I had a really interesting exchange with Lauren Close today on Marcus's Facebook page. Marcus had posted the link to this wonderful thing on Americablog about the New York Times' report on November 6, 1935 that "German Chancellor Adolf Hitler promised International Olympic Committee (IOC) chairman Count Henry Baillet-Latour that he would take down anti-Jewish signs during the two week period of the Berlin Olympics of 1936." The NYT at the time added that IOC chair Baillet-Latour was “well satisfied” with Hitler’s assurances to temporarily pause his campaign of hate against Germany’s Jewish minority.
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melisma Anne

"People of Colour"

The term "people of colour" annoys me a bit, and I've just thought of a good analogy to explain why.

You see, I'm a person of colour too: in my case, pinkish with definite overtones of red, particularly after I've had my first glass of wine following a week or so of abstinence.

The analogy is this: there are those of a posh English persuasion who seem to genuinely believe that they speak English "without an accent". As if their mode of speech were the default, and all others are deviant. And yet everybody else would describe them as having, ipso facto, a posh English accent. Simple.

You see what I'm saying?

Do you reckon I'm overthinking this, or would you agree? Or is this in fact a well-known gripe and I'm just massively behind the curve? Or maybe you think it's useful to have a catch-all term for people who are not "white" in order to talk about various kinds of racist oppression? If so, what should it be?
melisma Anne


Quite pleased to see that Palestine has upgraded, although it seems to me to be just to a similar status as the Cambridge University tiddlywinks club, which was invented by three weedy Cambridge undergrads in the 1950s so that they could represent the uni against Oxford, in so doing earning themselves "quarter blues", which they themselves invented as a pisstake of the system. In the whole Oxbridge thing, people representing the uni against Oxford in big macho sports such as rugby earn "full blues" (e.g. they get to own a completely light blue scarf in honour of it), those who represent the uni against Oxford in slightly less macho sports like archery get "half-blues" (i.e. their scarves are half blue half white). So the tiddlywinkers took the total piss out of this by inventing their own "sport" and their own "quarter blue" tradition. This is one reason why I loved them as a young woman.

And yes, to me today, it seems as if Palestine has just won a quarter blue in UN terms. Good luck, folks!
melisma Anne

Separate bedrooms

Had Stef's pal Tony over today for a long lunch. I do like Tony - he's good fun. Anyway, I've just said goodnight to both of them (Stef and Tony, that is), and now face a good night's sleep. It's Stef's turn to take Charlie into his room in his Moses basket, leaving me a free hand.

This, of course, is an excellent advert for separate bedrooms; if breastfeeding doesn't work out, there's no reason at all why you can't share the entire babycare load between Mum and Dad.

Which brings me on to my subject: couples having separate bedrooms in general. People seem to be a bit down on it to the extent that they assume it means your relationship is in trouble, but I don't think that's necessarily so. Certainly from my perspective, I always wanted my own space, and it always seemed to me that the main thing stopping that would be financial. But if you're lucky enough to be able to afford the space, why not? True, Stef is a big snorer, but that's only number 2 on my list of reasons for wanting a separate room - although, interestingly, it's the best one to tell people, because it's a conversation stopper. People always accept that as a reason, whereas 'I want my own space' doesn't seem to quite cut the mustard.

What do y'all think?
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melisma Anne

Until yesterday, I thought PGP was an encryption protocol

I'm astonished I've never heard of pelvic girdle pain before. It just seems to be something that people are expected to put up with as an occasional hazard of pregnancy. I was expecting the odd ache and niggly pain, but yesterday I could barely move and felt as if little goblins were sticking a knitting needle into my left arse cheek whenever I moved slightly wrong. And apparently up to 20% of pregnant women get this, half of them seriously! Shit!

Fortunately it's a bit better today and I managed to go to work - although jolty public transport was no picnic. I do hope this is a sign I'm going to be lucky and it's going to be intermittent.
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melisma Anne

my bank holiday

I went to the gym today for the first time since I discovered I was pregnant; I'd read that any exercise other than swimming (which I've been doing a bit) and walking (that too, of course) increased risk of miscarriage up to 18 weeks. I don't know how sound that information was, but it was a good excuse to avoid the gym for a while. However, I was officially 19 weeks yesterday, so I don't have that excuse any more. :o)

I expect I'll just be doing it occasionally, though. I still feel shattered most of the time.
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My birthday...

...and staying up late to trawl YouTube to look for musical classics, and I realise I am now old enough and confident enough to opine that this clip of John Lennon and Chuck Berry doing Johnny B Goode live is actually - to me at least - nowhere near as impressive in terms of sheer musicality and entertainment as the Minchin/Cullum moment on the Jonathan Ross show I linked to some weeks back.

No comparison, to me. We should never be guilty of doing down our current music stars; they have it going on, even in this day and age.

Happy Birthday to me.
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Ricky 1

Qui va a la chasse...

Friends, I'm pondering something tonight that I hope you can help me with. There's a well-known French proverb that goes like this:

Qui va à la chasse perd sa place.

He who goes hunting loses his place.

Now, I've been racking my brains to think of a direct English equivalent. The closest I can get are 'look before you leap' and, indeed, the Alexander Pope quote 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread'. But these both are merely about the wisdom of being cautious in ones endeavours; I can't think of any that includes the specific connotation that going after something involves the risk that you could lose what you already have.

Do we have such a phrase?
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