Archive for December 19th, 2009

Dear Reader,

I am snowed in, at least in terms of getting up to London – so no amusements for me tonight on a planned trip to London and then down to Brighton for a Tweet Meet with @geeklawyer @Rah-Rah @special_noodles et al.

This leaves me time to do a slightly longer weekly ‘postcard’ or, Christmas card, (if you will) this week.

It is a time of good will to all men and women, so it was amusing to see this tweet from Labour MP @KerryMP to another Labour MP, @TomHarrisMP, on Twitter last night.

I didn’t trace back the context on Twitter –  so it may well have been a quite innocent exchange – but I did enjoy the wording of the tweet.

And of course… lawyers also like to spread good cheer at Christmas. So my thanks to @infobunny for alerting me to this remarkably festive bit of enterprise from Lloyd Platt & Co.

The Telegraph reports:

Lloyd Platt & Company claims to have had hundreds of enquiries since putting the vouchers – which offer couples half-hour or hour-long advice sessions with a lawyer – on sale last month. They cost from £125 plus VAT and the firm says it has already sold 54 in three weeks.

Chief funmaker at Lloyd Platt & CO (and senior partner)  Vanessa Lloyd Platt said:

“Christmas can be a very stressful time for families as we have always seen by the huge increase of people seeking advice in January.

“The vouchers seem to appeal to an enormously wide spread spectrum of people looking for that ‘must have’ gift for Christmas.”

She said that purchasers have included husbands, wives, mistresses, and people using them to suggest to friends and family members that they should get a divorce.

If you are still a bit short of ideas for Christmas decorations or, indeed, Christmas presents – why not try these nifty little creations for your nativity scene.  I am grateful to fellow blogger and family lawyer, John Bolch of Family Lore, for drawing my attention to these… (What is it with Family lawyers?)

Caganers: figurines of defecating world leaders in Catalan nativity scenes

The Telegraph, believe it or not, has 24 large photographs of these Spanish artworks.  Mind you… they can also serve as a post-ironic metaphor for, or comment on,  the recent Nopenhagen Climate talks.

Italian craftsmen have brought out a figurine of Silvio Berlusconi to commemorate his being attacked with a model of a cathedral the other day.  I did enjoy the Bill Bailey joke on Have I Got News For You about Gordon Brown hand writing a note  to express sympathy ….. Dear Slivio Broluscino….

Readers will, I hope,  be pleased that I am not doing a review of 2009. This is largely because I may have spent a fair part of 2009 either working or over refreshed and cannot be bothered to trawl through my blog which now serves as a diary.

So… in the spirit of Christmas… I am going to spread a bit of good cheer about and look at some of my favourite blogs. Unfortunately, I have a lot of favourite blogs – and I am writing the first Blawg Review for 2010 on 4 January So if I leave you out here (because I only plan to provide 10 or so links out of several hundred blogs I read)  – I won’t in my Blawg Review.

Jimmy Bastard is right up there on my list. His new blog, quite different in style from the one he ‘lost’ when he got ‘pished’, is a very subtle one with some wonderful writing.  Stark and direct, it repays careful reading.  It is a tale of our times (or rather, his) from Glasgow.

Although I am a law blogger and, indeed, I do try to shoehorn some serious law in from time to time – a fellow law blogger, the White Rabbit, who is a serious lawyer,  manages to produce a blog with absolutely no evidence of law content in it whatsoever…  The White Rabbit comes up with some very eclectic stuff – always worth a look, particularly with a glass of wine to hand (and a ciggie, if one is so inclined).

Guido Fawkes, right wing…. but always of interest is regular reading for me. If you haven’t tried this blog – have a look.   On the political side, given my left leaning politics (although still none too happy with Labour’s record on civil liberties) is Tom Harris MP’s blog And Another Thing…. whether you like Labour or not – always something of interest there.

There are some truly wonderful US blogs. Many US blogs are serious – some are both serious and biting… You may like to try this small selection:  Scott Greenfield’s Simple Justice always has something even for lawyers who aren’t interested in Criminal Law.  He is argumentative, direct and I always enjoy clicking away on his more general posts. (I am not a criminal lawyer)  Dan Hull – what can I say?  Hull’s  WhatAboutClients? blog (WhatAboutParis? at weekends) is written by Dan and close colleagues.  This is a serious blog.  Dan takes no prisoner’s when it comes to client service and there is much of value there for all lawyers – but he also is a Europhile and erudite. There is much to be enjoyed on this blog.  It can be eccentric… this is why I like it.

Colin Samuels of Infamy or Praise is a good friend of mine. We do the occasional spot of writing together (West London Man and Unsilent Partners)  Colin has won the only four annual Blawg Review of The Year Awards and may win again. He has taken to doing a good round up of law blogs each week – Round TuitDip in… take a look?

Although Geeklawyer appears to have given up blogging regularly in favour of his relentless quest for fame and totty on Twitter – his blog is always worth reading when he takes ‘twime’  away from Twitter and knitting (Yes – Geeklawyer has taken up knitting!) – so do go and look.  Not always office safe, so if you are of a conservative and gentle disposition – don’t go.  I understand that Geeklawyer is knitting himself a summer house.  or a very very big scarf.

And finally… in this quick review.. not a law blogger… just a very good blogger and writer. Ms Robinson – A woman of Experience.  It really is a very good read.. do have a good look around.  Ms R suggests some posts for you to start on, if you are a new reader!

OK – the blogs above have serious content – but are also excellent reads for the Christmas period when the posts address lighter issues.  The really serious law blogs I shall, of course, mention in my January 4th edition of Blawg Review, and repeat the law blogs above which also have serious content.  I have started planning Blawg Review for 4 January 2010.

Well that is it for this week.  I wish you a Happy Christmas and a remarkable New Year… I shall, of course, be at my post…. blogging, painting, drinking… and eating a Christmas cake for one on Christmas Day… (I have replaced the three which have already been eaten) and there will be a Postcard next Sunday as usual

I just could not resist this wonderful tweet.  I am doing a podcast with @lawyer_coach in early January – this tweet is pure class!

Best, as always




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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into an art gallery (2009)
Oil, Diamonds and Sapphires on Canvas

The original may be viewed here

“When Damien Hurst produced his diamond encrusted skull some time back, I remember getting a call from Charon.  It is fair to say that he was over refreshed at the time.  He asked if I had seen the seminal work by Hurst.  I told him that I had.  Charon said, enthusiasm clear in his voice:  “Fantastic nonsense.  I’m going to do a tribute.  I mean…how difficult can it be to stick a few diamonds onto a canvas and flog it? …..to some corporate and even add a bit of VAT to help the government?”

I heard no more of this ‘project’ until a few weeks ago when Charon appeared on the BBC Antiques Roadshow programme trying to get his ‘work’ valued for ‘insurance purposes’. Apparently this latest work’ is going to feature on one  or other, or possibly both of the daytime TV shows  Flog It and  Trash in the Attic fairly soon.  I am pleased to say, having spoken to Charon at a bar in Chelsea recently, that he has tired of sticking diamonds onto paintings which otherwise take him about ten minutes to do (excluding drying time, which he charges for by the hour), that he has moved on.”

James Scraatchi, Royalty & Hounds Review

Other ‘works’ in the F**kart series may be viewed here.

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Charon Cubist Sunday

Charon Cubist Sunday (2009)
Oil and bits on canvas

“Charon lives on the Medway.  From his balcony he can see yachts sailing by –  some with coloured sails.  Sundays are fairly lazy days for Charon – he eats a roast chicken every Sunday, cooked for him by a good chef at the local pub,  even when chicken is not on the menu.  When Charon is having a cubist Sunday it amuses him to be the only person in the pub restaurant eating roast chicken. He likes it when people at other tables say “That man over there is eating roast chicken.  It’s not even on the menu’. The Observer and Rioja feature every Sunday, ineluctably. The green post-it card is used by Charon to remind him to pick up ‘supplies’ – cigarettes, Rioja, milk, general shopping and prawns. I asked Charon why there were fleur-de-lis on the blue panel top left.  He told me that he had a small  fleur-de-lis tattoo on his arse.  I made my excuses and left. I felt that I couldn’t intrude and ask him about the fish and the red and white tennis rackets.”

Chatham & Rochester ArtReview.

A larger version of the original painting may be viewed here.

Other nonsense ‘artworks’  may be viewed below and here

[If you happen to have stumbled onto this blog in the belief that it is a law blog – it is.  Not much law on it at present because I am taking a short break over Xmas – but, rest assured, I shall shoehorn a bit of law in soon.]

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