Wednesday, 30 November 2005

It's about time!

Another something worth a mention…on December 5th, the Civil Partnership Bill will become law in the UK, which means gay and lesbian couples will be “entitled to a range of property rights, the same exemption as married couples on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children.", according to a BBC article.

“At-a-glance: Gay partnerships

Here are the key points of the Civil Partnerships Bill, which allows same-sex couples to get legal recognition for their relationships.

Tying the knot
  • Couples would enter civil partnerships in local registration services
  • Each partner would have to sign the register in the presence of the registration officer and two witnesses
  • There would also be a formal, court-based process for dissolving the partnership

Main partnership rights

  • Social security and pension benefits, including right to benefit from a dead partner’s pension
  • Full recognition for life assurance schemes
  • Ability to succeed to tenancy rights
  • Next-of-kin visiting rights in hospitals


  • Providing reasonable maintenance for civil partners and children of the family
  • Ability to gain parental responsibility for a partner’s children”

Friday, 25 November 2005

Bits and bobs

A Happy Thanksgiving to all, firstly. Trying to think of what I am thankful for this year…perhaps the fact that I’m living overseas and meeting all kinds of new, wonderful and interesting people from so many different places with various perspectives on life. I could say I’m thankful for being at university, but after spending about 10 hours, on and off, sitting at the computer yesterday working on my sustainable tourism essay, I’ll hold off on that. Maybe I’ll be able to say I’m thankful when the degree is complete and I can just kick back for a while.

My Thanksgiving meal consisted of McDonald’s for lunch and Subway for dinner. I’m always amazed when I go into fast food restaurants here, McDonald’s in particular, that people do not clean up after themselves. Trays, wrappers, and coffee cups are littered all over the tables, and the staff have to go around and clean up, despite the fact that they have the same rubbish bins around that we do in the States. I would never think to leave my garbage around for someone else to pick up after there, but it seems commonplace. Ate my Subway in the kitchen here at the residence hall. Joy, one of my fellow ‘housemates’, was cooking dinner, so we had a conversation about Nigeria, where she is from—the people being disadvantaged due to the corruption of the country’s leadership, running water and electricity not being taken for granted as it is not always available, and the difference between how both white and black people are treated in Africa vs. the USA. Another housemate, Hati, who is from Turkey, came in to have me spell/grammar check her assignment for tomorrow which is a paragraph on a past leader in Turkey, named Ataturk (never heard of him). She is a language student and is slowly learning better English. Was hoping to get someone to go over to the bar at the residence hall with me for a pint tonight, as I haven’t checked it out yet, but no takers as of yet.

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Can the Brits handle a real winter?

So, the one winter I think I’m going to get away from the Chicago weather…

I can’t picture 20 cm of snow…how many feet is that anyway? All I know is (English friends will have to excuse my comments), these people can’t handle it, mwah-hah-hah…

Sunday, 20 November 2005

Sustainable tourism on the Causeway Coast

Ok, in an effort to kick start my work on this paper I’m doing, going to ramble on here a bit. (Have I mentioned I seem to have writer’s block…grrrrr.) Using a case study, I have to write a paper exploring sustainable tourism in a particular destination. I’ve chosen the Causeway coast in Northern Ireland. Pretty much all of my research to date has been on destinations/tourism in Northern Ireland, mainly because of a) my interest and b) the fact that the destination is growing in popularity, therefore there is so much opportunity for development. So, sustainable tourism can be related to many things—preserving landscape and culture, maintaining and/or creating more efficient ways of operating in regards to money saving measures, as well as environmentally friendly practices. My main interest is the first bit. While in Portrush last year and traveling around to different places in Northern Ireland during the height of the tourist season, I noticed a huge difference in number of tourists and hectic nature of tourist attractions down South vs. up North. The craziness of the South has not yet reached the North, but it will soon enough. The issue then is how will the North maintain it’s landscape and heritage/culture when this does happen. What measures can be taken in preparation? This is part of what I’ll be exploring.

Friday, 18 November 2005

Slight vent

Ok, so it’s almost 2am and as usual, I can’t get to bed, because one of the wankers (well, really he’s the only wanker) i share this section of housing with is in the kitchen with one of the many friends he has over laughing it up. My room is right next to the kitchen, if you didn’t figure that out. I have lightly, jokingly made comments about being woken up at 3 or 4am by this, but it is quite obvious my opinion doesn’t matter because I’m female! Um, I hate to sound racist, but I’m finding out that men from certain countries have absolutely no regard for women, and unfortunately I live with one of them. I’ve tried earplugs and think I may have to resort to sleeping pills so that I can get a decent night’s sleep once in a while…grrrrrrr

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Proper vented tumble dryers at last!

well, i washed two loads of clothes today, then put them in the dryer together for 60 mins on perm press and when i took them out, they were bone dry;) what a time saver! it cost 1.60 (pounds) to wash per load and 1 pound for 60 mins on the dryer (20p per 12 min cycle and you can do as short or long as you like), so it’s pricey, but well worth not having to wait 2-3 days for things to dry while breathing in the dampness…and this means i can wear my nicest jeans out tonight, then wash and dry them tomorrow and wear them again on my date tomorrow night;)

Thursday, 3 November 2005

Yippee...moved and on-line

Happy dance three times over! I’m all moved in, I’m online (so anyone with yahoo messenger…you know the drill), and I’ve got a date on Sunday night. Now, just have to work on all those papers;)

Wednesday, 2 November 2005


So, I’ve finally been able to tie my first degree to my second;) Not that I was ever hugely interested in Wordsworth, but it seems he had quite a huge impact on tourism. With his writings on the English Lake District, he created an interest in tourism. His writings could be considered as the first tourist brochures for the area. As a result, the Lake District became a very popular tourist destination for the English, with people going for long holidays of up to a fortnight stay. When this occurred, he took a bit of a double take, and became part of the first conservation movement, writing to newspapers as well as Parliament, appealing for sustainability in the region by requesting that the railways be kept from entering the Lake District. It worked:) Seems I’ll have to visit this area at some point in order to get a proper reference;)


Happy belated Halloween/Samhain/Day of the Dead. Halloween is seen as an American holiday here that is slowly creaping in, despite the fact that it was originally a pagan holiday which began in the UK. The landlady doesn’t do halloween—one of the people here who has a dislike for it, so I was home alone last night with no candy. The doorbell only rang twice and the first time, I had forgotten the holiday and went to the door not sure who it would be. As I only have keys for the back door, I had to quickly run and get them, along with my last packet of oreo cookies, which I handed to the father of three little ones, saying “how about some american cookies to share between you”, letting them know the lady of the house wasn’t in, hence the delay. The response from the dad when he saw what they were was a big “Brilliant!!! Tell the nice lady thank you.” Good stuff.