Monday, 30 August 2010

Prostitution: Behind Closed… Fence Panels?

sex boxes
From 28/08/10

Police in Zurich, Switzerland have set up “drive-in sex boxes” in the city’s red light district. The boxes give prostitutes more privacy when they work, because if there’s one thing prostitutes are known for, it’s shyness. Actually, the boxes are for the benefit of people living in the area, one of whom said, “They get up to all sorts in broad daylight – and we’re sick to death of looking at it.” I think the paper made a mistake. Shouldn’t the last half of that sentence be, “and I’m running out of popcorn and this lawn chair is making my butt look like plaid”?

I guess this is one way of combatting the problem, even if they do look a bit like green fence panels from the average garden centre. And I would have thought that these panels would prove much too tempting for kids to explore when they play hide and seek or whatever kids get up to these days. 

The fact remains, though, that shielding the problem from the watchful eyes of residents isn’t dealing with it.  I can’t see the idea catching on internationally.

As an aside, I’ve never looked at prostitution the same way since a rather unfortunate episode as an undergraduate. (And no, it’s not what you’re thinking).

I naively made a comment in a paper referring to prostitution being illegal under Anglo/Welsh law. The lecturer quickly cut me down to size and explained that it was not illegal per se but rather that certain activities connected with it were. When I received the paper back, it was one of those internal grimace moments that has stayed with me ever since.  Still, it gave me a great chance to legitimately review all things (including the law) relating to prostitution – which can’t be a bad thing.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Less than 1 week to vote

Yes, it’s come around very quickly, but there’s less than one week left in which to cast your votes for the winners of this year’s blawggies. So if you haven’t yet voted, please do so while there’s still time.  The poll will close on the evening of Friday 3rd September.

You can place your votes here

And just in case anyone gets carried away, it’s worth pointing out that the executive board Andro, Minxy and I do monitor the IP addresses of voters and look for suspicious patterns of votes. We would hate to have to disqualify anyone, so please don’t vote for your own blawg, or get friends, family or co-workers to place dozens of biased votes on your behalf.  You know the drill – keep it fair and honest. 

Oh, and for those of you getting sick of my interviews, don’t worry, the end is in sight. I’ve a handful more planned before I’ll be wrapping up this project. I think it’s been very insightful, though, and I’ve discovered a lot about my fellow blawgers that I wouldn’t have ordinarily got the chance to know. I hope you have too.

I’ve still got some big names to come, so, you know, stay tuned.  Winking smile

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Travis the Trout

Next up is Travis – let’s dive straight in:

Travis the Trout is an unusual moniker – and perhaps not the most flattering out there. What’s the background story?
It was something my dad came up with back in 2000 when I was trying to think of a unique/quirky email address. He had been to Texas and bought a singing fish - which happened to be called travis the trout - he suggested it, the email address was available and the name kind of stuck. (

So as you can see completely random, nothing relating to law and it makes everyone think I am a boy.

You’ve had a blog on both Blogspot and Wordpress. Which platform would you recommend for most UK blawgers and why?
Both Blogger and Wordpress were enjoyable to use. I started on blogspot because I originally had a foodie blog with blogger and i loved it. I changed over when I got restless, and wanted a new look. I don't really recommend one over the other, they are both straightforward to use for anyone new to Blawging and both have potential - after all it is the content which makes a blog so great rather than the platform. I know most UK blawgers tend to use blogger, but Wordpress has been great because I could simply set it up and leave it without wasting the time constantly tweaking it (not that you can't do that with blogger). Although the restless side of me is debating a change for my 2 year anniversary.

You recently announced that you’ve secured a training contract for a couple of years’ time. Congratulations! :-) But do you think this will change your approach to blawging or even make you pull an ASP Bites type move and throw in the towel completely?
I love blogging, so that is not going to change. I was gutted when Asp left us. With a severe lack of trainee blogs (although I can understand why) I think it is important that there is information (not firm sponsored) out there. Particularly as I am doing my TC at a smaller more niche firm (which will be a scary contrast to my current large full service firm) as I don't think that the smaller firms get much exposure. Obviously, I won't talk about work-specific things and I may end up taking a different approach when it comes down to it - but I am certainly not giving up without a fight.

You do an awful-lot of self-help type posts, largely centred around organisation and career-advancing topics. What is it about these subjects you find so stimulating?
After getting through a nightmare that my life was during my degree, it was great to start the LPC and work together as a team with the other students. We all helped each other which was a stark contrast to the competitiveness I experienced during my Undergraduate, where after a period of some time off, I struggled to catch up because everyone was so unhelpful and unwilling to share notes etc. And I don't believe that this is what being a law student/lawyer is about.

On the LPC we had a lot of fun, and we experienced everything as a close-knit group. Somehow I became the go-to girl. People would come to me for advice and tutoring (and they still do a whole year after completing the LPC). I realised that the little I did know could potentially help others.

I love the challenge of finding a better was of being more efficient and effective in what I do - particularly with regards to organisation - a form of personal development. As my family says - organisation has always been and will always be my first love. This has become significantly worse since being employed and I think this is noticeable in my writing. My writing is inspired by inspiring and helping others. For me, the actual process of writing it is the enjoyable/soothing experience for me, the content might as well benefit others.

Do you tend to look back through your old posts and reminisce or, once published, do you never revisit old content again?
I look back every once in a while - mainly to say OMG what was I thinking....

But generally speaking a don't look through it too much - my blog isn't really used as a journal but more of a companion for my personal development and challenges - which is a journey.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Lost London Law Student

Lost London Law Student is next up to field the questions:

Where in your list of priorities does your blawg feature?
Somewhere in between getting a new job, finishing my dissertation and going out!

What’s your take on blawgs which spring up out of nowhere, blast us with x number of posts in quick succession and then disappear without trace?
I enjoy new blogs, much like I enjoy the smell of something that is new, such as getting into a brand new car for the first time. I don't know why these blogs disappear. Most of them have a lot of promise. The legal world is a small community, we all have made similar mistakes or hold similar gripes! We can all benefit from other bloggers remarks and postings. Perhaps these anon blogs were too scared about repercussions. I remember one blog that was taken down, due to something being posted about a fight and threats to sue!!

What’s your biggest regret about your blawg?
That I didn't blog as much as this year as I would have liked to. I made a few errors and some people cottoned on to who I was. The Bar is a very small world and everyone is inter-connected somehow, I didn't want anything I posted to somehow come back on me. A former lecturer once told to read out every sentence of an essay, and ask myself, would I be happy if the LCJ read it? I've taken a similar attitude towards blogging now.

I also had, (what I thought at the time as) a prestigious job, so I thought I would limit anything that I posted. However after being recently being made unemployed for the next year, perhaps I will find time to blog again!

I also remember being a lot feistier in the old days, my blog was for those that were "lost" and didn't quite know what to do with themselves. It was also an out pore for all the people I hated at university. The geeks and the swots who always ran up to speak to Professors right at the end of a lecture etc. It was when I realised sometime during my third year, that I had become one of these people ( I had to otherwise I wouldn't have got a decent reference!)

You tend to use your blawg as a bit of a sounding-board for your career plans.  Do you find the feedback and advice you receive useful?  Has it shaped your career path in any way?
The posts you mention, have highlighted why blawging is such a good idea. I have received many comments from anonymous people to regular bloggers. All of the feedback has helped me weigh up the different pros and cons of each decision. I am very indecisive when it comes to any particular career plan. Many other bloggers have been through similar experiences and more than happy to share their wisdom.

What are the 3 golden rules of blawging in your opinion?

1. Anonymity

- This isn't a problem for many, but if you wish to be a care free blogger, make sure you don't mention too much about yourself.

2. Keep it short.

I like to read blogs, but when a post takes me more than 3 minutes to get the gist of, I switch off and feel like I am reading a case!

3. Have fun

Blogging should be about having fun. Addressing your rant/quote/wisdom of the day. If only I had posted about my first year at Uni!!

It is also really valuable to have a personal account of what you were doing/feeling at the time, even if it is a bit cringeworthy!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Little Tiny Pieces

Next up in the interview chair is Gemma from Little Tiny Pieces.

Little Tiny Pieces is an interesting name?  What it inspired it; does it have any hidden meanings?
I used to have an Etsy shop where I sold handmade craft supplies and the name fit my product range, which consisted of mini versions of things.  Although I am not updating my shop at present the name stuck and has now become my online identity. 

Unlike many blawgers in the ‘sphere, you tend to avoid blogging about legal subjects.  Do you think of Little Tiny Pieces as a blawg?  Is there a particular reason you tend to avoid legal topics?  Do you think that will change in the future - particularly given your plans to do  the GDL (and eventually the LPC)?
My blog tends to be my creative outlet as I have a mundane day job and I get incredibly frustrated without a form of creativity in my life.  I suppose Little Tiny Pieces isn't a "Blawg" in the more traditional sense however I anticipate it will become more law-related as I embark on the GDL/LPC.  At present I am in the process of transferring from ILEX to the GDL so there is an unusually quiet period in my life which allows me to focus on my creative pursuits and I think this is reflected in my choice of blogging subjects at the moment. 

What motivates you to update your blog?
I have had a blog of some description for about 6 years and my biggest motivation has always been to share things that I enjoy with my readers.  I love reading comments and building up relationships with my readers/subscribers.  I also find blogging is a form of therapy for me; a way to be creative, sound off, test out ideas or celebrate the things I love!

Your blog cuts a very artistic and creative style. Do you tend to play about with the layout and design a lot?
As I have mentioned, I have had a blog for about 6 years and I have switched hosts, tried out new layouts and designs numerous times.  I have now found a host and layout that works for me however I often"tweak" things, experiment with a new colour scheme or add new pages. 

If you had to describe your blog in 3 words, what would they be?
Visual, Quirky, Inspired

Friday, 20 August 2010

Let the voting commence!

blawggies 2010 voteYes, after two long weeks of nominations, the shortlist for the 2010 Blawggies has been decided and voting for the awards can officially begin! The polls will remain open for 2 weeks.

You can place your votes here

The rules are simple enough: one vote for each of the 8 categories for the blawg you’d like to win.  As before, please don’t vote for your own blawg.

As democratically determined by the ‘sphere, the shortlist of nominees for each category consist of:

Best Newcomer'

All About Law


Garrulous Law

Govan Law Centre

Of interest to lawyers

The Justice of the Peace Blog

Ups and Gowns

Your Law Student


'Best Design'


Aimless Wanderer

Android's Reminiscences


Law Actually



Nearly Legal


'Best Blawging Regular'

Android’s Reminiscences

Charon QC*

Jack of Kent**

Law Actually

Landlord Law

The Magistrate’s Blog

Travis the Trout

'Best supporting role (i.e. commentators only)'



Legally Ginge

that famous commentator, Anonymous!

'Best Legal Commentary'

Charon QC*

Head of Legal

Jack of Kent**

Jonathan Mitchell QC

The IPKat

Law Actually

Legal Costs Blog (by GWS)

Nearly Legal

Pink Tape

Scots Law Student

'Triumph over Adversity'

Aimless Wanderer


Travis the Trout

'Blawg of the Year'

Android's Reminiscences


Charon QC*

Family Lore

Law Actually

The Magistrate’s Blog

Marilyn Stowe Family Law and Divorce Blog

Pupillage and how to get it

Will I Be Barred?

'Services to Blawging'

Android's Reminiscences

Charon QC*

Law Actually

*Attention all voters - Update to Blawggies 2010*


** Jack of Kent has requested that his blawg is removed from the short-list.

*Charon QC has asked for his blawg to be removed from the short-list, as he wishes to maintain a consistent stance in relation to all blawgging awards. Accordingly, this blawg no longer features in the short-list for the 2010 Blawggies and you can no longer vote for it.

Please note: if you have voted for Charon QC in any of the 4 categories he was nominated for, these votes will be omitted from the final count. However, the votes you may have cast at the same time for other blogs in other categories will still be counted.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Bid4fees – Definitely not a legal comparison site?


From the Law Society Gazette 05/08/10:

The site, bid4fees dot com, provides an online platform for prospective clients to confidentially list their legal problems and find a lawyer to advise them.

Lawyers registered with the site will be able to see the advice requests posted, and correspond with the potential clients via a messaging system to learn more about their case.

If a lawyer decides a case is appropriate for them to help, they can bid to represent the client, informing them of their fee. The client then selects the lawyer they want to instruct.

Lawyers must submit a fixed-fee bid rather than an hourly rate. The client is free to choose any bid submitted, not necessarily the lowest.

There is no charge for clients or solicitors to register, but lawyers who get instructed pay 10% of their fee to the site.

When I first saw this site a few weeks ago, I initially put this idea down as gimmicky with a ‘been there – done that’ kind of feel.  However, revisiting it over the last day or so, I’ve had a slight change of heart.  What dawned on me is this isn’t just a simple rehash of a legal comparison site – it’s a rehash with a twist.

Whatever the pros and cons, I don’t think the choice of name is great and their site has well and truly overdosed on web 2.0 design features, but if it brings in the moolah, I’m sure they’ll be forgiven.

In the comments section on the Law Society Gazette site, (where I first saw the story), bid4fees was subjected to a veritable diatribe. This (unsurprisingly) largely stemmed from embittered solicitors past and present, many of whom suggested that the site, just like legal comparison sites, promotes a ‘race to the bottom’. I’ve already added my two penneth, laying into the fallacy that legal comparison sites add anything worthwhile to the legal market place, and there’s no point repeating all that here. But the crucial point is this: while bid4fees might, at first glance, seem different from a meerkat in his court robe and wig proclaiming that choosing the right lawyer is ‘simples’, I think it’s still going to be used by clients who aren’t going to be well-grounded enough to prize quality over price.

Moreover, I still doubt that this ever going to be a rich enough revenue stream to make it worthwhile for firms to throw resources at it to filter out meritorious pieces of business. (What’s not clear is whether firms can register criteria of their firm’s speciality and receive email updates when potentially suitable business pops up.) Surely there is, but the site makes no mention of it.

But if not, perhaps there’s potential for a 3rd party to build an API to tack onto this and offer this functionality? Maybe that’s their plan – to turn bid4fees into ‘the’ legal bidding platform for the 21st century offering 3rd party developers the ability to cash in with a whole host of apps! ;-)

Who knows?  But for me, the concept is flawed and unlikely to succeed on any kind of scale but it’s going to be an interesting experiment all the same.

For an added groan, I’ve just read about the upcoming site ‘wigster dot com’ which is under construction. I just give up!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Paralegal Hell

Yes, it’s time for my first interview with a non-UK blawger.  Exciting stuff!  Let’s jump straight to the questions.

How did Paralegal Hell come about? 
I always enjoyed reading lawyer and law student blogs, especially the ones that have a sense of humor about themselves, but noticed that there were no Paralegal blogs written in the same humorous tone.  We have Paralegal blogs, but mostly they are how to make your job easier, or spotlight different Paralegals, which is great, but none that actually talked about our jobs on a day to day basis. 

Needing a place to vent, I started Paralegal Hell.   I'm all for tips, Paralegals in the news, etc, but it is a blog, not a staff meeting.

How much time and attention do you devote to blawgging?  Do you think about your blawg when you aren’t actively blawgging and plan ahead as to posting topics etc.? 
I have been on a roll since starting and have about two to three posts per day, but that is because the jokes come to me on a daily basis.  Whether it is sparring with Boss or taking a client phone call, the posts just write themselves.  I don't think about the blog unless I am posting and I don't plan topics.  Whatever I write is usually on the fly.

I do try to mix humor and serious topics, but as far as planning what I write, I usually just get into the office and start blogging when I get a free moment.

I'm sure everyone wants me to ask this one. Which is better, the UK or the US blawgosphere.  And why? 
You know, this is going to sound so PC, but both have their " different sense of style".  I do have to say that the UK blawgs have really embraced my writing, while it has taken some time to get other Paralegals in the US to actually comment on my site.  I still feel the cold shoulder from some US Paralegal sites.  Most read my blog, but there is not a chance in hell that they would let me link to their blog.  I wrote about this in a post called Hurt Feelings.

Do you actively explore the ‘sphere looking for new blawgs or do you prefer just letting others find you? 
I do both.  I look at blogs that I read, look at their blog rolls and see if there is anything that can make me laugh or if I click with someone's writing.  If that is the case, I usually send an email asking if I could link their site to my blog roll.  So far, the only "no's" have come from certain Paralegal sites in the US, two of which are my top readers, although I doubt they know I know that information.

If someone emails me and asks for a link, I always very flattered and usually say yes, unless it is a Paralegal school.

How do you see Paralegal Hell shaping up in the future?
I hope that I inspire more Paralegals to blog about their own day to day jobs.  I really would love to read more Paralegal blogs, but there are not many out there.  Of course, none can be as awesome as mine :)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Ramblings of a Scottish Student

Next up to be interviewed is Alistair, over at Ramblings of a Scottish Student.

You recently broke cover and revealed your true identity to the 'sphere. How do you feel that has gone?  Any regrets?  Do you recommend it?
In all honesty not much has changed.  I do need to be a lot more careful about what I say now as everything can be attributed to me and that could cause problems.  To date though I have no regrets and I think it has gone okay personally.  As for whether I recommend it or not, I feel that it is a matter for the individual blawger. 

How do you balance law and other topics when posting?

No real science to it to be honest, I blog about what I want when I feel like it.

You're one of the few UK blawgers who have extended their reach into the 'sphere beyond conventional posting with your foray into podcasting.  Will they be making a reappearance at some point?  Do you see the conventional written blawg becoming less and less relevant (and popular) over time?
I'd like to go back to podcasting, but at the moment I don't have sufficient time.  This may change when I return to University in September, 

The second part of your questions is very interesting.  Social Media has changed drastically even in the last 18 months since I became involved in it.  Twitter and such like were only really beginning to take shape and spread.  I don't think that the conventional written blawg will become irrelevant, it's useful for exploring more complex issues and other platforms such as Twitter don't always give you sufficient room to express what you want to say.  The conventional blawg will still be around for the foreseeable future, but I suspect that it will be joined by other forms of social media.  There are exciting things happening within social media in the legal world. 

I expect that over the next few years we'll see social media being embraced more and more within the legal profession.  The current students and those who will be undertaking their LLB in the future will be more used to using social media and the latest technology and I don't think the profession will be able to resist its integration.

I know you had a run-in with a legal publication on your blawg last year, which resulted in them asking you to take certain content down.  Has that changed your approach to blawging at all?
My run in was actually with a very senior lawyer, rather than the publication.  They too were on the receiving end of this lawyer’s threats of legal action.  Blogging is dangerous, we are still accountable under the Law like another type of written publication, and as such defamation/libel laws still apply.  I'm slightly more cautious about what I write and more pro-active about contacting people for statements when blogging about potentially controversial issues.

Finally, how do you explore and consume content within the 'sphere?  (an RSS reader - if so, which one - or just through browsing around?)
I don’t use an RSS reader.  I have a list of blogs that I like to read (both legal and non-legal) saved in a favourites list and as and when I get the time I pay them a visit.  I discover new ones through those blogs and through Twitter.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Andro

Yes, my interview adventures continue with Andro stepping up to face the questions.

You’ve designed some great looking blawgs for various members of the ‘sphere.  What makes a good blog design in your opinion and where do you get your inspiration from?
The main thing about a blog is content, so the design shouldn't interfere with it. The main thing for me is readability. No conflicting colours or too much contrast. No fancy fonts. The design needs to be unique and memorable.

I get my inspiration from the world around me! Sometimes I would see an interesting combination of colours on the street. Music plays a big part in the design process. I also get my inspiration from websites such as

You take a very open approach to your identity when blawgging and certainly don’t shy away from revealing who you are.  Do you ever regret that or ever feel sandboxed by what you can / cannot blawg about?
I don't feel sandboxed, because Android's Reminiscences is just one blog. Internet is a bottomless pit, so there's nothing stopping me from creating a new anonymous blog, should I feel the need to do so. But... now that I have a job that I care about, I am a bit more careful in what I blog about on A.R. I always think about the possibility of my colleagues or, God forbid, my boss finding it by accident (my readers will be aware that my blog came up on a pupillage interview once; awkward). I obviously try to avoid breaching client confidentiality or defaming my firm, but a little bitching about my boring job duties won't hurt, will it?

Could you imagine yourself suddenly not blawgging one day.  Why?
On days like that I feel like I have nothing to add to the blogosphere. I don't like blogging for the sake of it.

Where do you see the future of blawgging going?  Does it even have a future?  Will other forms of social media take over?
Because we are so busy nowadays, everyone has a shorter attention span, which is why twitter and facebook are gaining popularity over the traditional blogging. There's just too much reading and not enough interactivity. The blogs, with their once revolutionary rss feeds, are becoming too static and dull for the web 3.0 generation. I think that traditional blogging does have a future though. Firstly, the blog platforms are constantly being developed to keep up with the latest web-technology. Secondly, blogs seem to be replacing magazines and newspapers, and it's only the beginning. Thirdly, there will always be people who resist change.

If a new law student approached you for advice on starting a blawg, what would you say?
I would definitely recommend it, as long as it doesn't interfere with the studies. Ha! Just kidding. No, really - it's a great idea, if only to read it back in a few years and laugh at yourself.

Monday, 9 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Pooni

My second interviewee is Pooni.  Let’s jump straight in with the questions.  Smile

What’s your take on anonymity when it comes to blawging?

It definitely does not exist anymore, unless the profile you keep online is extremely unique and or kept under a different alias name

If the blawgosphere imploded tomorrow, what would you miss most?

The thing I'll miss the most is knowing that I have supporters in terms of view counts and commenters. I found it easier to deal with being jobless when I knew others were in the same situation (but twitter has taken over this part in a way now)

What’s the secret to a good blawg, do you think?

Up to date, interesting information. Always finding out something new and different helps too (as a reader)

What was your worst blawging experience?

Most probably the abuse you get from commenters who don't agree with the writer (the solicitor post I did got the most abuse) and knowing that some people no longer blog because of this (sorta relates to the anonymity of the writer being found out)

Do you see yourself in the blawgsphere in 5 years time?

Right now, no. I think blogging has always been a hobby and as I have free time I blog. I don't think I'll have enough time in the future but I would like to keep blogging about my career to help others as I never had the opportunity to see blogs etc about the legal profession when I was studying (yes I feel old now!)

Friday, 6 August 2010

A Law Actually Interview with… Aimless Wanderer

As part of my spread the blawgin’ lovin’ campaign, I’ve decided to conduct a few ‘remote interviews’ with key members of the blawgosphere.

The idea is to hopefully reveal a little more of the blawgers behind the blawgs which make up the ‘sphere.  I’m hoping it’ll prove an interesting way of exploring and understanding the glue that holds (sometimes a touch tenuously) the blawgosphere together.  It might also go some way in making blogging more accessible to newbies or encourage wannabee blawgers to have a go.  If nothing else, though, I hope it’ll provide some interesting insights into the fascinating personalities within the ‘sphere - which we might not have otherwise got.

My first interview is with Aimless Wanderer.

How did you  get into blawging?
My friend, CBC, first got me into blawging while I was still at University... but I deleted my blog within the year. I returned to blawging as an LPC student following my Dad's funeral. I felt extremely isolated at the time as it was difficult to talk to friends and some "friends" even started to avoid me. A few good friends kept me going but I felt guilty for unloading on them so much... felt really awful. I tried to keep a diary/journal but was too scared that someone in my family might read it and be upset by it. So I suppose, I started blawging again to be less of a burden on my friends and felt safe in the knowledge that my sisters and brother would never (and probably will never) come across my blog.

How do your friends / family view your blawging activities? 
My family are completely unaware that I am a blawgger but if they found out they might be upset at how open I've been - especially at me posting the euology (since those words weren't mine alone). My friends don't really know (apart from my good friend CBC and a joking barrister I trust). Theres one other that knows who I introduced to blawging while at university and she liked Andro's design! Oh and one other... I told a girl who became a friend of mine on the LPC (Greek Girl). Not sure if shes ever read it though. Couldn't ever tell Poppins who I met shortly after Dad became ill and who I trust with my life... she'd be shocked if she knew I'd managed to fall a little bit in love with my tutor! CBC thinks I'm brave while I think I'm slightly stupid for being so damn honest...

Where do you get your blawging inspiration from?
Nowhere really. My blog has ended up becoming an online journal... I don't think too much about what I write. I just write.

If you could change one thing about the blawgosphere, what would it be?
I hate questions like these and have no idea what I'd change. Sorry!

Are you hoping to continue blawging avidly during your New York adventures? If so, do you think you'll break into the US blawgosphere?
I do hope to continue blawging while I'm New York but once I leave the UK, my current blawg will be closed for the year and I hope my readers will follow my wanderings in the Big Apple via my new blawg. I have to buy a new laptop once I get there which may take some time (and of course there the whole settling in and making friends period) but once I have it expect lots of posts and there'll be lots of photos too as I'll be investing in a cheap but cheerful camera!! I'm not sure I'll manage to break into the US blawgosphere... unless they have a US version of you, Michael! Maybe someone will take me under their wing?!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Man jailed after grabbing hold of chopper

helicopterFrom BBC News 03/08/10:

A man has been sentenced to a year in prison for endangering the safety of an aircraft when he grabbed a helicopter as it took off in Bristol.

Bristol Crown Court was told Houshang Jafari, 58, became "extremely angry" after the helicopter landed near his flat, causing debris to hit his car.

Jafari was said to have become angry when the private aircraft blew debris at his Range Rover.

He approached the helicopter, threw a bag of rubbish at its nose and then kicked it.

As the pilot tried to take off, Jafari grabbed the skid bar as it was about 6ft (1.83m) off the ground.

This caused the helicopter to lurch to the right. An eyewitness told the court the aircraft narrowly missed nearby houses as it "swerved around" and "flew erratically" away.

Sentencing Jafari, Judge Michael Roach said it was a "deliberate and much more a reckless and dangerous act" and, despite the fact he was a business and family man, he had "no choice" other than to send him to prison.

It’s a trite remark but I might as well make it: this outcome was a bit of a no-brainer.

By the looks of Jafari’s picture, he’s not as svelte as he used to be, so it’s no wonder the small helicopter lurched so much when he leapt at the skid. And unless he was trying impersonate Roger Moore (or his stunt double) in the opening scenes of, ‘For Your Eyes Only’ just what was he really trying to achieve?  I’m also curious whether he’d have done the same thing if it was an air ambulance trying to take off.

So now that Jafari has landed himself a custodial sentence, I’m sure he’ll be asking himself whether it was worth getting so het-up about. I mean, what kind of damage can a few loose blades of grass blown in the chopper’s downdraught do to Range Rover? If he’s that pernickety, maybe he should consider legal action against the scores of irksome summer flies who have the temerity to fly into his windscreen at speed, thereby pureeing themselves and soiling his precious motor?