30th January 2012 Bata in Essex and the Decline of the Third England

Essex is a maligned county, present in pop­u­lar mythol­ogy as a home for trou­ble­some women – from Matthew Hop­kins’ 17th cen­tury witches, to the sex­u­ally provoca­tive but appar­ently stu­pid 1980s Essex Girls, and today’s primped women of The Only Way is Essex. When J. B. Priest­ley wrote Eng­lish Jour­ney he was exer­cised by some troublesome…

22nd January 2012 Organised Labour

11th January 2012 The Art and Craft of Approaching your Head of Department to Submit A Request For A Raise

These are dif­fi­cult times, and per­haps you’re hold­ing tight to your con­tracted hours and hop­ing that the down­siz­ing fin­ger doesn’t point your way. You are not con­sid­er­ing approach­ing your head of depart­ment to sub­mit a request for a raise. And so you would not look at the shelf and think: oh, that’s the self-help book…

2nd January 2012 Qualifications Versus Capabilities: Learning to Thread

I had my eye­brows threaded at the Beauty Plus con­ces­sion in my local depart­ment store.  Thread­ing, very com­mon in Asia, uses twisted lines of cot­ton thread to remove hair. It’s low-tech, and demands crafty fin­gers. Ten min­utes of rel­a­tive pain, some rose­wa­ter and an hour of red­ness and then ready-made arched eye­brows. The last time…