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 · 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

Learning · Trivia · Word of the week

Word of the Week: HHeLiBeBCNOF

HHeLiBeBCNOF: you can say it out loud (H-heli-beb-cnof) to learn,  or to remind yourself of, the first nine elements in the Periodic Table. They represent hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and fluorine. The next 11 elements can also be said out loud: nee-nam-gall-sips-clark-ca (NeNaMgAlSiPSClArKCa). The elements in question are: neon, sodium, magnesium,… Continue reading Word of the Week: HHeLiBeBCNOF

Conversation recall · Learning · Notes from West London

Chatsworth and Devonshire

This piece, from exactly a year ago, describes how I learnt about two of the architects from the Gilbert Scott family, or maybe that should say “the Gilbert Scott dynasty”. This obituary for Richard Gilbert Scott, who died last month aged 93, says that he “represented the fourth generation of England’s greatest architectural dynasty”. A… Continue reading Chatsworth and Devonshire