Thursday, 17 March 2011

DUR, babies, murderers at large

Today was a less busy day at work. The DUR (Daily Universal Register - I still occasionally snigger when I see it on a filename) was pretty much filled in (by me, yesterday), so it was mostly loose ends like getting pictures and trying to find new information about St Patrick. I also ended up doing two New Readers interviews, which basically means I phoned up parents (who happen to read the paper) and asked them about their babies. Like with wedding interviews (same thing but with weddings instead of babies), these can be really enjoyable, it just depends on the person you're talking to. I had one brilliant one (I was laughing a bit too hard when she described her twins 'accidentally sucker-punching each other') and one OK one. I suppose these are the sort of things people love talking about, but I sometimes struggle a bit in the silences when I'm trying desperately to write everything down and I realise I have no next question.

It's doubly difficult with babies, because I don't know much about them or the etiquette for discussing them. How do you react when someone tells you they had an emergency caesarian? Why aren't babies weighed metrically? When are babies expected to start having personalities? The second woman I interviewed told me her son loves putting his hands in his mouth. 'Oh, so are they his favourite food?' I asked, scribbling frantically. 'No, he only eats milk,' she responded, completely deadpan.

I read an article this evening about personal safety. It was, of course, aimed at young women like me (are they ever aimed at men?) who don't have the money to take taxis everywhere and come home after dark. There was a whole paragraph about 'Why don't young women have the common sense to walk in the middle of a poorly-lit road, rather than on a dark pavement?', 'Why do young women insist on using phones and mp3 players in public where anyone could target them?', 'Why are these women out ALONE, after DARK?' I can't help but feel that this is all backwards. Why aren't streets safe and well-lit? Sorry if I'm being unreasonable, but I can't understand it's my fault if I have to walk home after 7pm when there are cannibal muggers roaming the streets.

Rant over (for now...)


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