Category: joy

Boom, Boom, Basil! Joy and laughter on the Fringe

I really had forgotten until this week just what it felt like to experience the sheer joy and exuberance of the Edinburgh Fringe. As a family, we were regular attenders up to and including 2019, throwing ourselves into the unexpected and extraordinary variety of shows; Covid put a stop to that. Admittedly, this past week …

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Looking out for our turtles

Browsing Twitter on Sunday morning, ahead of the COBIS conference, I came across a video of a turtle struggling on its back. I can’t find the original source, or I would credit it, but seeing the number of views of the video clip, I think there is a fair chance that you have seen the …

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It’s getting lighter!

One of the joys of living at a latitude of 55.953251 is that the change in seasons every year is really quite dramatic. It is a marvellous source of conversational material – almost every interaction I have had this past week has been punctuated by references to the current change in the season. ‘It’s definitely …

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How to leave school again … and again … and again …

I have been reflecting a lot recently on what it means to leave school – that moment of transition from being a school student to not being a school student, leaving behind 13+ years of formal schooling mandated by the state, and facing up to a future of possibilities, choices and responsibilities. These reflections have …

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A tale of root ginger, hope and determination

Once Upon A Time, roughly 9 weeks ago, when everyone in the UK was instructed to stay at home, there was a mini (but nonetheless confronting) crisis in Edinburgh, when root ginger for purchase was nowhere to be found. ‘Sorry, not available’ were the words stamped across online orders, and even kind neighbours who ventured …

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A new decade: a renewed hope

Stratford-upon-Avon has 4 million visitors a year, according to the taxi driver who took me (and my daughter) back to the railway station after a short post-Christmas break indulging in culture in the town of Shakespeare’s birth. It was, I must say, a fabulous trip; we had a great time visiting various sites associated with …

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Random acts of kindness

The petals on the flower in this photo may be curling and fading slightly now, as it gradually wilts in a vase in our hallway, but every time I see it, I smile. For this flower was given to me in a random act of kindness by a stranger as I crossed Dean Bridge in …

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Bailey Matthews and the power of joy

Bailey Matthews is clearly loving life at the moment. If you did not watch the UK’s BBC TV’s Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Awards on Sunday night, or are not one of the 80 million plus people who have viewed the video online showing Bailey completing a triathlon earlier this year, then you need …

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Margaret Thatcher and an interdependent society

After the distasteful scenes leading up to it, Baroness Thatcher’s funeral yesterday was a dignified and noble affair, with the streets of London lined with people who were there, overwhelmingly, to acknowledge her long service to the country, and to mark her life and her passing. The Bishop of London, in his funeral address, was …

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Don’t let us forget that Parliament can be very female-unfriendly

An interesting set of statistics highlighted by last week’s Sunday Times revealed that, after David Cameron’s latest reshuffle, almost a third of female ministers are “divorced or unattached”, and 40% of the female Shadow ministers on the Labour benches are in exactly the same position. The numbers are small – a rather damning comment still …

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