and with that I have a major problem. I only hope that their son is understanding of their reasons when he is able to find out information about what they did in due course.
If not then they could have sacrificed a lot for what appears to be a personal social experiment. He has no siblings with whom he can share the load and burden of their decision. Not even his parents are gender neutral.  Perhaps if they were so believing of their cause, they would practice what they preach?
The mother is quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying “I just want him to fulfil his potential and I wouldn’t push him in any direction”. Gender though isn’t a direction; its a fact of life. It doesn’t need to define you. It doesn’t limit your potential either. I'm sure that not being in the knowledge of your own gender could be pretty limiting though, even for a small child.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Mothers ruin...

I make it clear at the start of this blog that I am in no way promoting the use of alcohol. In fact it is the opposite as you will see... At all times i advocate the safe and responsible us of alcohol. Believe me I have seen the negative and devastating effects alcohol can have when used inappropriately.

This article is about the change in perception of nights out involving alcohol once you become a mother. It is yet another example of how everything in your life changes after the birth of your child.

That is all. It is certainly not a promotion of alcohol over indulgence.
It’s funny how before the baby, alcohol seemed to fit seamlessly into my life. It wasn’t something I thought about. It was just there, at functions, parties, nights out and even at home after a hard day at work.
Now however it  is entirely different. In order to enjoy a few glasses of wine it is necessary to employ military tactics. There is a lot of planning.
Finding a night suitable for a baby sitter, alone takes its time. Then there is the thought of what to drink? Nothing too strong (that just leads to embarrassment) and nothing too disgustingly cheap. Ill settle for a bottle of sparkly wine.
I have to admit this is not something I would have even considered before the baby. I would have gone for a very dry white wine chilled and possibly with ice cubes. Now I just don’t have the tolerance for that.
After a mere 9 months of not drinking, it is as though I've never drunk before. I feel like a 16 year old about to embark on their first house party armed with a bottle of cheap cider which could have been stolen from a tramp.  My days of drinking with sophistication are kaput.
Now should I drink anything above about 6% then one of two things happen:
The first is that I likely fall asleep. I kid you not. This can happen anywhere. Tiredness takes over and I'm gone. I know it happened a few weeks ago....in a bar....usually though that happens at home and isn’t too bad. At least you can laugh it off. At home you don’t even need to do that.
I can now fall asleep after only a few sips of wine. It’s like my body sees it as a cue to relax and I'm gone. 
This is the better of the options.
The second option is not necessarily one which is well remembered at least not by me. It usually involves falling over, shouting, hysterics and accusations. In short; its not pretty.
This normally happens in public to add to the humiliation... I mean what is the point of such histrionic dramatisation in the comfort of your own home? It is ugly. Very ugly.
It’s the kind of behaviour that means you have to make a lot of calls the following day (which with a stonker of a hangover is not pleasant) and offer profuse apologies and promises of never drinking again.  It really does take me back to being 16...
It’s not just the effects which seem to be different either. I swear that my ‘palate’ has changed. I can no longer stomach dry wine, instead preferring once shunned sweeter varieties. Red wine is just a no go.
This annoys me as it took a lot of wine swilling to build up a taste for different types of vino and now its just gone!  I'm not saying I used to be a connoisseur but at least I wasn’t tempted  into the alcopop aisle previously!
The sad truth is that like many things, drinking will never be the same as it was before. I cant imagine spending lots of money on a ‘big night out’ when I have nappies and baby clothes to buy. I can no longer handle hangovers which seem to linger for days and quite frankly don’t enjoy the prospect of looking like a mess.
That's not to say I'm becoming tee total.... I can still enjoy the odd glass of pinot (or some other sparkly alternative) just not like before....
Guess I'm getting old.... or growing up...

First day...

New girl...
Yesterday I felt like a new girl. I went back to work for a ‘keeping in touch day’. This is funny really because I haven’t been out of touch with them since I started my leave but anyway...
Id arranged it in advance. I didn’t want to go but I knew it would be like pulling off a plaster. This way at least I was eased back in. The theory was that this would be easier. I could catch up with my colleagues, find out what was going on in my department and generally scope out recent office gossip (this is vital to the workings of an office as it motivates everyone to be on their best behaviour lest they should become the topic of coffee breaks). All in all it should be a rather productive day.
The night before I couldn’t sleep. It felt like Sunday evening all day.
 I played over and over the thought of going into the office in my mind. I hated the thought of leaving the baby (although she was in the trusted hands of my partner, her father). I worried that they wouldn’t like me anymore (my colleagues, not partner and baby),  that I wouldn’t like the job (more than likely I felt), that I might cry and beg to be sent home (statistically the most likely to occur, so this was a rationale worry).  
As I've said, I'm a natural born worrier. The prospect of a day in the office gave me a multitude of new worries to mull over well In advance of the big day.  Long nights give a worrier all the time in the world to play out worries over and over again. I'm prone to insomnia and always feel that if I could use the night time better,  then I would be one of the most productive people on the planet.  I can’t so I won’t worry about that...
After what felt like about 10 minutes of sleep I got up and showered. I kind of enjoyed the fact that I could dedicate time to my morning regime as I was now the ‘worker’. Well for the day at least...
Then I trawled through my wardrobe. This was probably a task which would have been better undertaken in advance.  How depressing. Not a good start...
For some reason I had assumed that;
1.       All of my clothes would look uber trendy. Even though they didn’t before. I credited the wardrobe elves with having given my clothes some kind of makeover. They hadn’t visited me which was surprising.
2.       All of my clothes would fit perfectly and transform me from mother to LA law in a instant.  
3.       They would all look brand new.  All previous defects would be mended miraculously. There would be no bobbling, no ladders, no scuffs...
4.       I would be spoiled for choice with an array of office suitable outfits.
As you have probably guessed, none of this happened. I had a selection of one dress out of the ‘items that still fit’ pile. Great. It’s certainly not an LA Law type dress either. If I'm honest it’s a tad too short for work. Now I have to add ‘remember not to bend’ , to my ever growing list of worries...
Anyway outfit done I packed my lunch, my laptop and about 300 other things that I don’t feel I could do without and haul them into the car. This is what I thought I may need and took in with me;
1.       Laptop (I did unpack this but didn’t use it...so probably could have stayed at home...)
2.       Kindle (totally not needed. Didn’t leave my bag for fear of theft)
3.       Full make up bag (forgot I had even packed this)
4.       Phone chargers for both my phones (not needed as I had carefully charged them both over night)
5.       MP3 Player (no idea why...didn’t leave the bag)
6.       Diary (I have one at work anyway. I also know that by the middle of next week this will be discarded/lost/forgotten and so there is no point in putting important stuff in it.)
7.       4 cup a soups (I wouldn’t need this many on a hike – I drank none of these)
8.       2 rolls, half a cucumber (chopped), cherry tomatoes, pretzels, a bagel, cream cheese and a pack of instant noodles. ( I didn’t even open my lunch box once. All this food came back with me. I packed so much because I didn’t feel I could choose what to eat in advance....) (I think I was also catering subconsciously for the baby)
9.       A spare set of headphones for the MP3 (see above)
10.   A Dictaphone (not used and the only thing I felt same enough leaving in my desk for my full return)
11.   A magazine (well the kindle clearly didn’t contain enough reading material...)
There were also other sundry items which are too mundane to list. You can see though that I was packed for a mini break not a day in the office. No way would I use all of that stuff. The problem is that I would at home and I thought I would feel lost without it. All I achieved through taking it all in with me was the fear that someone would break into my office and steal my bag. Adding to my worries.
I thought that at lunch I would sit and read my Kindle, maybe listen to the MP3. As it happened a friend came and took me out for lunch. This voided the need for those two items and all of the food I had meticulously packed. Much nicer though!
I got home in record time and felt excited about the day that had just been. I slept well that night that's for sure.
The day went pretty well all in all. I caught up with my colleagues, re-familiarised myself with the surroundings and stalked around my office like the good old days. I enjoyed it. But I did miss my baby. I wondered all day whether she missed me too.
That was answered when I got home to her big smiles and saw the excitement all over her face. I love my girl.
I know now that she will be ok if I leave her for the day to go to work. I wish I didn’t have to but sometimes life just gets in the way of our plans. One day I hope to be able to stay at home with her more but for now this is just the way it is. She will be fine. So will I. I just need to pack more sensibly next time....



Question time...

Questions, questions, questions....
I often ask questions that I don’t really want to know the answer to. This is usually because I already know the answer but some strange morbid curiosity makes me want to hear it said out loud. I do this time and time again. The thing is that all would be ok if I could just let it go. I cant. I worry and that's when the trouble starts.
Usually the question and foreboding answer will involve a topic which will make me feel innately bad, either about myself, a situation or the other person. No good comes from this type of question.
Law school training includes learning that you should never ask a question without knowing the answer...
So why would I need to hear it said? Is it that I have some sadomasochistic tendency towards self anguish? Or is it just that I crave the truth? The problem with the latter is that when you have the truth then you have to deal with the consequences and sometimes that is not an easy task. Is ignorance bliss in this situation?
Well no probably not. With most things I believe that you should believe your gut instinct. That somewhere deep inside, you usually know the truth. Perhaps therefore it is your subconscious that pushes you to ask the question and obtain an answer. That way it becomes part of your conscious thought and you can deal with it.  That way you don’t bury your head in the sand and wait for the storm to build and build until it erupts out of all control.
Largely I think that pride makes me push for am answer.  I'm like a woman possessed. All my cross examination training comes into play and like a dog with a bone I'm going in for the kill.
Anyway, I'm sure this is something not individual to me. I've been on the receiving end of this style interrogation. I've known that the answer would cause more damage than good. I suppose that is what happens generally. Often answers are hidden for the ‘greater good’ that is that you simply want to protect those around you and not that you are seeking to deceive them.
And maybe that is a good thing. Because let’s be honest, life can be tough and sometimes we all just need a security blanket to wrap around ourselves and our own little world....

Monday, 16 January 2012

Social networking again...

Since my last post I must confess that I have now added tumblr to my collection of networking sites. No one else I know is even on there I don't think....not very social you may muse....

Anyway should you want to follow me on there or check out my profile it's http://legalmum.tumblr.com

I have of course added the obligatory phone app to enable easy access in the queue at morrisons....it's vital you see...

I'm still not admitting any addiction really I'm not.

On another note a quick mention about deleting people. Don't get me wrong I thrive on a good delete and block session I really do. What I hate is when it happens to me.

I've recently been deleted and unfollowed by a girl I used to work with. Let it go you may say. Well I can't. I just don't know what I did to make her not want to be my cyber mate any longer...

Maybe a reason for deletion should be introduced??!

Oh well it's her that's missing the bite size status/tweet wit.....or maybe that was the problem....

Anyway as I'm sat in my car at the aforementioned superstore typing this blog on an also aforementioned obligatory phone app, I better go and get my daughters tea (by that I mean buy it not make it)

Tara for now!

The big Twitter/Facebook debate...

Is it unsocial to social network?









I'll be honest, I truly love both Twitter and Facebook. I've had accounts with both for years. I've only recently worked out how to use Twitter and now I really can't stop tweeting. This must annoy my 'followers' but for the reasons below it'll become apparent why I just don't care! (I do a little but I'm working through it). Ive been updating my Facebook status' in a similar vein since I opened my account.

Being on maternity leave, social networking has been the only way which I have been able to keep in touch with the outside world. I haven't had time to read papers. Or watch the news. Or even speak to people some days.

With Twitter and Facebook I don't need to. I an just log on and there it is. News from all over the world updated as it happens. Who needs anything else? In addition to that it carries peoples opinions and they are invaluable. Not the opinions of a newspaper editor. Not the opinions of a news broadcaster. No political interference. Just the opinion of the man on the street. Scroll down and undoubtedly you will find the opposite opinion. I love it.

I also love putting my own opinions out there. Lets be honest that's why I've got a blog. I love being able to wade in there with my own unique opinion and stirring it up a bit. Doing it on a social network allows me to get my point out there in an uninhibited way. No one interrupts you before the end of your sentence. Of course they can comment later but by then they have your full thoughts.

You also have the power of editing. You don't like a post, you can take it back. You cant do that with speech.  You can also consider how best to put it out there before pressing the post button and telling the whole world what you think.

It sounds like I'm trying to suggest using social websites instead of interaction in 'real time'. I'm not. I love people. I just like the addition of the network. That way you never really have to be alone.

They are there all the time. Even in the middle of the night. They're not put off by a screaming baby or lack of makeup. You don't have to make them cups of tea or seek out new forms of entertainment. You can just be yourself. Right then and there with no airs and graces. You can just pick up your phone and be connected to a world wide network of gossip, advice and bitchiness. Fantastic...

For me, It's been like a lifeline enabling me to keep in touch with what's going on outside my bubble. For others its not so good. There are those people who become obsessed with social networking. 9some people may say I'm in this bracket...I'm not honest)... they literally step out of the reality of life and hide behind a computer screen. They cant handle the harshness of life and so they stop living in a conventional way.

There are those who have on line relationships. I don't just mean those who use sites to create Avatars. They aren't happy with who they are in reality and therefore they create a kind of super being of themselves. or rather of who they wished they were. This way they get to control everything about their persona. The way they look. The way they act. The skills they have...you get the picture.

They marry one another, have babies, get careers and die. Basically they have a life in a different dimension. A life that they can control by logging in and out. (In Japan its even illegal to kill an Avatar - it can carry the same sentence as the murder of a person - such is the value of the Avatar). Surely this level of commitment goes beyond social and ventures into the realms of danger and risk? This is often where people invest time and money and forget to live for real because that just doesn't seem as important as the character that they can create and control.

The other factor is security. Are we really safe to put ourselves out there? My parents (who don't have accounts unsurprisingly) are constantly in fear that my bother and i will fall foul of fraud as a result of our networking. They are convinced that simply opening an account pretty much means your details are provided to a criminal war lord so that they can wipe your bank account and pass themselves off as a twenty something solicitor from the midlands...


Of course this isn't necessarily the case but there are some precautions that you should take. I can understand why people have reservations. I really can. I know there is a darker side. You just have to be careful. I mean if you add Rythearsh Uyjxfbsa from Kazakhstan with whom you have no mutual friends, just to boost your 'numbers' then in my opinion you are asking for trouble. Why would you?

There are ways to protecting yourself and accepting dubious friend requests isn't one of them...

The other thing is putting too  much of yourself 'out there'. do you really want everyone knowing your business? Should you really argue with members of your family in full view of your Internet world? No of course not...its like reading a script for Jeremy Kyle...great for those who read it but not great for your dignity.

For me they are great. I can watch the world go by at the click of a button. I can see what goes on and comment if i like. That suits me just fine.

I think that like everything in life, social networking is fine in moderation. Don't let it take over your life, stay safe and remember to live. then enjoy one of the most innovative inventions of our generation!




Sunday, 15 January 2012

Life's surprises...

...not just the good ones...

Life is full of surprises. It's always surprising to find out something new.

This week I've found out lots of things. For my own sake I'm going to list them all, good and bad. That way they wont have the power if the surprise element should they happen again in the future.

In order not to depress myself, or anyone who may happen to read this, I'm going to list alternate good and then bad things. I'll end on a a good one to lift the mood!

Having composed the list, I realise that I've actually reasoned through the 'bad' elements and found good points. I've re-lettered them P for positive and N for negative.

I believe that positivity really does breed success. This way I will always look for the flip side when lady luck appears to have deserted me...

N = people you know don't always come through for you.

P= Strangers can be surprisingly nice. This surprised me because I think I had forgotten the benefit of the kind words/actions of others. Always good to remember. Sometimes has more of an impact because it's so unexpected.

N = People generally don't really want to know if you are OK or not. They just want an easy life. If you're OK then ergo so are they. If you're not OK then this means that they feel obliged to 'deal' with it in some way.

P = You are best to deal With these things yourself. That way you never get disappointed. Sounds like a negative but it's really not. If you are strong enough to deal with anything yourself then you're better off all round.

N = The people closest to me have not read my blog. They don't want to. I've asked them to so they know how I feel. They still don't. They say they will (I suspect to make me be quiet) and they don't. I've given up asking them to.

P= People I don't even know have taken the time to read what I write. That fills me with a lot of nice warm feelings. You can't force people to do things but it's the ones that do it without feeling they have to that mean the most.

N = My life has changed. It will never go back to the way that it was. Everything is different.

P= The changes in my life are without a doubt for the better. I love more about my life than I have ever loved before. I am thankful for the changes.

N = Change is hard. Not just for me but for those around me. It's scary and feels like stepping out into the unknown on a pitch black night. Without a torch. With trees all around. And wolves howling in the distance.

P= The unknown is exciting. It's an incredible journey. We learn from exploring the unknown. I have learnt a lot. Ive learnt about myself and about others. In turn I will pass the new knowledge onto those around me.

N= I'm constantly tired and my child no longer sleeps through the night.

P= I get to spend precious time with my child when everyone else in the world is still and quiet and sleeping. I value those moments.

N= people don't understand my life.

P= one dag they will. One day when they have their own children they will know. they won't remember that they didn't understand now but that's not important.

N= I'm often quite emotional and never have been before.

P= it's because I've just gone through the most amazing experience of my life. That just takes some adjustment.

Of course the list goes on and on. These are just a few of the things on my mind. it makes me feel better to sort them out by writing them down (that will be the law school training).

Sorry for the odd read if anyone is still there!


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Consumer power?

Every little really does help...

Well well well. I guess Tesco are finally realising every little really does help when it comes to profits. This morning news has broken that they are 2.3% down on like for like sales and suffering from a 9-10% decrease in share prices. That equates to a loss in share price of £3.7 billion. That's 3.7 billion pounds wiped off their share value...incredible.

Perhaps the 'if you don't like it then shop elsewhere' attitude wasn't the most progressive for business development then?

Of course there are lots of factors which have lead to the downturn. Its hapeneing to lots of the major retailers. Tesco are certainly not alone. The thing is I think they could have helped themselves by helping those who shop with them.

Sure the recession has probably attributed to the fall in sales and shares. Although reportedly high street sales were up over the Christmas period. Maybe then its something more than that.

Maybe its their attitude? The fact they feel they seem to believe that they can do no wrong? Their constant bids to take over shares in other specialities, fields and trades? Too much ambitious expansion in a fragile market?
I think its a combination of all of these factors.

I had cause to contact Tesco customer 'service' a couple of months ago abut a letter they had sent me regarding parking. Apparently I had 'overstayed' at their car park on two occasions and they were not happy. They threatened to fine me on the next occasion. They re-iterated they did value my custom but still issued me with a 'warning' not to do it again.

As I had been in THEIR store, doing my weekly shop and then in THEIR in store coffee shop for the rest of the time, I rang their customer 'helpline' number to let them know that i was not happy to receive a letter containing both a threat and a warning. I was after all spending my money at THEIR benefit.

I honestly thought they would apologise and tell me they would amend their records. I really did. I maybe optimistically thought that they would perhaps thank me for my custom.

Did this happen? Did it heck. The operator actually said "well if you don't like it then you can just go and shop somewhere else". OK then love, i will.
I have not set foot in a Tesco store since that day. I never will again.

I wrote to them to point out that;
a) I was still not happy to have received their letter; and that
b) their customer service lady may need a bit more training...

They didn't bother to reply. Not even an acknowledgement of my letter. Nothing.

I know that its not a case of not having received it. My friend had the same experience and sent a letter also. They didn't reply to her either. Two letters sent at different times would be too much of a coincidence to get 'lost in the post'.

Its clear to me that they simply didnt value our custom. They didn't seem to feel that there would be any loss from one or two customers going elsewhere.

Could it be that other people have encountered a similar lack of response and decided to take their custom elsewhere also? 

In my letter I pointed out that although they had the leading majority of the market share, this could easily change. It can change quickly. Consumers are fickle creatures.
The recession has meant people look more carefully at where they spend their money. With so much choice in the open market, why stay with a company which doesn't value them?   That doesnt even bother to reply to their complaints?

I quoted the old saying in my letter; a happy customer may tell one other person about their experience but an unhappy customer will tell at least 5 others. Ive told anyone willing to listen. As a result my whole family and some of my friends boycott the store. My friend has also spread the word with imilar effects. That's two customers in our area. The effect being that at least 15 people have now withdrawn their custom.

If 5% of their customers have a poor experience and take the same action as me and my friend, surely that could have a devastating negative effect on business in the long run?

Its not just Tesco that fall foul of this perceived lack of care either. It seems that lots of big high street stores now feel that they are better than the customers they serve. They don't care if people threaten to take their custom elsewhere as they don't think that one person will affect their business. The thing is that it easily can affect it in a very real way. The just fail to appreciate the probable consequences.

Utility companies were in the news yesterday for similar fouls...theyve had to pay out because of their mistakes. Maybe retailers are just paying their dues in a different way?

The other problem i think Tesco have is their ever growing ambitious expansion plans.

Reportedly their plans to take America by storm havent panned out and theyve suffer significant losses because of that project. Thats not all though..
Tesco are guilty of constantly trying to move into and take over all sorts of other markets. In the legal world we have been living in fear of the introduction of 'Tesco Law' for several years. Its predicted that opening up the legal market to mean that virtually any Tom, Dick or Harry can provide legal services will devastate law firms. Barristers and Solicitors alike will directly feel the effects of clients being able to pop a divorce in their trolley on the way to the check out....

Its not just law that Tesco are meddling in either. They are having a go at anything and everything. Electronics, pharmaceuticals, gifts, cards, toys, holidays, insurance, phones.....the list goes on and on...you can pretty much re-design your life with one short trip to your local store.

This may seem like a good thing on the surface. You can get everything you need under one roof...the thing is that it has a massive knock on effect to the rest of society.

If you can get everything at Tesco...you don't need to go to the smaller independent retailers...they have no trade..ergo they don't exist.  Its simple maths.

The problem for Tesco is this; If you drive your competition out of business, how can you expect those who were making a living from it to shop at your store? They have no money to do so!

Its not just Tesco who have had difficult times recently. Argos, Mothercare, Mark and Spencer, the list goes on and on....are consumers fighting back in favour of independent retailers. Do we value our rights and want respect from those who profit from our money? Only time will tell I guess...

The message to retailers seems straightforward: value your customers. They may be in your store today but tomorrow they can easily go elsewhere. Don't take them for granted. Don't try to drive them out of business. Just do what you do and leave them to theirs.

Lets just say...CONSUMER POWER ROCKS!!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Pram Prejudice...

 "I have enough things to worry about without being regarded as a free loading baby making machine void of intelligence or feeling."
Since going on maternity leave I’ve encountered a lot of what I will refer to as pram prejudice. That is that people see the pram and make a judgement about you on the spot. This is usually not a particularly flattering or positive judgement at that.
Usually they judge you as being unemployed, living on the dole and without a braincell in your head. They ertainly dont see you as a career woman taking a short break from work to spend sometime with their new baby...
Now i know that I shouldn't worry about what people think but the truth is that I do. I cant help it. Ive always been a worrier and its not about to stop with the introduction of a host of new hormones. If anything it gets worse. 
It really bugs me that people take such a negative view of mothers. not just me. mothers in general. if I'm experiencing prejudice on the basis of the pram and nappy bag I'm toting, then I'm sure I'm not the only one. It just shouldn't happen.
I have enough things to worry about without being regarded as a free loading baby making machine without intelligence or feeling. 
What amazes me is that people feel its OK to tell you what they think. To come out with the prejudicial statements as if they were fine. its almost like people who start with "I'm not being nasty but..." and then say the nastiest things...
Ive had older ladies tell me that they would love grandchildren but their son/daughters are too busy out making money for themselves..(what unlike me??!!). Ive been referred to as a 'kept woman' (i wish) and been told that "im lucky i dont have to be out in the real world" (ive been to the 'real' world more times than most people have had hot dinners...)
Do people think i need their opinion? Do i look like i need knocking down? No. So please keep your comments to yourself thank you very much.  
The worst example I’ve come across was at a local cathedral. I decided that as the babe was fast asleep and I was walking past, id pop in and have a look around. It is a majestic building after all and it had been years since i had ventured inside.
I bustled in with my pram and took a leisurely stroll around the various chambers and chapels. I'm not religious but I do appreciate good architecture and I'm prone to a bit of history.
At the exit I started to get some money out to put into the collection box. It was then that this  exchange took place with one of the volunteers next to the entrance/exit.
HER: I assume you don’t pay tax
ME: (taken aback) err yes actually. I'm a solicitor.
HER: (astounded) Oh right. Really? Are you on some period of leave then?
ME: (frustrated) Yes. Maternity leave.
HER:  Oh. Well would you mind awfully donating your tax to gift aid?
I did donate to gift aid. I reminded myself that it was all about the cause and not her. I was not a happy bunny though.
I felt wounded though to have been judged. Especially when I was in a place that I should have felt safe in. Safe from judgement at least. isn't that one of their selling points? I haven’t been back.
There are many examples I could give where people have judged me on the sole basis of me pushing a pram. Most of them are women which saddens me further. What has happened to woman kind that means we need to turn against one another?
It appears that the view is if you have a baby then you can’t possibly have had a career. You can have both. You really can. You just have to balance them.
It’s a shame that motherhood is still something which is looked down on.  It’s not viewed with the respect that it deserves. Its hard work but its also very rewarding.
Women should stand together and support one another not judge each other on the basis of a pram.
It really should be a thing of the past. I for one am going to stand up against pram prejudice.  The mothers I've met are generally well educated, hard working and deserving of praise. I'm going to make sure that they get it.

I had a baby...not a lobotomy...

That's right world...I’m still the same person. I still have brain cells...I haven’t turned into an absolute idiot just because I happen to have given birth to a child.
So why do people take that try to treat you like one?
When I was at work and pregnant this never happened. People were almost too polite (or scared) to mention the fact that I had a large bump. Either that or they thought that I was just gaining lots of weight... Either way they still listened to me and respected my opinion.
Why wouldn't they now that I'm on maternity leave?
Its not just strangers that are prone to this presumption wither. Friends and family have also fallen foul of the rage for this misdemeanour.
I am in fact still supremely intelligent in every way... I'm joking. But my point is this; You thought I was reasonably clever before, why doubt me now?  What happened to make your opinion change? The simple fact that I had a baby?
People have such short memories. They seem to forget that you existed before you became a mother and that the same person still exists now that you are.
Before going on maternity leave I regularly worked 70 hour + weeks. I never had holidays of more than a day at a time and had never called in sick. I was obsessed with work. If I hadn’t had a child then I probably would have had a premature heart attack or breakdown, it was that bad.
Talking to some of my friends now though, you would think that I had never even done a days work in my life! They frequently throw the ‘some of us do have to work...’ line at me. Geez! I'm on maternity leave guys, not the dole!
I've worked long days and nights, weekends and had no break in between. At times I've literally worked 24/7. I can quite honestly say that raising a child is the most challenging job to date. Its a job that requires hard work, stamina, patience and love.
There are no holidays from being a parent. If your sick you just have to get on with it. If your down, it really is a case of picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and carrying on as if all is fine.
I know its the hardest job because I have a background in one of the toughest professions on the planet. It beats that hands down. So how dare people make it seem like an easy option?
When I go back to work, not only will I have the same responsibilities there as I did before but ill also be a mother. And that's a full time job on its own.
 I'm sure one day those that scoff will appreciate that its not an easy ride. By then I'll be in a position to help them and advise. Not to say I told you so...
Believe me i would have joined the scoffing before. Seeing really is believing. You truly need to look after a child to realise the level of dedication and responsibility required.
The other thing is that people feel the need to employ a degree of condescension when speaking to me.  This is particularly infuriating. Especially as I'm used to standing up in court and commanding an audience! (I'm not saying that they are always enthralled by what I have to say but they do at least listen!)  
 Some people find it necessary to  explain even the most basic things to me in step by step method. Quite frankly it makes me want to punch them in the face. And that's punch hard.  In the face.
Believe me I understand. I have a degree to prove it. It did not become void the moment I entered motherhood.
I’ve always been interested in current affairs (it’s in the law school training) and I like to discuss things in the papers and on the news.
The problem is that I seem to no longer have any willing sparing partners for a lively debate on political issues. I think they think that I might start to cry. It won’t happen guys! Under this motherly home making exterior is still a hardened battle axe willing to take on the world!
This never happens though. People just fob me off.  
I’ve tried to start conversations with people, who cut me off mid way in a patronising “you don’t need to trouble yourself with all that“ tone.....erm yes actually I do! I really, really do.
I wonder if all will revert to normal when my maternity leave ends and I return to the grind. Hmmm we will see I guess. If not, the rage may stay around for a lot longer than I or anyone else had anticipated.... a lot of people probably just wont feature in my life any more...
What I always try to remember is that having a baby is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She probably saved my life. Raising her is without a doubt the hardest job I have ever done.  On top of that I am able to do it with a smile because I know that it is the most worthwhile thing that I will ever do.
People generally react from jealousy. I'm not going to let it get to me...honestly I'm not!



Sunday, 8 January 2012

The sacrifice of the innocent...

I've just finished reading War Horse by Michael Morpugo. I have to say that it was a brilliant book. The story is inspirational and moving. The characters intriguing and identifiable. The message clear and strong. All in all an excellent book. A portrayal of our debt to our four legged friends.

What is shocking is what happened at the end of the war and the fate of the brave horse who fought alongside their masters during a gruelling world war.

They you see, were not brought back and paraded through the streets as heroes. They are not remembered each year by a grateful nation on remembrance Sunday. They have no graves or memorials or even proper mentions of their plight.

This is because they were sold. Auctioned off in France. Many finding that their war story ended in a French slaughter house. That's the honour they were bestowed. That's where after all their hard work they ended up. That's how the army big wigs valued them when it came down to it.

These were the same horses which were said to be the saving grace of endless tired battalions of men. They took water, guns and ammunition to the front line. Fearlessly trudging towards no mans land amongst gun fire, shrapnel and carnage.

They brought back the sick, the wounded and the dead. Often making several trips a day though mud and danger.

Above all else they brought a glimmer of hope and affection to men and boys who had been kept away from home for far too long fighting a battle over which they had no power or desire.

They too should be held up for their outstanding bravery. The part they played was considerable and impressive. Without them the war would probably have been lost.

Thats not to say that horses didn't suffer a similar fate on the other side also. For both sides they were invaluable. They were treasured at the time. So how could they be so quickly discarded?

The fact is that humankind have an opinion of superiority. We as a race feel that we are better than the animals who share our earth. For us they are a commodity to be traded, used and then discarded.

The army officials making the decision that they were to be sold were not on the front line. They did not see the hardships endured for the benefit of the nation. They were removed from the situation. It wasn't their horses that weren't coming home after all...

They felt that they were able to make a decision to trade the horses. They thought not of their fate and if they did, then they didn't care.

This attitude is played out time and time again.

The comedian Ricky Gervais is currently battling to prevent the expansion of a dog breeding 'factory'. The dogs being bred are to be used in vivisection. They are being created simply to be destroyed. Who are we to make such decisions about the life of another being? The objective of course is money. The drugs trade is a multi billion pound industry. They simply want a cheap way to test their new drugs so that they can be marketed as safe.  So that people feel 'safe' buying them. But what of the sacrifices made to achieve these objectives?

Gervais has received lots of tweets in support of the protest. Lots. He has also received some that are directly against the prevention of such a facility being expanded. One man tweeted that it was because an animals life is not as important as that of a human. Who are we to play God and make such arrogant suggestions?

My point is that we are guilty of constantly abusing the assistance that we are given by our four legged furry friends (and our 2 legged winged ones too!). If it were not for them we would not have guide dogs, cart horses, mining canaries and many more useful roles which they fill.

We should rejoice in their ability to handle tasks, which we are often unable to do. We should not underestimate the influence that they have had over our lives both in the past and present.

The dogs being bred at the facility could easily be trained to be sight/hearing/mobility dogs or even companions for the old, sick or lonely. Why create their life simply to destroy it?

We live in an age now where none of this is necessary. Their are other methods which could be used to achieve the same purpose. Sure they cost more in terms in monetary value but surely their is nothing more valuable than life itself?

We should always be mindful of the sacrifices made by all other living things to enable us to live our lives.

Its estimated that 6 million horses were used in World War 1. These were shipped to battle from all corners of the globe. In Britain, pet and farm horses were requisition for the cause. Often taken from the families that had loving cared for them for years.

Few of those returned to their countries of origin. Some were left to wander around no mands land until they were claimed by starvation and exhaustion. Many as i've mentioned were sold for meat at the sadness of their mounts.

Many more horses have of course been used and lost in conflicts both bfore and after the first world war. Its easy to highlight the plight of the WW1 horses as it was the first time that tanks largely replaced the cavalry and therefore the loses were greater and more instantaneous.

I for one will be forever thankful for the sacrifices of the war horses. They will be remembered as they should be. As heroes.

I'll be there for you...


Universal friendships...
I guess that it happens to us all. We grow up. We move away and start our own lives. Gone are the days when you literally lived in each others pockets. The times that you couldn’t make any kind of decision without a group consultation, no matter how much this annoyed people around you. The age when all that mattered was who was your best friend that week....
For girls this starts at school. You find a best friend and assume that it will stay that way for ever. There will be no change.
You agree with one another that you will never fall out. You can see no reason to. You agree with everything the other one says. You think as one. You are essentially one view point in two bodies.
Then you fall out. Probably something minor. Something which is so trivial that you won’t even remember what it is years later. Unless of course you have reason to hold an epic grudge. And seriously if you are that bitter after a lengthy passage of time then you really should get counselling...or start a blog...
I think a lot of the problem is that you just simply grow apart. You don’t mean to, you just do. You meet other people. Maybe get a boyfriend. You start a new hobby. Then all of a sudden you haven’t spoken to your bezzie in a while...longer than you can remember.
Undoubtedly you try to correct the situation. You call them up. You have a general chit chat. But something has been lost. Its just not the same. They don’t have as much in common with you as your new friends do.
Of course some things are certain to bring a premature end to a friendship without the need for the drifting apart phase. There are certain ‘rules’ which must be adhered to.
A big no no is making moves on a friends boyfriend/love interest/crush. This will not go down well. They will not want to stay being your friend.
Jealousy over new friendships is another casulaty claiming pifall. Sometimes you cannot make all the groups of yuor life bond like one big happy family.
There is also the problem of living with your friends. This happens in my experience mainly at uni.
Its true that you never really know people until you live with them. Then all their bad habbits seem to come to the forefront with the pure intention of annoying the hell out of you. Its just one of those things.
Before you know it your hiding their food and playing music at top volume the night before they have an important exam... you know the kind of thing...
You thought you knew them so well and then it appears that you didn’t. How did that happen?  I think its like this;
You get to know people fairly intensely at uni in a short space of time. The first year is designed for this. They put you in halls. You make friends with your new room mates. You all go to Freshers week. You get very drunk. You meet other new students and drunkenly strike up ‘life long’ friendships. You go to lectures. You sit by people you don’t know and bang they are your new best friend. Maybe you join a club. You meet people there. You love them instantly.
Its all about the here and now at uni. You want the whole package and making lifelong friends is an important part of that parcel.
The problem is that a lot of the time you don’t really know the people. You think that you do. You may know them at that moment in time ... but time never stands still for long.
As you graduate, you try to hold onto the once invincible ties that bound you so closely together but they invariably fray and snap over time.
Its harsh but true.
Before you know it you haven’t seen your BFFs for years. You might catch sight of their news on facebook once in a while. Even have a brief wall to wall catch up. But the truth is its over. It was probably just not meant to be.  Youre too old now to relive the glory days of all night partying and hangover hazed lectures.
The odd thing is that there are some people who you just never hear about again. You might search for them like a deranged hunter seeking prey. They just don’t seem to exist anywhere anymore (at least not social network wise). Where do they go?
Uni is all about ‘finding’ yourself and people change. Not intentionally. They just grow (I'm not saying they grow up because sometimes they seem to regress...its still however growth of some kind!) Their interests and priorities change and so do yours. And that's normal. Its certainly no bad thing (definately in my case at least).
I still keep in contact with some of my old uni friends. I enjoy their news. I wish I saw them more often. We always say we should meet up. We rarely do. That's just the way it is i guess.  

Back away from that hutch...


You think its just women that are odd.....
Society has a host of names for women that they class as exhibiting ‘stalker’ style behaviour. These range from mildly insulting and laughable to downright derogatory and defaming.
There never seem to be words on par to explain the same kind of behaviour in males. Does this mean that they have complete immunity from acting in such a fatal attraction manner? Are such words not needed?
I'm not suggesting that this is a man –v- woman situation. Its not. There genuinely are those members of the human race who dedicate way too much time in pursuit of loves unrequited young dream. People that cannot seem to grasp the concept of a polite rejection.
I think that the media goes a long way to highlight that this can be the case in a woman to man scenario. Do they ever really highlight the situation in reverse though? Probably not as much.
But it certainly does exist.  
I can quite honestly tell you that I have had more bad experiences with men than they have ever had with me. Sure I have been called a psycho....a slag.....a bunny boiler.  In reality, I am none of these.
I can assure you that I am not writing this blog to make myself look good in any way.
This is just my limited experience of negative attention I have received from member s of the opposite sex. All attention either positive or negative has been limited!
One tale is following the breakdown of a relationship. The other is the story of a (ex) friend of mine who suddenly decided that he had an unrequited infatuation.
Im not trying to make out that I am some kind of man magnet. Im not. The blog isn’t about that at all. Its about getting these tales off my chest. They both worried me for some time. I have felt limited by the actions of these two men. I hope that by writing about my experiences it will somehow lighten the load for other who may find themselves with similar unwanted attentions.
 You see both of them were fairly manipulative. That seems to be a trait in this kind of man. For that reason I felt guilty that I didn’t want to be with them. This is ridiculous. You should never feel forced to be with anyone.  You can’t force someone to love you.
I have at times been prone to my own bouts of ‘odd’ behaviour. This is usually late at night after copious amounts of alcohol. It also usually involves texting. This is always an error. But that's by the by and I’m sure I’ll get around to my regrets at a later stage. In any case I'm now all loved up as it were so I can’t have been that much of a socio psychopath!
I can state, without any shadow of a doubt that I have certainly met men with very bizarre, possessive and downright scary traits.
I know that this is not a problem which I alone have encountered. Its an “across the board” issue. Its something I think most men and women experience at least once during their lifetime. The fact is that we simply cannot reciprocate all affection lavished in our direction. Our chemistry will not allow us to do so.  There is just no attraction. No buzz. Nothing. We cant help that.
So we will start with number one. I’ll call him that as I would hate to be sued. I'm certainly not giving him any of my money.  
Looking back, he was everything you would not wish to find in a man...or a woman ...or anyone...
Sure you can look back and think that past relationships were bad, painful even.  He was more than that. He should never have happened. He should have not even been an infringement on a memory. The truth was at the end, he grated on my soul. He took a large chunk of it for a while too..
This may all sound a bit deep. It’s not really. It’s simple. He was a prick. He full on financially raped me over the two years we were together. He cheated on me repeatedly. He left to go to mummy for long periods of time and act as though he was a singleton (he never cut the apron strings in the slightest).  I dumped him by text (harsh I know...it will play out...i promise you will be on my side...)
The thing is that this should have been the end of it but it wasn’t, I could not get rid of him.
At first he just used to turn up at my house. No warning. Then he’d cry.
I had ‘found myself again’ and wanted to be out and about, not sat at home listening to him sob through the reasons we should get back together. There was no chance of this happening in the slightest so why should I sit through all this rubbish.  
You see once I realised that I had never loved him in the slightest and had seen that he had treated me like crap, it was easy to just want rid. I wanted him gone. I didn’t want to have to look at his face.
You would think that at this point he would have taken the hint? Nope... not in the slightest.
He sent flowers all the time (expensive ones despite being unemployed) he emailed, text and rang me none stop. Bear in mind that I was working full time as a trainee and covered a vast majority of our night rota myself (being the most junior member of the department). This was not what I needed.
To start with I felt sorry for him (I don’t know why...I’m just a worrier)...then I got annoyed. Now I just ignore him. That's right I said now....years down the line.
He’s still trying to contact me on a fairly regular basis. He has a girlfriend. He knows I have a partner and we have a baby and still he rings, texts and emails regularly. I ignore them all and hope that it will stop. Sometimes it does for a while then it starts again. What a loser.
This isn’t the only encounter of this kind that I have had. A friend of mine also went a bit odd. I say friend but he was someone that I really only knew through work. I pitied him really. He was a bit a nerd you see. In every way.
It started with rather small things. He commented on everything I did or said on facebook. I mean to a ridiculous extent. Like way over the top. So much so that other people started to comment about his commenting. It became a bit of a joke.
 Then he started to ring me all the time. For hours. Even if I tried to end the conversation he would just keep talking.
 He would go in moods if I went out with my boyfriend (who is now the father of my child).
He once rang me repeatedly when he knew I was with my boyfriend and played “suicide is painless” into my voicemail. (he later denied all knowledge of this and tried to blame some kind of phone malfunction...).
He tried to talk me out of being with my boy slagging him off to me at every opportunity...even though they had never met.
On and on this went. Then he started to change. He went into dark moods. Slagged me off to all and sundry. Really nasty stuff. It was clear we were no longer friends. On further exploration of this sudden change, he revealed that he was in love with me and that he couldn’t bear to not be my boyfriend. He begged me to end things with the boy and be with him.
What??
I turned him down as nicely as possible. He upped his slagging off vendetta. He implied that we should be together and once we were then he would stop slagging me off to anyone that would listen.
Why can people not take no for an answer? Do you really think that that kind of psychotic behaviour would make me think: “yeah now he is the guy I was looking for. If only he had gone all psycho on me earlier, we could have saved so much time”
For ages I didn’t know what to do about this situation. I really worried about it. Then I decided to be honest. If people asked why we weren’t friends anymore I replied with “because he’s in love with me and I rejected him.”
Harsh but it worked. He lost his handle. His power over me was gone. He thought I would be too polite to rat him out. For once, I wasn’t.
So you see both men and women can be quite strange. I guess that it can become a kind of obsession. Its not limited to one sex or the other. There just aren’t as many words to describe the ‘unfairer’ sex. That does not mean that it does not exist. It does.
The key is not to make it an issue in your life. Its their problem not yours. If it gets too much then don’t feel too polite to take appropriate action to make it stop. That might mean reporting them or just telling them that their behaviour is not acceptable.  Just make sure that you are careful.
Don’t let their demons rule your life. Its your choice not to be with them and you’re well in your rights to have made it.
There’s truth in the fact that love can lead to obsessional madness. I just hope that I never have to encounter such behaviour ever again. It really is tiring and troublesome. Especially when you try not to offend or upset the one who has morphed into a more unhinged version of glen close.
...feel better now that's off my chest at least! 

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Soap justice...

I hope your not one of “those” Criminal lawyers....
i warn you in advance that this one is slightly about work :@) but it was inevitable at some point... so here goes...
Im never sure exactly what that question means. It seems to imply something negative. Something sinister. I am a criminal lawyer I reply. Oh they say....backing away...clutching their bag close to their side...
You see I think what they mean really is “you don’t defend criminals do you?” . they think that I would be bad to do that. It would be a preference to work for the Crown prosecution Serivce and be one of those nice lawyers that helps victims. Solves crimes. Generally saves the world.
Instead that stand in front of one of the other ones. A criminal defence one. As bad as our clients. Guilty of the same crimes. But slightly worse than the criminals because we in some way condone what they have done.... we make them look good when what they have done is so terrible they should not even be allowed to speak to defend themselves... let alone have an expensive lawyer do it for them. At the cost of the tax payer obviously.
Im not going to go over the point that of course not everyone tried for a crime is guilty of it. That the prosecution and pocice do make mistakes. That there can be miscarriages of justice. That we still have the notion of innocent until PROVEN guilty...
Its too hard to convince people that they could easily end up in the dock having done absolutely nothing wrong. They change their minds quick enough when they're banged up though.
I think that this misconception is born from the media. To be more specific, soaps. Not only soaps but also serial dramas, who have a good go at misrepresenting the true legal system as well.
Not only do they constantly get the law incorrect but also the procedure. This does not help those of us who have to advise real people.
When Gail stood before Wetherfield Magistrates Court at her first hearing, charged with the murder of her husband, her lawyer made a failed application for bail and she was remanded into custody. A good story. Factually incorrect.
You cannot make applications for bail at the first hearing in the Magistrates Court in a murder case. That was the law then and its the law now. Sure it hadn’t long changed, but changed it had.
 You try and explain that to clients who watched that episode. They believe that over us! That's the power of the media. “oh no we can make an application for bail I saw it on Corrie last night....” yeah well you can stand up and try that one then matey!
In Hollyoaks Zoe was tried for the murder of Sarah Barnes within about 6 weeks of her death....what?!!.... on what planet?.... In what town?.... Never would that happen. Not here that's for sure! You wouldn’t even be out of the  Magistrates court in reality. That's if you weren’t still on police bail.....
Im not even going to get started on some of the programmes that profess to be about the legal system....Law and Order UK is as fictional as an Enid Blyton novel and Judge John Deed certainly needs to be reported to the Judicial Standards Authority for his conduct.
What really riles me is when someone is credited as “legal advisor” in the credits. Who are they? Surely not practising lawyers. If they are they don’t practise in any area of law relevant to that particular episode.
I don’t watch anymore. It annoys me too much. Its also pretty annoying for anyone who happens to be in the same room as me when the programme is on. No matter how much I try I cannot help but correct any inaccuracies very loudly. Im that kind of geek.
The trouble is, as I have said that the clients often believe what they see on screen and this poses difficulties. You are often hard pressed for time in the cells at the Magistrates Court. You have to see your client before they go up into court and there is often a large volume of material to go through with them as well as advising them as to bail and procedure etc. There is not time to discuss why a particular soap has misrepresented a particular legal scenario.
They should be more careful. They really should. Its just a bugbear. Im sure reality is far more dull than the dramatisation they make of our laws for the small screen. If they showcased the reality of the Magistrates Court then it probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as popular.
If you don’t believe how wrong they can be in their presentation of the law and legal system, why not go and sit at the back of your local Magistrates Court for a morning. I swear you'll be shouting at you TV next time one of soaplands characters finds themselves in the dock.
Anyway...rant over...back to my happy place :@)