Thursday, 29 September 2011

Foucault that.

I should maybe observe that the student is now lost in Foucault, someone who successfully makes Marx look easy to read. I think being woken at 5 AM to discuss a point of ethics was preferable to being asked about epistemological rupture when I had been relaxing with a glass of wine. For Foucaults sakes,,,,, R

Beware of Greeks and gifts.

Some little while ago a leading economist said that a Greek default was inevitable. How he laid it out was a period where the banks bailed out with it's debt transfered to the IMF and ECB.

Then he said Greece would roll over and fail, so, yet again, the private sector banks that acted in a reckless fashion walk away from the hole they dug. This leaves the taxpayer to pick up the bill and of course ultimately those who benefit least from the capitalist system get to underwrite it's profligacy.

I am not left wing really.....


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Monday monday

I just knew it was going to be one of those days. It started with a video call from the Bruce who was, obviously sitting in darkness drawing light from her head lamp because her room mate was still out of it.

"I'm stuck in this mine, get me out" she typed.

Later came the news that lacking culinary skills most of her housemates are set to starve, so Branwen has opened her own kitchen selling bacon sandwiches with barbecue relish to other students fro breakfast. Teatime she was using some veggies she got cheap at Aldi to make a curry. Dear me - she is frightening.

We kicked off our day by trying to get the stove next door to work, did I enjoy realising the bloody thing leaks. That of course and the huge struggle to get the chimney to draw after having been without a fire for a long while.

Then there was the little matter of the hot water taps being completely air locked and refusing to operate. This required a really bizarre back filling operation which in turn meant opening the back of the fire engine for small pumping tools.

The afternoon kicked off in fine form. Our fostering social worker saying we would not "get permission" to go to France next month to sort out a few matters to do with the house. The reason? It would mean leaving big D on his own with Bethan and Taliesin.

Yes it was OK to leave them here as they are 18 and 19, they could look after themselves.But D who is 17 is looked after and so he must not be left on his own. Or using another word he must be discriminated against because he is looked after.

There was no discussion of his skills or his abilities, no question of offering him choice or allowing him to make a decision.

Fatally the link worker said it was not her view but her managers and the manager had said that it was forbidden by fostering regulations. That is potentially where a serious mistake was made, trying to sell it to us on the basis that there was something concrete that says no.

I might add a helpfull hint for anyone who is a supervising social worker or manager.  Foster carers like me can, very often, read, sometimes do research on their own, they even search the internet.

So it was not a vast ammount of time before I was looking on various websites and for the life of me could find no version of Welsh Fostering Regs that said I could not treat a 17 year old as being responsible, competent and able to choose.

Oh yes lets flit back, on the days we would not be here big D has college and he also has a day work placement. Put another way coming with us would have cost him EMA and wages.

So he was quite clear he wasn't coming. I suspect though, their position was less about  taking him and more about stopping us. Perhaps uncharitably, I am going to call that Oppressive Practice.

Fostering Services can sometimes seem to expect to control your whole life and that of your children as well. 

Time to make a few waves then, first off a call to the Fostering Network, having missed the regular advice line, it was call the national office. It would be falling a little bit short if I said the word "expert" was applicable to the worker I spoke to. She might have known what fostering was, but  nothing about the framework of regulation within which it operates. In fact she didn't even know who is the team leader responsible for fostering in the Welsh Government. As is the way in devolved Wales I was on the phone to the head of the fostering unit in the government within a few hours. Someone who really did know what they were talking about.

They agreed with me that the regulations said nothing about this situation but they could tell me (though I allready knew ) that they had recently tweaked the regulations because being in care was causing many looked after children to lose out on things like trips out with friends and sleepovers that most children enjoy.

She offered to give the fostering service a ring and ask what they were playing at, epsecially as she thought as I do that their practice was discriminatory, and  therfore quite possibly illegal.

Now, that sort of phone call might have triggered an out break of hysteria in fostering central so I asked her to keep that one on the back burner.    

On a whim I decided to speak to D's Social Worker. She, not quite litterally hit the roof.  The situation was ridiculous but also a stunt that had been pulled before. On that occasion they at leaving care had simply overruled the fostering service involved, really???

This provoked another image as, knowing the managers involved, someone saying that to them would result in everything going out the pram: rattles, teddies, blankets and toys. A serious tantrum might ensue.    

Of course what this was really about was respite. On the days we were planning to be away, they wanted to use us for two young lads whose carers need some "me" time. They would not commit to needing the beds but they wanted us hanging round in case they did.

Back to the controling our life bit again.

Of course it goes further than that, a little while back we looked after I the little angel. As you may recall he did a bit of damage while he was here. They also overpaid us 75 pounds in boarding out allowances, something which was the subject of 4 letters and they made sure they had the money back within two weeks.

Now the damage he did is quite another matter. £2500 is just the petty cash so there was no rush at all about paying for that. Two managers were "discussing" who should respond and we would be informed when they had finished. My garage isn't really discussing of course, he is phoning and asking questions about the bill for repairing the damaged car. Could I not pay it and wait for them to get round to paying  me in their own time of course?

Yes they really had the cheek to ask.

That was before I observed that the room the two young lads would occupy was I's and that currently needed a ceiling and that it rains on the inside when it rains on the outside. I did a fair amount of damage!

I asked if they would want to place children in that room if there were no ceiling and it was down to me, would the answer be different if the lack of ceiling was down to them - silence.

Complaints officer in the morning.

He is very good at sorting things out, especially after the last time when mention was being made of Judicial Reviews, that time they had made me properly annoyed though....


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday Sunday

Sunday sundayReally should be up and doing things, not sure what sort of things but should be doing them.

A string of texts from the student, not the one I share a life with but the one who has just gone to University.

Apparently her room mate celebrated her first night in university by being sick in the bin.

Don't they have windows in college rooms any more?

Branwen has gone off with her camera to see what she can capture. 


Saturday, 24 September 2011

It sounds like she is very happy at her university place. She said their kitchen is packed with saucepans as everyone brought their own. It's time for us to throw ourselves back to how it was for us and not be locked into how it is for us. We are very proud of her And we miss her. R

Friday, 23 September 2011

Spontaneous cuddles.

Branwen is up and out of bed, hours before she needs to leave. Cofee has been delivered to mum and dad still in bed. You can sense she is both excited and scared. Over the last few days there has been a lot of spontaneuous cuddles for mum dad sisters and brothers By lunch time she will be gone. R

A dificult time

A good while back, as in over half my adult life ago, I found myself a parent: for reasons I would like to think are noble I put aside career type stuff and did a lot of being a dad type stuff.  You dads out there missed a huge ammount of pleasure by going out the door at 9 AM.

Losing a career though is something many women do as a matter of course I might add.

Tomorrow, Branwen leaves home, she is the first to go proper and I am feeling this huge loss.

It's a bereavement but it's also a pride, she's off and she is going to fall flat on her face, pick herself up and get on with it.

She is an awesome lovely human being and I am going to really miss her.

I think I need to reinvent me I was happy being stay at home dad I need to become someone else..

But on the plus side, the student and I get to do mad things like we used to do, just go and get on with it.

Buying the T4 is one of the best things we ever did.

Following our lovely time at La Trinite we had been planning a run down to La Rochelle.

Today though Social Services who had been aware of our previous little trips got all cagey.

They were not at all sure it was OK for us to go.

We were a bit surprised at how they had changed.

Then about 5 minutes later they asked us about taking these 2 young people for respite the same week they said we could not leave the others alone. .

Hmmm - a sniff of the motive ulterior I wonder...

Especially as these are quite young people and children placed in "respite" are ones the foster carers really needed proper support to parent. Hence the sticking plaster "respite" which means that as soon as the child is off the premises the foster carer says "no more".

So we could end up with another couple of long term kids.

Do we want to go through this mill again?

I am gun jumping though. 




Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The reality of this government

2.7 million spent on sending letters to people who are dying telling them they will lose money over the last few months of their life. This is the full on face of the neoliberal agenda. How many bankers have been made to pay for the errors they made? No it;s the poor who pay. The last round of fiscal easing vanished into the banking system. We need a community bank to put money into making money not gambling. But that would benefit ordinary people not the Cleggs and Camerrons of this world. R

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

You know it makes ad sense

Some of you will have noticed when you arrive at mt blog you are also greeted with a torrent of ads.

Well, recently I got paid roaylties, in the whole of the time this blog has been running it had generated a whole 50 quid in royalties. But all that has changed, since I last got weighed in it's clear there has been a surge of interest and allready I have a whole tenner in the bank ready to come to my bank when it gets to 50 quid.

What shall I spend it on. A litre of diesel??


Monday, 19 September 2011

Just another manic Monday

A long old day. 

What a time, the student needs to complete her options for studenty things annd emails have been hitting her in box with all kinds of attachments none of whihc her diploma in computing equipped her to open. To be fair the Branwen  could not get it to work either.

Here comes the day, in 5 days time Branwen leaves for university, reality is hitting. She took Betty her hampster to Serenities house yesterday.

She is moving out, she is clear she will not come back. 

We will miss her and I hope she might occasionally look over her shoulder.

But it's change.

Which is both interesting and hard at the same time.

Bethan has almost moved out but not quite.

Taliesin, well I think we will need to move and not tell him.


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Me and my big mouth!!!

Talk about being the fly.....

Goodness, things have gone from calamitous to disasterous via frightening.

Never actually had a central heating system let go before; as I was expelling air, one of the pipe joints went emiting a jet of scalding water and steam. . My that was interesting. I think I am OK, minor scalds  and water everywhere!!

I am very clean though, the kitchen was like a sauna full of very hot steam, I think I might get an engineer in.

That was a bit more scary than I care for on a Sunday afternoon. 


Somedays you are the fly....

The central heating in this house is in two halves. Our old oil system heats hot water plus a couple of radiators for overspill.

The main heating for the house is the monster wood stove that generates enough heat to keep the whole place warm. Yesterday management asked me to remove a radiator from the oil system which of course I duly did. So today the hot water system has gone on strike suffering a bad case of airlock. This I discovered after stripping the burner down and checking the fuel pump of course. The air is proving very stubborn, we shall see if I can shift it.

Then of course, in sympathy the other system started banging and thudding as it overheated spewing steam into the bathroom. That was a simple one, the thermostatic rad valves had tripped out as the house came up to heat coupled with a very enthusiastic stoker, causing it to get too hot.

Easily remedied the second one, the first is ongoing. Going to let the system cool right down them bleed it relentlessly. I've bled systems when they are full of hot water before - not fun!!

Some days you are the fly some days the windscreen, would be nice to be a windscreen sometime....


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Just another manic friday....

Just a normal day at Penole.Everyone off for school or work except Bruce who was out at coll with Bethan.

Management off being managerial in a service user group in Carmarthen so I was left in charge.

Today was of course the big day that the power company was coming to reconnect the power so we have separate supplies for the new house next door and our house here.

So 2 builders were painting and the electrician was running cables through the house with the assistance of Phil the senior builder.

By mid morning things were well a bustle but not a sign of the electric firm who had been due on site at 8 am.

Soon the electrician was running out of things to do and so I phoned the power firm who seemed not at all bothered that I was paying people to sit round doing nothing.

I suggested quite forcefully that I objected to paying people to sit round reading porn mags and if they didn't turn up soon the whole lot of them might have gone blind....

But anyway soon down the drive came a veritable convoy of  power guys with a British Telecom Van following them with the engineer coming to repair our faulty phone line.

This was going to be beyond the house supply of mugs to keep in tea...

With the power off the camping stove had to be pushed into service and the kettle was virtually continuously on the boil.

At the end of the day the management strolled back down the drive eyed the mountain of mugs disapprovingly and asked what I had been doing all day.....



A life of adventure......

wA couple of trips where everything goes distressingly to plan can make you assume that everything will be OK every time.

 So of course bright and afternoon ish we traipsed up the drive with a whole 6 hours to make the ferry, what could possibly go wrong.....

There were a few vias though, the T4 has a habit of dropping indicator lenses so first stop was the T4 place to get a new one. With an engineering solution to make absolutely sure it didn't fall out again, well, zip ties anyway, we set off to collect the double front seat we had purchased off eBay.

To assist our day we had brought my brand spanking, new and updated, Garmin Sat Nav. So far it had been as reliable as a hammer and as sensible as a professor of sensible. They do that just to dupe you.

We were heading from West Wales to Portsmouth via Swansea and  Stroud, 6 hours allowed, what could possibly go wrong. Well, someone had been playing with the squawk box. Changed a few settings and, well, it took us up what I thought was an unusual route, but nothing wrong with that. Then of course it took us completely cross country along  simply delightful country roads  A road along which we made good progress but it felt, errrrhhh Wrong.

When we eventually got somewhere I realised this was not not "wrong" actually it was "bonkers".

Not just bonkers, but, from where we were: getting to the ferry on time would require some pretty spirited driving.

Ignoring the GPS I went off hell for leather heading down the M5 and then M4. The GPS took issue, in fact it had lots of issues. Every time I went one way it thought I should be going the other. According to it I could do nothing right. Mentally I have named it "management" but for don't tell her.

The pace was frantic, down the M5, with the semi headwind making the T4 struggle and buffeting it sideways in ways that the student found even more unsettling than I did. The M4 gave us an advantage, it was now always behind us. Then another discovery, the software was old so it knew about the "50 mph average speed"  section that isn't there any more. This provoked an outbreak of pinging pandemonium as it insisted I was blowing a 20 MPH hole in the average speed allowed.

All this against a backdrop of a insistence that EVERY junction was  the very one to turn off   while insisting that we could make the ferry on time. 

There was only the one thing to do - "off" switch.

We made the ferry with a small comfort zone.
A meal on the Bretagne is always a worthy thing it was so nice for the two of us to be together.

Then of course it was to the cabin. Now of course there is nothing nicer than retiring to your cabin with a nice bottle to enjoy a long quiet night. Of course, to enjoy a bottle you have to be able to open it.

My corkscrew is great and does many things, it does not open bottles from the car deck if someone leaves it on the dashboard. .

It was time to go and buy a cheap Brittany Ferries Corkscrew then, couple of quid, oh no, those are all sold out, but they can sell me a special bottle system thing for 12 pounds.

Time for some thinking, first thing to try was dismantle the cork with one of the van keys.

Hindsight is a great thing, there I was with a van locked up in the hold and me trying to open the bottle with a key.

I can sense the readership glee building, but no, as the key started to bend I acquired some sense, I used her toothbrush, brush end  to shove the cork it.

Was this a good night?

Lets remind ourselves, the  tail end of hurricane something or other was hitting the uk  The Bretagne is a very good sea boat and the regular pitching gave the truth to that. Fortunately the sea was coming at her head on, the worst experience is taking a wave at a corkscrew 45 degrees, but it was still well beyond choppy. Fortunately the student contrived to sleep through this, she is not the most brilliant of sailors putting it mildly....

Morning arrived and with a foaming mouth full of toothpaste the management announced her brush tasted funny.

By sheer luck we were right at the front of the ferry and got off to a flying start to the day. Ignored the GPS all the way down to the house excepting it's fixed speed camera function which actually turned into something useful when it warned me in the nick of time.

The house is simply wonderful, the job they are doing on the roof is  superb, if it is being hampered by the not too brilliant weather.Lunch completed the day another fantastic 4 course meal and change from 12 euros each.

After this the day could only improve so it was a drive down to the coast to test out our new camper van. The GPS performed relatively faultlessly, except for  trying to take us across a non existent railway level crossing.

Down to La Trinite Sur Mer this is a place of special family memory. A campsite right next to a beach the place we took our children for their first proper holiday many years ago. They loved it, so much so that we went another couple of times.

I wandered the site, recognising the pitches from each year. Did we really put  our huge tent in that plot then stick a huge LDV 400 LWB hi top in there too? I recognised the tree I used as a pivot point to enable me to get the back end round enough to reverse in, driving in having been abandoned in favour of reversing about 50 metres up the narrow aisle.

Finding the pitch from the first year, where we camped in three small dome tents with a Bedford Midi as our transport. The time Bethan stepped into the deep bit of the pool and promptly sank to the bottom. With noise filled bubbles coming up to the surface. Daddy had to grab her by the hair and hoist her to the surface.

This was a place of family memories. But now it was just me and the student. The whole thing made more vivid as the campsite was virtually empty of people and empty of children.

We are no longer the parents of children but the parents of adults.

We were there on this lovely campsite with it's lovely memories but now it was ours.

We walked the beach alone and it was - great.

Practicalities crept in, it was time to check the cooker

I had of course packed the cooker, one of our myriad camp cookers bought because we had forgotten the cooker again

Well not really, this was an original that had been fitted in the back of the LDV, it would have helped really if I had checked it.

Yup, we had the gas bottle, and the regulator, but the cooker was sell by date gone.

Oh yes - a cooker free zone.

An oh gosh moment as we realised that the local Super U was about to close.

A race into Carnac. to get a "camping kit" as that was cheaper than adding another cooker to the pile  

Then it was out to the seafront restaurant and a meal eaten to the crashing back drop of the waves.

Before returning to the campsite and bed to the sweet sound of the sea.

Set up for the morning, what could be nicer, cooker, kettle with water cafetiere with   coffee - ready to go.

We slept the night of the tired.

We awoke the morn of the refreshed.

Everything was there to have coffee in bed, all  needed to light the stove was the  matches that were in the cupboard blocked in by the bed.

Luxury locked in the cupboard - we are pretty good at this. 
But we had the cooker, even though we were forced out of bed there is something nice about breakfast accompanied by the symphony of the sea. I really wished we had our canoes, would have made the day complete. 

So it was off to Guemene to pick up some stuff we had ordered then lunch in a mates house.

Half way there she noticed we had left our load spreading boards in the campsite. Actually they are green goddess seat bases, but lets not let her notice how useful GG stuff is. So it was a mad dash back there, skip the supermarket and arrive with 5 minutes spare.

Spare minutes are a good thing, especially when the friends who have invited you for a meal have recently spilt up after about 25 years and want to unload. Ahhh yes, this was turning all complex.

Still, we managed to get clear, off to Guemene, load up and back to Roscoff.  A decent meal (what another??)  and on the ferry at silly o clock, arriving in the UK before dawn.

Half way up the M5 we pulled off and had a couple of  hours sleep before an unhealthy UK breakfast in the services before home in the rain.

All in all a lovely couple of days and now back in the grind..






Saturday, 10 September 2011

plus sa change

It's quite remarkable how change is happening all the time.

While our backs have been turned the situation here has changed I used to be a parent with 4 children.

Now I am living in a group of 5 adults. There is of course Gwion who is still a child but I cannot really even call the fostered "children" any more. It feels very odd.

There has been a bit of hysteria about a big storm hitting the UK in the next few days but it looks increasingly like it will pass North of us here - famous last words...


Friday, 9 September 2011

All action

After a day and a half at conference.

I got a bit of a fillip. Someone mailed me asking if i could put together a 2 hour lecture on the Antipsychiatric movement for 60 student nurses.

Oh and could I do it next week.

No pressure......

Messing about with motors...

We have just bought a VW T4, not as a fosling van but as a small camper to allow myself and the student to head off for occasional weekends away on our own. For some reason a lot of people think it's a really good idea to lower the suspension on these vans and the one we just bought was no different.

Lots of people had done it so i never expected there to be any particular "issues" - how wrong is it possible to be!! First discovery was that lowering springs are a really good way to put people in wheelchairs. Going up the drive with a couple of kids in the back produced a crashes followed by groans delivered by a quality of ride that would be unacceptable in my old 1960 Land Rover.

So I did  bit of asking round and I discovered that these springs would rule out shopping trips to France unless i fancied coming home with wine and fruit juice running out under the back doors. So a few hours one weekend removed those and put a proper pair of heavy duty springs on instead.

This made it look like a Transit Van custom conversion from about 1980. 
It also gave the whole geometry of the front a makeover and various angle in the steering end up being out and the the final drive operates at a different angle to the one it's supposed to. I think you don't need to have an engineering degree to realize this might not be a good idea. It was more than that I was a bit concerned for steering angles and operation of the stability control system which uses a very basic anti roll bar which was in this set up at a very wrong angle.

Anyway this afternoon I jacked the thing right up in the air and using one of the house special tools a "Branwen" put the right amount of tension into the front suspension. Having driven the system as it is supposed to be, I can sum up "lowered" in a slightly different way "dangerous".

This gets more so when you factor in the fact that a lot of these vans receive other attention. Van engines often operate in quite low state of tunes so things from other incarnations of the same engine can be bolted in to give the thing a bit more zing. Reprogramming the engine management on a T4 like mine can increase both power and torque by around 40%, so you fit an anti handling kit then turn up the wicks. Hmmm it does not take an Einstein to spot an potential issue....

Other performance companies will add even more, the guys I spoke to dropped one of their conversions as they tore the clutch apart. I can vouch for the remap option though, it makes the van far more pleasant to drive and of course holding higher gears means less changing down and has produced quite a welcome reduction in visits to the fuel station.

About 60 miles more out of a tankful.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Phew, long old day

Long old day today, up at silly o clock and off to do a conference.

Long drive up the motorway, I must be getting old, stuff like conference papers I would have done like, well nothing .

Today I was bricking but hey ho I got through it, less self sold on how good it was that I would have been 10 years ago. But it seemed to work OK.

Got offered work though, there;s a proper full on result and a trip out worth doing.

Ohh I took the T4 and spent the whole day listening to little rumba, recommended band.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Climb every mountain.

Goodness me.

As I write this there is a 4x4 at the summit of Snowdon the highest mountain in Wales and there has been a serious outbreak of hysteria.

I have been into 4x4 i the past and cannot deny being the one behind the wheel of  a discovery in one piece of film on you tube.

I was a bit surprised to see a Frontera at the top of that mountain though. Frontera or Mu as it is known internationally is not actually a first choice vehicle if the going is about to get tough.

The authorities are having histrionics. They successfully removed the right to roam from 4x4 owners who were using tracks like the back lane to my house for recreation. This on the grounds that they do "terrible damage".

Though of course thousands of anoraks and cagoules are not "visual polluting" and the paths they tear apart need "essential maintenance" sometimes requiring helicopters to bring in the materiel.

But anyway this guys 4x4 is on the top of a mountain it strikes me that  the obvious way to get it off it to give him back the keys and say "you bloody well put it there - shift it!!"

If this turns into a buttock clenching dice with death - so be it!!

There's the rub though, no one is allowed to be at risk or face the proper connsequences of what they do. I he kerchung kerchunged himself off the side of the mountain some stupid lawyer would be there arguing he should not have been asked to drive down rather than saying it was a risk he took when he drove up.
Now we are being told they are thinking of the environment and might get the air force in with a Chinook or even get up there with a gas axe, chop the thing to bits and bring it back on a train. I have chopped a fewe cars to bits and green it isn't.

That really  shows their environmental credentials, either burn shit loads of fossil fuels or make a hell of a mess cutting up a car full of oils and fuels on top of a mountain.

Sounds very green to me.....

Oh and we had fostering who would never use us again on the phone today.

Wanted us to take 2 siblings - over numbers but only for respite.

Oh yes we know about respite don't we.

Which respite placement was it that lasted over a year??


Sunday, 4 September 2011

I cannot believe.....

I cant believe I failed to record that the students mum blasted through her 100th last week.

The house was heaving with people, lots and lots and lots of ages.

She loved her day, she is having another party tomorrow, at the day centre she goes to, she has started planning, in 5 years time she will be......

The end and a begining.

The summer has not really happened this year.For a start the weather has been grim. Our little house in Brittany has not featured at all, though of course it could have had we known the roof would still be on for the time we were there.

It was good though as the young people love Ty Nadan and they could not have been happier. After the work they took part in around meeting laddos needs they deserved a treat. We all did, of course a result is the conference paper Remains unfinished and I have 2 days to do it.

My co authors have vanished into the woodwork and therefore if all goes wrong I will only have myself to blame.

I am bricking and excited both at the same time.

You might not hear a lot from me for the next few days!!

But the kids are back at school tomorrow the older ones in college soon  and Branwen sets off for university and freedom the end of the month.

It will feel odd being separated from her for the first time in 18 years. Bethan is virtually not here, either.

Taliesin shows no signs of leaving and we still have a few years of Gwion to come.

The student goes back to study social policy and hopefully in a few weeks I get to do a bit of teaching again.

That's if I get this paper finished.


Winter is here

In bed of a Sunday morning.

Last day winter arrived in a bluster of wet and wind, the fire was lit. OK we had the fire lit in August this year which has to be a first, but I think we are looking at the end of summer and the drawing in of the year again.

Summer holidays flashed by, little D's mum let him down again.

Ahh here comes Bethan with coffee.  

Daddies best daughter.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Taking some social policies.

The student has had a bit of a Pauline moment, never having really wanted to be a social worker she has changed degree courses, she is now doing social policy. This in turn has  changed  her approach to life the grauniad is now cover to cover reading and she has decided she does politics in some depth.

Bethan has also had a bit of thinking done. She has signed up to do some more A levels and decided she wants to be a psycho, err sorry psychologist.