Showing posts from December, 2014

January poetry day 1

To kick off our writing this first month of the new year, Maria ( and I are once again giving each other random words to spark a poem into life.  I'm going to try and explore my mother's dementia through these poems.  I may find that tricky though, having looked through some of the words we have plucked from the air but it seems a good place to begin.  This one is for you, Mum.

For the kicks Do not misjudge her or assume you know Something still, which she chooses not to share With you, the unknown once known mystery Creeping soft in those new shoes on the tiles, You knock and enter before the response Which waits forgotten in the tepid air And throw cheerful loudness into the hush Of a morning spent asleep and dreaming Of time passed but still remembered with joy Causing that rare understood smile to bloom Which whispers I am alive and live still. But this door is locked tight to you and I Have lost the key, misplaced it somewhere dark And new brightn…

How much is enough and when do you know if it is too much?

A couple of friends of mine were interested in ways to support their children with their learning at home.  It's a really tricky and very personal decision as to how much you support (as opposed to interfere) with what your child is doing in school.  I think that ultimately, you need to know your child and understand what the school is doing for them in terms of providing learning opportunities that are stimulating, challenging and fun.  Doing too much at home can turn a child off learning completely but equally, missing opportunities to reinforce and extend learning if the child is keen (see also happy to be manipulated with rewards - it's all for their own good after all) is a shame if you have the time for it - I'm not suggesting parents wear sackcloth and ashes because they have busy lives and don't have the time, by the way.  I probably make my seven year old do quite a lot at home compared to many within a similar education setting but this is grounded in what I …

'I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.' Mary Shelley.

Girl power, female emancipation - hurrah we cry.  Of course women having choices is not a luxury but a given.  Or at least it should be and hopefully will be for all women across the globe in the future.  However, recently there have been a couple of things in the media which have offered an opportunity to refocus ideas on female agency and what it means or could mean or is interpreted to mean in the twenty first century.  I have also just been to see a recording of The Old Vic's The Crucible this week, in itself a magnificent thing for many reasons but it did make me think about women, their roles and representations in a way that  I haven't before.  Of course, this isn't to say that what I was awoken to isn't something that many scholars haven't considered in the past.  I am only me though and as this blog is written by me, I am giving my small brained opinion.  To paraphrase Mark Kermode; other opinions are undoubtedly more erudite and freely available (just goo…

'Advent: the time to listen for footsteps - you can't hear footsteps when you are running yourself.'

I must admit that I do find waiting and generally being patient pretty tricky.  However, I do love Advent, that time before Christmas which is filled with anticipation and hope.  This year I am going to think more carefully about what I am thinking about and why.  I have a tendency to rush through life.  It is because I recognise that this time on Earth is so very fleeting and precious and I don't want to waste any of it.  I may never get to travel the world or write a book which is deemed good enough to  be published but I am going to have a jolly good time while I am trying to do these things along with everything else.  Having children makes life whirl past at ever increasing speeds - some things are unbelievably quick; how did they get to be so old so quickly?  I want to be in this moment, I want to see it all and feel it all and most of all, live it all.  With them.  This is it.