The high winds on Monday blew down the electricity lines to our daughters’ school so they spent the day in the dark and cold.  The school was closed on Tuesday and we all enjoyed an unexpected day at home.  Lola B and I went shopping.  She had a particular purchase in mind.  She bought a long red tee shirt, and we took it to the joke shop.  There she chose the following words to emblazon her shirt: I’M FRECKLIER THAN YOU.  She intends to wear it to sleep-overs with friends, but has hardly taken it off since she got it. 

Lola B is aware that her hair makes her different.  One very mean girl in her class used to make quite horrible comments to her about what she had discovered on the internet about redheads (and vegetarians).  She has, thankfully, left the school.  That is, I think, the only instance of negative attention that Lola B has received.  She is more likely to find people coming up to her in supermarkets and pawing her curls.

The following quotation is one of the most famous judicial statements in English law.  Lord Greene in Associated Provincial Pictures Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223 laid down the test which would be used ever after to determine whether the government or any of its branches had gone beyond its powers and acted unlawfully.  The case concerned conditions imposed by the local council on a cinema opening on Sundays and this passage relates to the limits on the exercise of discretion by an administrative body:

“It is true the discretion must be exercised reasonably.  Now what does that mean?  Lawyers familiar with the phraseology commonly used in relation to the exercise of statutory discretions often use the word “unreasonable” in a rather comprehensive sense.  It has frequently been used and is entrusted frequently used as a description of things that must not be done.  For instance, a person entrusted witha discretion must, so to speak, direct himself properly in law.  He must call his own attention to the matters which he is bound to consider.  He must exclude from his consideration matters which are irrelevant to what he has to consider.  If he does not obey those rules, he may truly be said, and often is said, to be acting “unreasonably”.  Similarly there may be something so absurd that no sensible person could ever dream that it lay within the powers of the authority.  Warrington L J in Short v Poole Corporation [[1926] Ch 66 at 90-1] gave the example of the red-haired teacher, dismissed because she had red hair.  That is unreasonable in one sense.  In another sense it is taking into consideration extraneous matters.  It is so unreasonable that it might almost be described as being done in bad faith; and, in fact, all those things run into one another.”

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My wee flame-haired lassie, as her godmother calls her.

Watching the first clip (from Catherine Tate) to the end, I was reminded of the very first pop concert I attended, and this song, which I loved.  I wanted to be the dark haired woman.

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