Friday, March 24, 2006

Another Blog

Well, I was supposed to be writing my thesis today, but blogs and thoughts of blogs got in the way. I look after the artist and writer Alasdair Gray's website and I got an email from him saying:
"Joe, someone has told me about blogs, can you set one up for me here is some stuff to put on it".
An attachment had four pieces to become blogs. The first is a letter to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer which he sent before the budget. The second was a short one act play, which he had abandoned earlier in the month.
Well, I set up a blog for him and it can be found here:
Setting Alasdair's plays for the web has not been without problems. Mainly because they are pretty long documents with quite a lot of formatting on them.
Anyone who knows Alasdair's work will understand that being an artist, things just have to look the way he wants. I also produce Alasdair's books, so, lot's of debate to get him to understand that publishing to the web is not the same as hard copy publishing. I think he is catching on.
There's a link to Alasdair's website on my side panel for anyone who would like to read more of his work. He's pretty bloody good by the way!
I've been trying to write a chapter on transport issues in the NHS and nothing seems to want to come out. Picked a great time to get a writer's block, eh? There's not a lot I can contribute to the subject anyway as NHS has already created it's transport policy, so even though it will be a short chapter I still can't get my head around it. I am a committed pedestrian anyway so I think we should just close all the car parks down. Joking, honest!
I suppose there are lots of exceptions for NHS as many community health professionals find it difficult to carshare as they travel around the community a lot of the time while they are working, and people visiting hospitals are usually fretting about loved ones so there's not much sense in arsing them about. However, frequent, affordable and comfortable public transport services would help other staff and visitors to leave their cars at home or at park and ride places.
Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge has set up it's own regular bus service, not heard how successful it has been, though.
Till next time

Thursday, March 23, 2006


me again. still messing around with this blog thing ... profile etcetera.
I know this blogger thing is an american invention, but why is that internet folk, when they make up those country list things, you know the ones, click the dropdown menu and a list of countries appear, well, why is that Scotland isn't included in these?
Scotland is a sovereign country in it's own right, but is also part of Britain (I'm a republican so I prefer to call the United Kingdom Britain). It may not seem very important, but it does become a bit annoying when folk have no idea where Scotland is. Far too many people around the world have come to think of England as the UK. An American once told me that: "Scotland, that's in England, isn't it?" To which I replied: "America, that's in Canada, isn't it?" D'you know he just thought I didn't know where America was, I couldn't be bothered explaining.
Anyway, it would be good if we could get all three countries in the British Isles: Scotland, England, Wales, and the Province of Northern Ireland included in their own right on these lists. I am even happy to have (UK) after it.
I know what this might sound like, but I do quite like the English, I just prefer to be Scottish especially when we beat England at Rugby. However, since our football team is about number 300 in world ranking these days, there's not much chance of beating them at that!


1st try

This is the first time I have ever used a blog. Blog, what a great name for a great idea.
Anyway, I will probably write a lot of nonsense, as I am just trying this thing out. I hope it works.
My name is Joe, I am a reserach student at Glasgow Caledonian University. I have an honours degree in Environmental Science and Ecology and my PhD is on the environmental impacts of NHSScotland's smaller buildings. I am in the process of writing up my thesis and it is meant to be finished by end of June 2006. Ah well, who knows?
Today, I attended the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment's Scottish Conference in Glasgow City Chambers. It went well and was quite interesting. Unfortunately, the hall had a high vaulted ceiling and the sound system bounced the talks all over the place creating some unintelligible audio at times. That was a bit of a shame because there were some very good talks going on. The workshops were interesting enough, but they weren't really workshops just seminars. Except for the Environmental Impact Assessment workshop which did go through some group practical stuff.
I'm not really sure why I have taken this blog thing out as I have too much else to do. think I am deliberately sidetracking myself so I don't need to write my thesis, but it has to be done.
A friend told me, "Joe, the object of a PhD is to be written, so just bloody write it!" Okay, okay, that's just what I'll do.
Well, if anyone was daft enough to read this to the end, I hope you get better soon.
I'll sign off with my favourite haiku by Basho:

Old pond
frog jumps in—