A rant about reading

My attention was drawn a few weeks ago by an article along the lines of “children should read the classics to improve literacy”, reporting on yet another education minister standing on their hind legs and declaring that children are both a) stupid and b) becoming stupid adults, because they aren’t reading enough Hardy. Continue reading


I don’t think I’m doing this properly…


I just found a button I hadn’t found before. There are 5 colours available to chart one’s productivity and general blogging output. A veritable rainbow, to help you track the nuances of your output – do you only blog four times a day at weekends? Are Mondays always a day where you only manage one? Did you produce fewer posts mid month?

Or do you produce none, daily; and one, occasionally?

If I’m going to keep dragging out this ‘exercising my writing muscles, a bit like going the gym’ analogy I am probably due the writing equivalent of a massive heart attack slumped over an exercise bike on my first attempt at a work out in 6 weeks. I feel sure WordPress will have a handy stats graphic for recording my death however, so that’s alright.

Hypocrisy? Oh I’m good at that!

Having been generally against the banning of something, I now find myself broadly in favour of keeping the ban in place.

(I’ll leave that there all on it’s own as I think that’s a good moment for anybody who can’t handle people changing their mind on simple issues to quietly leave and go off to read something that will annoy them less. If you all leave now, we won’t hear the door banging at the end of every paragraph…)

Continue reading

An interesting video to share, with a short ‘pre-Ramble’

The difficult thing about writing about something you merely care about, rather than really being an expert on, is that you can look like a complete idiot. Aside from this, if it is something that other people have way more direct experience of you can really cause offence. So writing about equality seems like a brilliant idea.

For fear of losing my few followers, I’ll keep it short! Continue reading

Terrible neglect…

There’s a special kind of sadness about a neglected thing on the internet. The hours and enthusiasm that have obviously gone into crafting the lovely website, which you then realise was last updated in 2011; the beauty of a ‘latest news’ page when the latest news is eight years old (there’s a very famous Tony Hancock piece called the Blood Donor with many often quoted lines – ‘a pint, that’s very nearly an armful’ – but the best, and seldom quoted, is when he flicks through the available magazines in the doctor’s waiting room in 1961 and says “I see Lloyd George is dead then” (to save you Googling, that happened in 1945)).

And then there are awfully, terribly, inexcusably neglected blogs. That haven’t been neglected because the writer has been on long life affirming travels, or got a different job, or been laid low after a serious pancake tossing accident; but just because the writer decided to watch a couple of box sets, and then read a book, and then it was a bit lighter in the evenings, and then there were some extra ponies to ride and well…the whole point of this blog was to stretch my writing muscles and it lasted about as long as the average New Year gym membership. Continue reading

Mediocre Failures

This deserves to be read, because it matters. When I was in school, SATS were largely meaningless except for maybe helping with ‘sets’ – i.e. the year 9 SATS helpd put you in maths sets with similar ability kids for the start of year 10, and some people did then get juggled around. Meaningless is what they should be; an exercise to practice the discipline of an ‘exam’, and maybe to help with some arbitrary groupings. Nobody succeeds or fails at anything at 11.

Disappointed Idealist

My children are adopted. They were adopted at the ages of three, four and six. As with nearly all children adopted in this country over the last couple of decades, this means that their early life experiences were pretty terrible. As each was born, their collective experience of life became more damaging, as their circumstances worsened. So the eldest is least affected as her first years were perhaps less difficult experiences, while the youngest is most affected, as her entire first two years of life were appalling. I’m not going to go into detail here about their specific early life experiences, but if you want to read up on the sort of effects which can result from serious neglect or abuse, then you could read this .

Why am I writing this ? Especially now after midnight in the middle of the Easter holidays ? It’s because I’m so angry I…

View original post 2,728 more words