The Importance of an Outdoors Education

Apparently our kids are spending less time than ever before ‘outside’. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/25/three-quarters-of-uk-children-spend-less-time-outdoors-than-prison-inmates-survey This is a shame. Here’s why: Now I’m not normally one to be politically or socially campaigning for a cause – but this issue is probably the one I feel most passionately aboutRead more…

Scale

Scale The greatest thing about this world is scale: Scale is the height of the Himalayan Mountains The depth of the Pacific trench The detail in a moth’s wings The teeth in a leaf’s margin – As an engineer and scientist I can build withRead more…

Il faut aiguiser nos crayons

After Voltaire, who said: “Il faut cultiver notre jardin” (We must cultivate our garden) – To this I add: “Il faut aiguiser nos crayons” (“We must sharpen our pencils*”) [*I hope!] First, literally. – ‘Start the day with a sharp pencil’ as I like toRead more…

On Our Thought Habits

It’s politics time again in this country – a.k.a. The Battle of Whose Morals Are the Worthiest – which means it’s time to sit back and watch as generations-old biases and insults and slogans get hurled at us from all corners. Plus ça change… If,Read more…

Grave Concerns

11th May 2017 Middle-aged existential worries. “Perhaps the men of genius are the only true men. In all the history of the race there have been only a few thousand real men. And the rest of us – what are we? Teachable animals. Without theRead more…

Prince: Purple Legend

The year is 1994. I’m on a bus (that’s right, a bus) on a school History trip travelling from Scotland to Spain. I’m 14. On my Sony Walkman I have a tape of Prince’s Purple Rain that I must have stolen from my older sister,Read more…

Mothers: No Right To Moan? (a response)

Here is an article from the Guardian website that I stumbled upon, incidentally while researching “What to do when you can’t cope being a mother” (well, I’m sure we all have doubts) – http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/mar/31/mothers-stop-moaning-about-motherhood Mothers – Stop Moaning About Motherhood.  Right. * Crikey. I hadRead more…