Elly Williams' Weblog

Caught Between Industries

Hogwarts Headaches

I found an article on the BBC website. Apparently, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has been giving some kids headaches.

I’m not sure why anyone has found this particularly suprising. One of the main factors is that the kids refuse to take a break from reading the book.

If you spend all day staring at a computer screen you are encouraged to take a break. I can clearly remember being told, by various teachers, to take breaks in exam revision. So why should reading a book be treated differently?

So is it the books that cause the headaches?

Well, I can’t think of any other children’s books of that length. And I may not be eight years old, but I’m certainly gripped by the series.

So the problem is – it would appear – that chilldren have found a gripping, can’t-put-down-til-you’ve-finished series that happens to be a giant hype love-it-or-loathe-it debate.

So what’s the solution? Discourage children from reading? or just discourage them from reading anything long and gripping. I don’t think so. I wish I’d had something that enjoyable to read when I was a kid.

Street Maps

Both Simon and Tony have written about town and street planning in the last couple of days. In the respective countries they talk about the form the cities take ranges from the sublime (the US’s easy-to-navigate grid system) to the riduculous (the apparently haphazard method the Japanese employ)

Admittedly these are both from the perspective of the potentially lost and I can confidently say I’d rather be lost in the US that Japan.

But what about at home?

England also has it’s sublime and ridiculous examples of town planning.

Older cities (such as York) have a seemingly haphazard arrangement of streets based primarily on Medieval streets – which were planned around the river, a church or castle and firmly within a city boundary.

Georgian (18th Century – think Jane Austen) towns, such as the one I live in – Bath, are predominantly about theatre. Large open squares, circusses and crescents with continuous facades made up of individual houses. Who cares about what happens in between. This was England’s first attempt at town planning.

And have we managed to improve? Well – as Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman note in Good Omens

neither [Aziraphale (an angel) or Crowley (an angel who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards)] claimed any responsibility for Milton Keynes, but both reported it as a sucess.

What’s the time Mr Wolf?

I’m feeling rather disorientated today.

Not only do I have a cold. Not only did the clocks change today but my email’s been down all day thus depriving me of my various newsletters and mailing lists.

I have therefore contented myself with prodding this site. After reverting to an earlier version of the stylesheet this morning (ooops), and spending some time getting it back to where it was, I spent even longer trying to get it to look vaguely the same in IE as it does in Mozilla. Needless to say this is a near impossible task and I have given up for the moment. I’ll try again at some point when I’m not ill.

Thanks to Meri for the blogroll code. I’m not sure if it’s all her own work or if she stole it….. again, I shall edit it at some point when I’m less dead.

Anyway…. sleepy time – oh no, it’s only 8 o’ clock…. damn this British Summer Time idea


or as Dictionary.com puts it “slowness as a result of not getting round to it”

Incidentally this is what www.procrastination.com has to say on the matter.

So this is me finally getting round to putting something on this site, which has been in existence and slowly growing cobwebs for about 2 months now….

My excuse being I wanted it to be presentable before presenting it… well it’s not, so various thing will undoubtably look rubbish coz I haven’t tested them coz there was nothing there to test…. circular argument anyone?

So that’s my excuse…. or possibly my non-existent pet fish ate it.

is an Architecture Student and Web Designer based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (UK)