Filed under happiness

Nourishment for our Brains

Nourishment for our Brains

This is from the i paper, an obituary for Marian Diamond Neuroscientist 11/11/1926 – 25/7/2017. Her work has huge implications for how our society is changing: Marian Diamond, a neuroscientist who studied Albert Einstein’s brain and was the first to show that the brain’s anatomy can change with experience, has died aged 90. … Her … Continue reading

Child Prodigies

Child Prodigies

James Ferguson grew up in rural Scotland in the early 18th century. Like most families, the Fergusons could not support their children so sent them to work at an early age. James became a shepherd but spent his days making models of mills, spinning wheels and any other mechanisms he saw. At night he lay … Continue reading

American Honey

American Honey

This film starts deceptively slowly. Sasha Lane’s Star is a young woman with 2 young kids hunting through rubbish for free food seems to set the story for a tale of modern poverty, a single mum fallen through the welfare net. But she spots a van load of rowdy young men, and is invited by … Continue reading

May on Mental Health

May on Mental Health

Our Prime Minister has announced help for sufferers of Mental Health, possibly in response to the revelation that the late MP Jo Cox was seriously concerned about loneliness in her constituency, which is often a factor in this. Bravo Theresa, but no cigar, because the commonest form of mental illness is depression, and a major … Continue reading

Art and History Uniting Communities

Art and History Uniting Communities

In the midst of despair at the divisiveness and hostility between many Britons, I offer some thoughts from our Georgian past. This is one of my favourite quotes, so apologies to anyone who has read it before. It comes from Highways & Byways in Somerset by Edward Hutton, on the importance of the city of … Continue reading

Belief, Gardening and Rituals

Belief, Gardening and Rituals

My father was raised a Catholic, but when the church supported conscription in World War II and he was forced to become a soldier, he turned against it, and for the rest of his life railed against all forms of organised religion. As a result I grew up with little understanding of faith beyond singing … Continue reading

Cameron and The Smiths

Some time ago,  former members of The Smiths, Morrissey and Johnny Marr “banned” the Prime Minister David Cameron from liking the band. Marr said: “Stop saying that you like the Smiths. No you don’t. I forbid you to like it.” I can understand their anger at the Prime Minister,but we live in a free country, … Continue reading

Newby Hall’s Teddy Bears

Many of us have or had much loved teddy bears, but few become serious collectors of them like UK tv presenter Giles Brandreth, who is one of the most famous arctophile, or collector of them. This is from the i  paper: The 68-year-old says. “You have to have a sense of humour and a big … Continue reading

Human Pups

Channel Four recently screened a very strange documentary, The Secret Life of Human Pups, about the little known practice of people – mostly men – going to great lengths to dress as pups and to do some serious role playing. Most of the programme focused on theatre designer Tom/Spot who is currently Mr Pup UK who … Continue reading

Alan Young, actor, RIP 1919-2016

When I was growing up, there was not a lot of children-specific programming, but there were a number of iconic, quirky American tv shows which combined elements of fantasy in real life situations, such as My Mother the Car, My Favourite Martian and Bewitched, The Monkees but my favourite was Mr Ed, which starred Alan … Continue reading