Monday, April 20, 2009

The end is in sight

I'm working on a presentation for uni which I need to hand in on Wednesday.  I'm also supposed to have a first draft of some group work done for Wednesday. I have a research project to do for the middle of May and also a careers plan to hand in towards the end of May.  It feels like so much work to do - I feel like I've been doing this for a very long time and I feel so tired.  But just now, I feel like I might be able to do it - I might just manage to hand in all my work in a passable state, on time.

That feels like achievement enough for me, just now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Are you speculative?

Phil Spencer, of Location Location, has just seen his luxury home-finding business collapse.  He says "The correction in the housing market continues to unfold with unprecedented speed... And nobody can know how long this is all going to take to turn around and we should be highly speculative of anyone who claims to be able to do so."

I don't think he means 'speculative'.  I think he was aiming for 'suspicious' or 'wary' or something similar.  Not to worry, he's still got his Channel 4 presenting job finding homes for people with more money than sense of proportion.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

New! New! News!

I have some exciting news!  I have a new job!  I'm going to be a project officer!  

It's an internal move and is a sideways move rather than a promotion, but I get to sit on the third floor rather than the first floor and have some new experiences.

I'll be liaising with tenants in relation to new-build projects, which should be interesting, and also looking at some our projects and seeing what we can do better.  I'm excited about learning some new skills and using some of my planning skills, rather than just being responsive to tenant enquiries.  It will be good to use some of the project management skills I've learnt in a new context.

I will be sad to leave my team, as we have a lot of fun, but I feel very excited - I feel like my career is moving on...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I had a gym induction today, as I think I need to do something to train for the 10k!  And I managed to cycle for 3 minutes, then run 1.9k at an average of 6k/h, and then another 1k of cycling!  I'm pleasantly surprised at how far I can run - this feels almost achievable...  And I feel really well for having done it.

If you would like to sponsor me to run the Manchester 10k you can do so here: I'm running to raise money for Christian Aid.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Right to move?

The Conservatives have launched a new policy, arguing that social tenants should be given the right to move.  On the surface, this doesn't seem like a bad idea - if you want to move, ask your landlord to sell your house and buy you another one elsewhere.  But it isn't workable.  How is a landlord in Cheshire expected to reasonably manage a property in Essex?  What if you demand that your landlord sells your home, but no-one wants to buy it?  What about the people in Cheshire waiting for a social home who have just lost one more property from the potential housing stock?

Not just that - it isn't even necessary.  Social tenants already have the ability to move to another part of the country through the right to assign their tenancy - they can swap their tenancy with someone else, as long as they can find someone to swap with.  Landlords are able to refuse on very limited statutory grounds, and can also put conditions on the exchange, such as a clear rent account.  It's not a perfect system but it seems a bit more workable than the Conservative proposals

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Run run run!

In just 6 weeks I will be doing the Manchester 10k!  I'm not really a natural runner - I did the 1500m at school once and everyone else had finished before I'd done the first 1 3/4 laps.  However, I like a challenge and I'm hoping it will help me to be fitter.

I'm raising money for Christian Aid, who do some excellent relief and development work in developing countries, and a lot of campaigning on a range of issues.  Christian Aid have also been very supportive of SPEAK, who I love.

I would be very grateful if you would sponsor me here, as it will give me an extra bit of motivation.  Judging by the 'battery-acid-in-my-lungs' feeling after training this afternoon, I'll need all the motivation I can get!

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I've just bought and started reading 'The Armchair Economist' by Steven E Landsburg.  It seems quite interesting - it's looking at the concept of rationality in economics - one of the criticisms of economics is that it treats people as rational when they aren't.  So I'm interested to see how his defence works out.  It was also book of the week in WHSmith.  Or something.

I was curious, however, when it referred in the future tense to voting in the 1996 elections.  I had assumed it was a new book.  But no.  first published in the US in 1995, and then over here in 2009.  I think that's quite weird - a 14 year gap between US and UK publications.

Now I'm off to do some reading for my research project!