Childrensaving and Ship Building (NB: it’s Shipbuilding, all one word)

Currently, Wallsend is having its children saved. Hurrah.

Childrensaving is happening, thanks to a government-funded programme, delivered by a national children’s charity, saviours of  children, heroes in their own lunchtime {a lunch of rocket, kale and organic polenta, to be precise}.

This is part of the ongoing long-term —some things are long-term, aren’t they— the ongoing long-term deracination and outsourcing of the role of local government in the public realm.

Successive governments, red and blue and yellow, have decided that local government can’t be trusted. Central government prefers to impose 3rd sector agencies from London on communities, because local government is infested with a ‘can’t-do’ mentality and is bogged down in local politics and can’t make the thrusting managerialist interventions, on absurdly short timescales [ie. before the next election], that politicians command but can’t control.

If you wanted to talk about shipbuilding to people in Wallsend, which is the topic today, BTW, you might start by learning that shipbuilding is all one word, it’s not Ship Building. A ship building would be the hut in which you keep your little rowing boat, by a river bank. Or is it riverbank? A river bank would be a bank in which you keep rivers, or something.

So anyway, here is The Theory Which Will Transform Wallsend, starting from the ‘Past Context’ of “Ship Buildings (Lost)”…Wallsend Children_s Community Initial Overarching Theory of Change

And here is another Theory of Change…

 

You’re all busy people who don’t have time to listen to some bloody lefty pop song from 1982, so here’s the lyrics for all you busy managers who need it one side of A4 by 9 o’clock tomorrow morning…

Is it worth it?
A new winter coat and shoes for the wife
And a bicycle on the boy’s birthday
It’s just a rumour that was spread around town
By the women and children
Soon we’ll be shipbuilding
Well, I ask you
The boy said, Dad, they’re going to take me to Task
But I’ll be back by Christmas?
It’s just a rumour that was spread around town
Somebody said that someone got filled in
For saying that people get killed in
The result of  The shipbuilding
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls
It’s just a rumour that was spread around town
A telegram or a picture postcard
Within weeks, they’ll be re-opening the shipyards
And notifying the next of kin, once again
It’s all we’re skilled in
We will be shipbuilding
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls
It’s all we’re skilled in
We will be shipbuilding
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls
When we could be diving for pearls
When we could be diving for pearls

 

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some sage advice on choosing your ISP and an astute commentary on business stategy

https://community.plus.net/t5/Plusnet-Feedback/Why-I-have-left-Plusnet/m-p/1389353

Really worth reading the whole thing, here’s why:

“When I joined Plusnet they /snip\ enjoyed steady growth through word of mouth and the referrals system.  When they were bought by BT the whole approach changed.

It is now apparent that the over-riding aim of Plusnet’s management is to gain customers which is why /snip\ The /snip\ result has been a lot of users who bitterly regret coming to Plusnet have suffered the consequences of the poor support and leave again at the first opportunity. /snip\ The changed approach has also had other consequences:

  • It has changed the type of users /snip\ who want the cheapest deal and still expect first class support; they will show no loyalty at all and will leave again as soon as they are out of contract and a better offer is available./snip\
  • Developers are continually engaged preparing for new campaigns and small tweaks that could make improvements for existing users never rise to the top of the development stack.

What Plusnet don’t seem to realise is that just gaining new users isn’t the only way to increase the total user base – keeping your existing users happy is just as important. Plusnet’s churn rate is probably as high if not higher than any other ISP’s.

/snip\ Instead we’ve seen support so overwhelmed /snip\ They tried to blame it on “their suppliers” but it was strange that I saw no other ISP indicated they were having such problems. That was the final straw!

 

Go read it. And switch!

 

I heart Taylor Swift

This ought to be a piece in Saturday’s Grauniad magazine, written by Howard Jacobson, who always comes across as slightly creepy, like the Latin master at a girls school. He’s like the evil twin of Michael Rosen, who would be the English master, loved by all the girls, who would suspect he is gay, which he isn’t, but they like to think so, so that they can hug him and squeal when they get their A level results, without having to worry about the whole creepy uncle thing.

All of which is, fairly obviously, me talking about me.

I am so not allowed to like Taylor Swift.

In order to like her, you have to be a thirteen-year old girl (I know that’s wrong, more like eight-year old), or the mother of a thirteen-year old girl (hopefully not the creepy kind that wang on about being mistaken for sisters, in a botox-sad way), or flamboyantly, Julian Clary on steroidsedly, GAY. Smithers off of the Simpsons has a Taylor Swift shrine, obvs.

Fathers of eight-year old princesses HAVE to like Taylor Swift, so that doesn’t count. If they actually DO like Taylor, they have to redouble their efforts to project that ‘I’m only doing this because that’s how much I love my daughter, how dare you think otherwise, you bastard’ thing.

Loved that that Ariane Grande concert (no, me neither, not until, you know) had lots of dads hanging around waiting for their teenage daughters who were simply screaming the whole evening, I imagine. I can picture the dads, in their casual wear, Clarkson jeans and new but unfashionable trainers, lots of Man U shirts, ugh, in some sort of roped-off area, rolling their eyes at each other, checking their phones. (Yes, there was a bomb, I’m not talking about that.)

There’s a thread here. (Please tell me who I’ve missed out.)

Madonna soon became annoying.

Kylie was typecast as the absinthe fairy in Moulin Rouge. (BTW, has Baz Luhrman done Midsummer Night’s Dream? If not, why the fuck not?)

Gaga grew up and started singing properly. She is a proper singer now, sang with Tony Bennett: that’s proper.

Katy Perry, I’m sorry, Katy who?

And now…

I heart TS.

(Not for the music: it’s pleasant enough pop fluff, quite inventive in it’s way. More the videos. I’m realising that the pop song isn’t the artform anymore: it’s the video. I never watch bloody videos unless somebody tells me to, somebody being some pundit, not a real person or even a friend on Facepuke. I hate being made to watch video pieces online, ‘vlogs’ FFS, that could just as easily be articles, I won’t sit through them. I can read twenty times faster than the pace of some dick orating his or her exquisitely mannered vid (No offence Eddie Nuttall, I know you understand).

Clever, sophisticated, expensive, witty videos, like seeing the brain of a snarky thirteen year old girl materialising briefly on your telly.

 

Here’s a piece about her latest vid, (yes I did find it coz there was a link on the page of that thing about the mum and her weasel). Now I’m off to actually watch the vid, whilst listening to Ahmad Jamal charmingly eviscerate Secret Love, my dad’s favourite song when sung by the toothsome Kathy Kirby, in 1962. You should check him out, he’s what Taylor Swift would sound like if she were a 1950s jazz pianist.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/08/28/taylor-swift-knows-youve-been-making-fun-of-her-heres-how-her-new-video-responds/?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop&utm_term=.b28f7e5672b6

 

 

“Your daughter is willful and determined. I wish all children — especially girls — were allowed to roam free. May she never change.”

From the Washington Post, via Facebook
~

Dear strangers, please stop telling me my active daughter might get hurt

 November 1, 2016
supergirl
Here’s the link, read that first, appreciate its goodness, then come back here for my half-baked.
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/11/01/dear-strangers-please-stop-telling-me-my-daughter-is-in-danger/?utm_term=.a75a1f3a2730
____________________________________________________________
.
These half-baked musings are lifted directly from Facebook, I’m making no attempt to disguise that. I’m also assuming that my lovely friends won’t mind…
____________________________________________________________
.
Comments
Arthur Battram
Arthur Battram How did you find this, Penny Wilson? One of your colonial chums, I bet.
That mum is you. Mother Of The UberWeasel.
The author is a doppelganger personality of you.
Now we need to know if the supergirl (probably a model photographed for the article, shame) becomes WHATSHEISDESTINEDTOBE. So we’ll just have to wait.
What’s interesting about this is Penny Wilson. You are a mum. And your motherness is always present in your playwork. I can’t think of another playworker who has their motherness so clearly woven into their playwork. Contention: most women playworkers are doing older sister, or older brother, even the ones that are mums?

 · Reply · 12 mins · Edited

Manage

Arthur Battram
Arthur Battram Actually, Eddie Nuttall, that piece you did here on FB about taking Jesse on a Felix daytrip, *that* was evidence of burgeoning fatherness in your playwork.
My playwork was just older brother stuff. 

I have no understanding of what older playworkers are like.

(I mean the ones that keep doing playwork, not the ones like me that move into training, or [shudder] management.)
I used to see playwork as a ‘young person’s game’.
Some male playworkers just carry on with the older brother schtick until it becomes embarrassing. Not ’embarrassing dad’ embarrassing: that’s the point, they aren’t channeling any fatherness.
You’ll all know one.
Even the ones that are dads don’t bring their dadness to work.

I find all this fascinating.

I’m surely in a minority.

Great Big Story : A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang’s Incredible Paper Creations

https://www.greatbigstory.com/stories/folded-universe-the-astonishing-beauty-of-origami

Just astonishing.

And the practical applications are also breathtaking.

Organisation, management. 

One side of A4 indeed, o, managers.

Listening: kids are really really good at it, and managers are mainly awful at it…

The first word of Miles Davis’ autobiography is LISTEN. He described jazz as being about “freedom and space to hear things”

I often declare that I will write a book called “Everything I Learnt About Management I Learnt From Playworking.” A bit like a preschool version of Mark McCormack’s  “Things they don’t teach you at Springfield Elementary”. (But I digress,and I’m also in danger of revealing my punchline.)

🎶 You can’t improvise if you don’t listen.

🏭 You can’t manage if you don’t listen. 

🗽You can’t lead if you don’t listen. 

Here are somebody else’s wise words about listening: please listen…

“They are always listening. Not just to the words we say to them, but those we say in their presence to others. That is their real learning environment. When we managers take that seriously, that’s when our people begin to make us better managers, the kind who think about the words they say and the tones we use with the people in our lives. They make us work to become the managers we’ve always wanted to be, if only because that’s the sort of person we want them to be.

“Our staff don’t learn anything from obedience other than how to command and control, a dubious education at best. They learn everything else by listening (and watching, of course). Real learning requires processing, repetition, time, and experience to fully comprehend. It takes place on their schedule, not yours, which is why it can seem as if they are not listening. But they are: know it, and strive to be the manager you want them to be. That’s the real work of management.”

Read more here:

https://goo.gl/bNNIOq

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