Generally Speaking

That was some drive


We knew when we planned the trip that  Springdale (Zion National Park) to Yosemite was going to be our longest drive. But we hadn’t reckoned with the need to loop right back down south past Las Vegas to avoid slow and possibly dangerous roads through places like Death Valley. Read more…

30 April 1966 – 30 April 2016

1966 Loch Ness


30 April 2016

Peter's party picture

Wonderful Golden Wedding anniversary party last night in Beech Village Hall with all the family and so many dear friends.
And now a beautiful, sunny morning.


We had no less than six copies of this card, from different people – they must have thought it was us!

News of the Paris Climate Conference

Family visitors from America with us for Christmas wanted to find out the outcome of the Paris Climate Conference. They had known it was going to happen and had been interested in the activities of the Alton Climate Alliance but had not been able to find any news of the outcome in the US media.

We were able to tell them that the conference had been an historic success, probably the most important international conference there has ever been, and was first item on the BBC news the next morning, occupied the whole front page of the Observer, half the front page of the Independent on Sunday and got a little mention, bottom right, in the Sunday Times.

Nowhere else that morning, almost needless to say, but perhaps we are still a relatively responsible country.

By Eurostar to Marseilles direct

Enjoying three days in Marseilles before joining the Alton Town Twinning Association visit to Pertuis. We are looking forward to staying with the couple we hosted last October.

Unlike the main party who will be arriving by plane tomorrow evening, we came all the way by high speed rail – Eurostar. 1,200km in just over six hours, arriving in the very heart of Marseilles and little more than five minutes walk from our lovely B&B. Smooth and quiet and incredibly free of hassle, the journey has left us feeling subtly but completely different from traveling by air. Premium tickets with good food and extra comfort cost us £180 down and going back standard will only be £60.


With three day bus/metro/tram passes we are finding getting about here very straight forward. Thus, today we visited the Calanque coast to the East by Metro, two buses, and a two and a half mile walk each way. No problem. No charge. Especially as the isolated beach cafe at the end is closed as it is a Wednesday in September – the owner’s message said he hoped we’d understand! So we made up with an extraordinary Haagen Das ice cream extravaganza down by the harbour when we got back.


Why only half new teachers in England are still in it 5 years on…

From the Guardian’s second editorial today:

“…young teachers [in England] are leaving so fast that, five years after qualifying, only half of recruits are still teaching. Compare that with more than 90% in Scotland, where, as the Teacher Development Trust points out, there are no league tables, the inspection regime is constructive more than judgmental, and the minatory approach to lesson planning is absent.”

Mr Gove, what is so difficult about that?

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