Friday, July 02, 2010

7 Quick Takes: 2nd July 2010

1. After all the waiting and worrying, my Mum's operation was cancelled. Last minute blood tests showed a low blood count and the surgeon wouldn't operate. He now also wants her checked out by a cardiologist before rescheduling. Not surprisingly, she is disappointed and frustrated ... and now back, if not to square one, then to square one-and-a-half. I, on the other hand, was (unreasonably?) relieved. I had been untypically anxious and had a bad feeling about this op. I'm hoping that the sudden closing of this particularly door is an indication that God has a better plan.

2. I have a couple of links for you today. First, an interesting article by historian David Cannadine on the way politics affects decisions about what history should be taught in schools: History, with rose-tinted hindsight. History is an inconsiderately fuzzy discipline, full of unresolved - and unresolvable - arguments. Not easy to compress into a textbook, particularly when interest groups want to push the "right kind of history" ... in other words, history that shows they are right, conveniently ignoring any evidence supporting other viewpoints.

3. The second link is to Linds at Rocking Chair Reflections. I loved this post on the need to write and blogging as recording our own  histories.
I write because I can't NOT write. It is a compulsion.

I write because the words are fighting to get out of my head, tumbling over one another in the process. It take time to sort them into some semblance of order, let me tell you. I write on squared paper (I LOVE European notebooks - they all write on little squares. Divine.) and I write on the back of till receipts. Anywhere. I write when I go walking - doodling away as I take frequent rests. The people I worked with used to laugh when they read my lesson reports - they were totally different to anything they had seen before. It doesn't matter what it is - I love words, and I love to write.

That, I suppose, is the answer to why I am here. Why I feel at home here in my small corner of the world wide web. The words. Oh my, are there many words.

Writing conjures up images in my mind, and I hope in the minds of those who read what I write. Recording events and memories of distant times, painting pictures for my children, for my family and friends, and for me. 
Pop over and read the rest.

4. This weekend is yet another where everyone is whizzing about in different directions. I ended up drawing up a flow chart using different colours for each family member with arrows showing who is going where and how they are getting back again. Is that efficient, or just bizarre? I am the worst culprit, as I have a manic musical weekend. On Saturday I'll be playing in my first orchestra concert since my four year break. That means a long rehearsal in the afternoon - which can be conveniently combined with a shopping trip for Star and her friend, as the Church where we rehearse is directly opposite the shopping centre -  and an evening concert. Then on Sunday I'm playing trombone at a village fete. I'm still loving the trombone, and starting to find a comfort zone with it where I can relax and enjoy playing, instead of always feeling stretched slightly further than my ability.

5. I am fascinated by the way Cherub draws. She first got enthusiastic about drawing a couple of months ago, and still spends a lot of time producing sheet after sheet of pictures. Although she will occasionally use coloured pencils or crayons, either to draw or to colour her picture, mostly she just likes to use a standard lead pencil. I'm impressed by her growing confidence, both in the way she holds her pencil (gently but firmly, with a pretty good grip), and in her ability to draw what she wants to draw. The way she draws is confident too - fast, accurate (good motor control) and very focused. It is also getting easier to work out what she's drawn without having to ask for clues!

6. Cherub has reached the stage of trying to tell jokes, but not really getting the idea of a joke beyond thinking that anything nonsensical is funny. She also thinks that all jokes must somehow involve chickens crossing roads. The results are surreal:

Q. How does a mouse cross a road on a chicken when cars are coming?
A. It gets squashed.

Q. How does a sun cross a road by a bridge if it doesn't have any legs?
A. It has to go on a chicken.

7.  I picked up an intriguing looking book at the library last week ... Biting the Wax Tadpole: Misadventures of an Armchair Linguist, by Elizabeth Little. From the back cover:
From the language that has no different word for 'blue' or 'green', to why Icelanders need official permission to name their children, from Jabba the Hutt and Smurf-speak to what the Swedish names of Ikea products actually mean, from what makes a Korean TV hit to what people might think you're saying if you order eggs in Spain, Biting the Wax Tadpole will ensure you're never lost for words again.
 How could I resist?

  Read more quick takes at Conversion Diary


Linds said...

Well that was a surprise! Thank you, m'dear.
I am sorry to hear re your Mum's cancelled op - but as you say, it could be for a better reason. My mother has also got "low blood count" issues, which we are about to have investigated. The irony is that she has never felt better and is as sprightly as anything. Far more sprightly than I am, I do believe.
My daughter-in-law plays the trumpet and trombone too in a band, and has been performing at fetes in Kent. I hope the weather is good to you and that you ahve a great weekend. And about the flow charts???? I spent most of last night doing exactly the same thing for the rest of the month. It is BUSY!!!

Rae said...

Re #6, my younger siblings all did that, and I think that those are some of the cutest, though not funniest, jokes ever.

Like sunshine in the home said...

Sorry your Mum's operation was cancelled. But God is in control, as you say He perhaps has better plans.

Lol at the jokes. My youngest's friend said to me recently, "What do you call a cat crossed with a fish?" I replied, "A cat fish!". To which she said, "Nooo, silly, a moo cow" - outbreak of giggles.

Makes no sense to me, but it's very amusing apparently! :)

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Thanks for the links.