Monday, 29 September 2008

Are we nearly there yet?

Just as I thought I'd well and truly gotten top side(ish) of the BVC homework, I took a little glance at the Opinions paper and realised (with dismay I might add), that there wasn't one opinion to do, but two! So today I now have to write a short opinion on the merits of a consumer, contractual dispute. Could life get any better bloggers?

I am lucky, in that being self employed, I can juggle the work load a bit and it was my intention to cut down my hours for the duration of BVC anyway, but I can only assume that if I am struggling with the sheer quantity of homework dished out, others who have less flexibility in their working lives, must be really pushed to the limit. I'm not particularly happy with my standard of work either, it's just a matter of chucking something down on paper and moving swiftly onto the next module, without a chance to go back over the work. And as for money, well I'm well and truly broke, perhaps I'll change my name to Mrs Bingley Brassic Bank and write to the government, they may nationalise me and bail me out of my impecuniosity.

Comparing notes, it appears that students at other providers are having a lighter time of things and only time will tell whether this is a good or a bad thing?

On a more positive note, I am finding the course much more interesting than LLB, the work we have to do has more realism to it, but I am rather ashamed of my homework and feel very relieved that it won't form part of my assessments.

Barman dutifully fulfilled the role of a lady (or rather laydeee) Magistrate at the weekend and patiently listened to my plea in mitigation. He only looked at his watch twice during the 8 minute oration and gave a sympathetic smile at the end. "So" I said, "would you send her down?". Barman looked quite surprised at this question and said "For that?, no, it wasn't really her fault was it?"

There's hope for me yet bloggers.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


Advocacy, that's what it's all about. The ability to persuade others that your argument is better than the other side's. No problem, it'll be a breeze, I'm a woman for God's sake, it's what we were born to do, get our own way, by any which way, whilst the other side are somewhat belatedly uttering "what the f..."

So, why the problem? It's just a straight forward, common all garden, plea in mitigation. I just need to wax lyrical for a few minutes about what a little gem my pretend client is. I intended to spend a couple of hours, well ok, a morning preparing the crib notes and then run through it just the once, but things haven't quite gone according to plan. The bullet points with just a few words to prompt me are ok, but the plea has no flow, it's all over the place and as soon as I try to stop continually looking at the notes, I forget key points, such as the defendants name!

There's just so much to think about, what to do with my feet, hands, eyes, shoulders, voice, notes? Barman has been warned that this weekend he is going to be a judge and he will sit and listen to my plea in mitigation and will then offer constructive criticism. Barman has gone all quiet on me, he knows that this latest exercise could well turn into a very hot, political potato, resulting in childish sulks and absence of a lovingly cooked dinner.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The letter 'G'

Gourmand - n - a person devoted to eating and drinking.

Barmaid met quite a few gourmands last night, it was her Inn introductory do and the wine flowed and flowed and flowed...

Sometime later Barmaid can remember thinking that perhaps her Inn wasn't such an archaic, stuffy, fuddy duddy institution after all and that given time, she may indeed become quite fond of it.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

The F word

Flapdoodle - n - foolish talk, nonsense

I like that word. I've got an Advocacy speech to prepare for BVC and just hope that I don't flapdoodle too much.

Speaking of 'f' words, my provider is definately trying to effing well finish me off. A quick count up of this months reading equates to circa 1000 pages and that's for a humble part-timer, who's also got to work for a living.

At the moment I'm working through the homework for Criminal Litigation and although it's not especially difficult (at this early stage), there is just so much of it to wade through. I've read through a good proportion of PACE 1984 and most of the Bail Act 1976. Tomorrow I will make a start on Evidence and imagine that things will start to get a little more difficult. In all, there are 37 questions to tackle in the Criminal Litigation homework, I'm about half way through them, but have had to leave off because my brain was full up.

Unlike LLB, which could be unbelievably boring at times, much of what I've studied so far is really quite interesting, if only there wasn't quite so much of it. I've already completed the Civil Litigation homework and part of the Legal Research (which needs much more attention), but I've got to finish off Criminal Litigation and then move onto Writing Skills sometime next week, but before I do, a day or two studying remedies is required. There is a short Opinion to prepare, which I haven't a clue about at the moment, but nevertheless, it looks to be quite interesting, but will be a bit of a challenge, not least because my legal research skills will be called upon. Last but not least, I also need to prepare for the Advocacy, plea in mitigation and I haven't even looked at the SGS notes for it yet! I have left the pim until last because it looks quite straight forward and will be a bit of a 'treat' compared to some of the heavier modules mentioned above.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


I am drowning in a sea of study materials, the house is a tip, I had pizza for dinner yesterday and the remainder of it warmed up for lunch today, my hair needs washing, I've got a spot on my chin and I'm sullen and rude to all who know me. Bloggers, I'm nothing short of a born again student.

Today I did a short legal research study exercise, which took all morning and made me grumpy. This afternoon I decided to make a start on opinion writing, but soon gave that one up when it transpired that my knowledge of remedies is inadequate to say the least. I'm awaiting advocacy materials, so can't start on that little beauty just yet, so I've decided to make a start on civil litigation and have spent several hours reading The White Book, but could write what I've comprehended on the back of a fag packet. So now I'm even more grumpy and for some reason I've been told to read 3 chapters of a book that is banging on about what solicitors do and appears to have no relevance at all to the subject in hand. It also transpires that I'm a book short, probably some poor homeless chap got rendered unconcious by it flying out of my bag as I sped past him to catch my train home from boot camp (BVC induction).

To say that BVC is front loaded is a bit of an understatement, BVC is front loaded to Dolly Parton proportions.

p.s. Did I mention that I'm grumpy?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

BVC is a four letter word

Wow, what a shock to the system my return to studying was. Having done very little serious reading for nigh on a year, BVC induction was a very rude awakening to what is forthcoming over the next 2 years of vocational training. A significant portion of the Rain Forest has been ruthlessly slayed in order to provide the mountain of study materials needed for the course. These materials are neatly stacked in the corner of my room, gathering dust, patiently awaiting my attention, which at the moment is on other matters to do with working for a living.

I've no idea what is required for the next session and probably like many other BVC students, feel a little bogged down with too much information, but the crucial element of what I actually need to study before my next session is somehow missing. I'm Professional Ethicsed up to the ears and hard copy Legal Research is a complete mystery to me (and judging by the looks on the other students faces, a complete mystery to them too). I mean, it is so much more civilised to peruse Lexis Nexis, rather than actually having to walk around a library and look at books.

On the third day, Barman asked me what I'd been studying at 'school' that day and he took it the wrong way (thinking I was being evasive) when I said "I don't know, I can't remember". Sometime later that evening, a few vague memories about the afternoon session returned, but I still couldn't recall what I'd done in the morning. And, having sat in lectures and small group sessions all day, we also had to do homework in the evening, a very draconian measure on the providers part I thought, too big a chunk taken out of my valuable local hostelry research, which, by the way, I'm confident in attaining an Outstanding classification.

I guess next week will be a little more enlightening when I have a chance to look through the study manuals and see what is needed before next attendance. Unable to work out who the class thicko is, apparently it must be me, but I'm not the class whinger, that esteemed prize has been appointed to another student, who I shall write about later. Talking of other students, on the whole they are very nice and come from a variety of backgrounds and professions. The age range is vast, from 21 - to late 50's I'd say, with the majority falling somewhere between the two figures.

Word of the day has got to be dipsomania - n - a compulsive desire to drink alcoholic beverages.