You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Local’ category.
Well it is finally over and everyone has returned to their normal life. We had a great and very busy family Christmas with my little sitting room bulging with nine people on Boxing Day. My secret Santa present from work was a box of trivia questions and some charades cards, timer and score cards. These were put to good use. Fastest charade of the season goes to my nephew who when miming – film, one word, was raising his hand to his face as someone shouted Jaws. Most bizarre mime must go to daughter number one, who throttled herself, then lay on the floor dead, and waved her arm about – obviously the phrase, ‘over my dead body’
Kate in action
We had also been loaned youngest daughter’s Wii console. Oh what fun it is to wave remote controls around. I scored a hole in one at golf and the shrieks of delight could probably be heard across the Pennines. One day, the girls went off riding and so one of the boyfriends and I were pottering about the house. After lunch, I suggested a game of ten pin bowling – oh dear. By the time the girls were back we were on to game number 15 and I couldn’t move the following day.
Quotations of the season have to include my answer to the trivia question – ‘Who are the four evangelists’ and I just automatically started – ‘John, Paul, George – err?’ and finally, ‘Which Hebrew prophet went to heaven in a chariot of fire?’ – stunned quizzical faces.
Give us a clue’
‘He has the first name of the hobbit’
‘What Bilbo – the prophet Bilbo?’
‘No Elijah’ (Elijah Wood played Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy)
Thanks guys it was a blast.
I mentioned last week that I was lucky enough to attend a meeting at the University of Cumbria, Ambleside Campus and that the trees were quite magnificent. On checking my phone, I have only a couple of photos but thought I would post them anyway. They are of a spectacular maple/oak tree on the way into the main building.
This was the view from underneath its canopy.
Fantastic colour and quite stunning.
Last night I went to a meeting of our village book group. In fact I don’t think it is the only reading group in the village, but it is very much ours. Started in December 2003 we are nearly 4 years old and still going strong. Although when we started we would sit around and discuss various books and have the odd glass of wine, we have over the years become much more sociable. The host provides the wine and a few nibbles, but we all contribute about £2 towards the drinks and take our turn to be invaded. We tend to vary the themes quite a bit and not simply read one book, we have had themes of, comedy, travel ( spiritual or actual), poetry or even an author’s work or a single book. Last night was Doris Lessing in tribute to her winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in October this year. We had a selection of readings and a lively discussion, which wandered about to include Alfred Nobel himself, how sad people who blog are ( ahem!) and how her work seemed to have a constant theme of disenfranchisement and her early card carrying communist years. Books which were discussed included, The Grass is Singing, her first novel published when she first came to England in 1949, Walking in the Shade, part 2 of her autobiography, The story of a Non-Marrying Man and Martha Quest.
So in tribute to a great bunch of friends and to another productive and entertaining four years, hello to Ruth, Catherine, Gill, Irene (our leader), Michelle (welcome back), Joyce, Shelagh and Christopher, and to those who couldn’t make it last night, Karen, Robin, Jackie, Hilary and Steve. I had a ball.
I was at a meeting yesterday at Britain’s newest university, the University of Cumbria. This is what was, St Martins College, The Cumbria Institute of the Arts in Carlisle, and Newton Rigg in Penrith. I was at the campus in Ambleside which was once the Charlotte Mason teacher training college. What a beautiful campus, I could work there! The trees turning bronze, golden and amber were spectacular and it was sad that I didn’t have the time to stop and take more photos. The meeting was also interesting with a presentation from the Cumbria 14-19 partnership about the implementation of the diplomas for this age group and a final talk about the Learning Gateway an innovative new build learning space on the Fusehill Campus in Carlisle.
I’m off to Accrington and Rossendale College today to contribute to their staff development day. The title is e-methods and personalisation. I’m not sure what they’re getting is what they are expecting but I’m doing it 4 times so should have it right by the end! We’re just going to have a play with Microsoft Photostory (don’t send me links of loads of other much better open source stuff – they won’t let it on the network) and for a demonstration I’m teaching them to count in japanese. We should hopefully tick the boxes for all learners – audio, visual, literate, numerate and kynesthetic. I’ll by like a limp dish rag by this evening but hopefully will have some fun.
I was on a training course in York yesterday and it was a nice treat to be able to walk down to my local station and catch the train.
It was a lovely misty morning so thought I’d take a photo of the sun rising over the Johnson and Johnson (Wound Management) Factory.
Once in York I was a bit early for the start so took the time to walk around the Minster. What a spectacular building and it was nice to see the whole frontage – the last time I was there it was covered in scaffolding.
In fact the last time I was there a student in our party who when upset, had a tendancy to take off his shoes and hurl them as far as he could – did just that and a clergyman in full regalia (not sure if that is the right term) did a flying leap worthy of David Seaman and caught it mid air. It is one of those postcard moments that will stay with you forever.
It seems it is Buy a Friend a Book week. Buyafriendabook.com encourages viewers to do just that in the first weeks of January, April, July and October, so I’m going to do just that. I’m not sure who or what but it’s not a bad sentiment. We are lucky enough to have a book shop close to where I work so I’ll pop down there at lunchtime and get something appropriate.
I promise this is the last time I’m going to post about this man. I went to the opening night of the Ilkley Literature Festival which started with a drinks and canapes reception for those who were friends of the festival. The evening took the form of a question and answer session with Baroness Lockwood a Yorkshire labour party activist asking the questions. It didn’t start too well as she asked why he hadn’t mentioned that he had spent a year at Bradford Grammar School. He kindly explained that the book started in 1994 when he became Tony Blair’s press secretery. He was funny, insightful and charming. In whatever way he is portrayed in the media, he was nothing of that. There was no sign of the anger which is an obvious presence in a lot of the book. At the end he took questions from the audience which varied from ‘what next’ to ‘ what job would you have given Claire Short’. He said he would be on the side of caution if he were advising Brown in the question of whether to call a snap election and was fiercely loyal to Tony Blair.
He finished with a lovely statement which I thought my pal Kev would like – ‘If you read the Daily Mail, then don’t’ It was a great evening, and I’m really glad I went.
Tonight the Ilkely Literature Festival starts and its headline opener is Alistair Campbell. He will be talking about ‘The Blair Years’ diaries and hopefully answering questions from the audience and yes I’m going. I think I’ll re-read the section from the summer of 2003 when Andrew Gilligan triumphantly announced that the Iraq dossier had been ‘sexed up’ on the Today programme which tragically lead to Dr Kelly’s suicide, the Hutton Report and Campbell’s eventual resignation. This is obviously an on-going and bitter row between the two men as Gilligan has a strong attack on Campbell today on Comment is Free, part of the Guardian. I’m sure the audience at Ilkely will have some questions to ask about this. I also wonder if he can be persuaded to talk of stuff that is not in the diaries, the Tony/Gordon relationship.
A final note, I received a request to join a Facebook group supporting the monks of Burma. If you haven’t yet signed up it is here. Over 78,000 members so far and growing fast.
I’m in the wrong job. I’ve just been for a dental check up. My appointment was at 9 o clock and at 3 minutes past nine, I was handing over £15.90. Good grief – that’s £318 an hour for counting backwards!