Friday, 25 January 2013

Little news

The picture that wouldn't load.

New term, new project: a chair for Father.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Split diagraph anybody?

I learnt this week how to play Full Circle. I was taught by the 8 year old I spend half an hour with each week helping with spelling and reading. He’d told the TA that it was easy peasy and he could thus teach me to play. “That’s great,” I said as she left, “What’s a split diagraph?”
The game involved writing down a word that featured a split diagraph and then changing a letter at a time to make a new word for about ten goes, and we won if we got back to the word we started on. This required a bit of planning I felt, but he was pleased when we ‘won’. He couldn’t really explain what one was, but he could write down an example.
And what’s a split diagraph? When my girls were learning to read and write it was a ‘magic e’. I can’t remember whether I called it anything when I learned to read, but then, I was reading Ladybird books about Janet and John. The whole phonics thing is new to me. I think I, and my girls, were lucky: we learnt to read by osmosis, being read to for as long as any of us can remember. As our vocabulary expanded we recognised what a new word might be from what we knew already, and we did a lot of reading!
I know that an e at the end of a word usually changes at least one letters sound, but I had no idea until Wednesday that this was a split diagraph i.e. two vowel sounds have been split by a consonant… Do they really need to know this? Does it help? Too much information! Well I think so.

I have a lovely picture of my snowy garden but blogger doesn't seem to want me to upload a picture for the second week running... Anybody know why?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Radio 4 v Radio 5Live

Oh dear, I knew there was a reason why I should be home alone and not home with underemployed Husband: apparently, rather than listening to Radio 4 all day it may be better to listen to the cricket…

I have listened to Radio 4 for years. It is the backdrop to my life – both hearing the programmes and knowing the schedule mean that I am informed, entertained and amused at the same time as having a feel for the hour just by hearing what’s on. It isn’t just me, the whole family has been listening to it whether they chose to or not. They have all taken an interest in the 6.30 comedy slot for instance: we have a regular date on Fridays to listen to The Now Show or The News Quiz (depending on the six week cycle), and often listen to the repeat on Saturday lunchtime for the jokes we missed laughing. We like Benedict Cumberbatch and cast in Cabin Pressure, The Infinite Monkey Cage, PM and Tim Harford’s More or Less. And while I’ll listen to it all day, everyday, I am a particular fan of Woman’s Hour, The Book of the Week, The Archers, the Afternoon Play, Bill Nighy as Charles Paris whenever he’s on, Desert Island Discs, and many more.
Husband thinks I should turn off the radio if I leave the kitchen. I rarely do: I dip in and out of what’s on if I’m pottering about doing chores around the house, or, if I’m enjoying something in particular, I either turn up the volume or find a kitchen chore to do. When the family are at home I might find another radio or take this one with me - but he’s at home all the time now! And there’s cricket on despite it not being summer! I’ve had to retreat to my computer desk and put the iPlayer on!

Good news: England have won so I can have Radio 4 back in the kitchen... I'd better go and do something useful!

Saturday, 5 January 2013


Mother and I have discussed the possibility that nowadays she would have been visited by worried social workers: Babybrother ate little but Edam cheese, and drank nothing but Ribena. He was little (my other 'little' brother overtook me in size and weight when he was 18 months and I was three and a half) and has stayed so - 5ft 7 with size 7 feet.
We celebrated his 50th birthday at a brasserie at Bluewater having queued along the M25 and driven around the whole site looking for a parking spot on the first day of The Sales. Luckily lunch was very good and he paid!
Seventeen of us then removed to my parents' home to drink tea. I had provided Ribena and Creme de Casis (to go in the champagne) and an 'Edam' cake. What I can't believe is that I didn't photograph the Clanger that Mother had knitted for her little boy and for which I had made armour and sewed features.
It was a nostalgic day!