Sunday, May 29, 2011

a windy day at the Seaside

It was a windy day in Le Touquet but we still had a lovely trip for a couple of days.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

shopping day out

Saturday found me in Guildford High Street – another place I haven’t been to for years! I liked this clock and bell tower thing and it was another interesting sky as well.

I did a little shopping and finally bought my i-phone – now I just need to work out how to use it. ....

I had a rather nice lunch as well and had time to fish out my little notebook and do some reflective writing. Maybe one day I’ll put all this reflection to some useful purpose. I might write it down all in one place or maybe I might even start to practice the ideas that I preach to myself. Today’s thoughts were largely about the notion that we can be happy without the approbation of others, that it is our own feelings that can make us feel calm and peaceful even if others do not necessarily share them with us. Thinking about it, how can it ever be bad to have good thoughts about others and to see the good in them?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday evening

Home in time to sit in the sun -
the wilderness by the pond

and a pretty Delphinium

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You can't be indifferent

I have been to two lovely events in the last two days! How lucky. The first was at the College of Teachers seeing teachers gain chartered status and other awards as well as some honorary stuff. Great speech from Professor Mick Waters. The second was at the Open University as part of Adult Learners Week where students and educators alike were commended. Professor Chris Baker spoke this time.

Both were great events and celebrated learning in its widest sense. At each event, other people spoke up for those commended and these people also did a great job - explaining in a really nice way the achievements of the person they were putting forward - sometimes with very moving stories.

I think Mick Waters speech gave me most to think about. He talked, for example, about Colleges not being places but groups of people who work and learn together. Chris Baker took the words right out of my mouth when he spoke of the partnership between students and tutors. (Well would have if I'd been speaking as opposed to just thinking!)

It seems to me that when true learning happens, you cannot be indifferent to it. It might be the wonder on a child's face, the joy on a spouse, parent or child when their loved one achieves, the ex-student who runs up to say hello in the street.

People ask me why have I been a school teacher for so long and/or why do I do the open university work on top of my day job? There are two reasons: I enjoy it and it is a privilege.

At the College of Teachers, Lord Mitchell asked us if we could sum up our lives in 6 words. My boss on the day job said why would you want to? I suppose it is about thinking what is your main focus. But I have found it incredibly difficult to do!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

ice cream castles in the air

Popped down to Eastbourne today. Don't think I've been there since 1977. Apart from more chain shops and cafes it was much the same and nice to see some old family name shops etc. Parked on the sea front and walked up to the railway station and remembered waiting in the station cafe and hoping the time would not come for my train home! Walked along the sea front and remembered sitting there as a teenager. Had some nice fish and chips and a cup of tea for lunch as well.

It was cloudy but spots of sunshine as well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Well my big brother is coming to see me tomorrow so I'd better organise cake - he cannot go 24 hours without cake, I am sure of that. I wouldn't mind but he is very very skinny! Ah well.

He has often been my inspiration in all sorts of funny ways. Here are some of his sayings:

I have often done something that was supposed to be fun and it turned out to be hard work. And I have often done something that was supposed to be hard work and it turned out to be fun.

There is no sense in worrying. Either what you are worrying about will happen and you will find some way of dealing with it. Or it won't and then you wasted energy worrying.

Every minute has sixty second. Every hour has sixty minutes. Every day had twenty-four hours. This time tomorrow, the world will have moved on and things will look different.

How can you say you know a subject if you don't score at least 70% in a test?!

My other brother has inspired me too. He has been known to say:

My Dad taught me I could be whatever I wanted to be and my Mum gave us the work ethic to make that happen.

Dad was a man from a working-class background who worked very hard to help us see the world beyond the world that he knew.

I have been lucky enough to have had many inspirational people cross my path in life, from my own teachers in school days, to tutors in higher education, to my own students (lots of those, with lots of thought-provoking stuff), to friends and family, colleagues, and my own son.

Lucky indeed. I believe it is important to seek inspiration and to know it when you see it.

The Hopi Elders Speak

We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For
You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth
Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.