Poor children have poor reading skills? Not necessarily…

The children of poor parents are a year behind in vocabulary tests by the time they start school, says a report. Read about it in the Times, along with comments from intolerant middle England fascists  – it’s all the fault of people on benefit, you know…

Being poor isn’t the problem. Being dumb and/or unwilling to learn  (parents AND kids), is a massive problem, and one for which teachers often carry the (unjustified), can. You cannot force learning upon a child who has no interest in it.

I know I’ve Continue reading

The end of the Observer?

Update, February 15:- This is from today’s Guardian:-

This is the paper’s legacy and we will be trying to build on it next Sunday, when the Observer will be published as a four-section paper, plus our monthly Observer Food magazine.

Which is pretty damn close to what I suggested in my original post, below, back in August, especially when taken in context with the rest of the Guardian’s article.

. Continue reading

Guilty until proven innocent? You must be on benefit…

I found the following gem in my search-engine slush pile this morning –  “people on DLA who shouldn’t be”.

This pisses me off in so many ways. First of all, most people have no idea who’s getting DLA and who isn’t, and even if they do know, they are unlikely to be so privy to the minutiae of a person’s life that they know for sure whether or not they are disabled. Not all disability is visible.

Most people tend to judge purely by appearances, which is massively Continue reading

Mobility scooter puncture protection…

…and powerchairs, too, of course.

I use Goop which costs £8.99 per 500ml bottle (postage for two bottles plus some bits and bobs was £4.99). OK, now you know where to get it don’t just click through – read on for details of how to install the stuff, and what care to take once it’s in there.

Any motorcycle dealer will have it, or a similar product, or you can use that link to get it online. Allow Continue reading

Mobility scooters for newbies…

After the Pride Quantum 6000 powerchair fiasco, I have no desire to get involved with Route2Mobility ever again – the operation is a disgrace on so many levels. See the I bought a lemon… series of posts for the reasons why. I do, though, desperately need a mobility scooter.

I have, after months of hassle, secured a pension lump sum, out of which I’m buying a scooter, so I thought it might be a good time to share a few thoughts on the subject with my faithful readers and with anybody who has just bought, or is about to buy, their first scooter. This isn’t about which scooter to buy – I’ve no idea what’s best for you – just a few tips about what to look for, and how to get the best out of it once you have it.

The first thing I discovered is Continue reading

Ebook ramblings…

I like gadgets, and I like the idea of an ebook reader, but only from a gadgety standpoint, not as a means of reading books.

I’ve built two collections of books in my time. Currently I have around 2,000 – worth upwards of £15,000.

I’ve also, over the years, lost, given away or left behind an unknown quantity – let’s say another 1,500. I’ve also read an unknown number of library books – I had my first library card at 5, and an adult library card at 11 – I’ve no idea how many books that represents over the past 60 years, but it must run into several thousand more.

So, as a possibly conservative estimate, let’s say I’ve read Continue reading