Different approaches to education

Earlier this year, in this piece (“More on Questionnaires”), I quoted the late, great travel writer Pete McCarthy on his school’s approach to education: “carrot and stick, without the carrot”. I have used this expression often in the last 15 years, since first reading it in “McCarthy’s Bar”, and wanted to track down the full… Continue reading Different approaches to education

Gigs · Memories · Music · Notes from West London

Front row seats at the Hammersmith Odeon

As a teenager I went to many gigs at the Hammersmith Odeon, and even went to a couple before turning 13. It was the largest cinema in the UK at the time (around 3,500 seats) and the scene of many childhood visits to the pictures, like those recalled in this piece. By the time I… Continue reading Front row seats at the Hammersmith Odeon

Home life · Reading · Word of the week

Word of the week: disconsolate

Disconsolate means “very unhappy and unable to be comforted”, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English on my Kindle. My 10-year-old daughter and I have been reading “The Silver Sword” by Ian Serraillier. She had been learning about the Second World War at school and chose this book to accompany her studies. We had a… Continue reading Word of the week: disconsolate

Home life · Notes from West London

A joke about children swearing (contains rude words)

My 12 year old son has started swearing. He uses “the F word”, as I will euphemistically call it in this opening paragraph, although it’s spelt out in full further down. As I wrote earlier this year my daughter, who is now 10, has been exposed to plenty of swearing at football matches, but fortunately… Continue reading A joke about children swearing (contains rude words)