irrelevant facts

In yesterday’s post, I touched on how the natural world is changing and how, while words I learned as a child are being lost from children’s vocabularies, there will presumably be a need for new words for the invasive species that are making their way to the UK common.

This got me thinking about how so much of what I learned in school has been superseded.
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back to school

I’m far too old for school myself and have no children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, etc. – in fact, I don’t think I even have any neighbours with any of the aforementioned minors – and I haven’t been a teacher for a couple of decades. Despite this, my email inbox is full up with Back to School promotions and special offers.

I’ve been visiting my aged mother and this morning, long before I would normally consider it a civilised time to have a conversation on a Sunday, I found myself caught up in a discussion of yesterday’s unseasonal weather, school holidays, and the fact that mothers must be glad if the children are going back to school tomorrow. I think the implication was that it must be hard to keep children entertained when they can’t go outside and play.
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picky

It’s summer and the park is knee-deep in meadow flowers.

It’s also the end of the academic year – time for sports days and garden parties, which explains the following notice, tied to gates of the local school:
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more school memories

Yesterday I said that one of my school teachers seemed to believe that pleasure taken in the sound and general impression of poetry was more important than the ability to understand and explain the details of each word and image. Forty years later, I am very glad that was her attitude.

poetry books on a shelf

Another memory from that time at school was the context – or, more accurately, lack of context – for the poetry we were studying.
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of kiwis and poetry

(Click here for a picture of male and female kiwi flowers)

kiwi vine shoot

We are gradually trying to replace our old grape vine with a kiwi vine. Our reasoning is mainly that the old vine is not very healthy and produces huge quantities of wasp-attracting fruit that gets mildew and moulders on a grand scale each year.

Since there’s some sixty square metres of trellis, it’s probably not surprising there’s more fruit than we can deal with. Kiwis seem as if they might be rather more controllable.

The photo shows a sucker on one of the kiwis we planted a couple of years ago. The vivid vermilion of these new shoots, and the furriness of the stalks and young leaves, never ceases to amaze me.
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