Listening to/reading/watching

  • Spooks, Heroes and Little Dorrit
  • The Ascent of Money
  • Fountains of Wayne, Dusty Springfield, Nickleback, Talking Heads

Cluster Map

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Break!

My parents are coming to stay for 3 weeks.

The AB is nicking off to France on a school trip for 10 days of this.

The TB is stressed at the mere thought of it so there may be a divorce - alternativley there may be a lot of long walks.

There will almost certainly be a blogging hiatus!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The thorny topic of libel is once again hovering like a dark cloud over the blogsphere.

What is it? How does it happen? And how likely is it that one day someone will sue you for something that you say in a blog?

What follows is a short introduction to the concept and is in no way intended as a subsitute for proper legal advice from your own lawyer.

Libel is a written statement that is defamatory. The publication of a libelous statement entitles the person who has been libelled to damages without having to prove that they have suffered any actual financial loss as a result of the libel. This is different from slander, or spoken defamation which (other than a few specific cases such as impuing someone's professional reputation or the chastity of a woman) requires a real financial loss to have occured before the right to damages arises.

So what's defamatory? "A statement intended to lower the stading of a person, or persons in the sight of right thinking people."

And which statement amounts to more than "vulgar abuse"

So "Lippy is a fat cow" is not defamatory it is mere vulgar abuse.
"Lippy is a crap lawyer and I wouldn't trust her as far as I could spit" is a libellous statement and actionable.

Let's get a grip on reality here - libel cases are prohibitivley expensive. £85,000 for costs to trial is not a top end quote. It is to put no fine a point on it, a rich man's hobby. And there is no legal aid available for cases to be taken in either libel or slander and frankly quite right too. If that became a bottomless pit of public money for defamation lawyers I'd be first at the front of the queue to protest against it.

Libel damages are ridiculsously high in comparison to personal injury damages for one reason - personal injury cases are heard by a judge alone, and he works from a price list for the damage caused - e.g. broken arm - £2000.

Libel cases are the only remaining civil cases which are heard by a jury - and the jury also sets the level of damages. So they tend to be more "american" than is common in the rest of the UK jurisdiction - think up your own examples of people in the public eye who have been given far too much money for being referred to as a too specific type of twat.

In conclusion - if you slag off your ex in a blog can he sue you for libel. Yes. Is he likely to sue you for libel? Unless he is a bored millionaire with a chip on his shoulder who wants, for reasons of his own to put you in the bankruptcy court - No.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Working Day

My morning walk is normally very beautiful, as you can see, it was lovely this morning just pouring with rain - freezing cold and sideways!
But it is part of the utter luxury of homeworking - that the day goes;
8am - School Run and dog walking.
9am - At desk starting work.
3.30pm - Finish work and go to the Gym

Monday, March 03, 2008

I want toys too!

At my sister's party on Saturday her friend was complaining about her homeworking husband. It seemed most unfair to me but the essence of her complaint seemed to be that he wandered around the house, doing the house work whilst doing mega deals on a blue tooth headset!

He makes money and makes the bed! - how cool is that guy, I mean really! He also cooks.

His wife has clearly twigged that the whole female population would like one of those and has moved him out of London and away into the wilds quick smartish.

What I really want however is a blue tooth headset for the office phone and Outlook for the lap top so that I can work in the garden in the summer as I'm pretty sure the wi-fi hub goes that far. Watch this space for further improvements to this girl's life of Riley.

And woot - I have new clients....

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A blog about being middle aged, in England in 2013