Sunrise on a run

Sunrise on a run

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Ayes AV it?

I was working from home yesterday. All in all a productive day (of course). Thursday sees the polls opening for local elections and a referendum on the voting system so Wednesday saw me spending some time reading up on the various options.

I say various options: there's yes to AV. Or no to AV. Two options.

I suspect that the turn-out for the elections will be low. I also suspect that the Nays will have it. The populist media seems anti-AV and has modelled all sorts of "if we had AV" scenarios designed to pander to their audiences' worst fears.

A lot of the material I read yesterday was leading me to think "yes" but the arguments seem to boil down to the simple premise that FPTP is just "not fair". Not fair is a statement made, usually by children, when they can't get something or do something they want but they don't quite know why they should be able to do this.

I think what I don't follow is why someone's second choice vote should carry the same weight as someone else's first choice vote. I think I could understand AV if the second choices counted as half a vote, third choices a third of the vote and so on. Clearly, this would be more complex and cumbersome to administer so the desire to keep things simple will always prevail.

The current system is criticised because parties can be elected to a majority of the seats with a minority of the votes. This leads to voter disenfranchisement and political complacency. The concept of MPs representing a constituency seems outmoded, the world has changed significantly (beyond recognition?) in the last 200 years.

Perhaps the system needs reform. I'm just not sure that AV is the answer.

If the question on the ballot paper asked whether I wanted FPTP to stay, I would say no. Instead, the question will be whether I want AV to be introduced. I don't know that I do.

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Tuesday 3rd May

Despite having the day off work, there are no photos for today. Boo was at school until 4:15 so Pip and I had planned a full day of meet-ups and catch-ups.

Our plan to take the mog to the vet was thwarted by his plan to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. This gave us more time to get to the play barn so we decided to cycle. Carrying pip is easy but I'm sure the locks I bought weigh as much as her.

Our plans to pop over to see another friend were thwarted by her Guinea Pig's unplanned visit to the vet.

Boo enjoyed drama and was positively beaming when we picked her up, she wanted to introduce me to the teachers!

So a very nice break from my usual working routine and a welcome foray into the girls' weekly routine.

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Monday 2nd May

Monday saw us packing up and travelling home. The sun was shining and the tide was out, leaving a long line of flotsam and jetsam above the usual high water mark.

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Some more from the weekend

Sunday was very windy so we decided to head somewhere with indoor and outdoor activities. Having forgotten our national trust passes, we headed for a place called Woodlands Adventure Park - a popular destination for other families but big enough that it didn't feel crowded.

We spent most of the morning in the indoor play area - children under a metre tall had to be accompanied in the big play area, Mr S and I accompanied the girls without too much disappointment at having to run around a three story structure containing slides, ball pits and areas to run amok.

I did manage to sit down and continue "Devil May Care" which is Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming. I'm not a huge fan of the James Bond movies, having only ever seen Octopussy (as a bored 8 yr old on a family holiday to Dorset) and a more recent one at the cinema. The books however are an enjoyable romp through the same glitzy world of casinos, glamourous destinations, fast cars and villains with dastardly plots and a monologue to tell you about them, all in the name of international espionage.

Our plan to explore outside was scuppered by the rain so we continued with our indoor adventures until it was time to head back to our cottage for tea.

The wind was quite strong, so there were some quite spectacular waves, making for some good photo opportunities. I also managed to find the sepia setting on the camera.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bank Holiday celebrations

The weekend was a time for celebration. We spent the Saturday morning lounging in the cottage - girls helped me open my presents and cards and then we played on the wii. We started with DJ Hero and then moved onto Just Dance Junior - a lyrically anodyne version of Just Dance. As you can see, Mr S enjoyed himself.

Having worked up an appetite and with the rain easing, we strolled down to the local pub for lunch. Fish all round, with a burger for me. It was then time to head to the local cinema to see Rio. Very entertaining, the girls both enjoyed it, Pip was particularly taken with the dog's carnival costume: "that doggy's wearing pants!"

The weather had cleared enough for picnic on the beach in the evening.

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A post a...

Having recently celebrated a birthday, I thought it time to try again with the blog a day, possible a photo a day, we will see. I will start with the 29th April.

We arrived in Devon late on evening of 28th and just about managed to find out holiday cottage with the help of some locals. On asking for directions they responded "oh that must be x's place!" you can't beat a bit o local knowledge.

While most of the world was transfixed on the Royal Wedding, we were getting our bearings in our home for the next few days. The cottage was in a perfect location, a pebble's throw from the beach and with the sound of waves crashing off the cliff-side.

After breakfast at the local cafe, we decided to explore the beach. While the tide was out, we enjoyed clambering over the rocks. Once the tide started to come back in we donned wetsuits and had a small splash around.

Mermaid of the sea?

The girls enjoyed exploring.

The view from our cottage. We have one or two photos like this...

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