A busy, busy week … as usual!
Once into the rhythm of the term it becomes a helter-skelter of deadline chasing and plate spinning – just like every other job involving working with children and their parents! This week also has the added joy of yet another trip to Belgium to look at battlefields and thrown in as well on my return is the joy and pain of spending the week’s nights caring for my ailing father. Regular readers of this column will know of his ongoing fight with dementia. My mother’s need for respite growing as his capitulation to the despicable disease increases. The visit today to confirm details revealed Dad’s latest battle. He believes he is about to go home despite being in the house he has lived in for the last 15 years. Home is the place of his birth in Clitheroe, Lancashire (a place well known to AUK writers as the site of our last pre-Covid meet up). In order to be prepared he has now taken to stuffing his favourite books under his shirt and a packet of crisps in each trouser pocket so he has something to eat and read on the journey. It is at once hilarious watching him sitting there with books showing through his shirt and heartbreaking as he point blank refuses to give them up.
On the aforementioned trip it seems that we now spend most of time trying to educate the kids about how to behave in a public place. It is increasingly astonishing to me how 13yr olds seem to no concept of how their actions must have consequences. Have we raised a generation that have no interest in social niceties or responsibility? The amount of rubbish generated by the kids seemingly signaled that they really didn’t give a flying fig about their ‘world’ or the people around them who had to deal with it. Disappointing really.
Reeling from a ticking off from senior management about musical choices I’m treading lightly this week… maybe.
First up a brilliant find on Bandcamp. I have lived in or near the town of Olney, Buckinghamshire all my life and it is famous for two things – a pancake race and being home of the poet William Cowper and writer of Amazing Grace John Newton. The track by The Americana Congregation is a thing of beauty as is the whole album and should be enjoyed with or without any of its ecclesiastical baggage, astonishing really. Secondly, a wonderful Flaming Lips type thing from the musical magpie that is Tim Burgess and lastly completely on message a hulking classic from El Gringo himself Neil Young. As ever take what you want or need.