Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Doll Is Still Ranting: Stop Privatisation At The National Gallery

While I am in protesting mood... how about joining me in signing the petition against privatising 400 of the 600 staff at the National Gallery? Some 200 staff members have been on strike on and off over this issue since February 2015 and since August the strike has become indefinite. The petition is due to be handed in to the new Director, Dr Finaldi, and Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey next week on Thursday 3rd Sept 2015. So hurry up and sign now!

Do you want a private security firm to manage the gallery's security and interaction with the public? ("There is no leaflet here for you. Step back and move along please.") The argument is:

  • that the NG needs to be more flexible with its opening hours and with "out of hours events" in order to get more money "funding". (I suppose it must reckon that it's current employees and systems aren't sufficiently adaptable for such a task.) 
  • The NG assures us that there "will be no redundancies". The effected staff will transfer to the new provider and maintain their existing contracts and service conditions. 

Explain the logic of these two ideas side-by-side? How does that work?  Why can't they just say..."We can't afford to employ these people so we will pay someone else to do so."

I dislike the idea of workers being forced to change employer and contracts in order to keep their jobs. And I get fed up with treating information providers as interchangeable units. "Sorry, don't know any more than what's on the leaflet.. I was based over at Imperial War Museum until yesterday."  I am also tired of the idea that an outside firm naturally provides better service than in-house employees. It seems to me that when this idea fails... and it does... outside service providers are all too often NOT held accountable for irresponsible actions or shoddy service - be it in border security, prisons, health care, hospital catering, cleaning or wherever. They get handed another service to run instead.
It is beginning to seem to me that keeping services "public" in "public" institutions is the only way to keep the providers of these services accountable. Privatisation, or should I say "outsourcing", doesn't appear to provide accountability. But who cares about accountability when money is to be made or saved?
Sign the petition!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Doll's Dander Is Up And She Do Agree: "Save Treloyhan Woods"

I have posted before about the pace of development in St Ives in Cornwall.... yes it may be nostalgia... but I really do think this is now beyond fond memories of the past.
I don't often write a post like this.... but an area close to my teenage-years heart is about to get the natural stuffing knocked out of it.
So I ask you to watch this film and consider contributing to the GoFundMe:Treloyhan Appeal against Cornwall Council's planning approval for 16 houses to be built in the wooded grounds of Treloyhan Manor owned by Methodist Guild Holidays Ltd. These woods form an important "green corridor" for St Ives/Carbis Bay and a stopping place and breeding ground for nationally rare bird species.
The campaign has launched a judicial appeal .... which costs money.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Animated Goings On: Mrs D Gets Personal With "Our Mothers"

I can't get much help out of Mrs D these days.... she keeps playing with plasticine.
This is her latest "work". Don't blink or you'll miss it.... and clearly she hasn't mastered the art of focus yet.

Our Mothers from Mrs D on Vimeo.

Mrs D says that this is about ...."The realisation that... I am my mother."
The animation and sound is all hers (sigh) with some "sound advice" from The Old Man, of course.
The music is "Baltic Levity" by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Criminal Viewing: "Witnesses" and "Ripper Street"

Alors! I am enjoying the exceedingly mysterious and dark French crime drama "Witnesses" currently showing in the UK on Channel 4.
We are in a coastal town in Northern France (pas de Paris) and someone is digging up freshly buried corpses and tableau-ing them in estate show houses. Is this a developers' macabre tiff? Or some act of revenge on the limping, cane-toting but appropriately named former detective - Paul Maisonneuve?  And... there is the reappearance of a serial killer who clearly has seen one too many Batman films judging by his killing maquillage. With chalk cliffs and sea mists... a chain-smoking female detective avec un peu de difficulté with her spouse... it is all very Gallic I do say. And I do enjoy it.

Not so The Old Man, I fear. He is nervous of French crime dramas, will not stay in the same room as "Spiral", so whilst he do keep me company watching "Witnesses"... he is getting grumpy. For I have made the mistake of pointing out that the actor who plays Paul Maisonneuve is known for comedy roles and had in fact played the French "Doc Martin" in their version of the Martin Clunes' series. The Old Man now complains to me that the actor is not very funny. I roll my eyes.
The Old Man have also complained that a scene on a ferry be shrouded in mist one minute and not... the next. I roll my eyes again and point out that he... who do live on the western tip of Cornwall... where nowhere is more than eight miles from the sea... should understand better the nature of sea mist. There one minute, gone the next... back again when it feels like it.... Alors... c'est le brouillard de mer, n'est pas?

Anyhoo. For sure The Old Man do not stay in the room whilst I do enjoy the return to terrestrial telly of "Ripper Street"... my steam-punk, fave of an almost-over-the-top Victorian crime series. Oh them baddies be so bad. I did bewail the BBC mad decision to axe it in a previous post but Amazon Prime did step in with filming and streaming and now BBC is showing the new series on terrestrial telly. Hope they paid a nice amount for it... and hope it remains a success with more to come.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Concert-Going : The IMS Prussia Cove Season

And another musical outing be coming up. The September chamber music concerts from the International Musicians Seminar.
Got to book some tickets soon. The concerts take place 11th to 27th September and are pretty local to us. No way of knowing yet what they will be playing but we look forward.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Old Man Has That Hi-Fi Gleam In His Eye...

There has been much heaving around of the Hi-Fi furniture this afternoon as The Old Man determines that he do need a new amp. But the amp he be offered will not fit the current shelving arrangement... So he do need new shelving....

I tell you, hi-fi requirements be mighty similar to that old ditty, "I knew an old woman who swallowed a fly...", if you know what I mean.

I expect to be moving house shortly to accommodate the whole paraphernalia what do result from purchasing "a new amp".

Monday, 3 August 2015

Coming to Cornwall soon: Kneehigh Theatre's "Rebecca"

It's time for me to book tickets for an outing to the Theayter.
My favourites, Kneehigh, are bringing "Rebecca" to the Hall For Cornwall next month. We shall be there.
Emma Rice, who has adapted and directed for Kneehigh since time immemorial, be moving on to take up the role of artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe in London next year. This is her version of Du Maurier's classic. I be ever so pleased for the chance to see it because sadly we do find Kneehigh's current summer venue (Heligan) for their lovely, tented Asylum project be a step too far for us old uns of an evening. We can just about manage Truro though. And so we shall.

Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca - adapted and directed by Emma Rice - a new production by Kneehigh Theatre | Kneehigh