Posted Sep 18, 2019
When I was sitting in the sun yesterday afternoon I found a way back here. When I tried to post this fact yesterday evening there was a very widespread power cut that lasted at least six hours.
How are you all doing? (especially TC)
Posted Jun 12, 2019
When I was 60 my "children" took me on a trip round all the places I had ever lived in England. One of the people we called on was the legend who taught me in a class of almost 50 in 1951-2.(I can still recite the register)
Other things I van still recite include several long poems. I won a poetry-speaking competition in 1960 with The Walrus and the Carpenter and my sons and I netted 50 quid from a pub quiz in Mansfield on the tie-breaker because I knew that Flores was in the Azores.
I also remember laughter and energy, and a lot of learning - Brian Wiggins and I were given extra playtime because he had successfully explained long division to me.
We also ran into Mr Wakefield some years later when I visited Westleigh Primary School for its 100th birthday celebrations. This is the only condolence card I have sent where the words "In Loving Memory" are truly meant with nothing to shade them.
20th anniversary meet
Posted May 6, 2019
I had great trouble explaining this to my fellow bingo players on Friday. 'You went to London for the weekend and drank a lot of gin, much of which was paid for by a man you had never met before, in the company of other people whose real names you did not know and others you had met only in Germany or France?" Yes, thank heavens for Gnomon!
I didn't tell them that, although I have been on the site since 1999, I only managed one right answer in the quiz.
I had a wonderful time (many thanks to Sho)and finally unpacked my suitcase yesterday - a week later.
Posted Feb 13, 2019
I have just read an interesting article on how manioc has been genetically improved to carry iron and zinc carrying genes to help with chronic malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.
It would be good if some flavour could be added to it as well: I have only ever eaten it once and it looked and smelt like wallpaper paste. I have no idea what that tastes like but it couldn't be any worse than manioc.
What books are you throwing out?
Posted Jan 13, 2019
A decluttering guru has sparked column miles by suggesting getting rid of books that do not bring you joy. The world seems to be divided between those who believe that books furnish a room and the heathens.
This division caused the only real row between me and my mother when she got rid of the books from my bedroom shelf while I was teaching in Africa. The bookshelf and the desk it surrounded were passed on to my niece."But you'd read them all" Fortunately I'd taken most of my university books with me.
When I retired, I donated over 2,000 books connected with linguistics and language teaching to others I thought could use them and a couple of years later nearly all my dictionaries (more than 30) went to the local grammar school library. I kept the pocket Oxford I got as a school prize 65 years ago.
Fairly ruthless weeding to go to charity shops over the years has left me with about a thousand for my heirs to dispose of, mostly much reread, though I suppose I could get rid of the craft books to good homes as the right hand isn't likely to make a spectacular return to form.