Correcting perspective

In a collective experience, inescapable by almost every youth on the planet; in the past 6 months I have grown 6 years… maybe 10. Status didn’t matter, for when the world stops turning, it does tend to interrupt your schedule or lack thereof. As James Lane Allen apparently liked to say, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it”. Well, revealed I was. And there was much I saw which was not to like. Realising you have been asleep takes […]

Mirror Images?

My father died 24 years ago in November. People still say I’m like him. I cringe. So, I examine my reflection in the mirror every morning. Up close. I suppose, if I wipe the shaving gel away, imagine myself bald, not a ‘number 4 bald’, real bald, and of course, smile more, there is a likeness. Looking more closely, mmm, yes, I need to straighten my nose. Dad never played rugby at school. He was out to work at fifteen, […]

Liberty

Tara Westover in her award winning memoir Educated outlines her journey out of a harrowing childhood in the mountains of Idaho. Now 35, she first set foot in a classroom at age 17 and had her Cambridge University PhD 10 years later! A formidable intellect. The overweening power of a bipolar deeply religious father distorted her understanding of most things and most people – including herself. His concepts of truth were used to dehumanize her and others outside his self-selected […]

Has the lockdown changed your priorities?

I had big plans for 2020! I love going on holiday and my priority for 2020 was to do as much travelling as possible before my 30th Birthday. I was completely unaware that come March, my perspectives would change. As an NHS employee, I faced possible re-deployment and I felt anxious about passing Covid-19 onto my vulnerable parents. I knew I had to be sensible and live apart from my parents during the peak of the virus but the thought […]

Wonder Woman

Well folks, here I am again, the lady who can do all things! Now, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I must say that I am more accomplished, with a lot more things, than I was at the start of the Pandemic. My husband, God Bless Him, looks at me in a different light now and sees me as the answer to most of his needs. Hair cutting, not a problem! Supplying him and the family with tasty […]

A New Normal?

As lockdown reduces, I suddenly realise it is now three months since I wore any of my work suits. I am now semi retired, but this was not how I imagined my first year of retirement. However, although it has meant the absence of planned visits to family in UK and Australia and getting used to new technology and remote meetings, I know I have so much to be thankful for: good health, the time to enjoy nature and all […]

Why don’t we farm zebra?

There are in fact very few of the world’s animals that have ever been domesticated, and those that have all share a set of characteristics. They are easy to feed; grow at a reasonable rate; breed in captivity; aren’t too bad tempered; don’t panic at the slightest threat; and are socially tolerant of each other. This would rule out the great majority of animals. Elephants grow very slowly; hippos are extremely aggressive; pandas don’t breed easily and only eat bamboo, […]

Marshmallows – 1 or 2

In 1973 researchers at Stanford University carried out the marshmallow experiment on young children. Each was taken into a room and shown a plate with two marshmallows. They were told they could have one now or both when the researcher returned after 15 minutes. They were then left alone. The children were tracked through their school years, and it was found that those who were able to delay gratification had better outcomes educationally as well as in health indices. This […]

The War to end all Wars

And did it? The Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, Wars in the Balkans, the Gulf Wars, and multiple guerrilla wars. Of course not. So, what chance has our ‘new normal?’ Other than a soundbite, what is our ‘new normal’ anyway? Ssssh, I had a late breakfast today. Worse, I eschewed ‘Nolan’ and listened to Radio 4. The experts explained how Economic recessions stimulated change in the way we work, more automation, more artificial intelligence, fewer people. And how new business […]

The only legacy that matters

The tragic, unacceptable circumstances which led to the death of George Floyd and the worldwide condemnation which followed, has dominated news broadcasts over the past two weeks. Black communities in England, Belgium and other European countries which have an imperial past, have expressed their disapproval of statues which commemorate the lives of individuals who were involved in the lucrative exploitation of African people who were shipped to the Caribbean islands and southern states of the USA to work as slaves. […]