Sunday, 26 February 2017

That boarding school girl - a critique

I suppose the very first thing to say is writing a critique is not something I am accustomed to, not being a skill taught at my boarding school but having read That Boarding School Girl, I am able to make some comment upon the story and the style used by Dorita Fairlie Bruce.
One aspect of her writing style in this story and that of her Nancy at St.Brides is the way she describes the relationships in more full, personal way of the Sixth form, from whom the prefects are selected to that of the girls in form Vb and the maintenance of personal friendships.
There is a strong element of Protestant Christian morality running in terms how they girls behaviour is judged, the work ethic where Nancy raises the average of the form and also in the redemption of her moral character following her leaving St Brides after a number of serious incidents and of breaches of school rules.
In many ways, the message one gets is that honest hardworking endeavour as explorfied in her putting aside personal pleasure to ensure she is at the top of her subjects, that she does not let down herself, her Aunt and Grandmother.She redeems herself though hard work even if stubborn over not revealing just why she feels she has to work so hard and why St. Brides and her departed company even if it would of been better understood for being open about it.
Dorita touches on inter school feuds, a not uncommon fact of school life, and how the one between Maudsley, Nancy’s  school and of neighbouring  Larkiston while seen by some as tradition worth preserving had become both increasingly out of control with children being hurt and also losing any real meaning. Toward the end of of the book where the Head is able to bring a inter school cricket match between the two, you can see establishing a proper arena for such matters to be settled works.
Connected with this the idea of the moral and physical improvement through Guildry - the setting and in specting of  standards, of teaching first aid and nutrition and moral education is shown as a guild is established at Maudsley but off the premises and it is open to Larkiston children. Part of the aim was to bring together both sets of children and build bridges helping to end the feud.
Nancy through this term comes on from the unsocialized impulsive and immature for her age girl that was asked to leave St Brides to one who is beginning to mature, becoming an asset not least in the final pages where Charity Sheringham, whose hand was cut and strapped up unable to compete in the inter school cricket, is replaced by Nancy who leads the team to a memorable draw.
What makes these stories different and the more important in the canon of Girls Only fiction, having read Nancy at St. Brides too, is her use of biblical and literary  allusions together with more stretching vocabulary than many, being almost a junior fiction for the advanced reader that makes for a most rewarding read.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Reflections on a away visit

I've been away for a number of days in connection with that all encumbering part of my life that I don't really need to write a large account of here other than it's so very much the me I've been talking about for the  last ten months or so about here.
There are some reflections I do feel the need to talk about about on here one is learning to be grateful for what people freely do for you such as seeing I was struggling at one railway station a couple kindly offered to help carry my luggage and even checked when I got to the end of the stairwell I was all right who I no idea of.
There's the people who kept an eye on me as I was feeling a little homesick where I stayed, spending time with and the friend who knowing the sort of fiction I like, gave me a cherished book from their collection.
Then there is a friend of mine who kindly put me up, offering a cooked meal and a lift to the train coming back completely out of the blue, seeing I was on the right platform for my train to come in.
These acts of kindness really moved me but whereas in the past I'd of blocked out my emotions I thanked them properly for all those things they did not have to do,that I have no right to expect nor demand expressing my gratitude, revealing my sense of being humbled openly.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Thoughts while away

We are just a few weeks away from the eleventh anniversary of this blog so during the period where I'll be away to let more of myself out with friends, I thought I'd write out a few words.
I think one thing is I'm an avid collector of recorded music seeing many a format come and go over the years so to be honest I haven't a real affinity to any one although all around the MiniDisc was my favourite everyday one even though only a small number of pre-recorded titles existed for it and the cd has been on the whole a boon for collectors with many recordings we feared would never be heard beyond the vaults coming out, well compiled with jacket notes.
I think I have over 500 cds in my collection as much as try to avoid duplication although with popular recordings there are often differences between mono and stereo versions and when it comes to some classical works the interpretations by conductors do vary so there are some titles I may have two versions of even. 
I'm a very tactile person and that also shows in my preference for physical books  over so-called E-books and readers, preferring the feel and smell of paper, brilliant colour illustrations and the sense of handing down a treasured possession although I do for reference material such as manuals the E-book has it's uses and perhaps the idea of a download code included in a physical hardback edition would work for those who'd find reading on a train or in hotels vacationing but who also like the actual item rather like some records now have.
In effect a portable version included. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

We are leaving

After all the turmoil that followed our referendum on remaining or leaving the European Union last year, the wheels are slowly beginning to turn following last weeks vote in the Common's in favour of activating the so-called Article 50,  the clause that allows for a negotiated method of leaving. 
This clearly signals what however narrow the vote overall was although here in the Midlands, it was strongly in favour of leaving, we are actually going to leave after various attempts to tie up this and the tension felt across the country over it.
I think it's important to remember in outline, the Prime Minister put in place a call for this vote that  was voted for by Parliament which gave the choice to the people and from that for it to be respected even if by failing to include the wording  that was in the Governments leaflet we all had that clearly implied having voted they would accept it as binding.
To me this shows yet again MP's not being sufficiently responsible in scrutinizing legislation, making sure it is clear, beyond reasonable legal doubt  what should of happened from the minute the votes were counted and the result declared.
To make the most of the return to full sovereignty  which includes the right to run our country in accordance with our wishes, we really need to ensure the legislature is working at it's best.