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Showing posts from February, 2021

The end is nigh

 Without wishing to make myself a hostage to fortune (and, as I write, cases are rising in part of the North West) but it's possible to detect a little optimism in the air.  How much of this is natural sap rising as it always does at this time of year, how much is wishful thinking after the most exhausting year of most of our lives and how much is hard headed, genuine, vaccine-watching practicality it's impossible to say. But I've been wandering around whistling under my brerath a bit this week. Part of it, of course, is the end being in sight of home learning (not home-schooling, that is when you take charge of your child's education entirely. We are merely conduits for the schools). Just one more week to go (three days for me, as Mrs Coastalblog does Monday and Tuesday while I'm off doing things to the pub, and I do Wednesday to Friday while she's off fighting fires at school). There is a lot of garbage discourse surrounding home learning. A lot of shaming, a

We're not going on a summer holiday

Oh Christ, we're "saving summer" now are we? Even the most cursory interaction with this morning's media would have left the casual observer with the general impression that summer is in imminent danger of being cancelled, after Grant Shapps suggested yesterday that maybe booking your summer holiday now might be jumping the gun a touch. No-one, sadly, had told Health Minister Matt Hancock, a man memorably described by Charlie Brooker as "your sister's first boyfriend with a car", who, giddy with the success of the vaccine roll-out (and, let's be fair, this part is going well) has rushed off and metaphorically stuck his towel on a Cornish beach,in anticipation of what he is hoping we'll all call "A Great British Summer." We won't,by the by, because it sounds like a 3 for £10 barbecue meat promotion at Tesco. This lack of clarity as to whether or not summer holidays are a thing this year has spooked the media classes, to the extent th

The latest front in the culture war - wildlife documentaries?

Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the internet will have noticed its tendency to get a bit het up about the slightest of things. The ability to broadcast and respond instantly isn't really conducive to reasoned debate, but it is handy to glean an idea of how people really think and feel. By its very instant nature it can lend itself to moments where someone says what they really think, perhaps being unaware what that reveals about them. Take, for example, climate change. That's pretty much a done deal, right? Nobody reputable's questioning that any more, right? I mean, plenty of people are questioning it, but nobody, you know, bright. Only the terminally dense or those with financial skin in the game are truly, publicly doubting the veracity of the Anthropocene. And so, it follows, that it's a subject which generates a reasonable deal of consensus. Now, the heart-warming, eye-popping, awe-inspiring, this-is-what-you-pay-your-licence-fee-for-and-don't-you-