TUC releases results of survey into unpaid overtime. The self-employed aren’t mentioned, of course. But, after all, the self-employed "love" their jobs, and that is why they do them.
(Actually, I do love my job, but that isn’t the point. My point is that the self-employed are not unionised, which is obviously a good thing, but it means that issues that affect the self-employed are rarely considered by unions or government).


With the snow melting rapidly yesterday and more heavy snow forecast for this morning, I decided to wait until today to nip out and take pretty snow-in-Ruralville pictures. And what happens? Rain. Pah.

Ruralville in winter

Hels has to go on a course in London today, so I took her up to the railway station in Nearbyton to get the once-per-hour service to the Big City. As usual, we were a bit tardy in getting going this morning, so I decided not to drive the long way round on the gritted roads, but instead to take the direct route and pick my way along the back lanes of Ruralville. With some snow overnight and heavy snow falling, the steep hills were best described as "interesting", particularly when we got to the bottom of one hill and found a couple of sheep and a goat in the road. In spite of that, I was able to deliver Hels to the station with a few minutes to spare.
The kittens are fascinated by the snow, although Treacle prefers to look at it rather than go out in it. If they stand still long enough, I’ll try and get a picture. I may also take a picture or two of the local woods when I go out later.

Kottke goes pro

Kottke quits his job and attempts to pay his way in the world with his blog. I think he’s completely mad. After all, who will pay good money for kitten pictures?
I’m not sure that this is going to change anything in the blogosphere – put simply, there are plenty of blogs out there that offer high quality content (note that I don’t include myself in that category) and do not make a charge for it. Also, there are plenty of non-blog sources of the sort of technical and opinion pieces that Jason writes – some of which are paid-for but many of which are free. Since Jason is not making any compulsory charges for his content, the question has to be whether people will pay enough voluntary contributions to him for him to keep writing without any other means of support, and the answer to that will depend on just how much people value his particular take on the issues with which he concerns himself. I admire his nerve but don’t fancy his chances. Plenty of other people ask for donations to help keep their sites going, but I don’t see many people that actually get much income that way.
And speaking of donations:

EDIT: Jason has an RSS feed. He distributes his content widely and for free. I’m still not getting why people are going to pay enough for him to share his opinions without any other work. Mind you, film critics do that all the time.

Blue Peter

I’m slightly speechless at the sheer idiocy of this latest pea-brained proposal for the honours system from HMG. Aside from the market in fake honours badges that would spring up overnight, do we really want to reward those who make an outstanding contribution to our nation and society (if that is what an honour is intended to mark) with something akin to a boy scout badge of merit??


We’re back after a day in Angers and two days in Honfleur, a change being as good as a rest.
When we got home in the small hours of the morning, I picked my way up the lanes of Ruralville with around two inches of snow on the ground, heavy snow falling, my wife asleep in the passenger seat and two kittens in the carrier in the back – a combination of things that tends to make you drive with care.
This morning, I had to travel up to Nearbyton in order to visit the local council. The snow was hanging on the trees and looked absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me and now a combination of warmer temperatures and strong wind has rather spoiled the effect – but it was good whilst it lasted.
Busy busy this week, so expect quiet.