February 16th, 2004

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ITK

I don't need to know, but I'm interested to know:

What (if anything) do people regard as essential for a successful relationship?

(I'm thinking more in the general sense than the personal -- I'm not really interested to know whether individual people couldn't possibly have a relationship with somebody who worked for Microsoft, or whether they need somebody who will accept and indulge their Swarfega fetish.)

Or do you think relationships are so individual that they're impossible to generalise about?

(20 marks.)

Further questions:

Do you think there's a (moral?) judgement implicit in a suggestion that anything is "essential" for a successful relationship? By stating the question in those terms, are we imposing our own definition of "success" on other people? (I'm assuming a broad context of Western culture; at the moment I'm not really interested in hearing, say, how the Mgosh tribe regard a "successful" relationship as one where the female bears twenty children and then eats her mate.) Or do questions like this merely make us disappear rapidly up our own solipsistic arses?

(40 marks.)

Note: You may define "relationship" as broadly as you wish, but please make your working definition explicit. Do not attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once.
blade

Pancake Day

Not, it's not till next week, but my new car seems to have decided to celebrate it early with a very flat tyre. :-(

So, where in Cambridge would people recommend for a new tyre for a Renault 5? And how much does a new tyre cost?

And do you say "a new tyre" or "a new wheel"? Because people clearly mean the latter but seem to say the former, and you talk about "spare tyre" but "emergency wheel" and they seem to be the same thing, and I know it doesn't really matter but when I go to buy the bloody thing I don't want to do the automobile equivalent of walking into PC world and saying "I'd like to buy an internet please". Not that I'm REALLY NEUROTIC about knowing the script for this sort of interaction, or anything, y'understand.

I don't know how to change a wheel yet, but it looks fairly straightforward in the manual. In fact the most awkward bit looks to be getting the jack out from under the bonnet. Or possibly getting the emergency wheel out from under the car, though I'm not sure I can be arsed to do that, I might as well just buy the new wheel & fit that straight away.

AND, as if the flat wasn't bad enough, I think the speed-camera on Elizabeth Way bridge flashed me as I was doing thirty miles an hour over the bridge. At least, it flashed behind me (I saw the flash in the mirror) -- does that mean it got me or the car behind me? If it got me I'll be gutted. I mean, I'm sure everybody says "But I wasn't speeding", but honestly, my speedo said 30, I check it a lot because I'm still not really used to the acceleration on this car. But because everybody says they're innocent it can't possibly be true, so that'll be points on my licence and a fine I probably can't even afford, for nothing. :-(

The really ironic thing was that on the way back home over the bridge somebody undertook me down the taxi lane doing twice my speed, and did the speed-cam get them? Did it buggery.

Sigh. There goes my Zen-like calm.
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