Tag Archives: families


I passed the 11+! I liked doing puzzles (intelligence tests.) I had (note the past tense) a good memory and liked writing essays. All that spelled academic success back in the 50s. I taught in secondary schools in the 60s. … Continue reading

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God Help the Child:

I have always loved reading books about children or young women in England during WWII. It is my generation, and my story is recognizably part of the world it describes, though less dramatic (I was only 5 when the war in … Continue reading

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A Change of Climate

If you looked in at my Literature Group in Abingdon, you might think we were a harmless looking circle of old ladies drinking coffee. We are. But when we read a book like Hilary Mantel’s A Change of Climate, it … Continue reading

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Give us this day our daily bread.

I just fixed a hot dog for my grandson’s lunch- one of his favourites. Yesterday it was quesadillas. My main worry is his lack of willingness to eat veg, but as his parent survived a similar lack of willingness, I … Continue reading

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Who decides what the story is?

Twenty people tell a  story or parts of it in this novel, The Spinning Heart, ranging through all the main participants in the village’s events from a child even to a dead person. The story only emerges when we listen to … Continue reading

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Fast reading and slow reading.

I am working through a book with chapters by major thinkers on topics that need me to think as well. Slow going. If I really wanted to post every couple of days, I would avoid that sort of book! If … Continue reading

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Five Children (and It) on the Western Front

“War is a Bloody Waste.” Not my words, but my father’s- and he served in WWII. So how does the charming Edwardian children’s story relate to War? Around 1945-1950 I read lots of children’s stories, (even though most of the … Continue reading

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