Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Office Breakfast or a home from home?

Have you ever eaten breakfast at your desk? It's time to reconsider such behaviour, says commentator on office and workplace life, Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times.

There is a new man in the office who sits at a desk just behind mine. Most mornings he's in early, as am I, and as I leaf through the newspapers, I hear a rustling sound and the ring of metal on china followed by a slurp-munch-slurp noise.

I look around and see that he has pushed his keyboard aside and at his elbow is a box of Fruit 'n Fibre cereal. Presently, he gets up, takes the bowl to the sink, washes it and returns to his desk.

It makes no sense to eat cereal at work. It takes about 90 seconds to prepare and eat a bowl of Bran Flakes at home. The fridge is to hand, as is the dishwasher. But over the past decade there has been a steady onward march of objects, activities and emotions from hearth to cubicle, so there is now almost nothing left that belongs entirely at home.

People these days turn up in sweat pants, take a shower, clean their teeth and apply make-up when they get to work. Offices double as wardrobes and laundry rooms with damp towels, spare clothes and shoes strewn carelessly around the place. Grooming complete, workers present themselves at their desks, where they are greeted by stuffed toys, rugs, bunches of flowers and, of course, photographs of children and pets.

Differences in what we wear and how we behave at home and work have been steadily eroded. We may still be marginally smarter and more polite in the office, but it's a matter of degree. Crying and shouting are both deemed perfectly acceptable, as are jeans and flip-flops.

It is even OK to sleep on the job - it's called a power nap, and a few offices have installed beds or sleep pods to make it easier for us.

Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll are part of office life, too. The first and the second are officially forbidden, but still practised when no-one is looking. Rock'n'roll can now be done quite openly at work, thanks to the iPod. We also watch television at our desks, keep up with who did what last night on Facebook, do our shopping online and get the parcels conveniently delivered to our desks by the office post boy.

So is there nothing left that we do at home but not at work? There is still a taboo on nudity in the office, and I don't think I've seen anyone at a desk wearing a pair of flannel pyjamas.

Neither have I caught them knitting or daubing oil paints on to an easel, though that may be partly because hardly anyone does such things at home anymore either.

There is only one thing that people choose to do at home but not at work: to give birth, though this can't be far off. One colleague recently sent me an e-mail about a work matter as she was being wheeled into the delivery room, so to have the baby in a birthing pool on the floor at the office would seem the logical next step.

There is one final activity that we do less and less of in the office - work.

But this makes perfect sense: there is no point in working there when we can do it so conveniently at home instead.

Barry Eva (Storyheart)

My Blogs:

Book Information and Things UK - Across the Pond

Book and a Chat Radio Show Guests - A Book and a Chat

Funny, Weird Or Just Interesting News From Around the World - Laugh I Thought My Trousers Would Never dry

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Leading up to next months "Male YA Auhtor Month" (MYM) today's show was a chat about why the month event was set up, following a challange from YA Auhtor Alexander Diaz, and how I went about getting a list of authors etc.

I went through all of the guests that will be appearing over the next month stating some of their book etc.

This months are for you the listeners, readrs and bloggers so I hope you get a chance to lsiten to some of the shows.

Below is the blog about MYM, and you can lsiten to todays radio show at.

"A Book and a Chat Male YA Author Month Chat"

or you can download the mp3 file of the show from

November is MALE YA MONTH the results of a challenge made to me by one of my guest following my successful YA Month of shows in January.
Are there enough YA writers and readers of YA literature out there to fill a month of "A Book and a Chat" shows?

I took up the challenge... contacting various YA bloggers to send me a list of some of their favorite male YA authors. The response was overwhelming with nearly every person I contacted agreeing to be on the program. Add to that a sprinkling of Male bloggers and Novembers "A Book and a Chat Month Male YA Month" (MYM) is born.

(For more details check - Book and a Chat Radio Show Guests - A Book and a Chat)

GUESTS/(These will all be for 1 hr) Blog Talk Radio Show:

Nov 2nd Heidi R. Kling interviews Barry (Storyheart) Eva - Tues 6:30pm EST

Nov 4th Andrew Auseon - Author of "Freak Magnet", "Funny Little Monkey" etc… - Tues 6:30pm EST

Nov 6th Jay Asher - Author of "Th1rteen R3asons Why" - Sat 11:00am EST

Nov 9th Daniel Waters - Author of "Generation Dead" series - Tues 6:30pm EST

Nov 10th David Macinnis Gill - Author of "Black Hole Sun" and " Soul Enchilada" - Wed 6:30pm EST

Nov 11th William Kostakis - Author of "Loathing Lola" - Thur 6:30pm EST

Nov 13th R.A.Nelson - Author of "Teach Me", "Breath My Name" and "Days of Little Texas" - Sat 11:00am EST

Nov 15th Jon Skovron - Author of "Struts & Frets" and "Misfit (2011)" - Mon 6:30pm EST

Nov 16th Barry Lyga - Author of "Fan Boy and Goth Girl", "Boy Toy", "Hero Type" etc… - Tues 6:30pm EST

Nov 17th James - Author of "Book Chic" blog - Wed 6:30pm EST

Nov 18th Shaun David Hutchinson - Author of "The Death Day Letter" - Thur 6:30pm EST

Nov 20th Daniel Nayeri - Author "Another Faust", "Another Pan" - Sat 11:00am EST

Nov 23rd Steve Brezenoff - Author of " The Absolute Value of -1", "Alley of Shadows" etc… - Tues 6:30pm EST

Nov 24th Alex - Author of "Alex reads books" blog - Wed 6:30pm EST

Nov 25th Estevan Vega - Author of "The Sacred Sin" and "Arson" - Thur 6:30pm EST

Nov 27th Allan Frewin Jones - Author of "The Faerie Path" and "The Warrior Princess" series - Sat 11:00am EST

Nov 30th Alan Gratz - Author of "Something Wicked", "Something Rotten", "The Brooklyn Nine" etc… - Tues 6:30pm EST

Barry Eva (Storyheart)

My Blogs:

Book Information and Things UK - Across the Pond

Book and a Chat Radio Show Guests - A Book and a Chat

Funny, Weird Or Just Interesting News From Around the World - Laugh I Thought My Trousers Would Never dry

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Obeisant" crowns a differant Scrabble champ.

The somewhat stayed reputation of "Scrabble" as a game played in sleepy backwaters by elderly school teachers and has been overturned as a transsexual in a pink wig and matching PVC dress was crowned UK national champion.

Mikki Nicholson, 32, from Carlisle in Cumbria, took the crown with the word "obeisant", which scored 86 points.

She outplayed Mark Nyman, who has won more than 20 major Scrabble contests, including the World Championship.

“People think Scrabble is just about words but it's the numbers that win the game”
Mikki Nicholson
National Scrabble Champion 2010

Other words used in the final were "inficete", meaning unfunny, and "oceanaut", an undersea explorer. "Obeisant", which means obedient or showing respect, proved crucial in the deciding fifth game.

Thrilling victory

Ms Nicholson, who learned to play the game on the internet five years ago, said: "It was a big challenge but I wouldn't have entered if I didn't think I had a chance of winning.

"I'm thrilled to have won and I can't wait to celebrate."

It was scant consolation for Mr Nyman, who has featured in Dictionary Corner on Channel 4's Countdown, that he got the highest scoring word in the final game - "updates" - which scored 105 points.

Explaining her route to victory, Ms Nicholson said: "A good Scrabble player is intuitive. They also need to be good with numbers.

"People think Scrabble is just about words, but it's the numbers that win the game so a sound mathematical brain is an advantage.

"The best word I played was 'inficete' as it changed the flow of the game and my best move was when I played 'tenor', as it allowed me to open up the board for me to play a high-scoring K."

Ms Nicholson, who is currently unemployed, said she planned to spend the £1,500 prize money on a trip to Malaysia in December to compete in another Scrabble tournament.

A Scrabble spokeswoman said: "Scrabble is a game for anyone to enjoy, loved by generations of families, men and women and anyone."

Barry Eva (Storyheart)

My Blogs:

Book Information and Things UK - Across the Pond

Book and a Chat Radio Show Guests - A Book and a Chat

Funny, Weird Or Just Interesting News From Around the World - Laugh I Thought My Trousers Would Never dry