Polly...my Max Boyce CD is the best pressie ever...my LPs never made it out of the valleys! Thanks so much, but it does not excuse Robin from returning my red and white stripey scarf. Aunty Gladys and I wept over Rhondda Grey but I think it may have been the well fed Christmas cake, bottle of Creme de Menthe and too much Twister. I'm not sure if the recycled Christmas Salsa CD was a fair exchange so I've topped up with a little extra present for you. It partly eases my ethical conscience but also ties in with our need to address education with renewed vigour.
Much as it goes against the grain, what we need is a 'To Do List'. Don't get excited as I stopped reading at Clear out Shed. I've taken down the home-made decorations and rehashed a bird feeder just in time for this arctic chill. The shed is now looking lovely...have you informed our new heads of department yet? I handpainted some mugs for them as I'm getting quite excited myself now.
We need to take Britain by storm...or reform according to Lee Elliot Major. He makes some good points but I wrestle with the contradiction that if parents have the biggest impact on a child's education then why are we rushing kids off to nursery? Call me old fashioned (amongst other things), but shouldn't we be encouraging parents (Mum or Dad) to stay at home and be a parent? The state provides free nursery education which induces parents to turf their tots out of the home environment five days a week. I realise that this frees up parents to seek employment if they need or wish to, but what value are we then attributing to the parent who chooses to stay at home and nuture their young child? Would it not make sense to reward and support the role of parents, especially at a time when there are not enough jobs to go around? It seems to me that we relinquish this role too quickly and at large societal cost. How do we encourage people to cherish the role of parenthood?
It struck me in listening to Rhondda Grey how times have changed. The child in the song had poor parents who gave him their time, their values and their conversation. How many kids this Christmas got another electronic screen to stare at? Which is the richer child?
I know, I know...perhaps nostalgia and a bottle of Toon Ale have got the bitter edge of me. My point is kids need parents and parents need time with their kids. That is my hope for 2009. A simple dream from a simple bloke.
Happy New Year to you and Robin..and may it be as special as you both are.
PS Elvis told me that if you spin the handset twice on Bowling Pinbusters you get a strike every time!
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Mahatma Gandhi once said:
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."