Property Market Confusion

Two opposing headlines published today by the BBC indicate that BBC News (at least) hasn’t a clue what’s going on in the UK propery market:

  1. BBC NEWS | Business | House prices move higher in July
  2. BBC NEWS | Business | House prices ‘ease as rates rise’

If you read the details, you may realise that these two trends are not necessarily mutually exclusive; but the BBC’s tabloid headline writers simplify news to such an extent that it really makes me question the organisation’s credibility sometimes.

Quotation of the day

Yesterday I happened to come across a travel web site (Family Travel) that contained a report on “alternative” holidays — cycling, walking, boating, yoga, life coaching, retreats. It contained the following useful observation:

Those who are seeking to expand their consciousness are not always the best equipped to organise anything practical.

Let’s call the whole thing off

With apologies to Ira Gershwin…

You say Al-KAY-da
And I say Al-KEYE-da
You say Osama
And I say Obama
Al-KAY-da, Al-KEYE-da
Osama, Obama
Let’s call the whole thing off.

The “whole thing” could be defined in numerous ways I suppose, but I prefer to think of it as a reference to the conflict in Iraq.

“Obama” is, of course, Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for the US Senate from Illinois who spoke so eloquently at the Democratic convention last week. Even the Financial Times published an article about him this weekend under the headline A Democrat star is born.

You can find out more about this new star in an article published in The New Yorker in May (see The Candidate by William Finnegan) and it seems I wasn’t the only one to notice a certain similiarity in his last name:

[Democratic Congresswoman] Jan Schakowsky told me about a recent visit she had made to the White House with a congressional delegation. On her way out, she said, President Bush noticed her “obama” button. “He jumped back, almost literally,” she said. “And I knew what he was thinking. So I reassured him it was Obama, with a ‘b.’ And I explained who he was. The President said, ‘Well, I don’t know him.’ So I just said, ‘You will.’”

Looks like Schakowsky was right.

New Perspective

bugaboo.gifYou know things have changed when you start coveting other people’s strollers as you walk down the street!

As luck would have it, just yesterday NPR broadcast Poems for Daughters, in which reporter Caitlin Shetterly talks to poets about the poems they’ve written for their daughters. It’s already become one of the “top e-mailed stories” on the NPR web site.

The words of others can be incredibly compelling when they help you to express feelings you would otherwise struggle to convey.