Advice · In the news · Learning

Norman Stone RIP, and the two things I learnt at college

The historian Norman Stone died recently, aged 78. If you met him, or knew of him, or know his work, you will probably have an opinion, or multiple opinions, about him, and/or his work. If not, you could read this obituary from the Guardian and be left with an entirely unflattering impression. I learnt of… Continue reading Norman Stone RIP, and the two things I learnt at college

Advice · At the movies · Technology

“You always have time to pee” revisited

In January 2016, a few weeks after this Blog was set up, I wrote this piece, “You always have time to pee”. It brought together two things (a story that was in the news and a personal memory) to illustrate what we have tried to teach our children throughout their young lives: there is always… Continue reading “You always have time to pee” revisited

Advice · Home life · Notes from West London

Soaking up the sun

A wet mid-October day here in West London. The weather has prompted numerous pieces on this Blog in recent months, including observations about the snow in early March and the summer’s heatwave. Here’s another one. Three weeks ago, in late September, we had a mini-heatwave, with temperatures hitting 27 degrees centigrade (80 Fahrenheit). One weekday… Continue reading Soaking up the sun

Advice · Home life · Learning

Things you should know before you go to secondary school

The school holidays are upon us. My 11-year-old daughter has finished primary school, something that has been anticipated in various posts throughout the academic year, like this one about her most recent sports day. In September she starts at secondary school (senior school, or High School if you prefer). The last three terms have mainly… Continue reading Things you should know before you go to secondary school

Advice · Learning · Notes from West London

The 4-Ring Man, and empty crisp packets

When my father was in the Guards, back in 1950s Ireland, part of his training involved Ordnance Survey-style maps. Some of the Guards were new to the concept of contours, the lines that indicate how steep or gentle a gradient is. They didn’t get it straight away. You’re probably familiar with the idea. The smaller… Continue reading The 4-Ring Man, and empty crisp packets

Advice · Notes from West London · Trivia

Planning journeys, and attention to detail on the London Underground

Earlier this year, London’s free evening newspaper The Standard revamped its Puzzles and Games section. It now takes up two pages rather than one and has new challenges. There is a Battleships puzzle every day. (I haven’t got to grips with that one yet.) The Mini Codeword has returned after an absence of a year… Continue reading Planning journeys, and attention to detail on the London Underground