I like Oxfam.

They sell me books cheaply. I’m veering between reading a book about sex-role stereotyping written in 1979 and Things Can Only Get Better by John O’Farrell. They work well together, mainly because when the arguments* that make me grind my teeth and pull faces from the first book get too much for me (“men have better spacial awareness and worse verbal skills than women because men needed to work out how far away the moose that they were hunting was and women needed to teach babies how to talk”), I can pull out Things Can Only Get Better.

Not only does the title work in much the same way as the front cover of the Hitch-Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy (“don’t panic”), but the book itself is full of classic quotes like

“I was going to commit myself because they needed someone dynamic like me, someone who got things done, who didn’t sit around talking but actually got in there and made a difference. About twelve months later I finally got around to sending the form off.”


“Like bubonic plague and stone cladding, no-one took Margaret Thatcher seriously until it was too late.”

This, and my upcoming tests in three out of my six modules, is why I’m not really around to blog at the moment. And, you know, taking part in student demonstrations, making friends with hippies and giving a plackard about the high price of student housing to a bemused and giggling estate agent. All those things you’re meant to do as a student. I took one of his leaflets about cheap student housing, so I think it was a fair trade.

* The book is actually refuting these arguments. The problem is that in order to say why they think the arguments are bollocks, they have to repeat the arguments. Hence the teeth-grinding and face-pulling.

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