Arrival!

The author copy of More Fish in the Sea arrived at last. It went to the wrong address, twice! Now to read it and see if there are any howlers. It’s quite thin, a really quick read, which will probably be fine as an e book. I was all set to order myself a copy from Waterstones as they have it in their catalogue.

I was filling in time repotting indoor plants but this has lifted my mood. I know I put the cover on before but here it is again!

Front More Fish

Proof reading again

At last the lockdown was eased and some of our group could meet in a garden. Three turned up and I read the story I had submitted to a competition – only to find I had made a rather important error, writing ‘girl’ for ‘boy’ and ruining my argument.

It was more proof, if that were needed, that reading out loud can find things that reading on line or on manuscript miss. I felt such a fool.

Not the only one, ‘though. A clothing catalogue came today and about a quarter of the size conversions from centimetres to inches were incorrect – often on the same page as the correct numbers. I couldn’t resist telling them.

Writing Magazine came yesterday. Perhaps I’ll get inspired soon.

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Best Films? best records?

The Daily Mail has been running a competition to find the best 100 films and Smooth Radio have been running one to find the best 500 records. I entered the music one but my choice didn’t even feature in the 500. It was The Folks Who Live on the Hill by Peggy Lee. I reckon it was just too old. Maybe the same goes for my choice of films. I looked for ” A Wonderful Life” but Brian Viner did explain it was nearly included. Then I searched for “Singing in the Rain” and that wasn’t there, either. ( although ” The Wizard of Oz” was!) It’s all so subjective.

What did interest me is that as constant listeners to Smooth Radio there were some records they play every week that didn’t appear on the top 500 and I wondered who chooses the play list and why they pick the same tunes all the time. There’s only one perfect programme on radio and that is Don Black on Sunday nights but we listen in bed and I’m afraid it sends me to sleep.

The image with this post is of the badge I got for performing poems at a folk club that I am missing. Our main entertainment before lockdown was live music. Probably won’t be back in 2020.

village stage

Better or worse?

This title refers to how I am feeling today. I had a painful back and stomach last night and decided I should fast this morning. It is 2pm and the pains have almost disappeared.

Of course , the other pain is waiting for post that never arrives. I have been ordering books through amazon which have been arriving within three days but does my author copy of my new novel arrive? No, it doesn’t.

I am going to go ahead advertising it anyway in the hope that it will exist by publication date, June 15th. People are supposed to be crying out for light novels to read while the pandemic is on and all my books have happy endings.

I am fearful about the wordpress changes but can only wait until Monday and see what happens. If we have to choose before then I hope we get plenty of warning and instructions.

Education in the fifties

Well, I finished the story and sent it off. It was really autobiographical and doesn’t stand a chance of winning a competition but I got it off my chest!

The 11plus was unfair for so many reasons. often because the line between those who passed and those who failed was different depending on how many places were available locally, just as Nan says. A pupil might pass one year and fail the next with the same score. However the idea that some children are academic and others practical with lots in between has been lost and with it the possibility that nurses and police can do the job perfectly well without a degree.Giving 50% of the students of this country a degree in any subject does not make them more employable. It just makes it harder for employers to find people with the right aptitude and attitude unless they spend their own money on apprenticeships.Perhaps this epidemic will show the powers that be the value of common sense and a willingness to learn and adapt – something that is rarely appreciated or properly rewarded.

11plus

Are you old enough to remember the eleven plus? I started to write a story based in 1953 and realised I had forgotten what it consisted of, so I looked it up on Google.

Verbal reasoning, Non-verbal reasoning Maths and English ( which was a comprehension and a composition.) I couldn’t believe how thorough it was but, of course, the fact that it was timed made it most unreliable. We know of plenty of folk who’failed’ and then became leaders of industry or successful in other ways. It was the ‘pass’ and’fail’ element that made the country turn to comprehensive schools. If only they could have made it more of an aptitude test. Then we might not have lost the technical colleges and might have a more confident and skilled workforce.

I found an IQ test on lineĀ  but it was all puzzles and pictures. That must have been the non-verbal element. It was obvious that any child who had been coached and had plenty of practice would sail through that paper. I was lucky, my father made sure I knew what to expect but pupils in poorer families probably did not get that kind of help and encouragement.

Those days all I wanted to do was read, and I haven’t changed that much.

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TV

Last night we watched the film ” The Green Mile” which has probably been seen by many of you. I had read the book ( by Stephen King) years ago and knew it was going to keep us awake although it went on after midnight.

It was such a change from watching repeats as we don’t seem to like all the usual stuff on the terrestrial channels in the evenings and haven’t got sky or netflix.

I thought it was brilliantly done and was interested to see that the Astaire film they used was one we had watched a few days before. Thanks to the lockdown we are able to catch a few good films in the afternoons. It seems a shame to stay in watching TV when the weather is so good but something is making us very tired and we do try to get out each morning for our permitted exercise or shopping.

I’ll try to post each day while I can and hope I’ll be able to use the classic system when it comes in next week.