Month: March 2008

Hoover, sorry I mean ‘Vacuum Cleaner’…

Anna and Gemma visited Lincolnshire on Friday and look what they brought me! From Linconshire!! …they obviously know me too well and I love the badge but, if things carry on like this I’m gonna be a living, walking Slovene freak.

Also, for those who don’t already know – I’m leaving the ‘little-smoke’ again for a new job at Miele in Abingdon. Here’s a picture to celebrate…

The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford. I snapped it on my lunch break on Thursday whilst trying (as so far – failing) to master the ‘braketing’ function of my camera. Look out for it next time you’re watching ‘Lewis’.


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Capitalism is a promise of and a key to modernity and power, rather than a passport to political liberty and democracy.

If you’ve spent even a short stay in the former communist countries of Europe, you’ll recoignise the issues discussed in this article.

The following paragraphs do a fantastic job at summarising the problem and the highlighted sentence is pure genius…

“It’s a familiar picture to anyone from post-communist Europe: Preoccupied with their new social roles, power, and prestige, the new elites, made up in significant part of erstwhile communists, feel scant concern for the rights and political representation of the underrepresented and underprivileged.

Labor is not the only force to have lost much during the upheavals and transformations in Eastern Europe. The entire political culture of these societies is a loser. A compelling example is seen in the rise of populism in the region over the past five years. Not that we should be surprised by this, for populism is filling the intellectual vacuum and the political and moral emptiness of post-communism.

Was there any alternative? Could it have been possible to open economies to private capital while keeping the wild and semi-criminal capitalists at bay? For the variety of capitalism that prevails in much of the region now is far from politically innocent or neutral. Ungrounded in civil society and unsupportive of it, the child of privatization remains to be reconciled with the logic of democratic politics and political pluralism. If they wish to soften the further consequences, the elites of Eastern Europe will have to reorient capital’s allegiance from serving the political power structures to acting for the benefit of civil society.”

Whilst the article might seem like patronising lecture from so-called old/established capitalists, it’s not wrong. The problems raised are very real and painfully obvious when you’re there.

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Pijamas Pijama party

Despite having a massive list of CD’s I want and a huge number of bands I like, I always seem to have complete brain-failure when I walk into a music store. Suddenly, I don’t know what to look for and can’t think of a single album I want.

A similar thing just happened when I signed-in to write this. I’m sure I have loads to write about but I can’t remember any of it! …maybe it’s my age.

Or maybe it’s information overload because I haven’t written anything for ages.

Probably, it’s both of the above added to the fact that I find it odd writing on here when I’m at home. So today, I’ll keep it short…

and let’s start with a few pictures since (outside of work and decorating) that’s what I’ve been concentrating on.

I took these tonight on route from work to the gym (yes it happens sometimes) and although I didn’t have a tripod – they came out OK.

So what else is there to write about, well – I finally made it to visit Jimmy in Wales on Saturday and this was perfectly timed to coincide with the Six Nations Rugby finale and Wales’s bit to win the Grand Slam. As they did – Me, Jimmy and the whole Welsh nation drank our body-weight in beer (amusingly/ironically called ‘Brains’) and partied the night away with the French losers.

The weekend before we celebrated Mike’s 30th, had our walls plastered and then watched as the plaster dried and fell back off the walls (grrr).

…and the weeks before that were a yawn inducing DIY marathon of decorative successes, failures and complete disasters. I’ll save you the details.

Probably best thing to happen in the last month was the email I received on the 28th of February containing the following sentence…

“Dear Ian, The Institute of Social and European Studies (ISES) is pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to the following programme: „ISES-Corvinus University of Budapest Master Program in International Relations and European Studies”, at Kőszeg, Hungary from the 2008 Fall Semester.”

That’s right, from the 24th of September 2008, Eddy will be hiding at the foot of the Alps, in the Hungarian town of Kőszeg. And no, I can’t pronounce it either.

The more astute of you will have noticed that Koszeg has a population which is only one third that of Bicester and I can’t decide if I like that or not. Still – I’ll only be 2 hours from Slovenia so I can’t complain

Now, I have some things to organise before the course (selling the house etc) and some exciting plans to keep my busy during the summer so hopefully I’ll have more to write about in the coming months.

OK, I’m calling it a day but since you’re on, I thought I’d treat you to a few snaps of real life Bearders 🙂

SKB, 2nd in a line of elder Bearders and father of the three mugs below

Tim (Bobby) Bearder

Ian (Eddy) Bearder – aka ‘Me’

Peter (Peter) Bearder – the blinker from below.

Mum’s missing but I’ll catch her sooner or later.

Noc Noc

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Taken (in colour believe it or not) from a ‘clump’ in Oxfordshire. It wasn’t actually a ‘grey’ day but the photo has a Sunday feel to it.

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