Saturday, 21 February 2015

Visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, 11th February 2015.

Here are the first two (of three) articles that I have sent to my publishers, the Cardiff Times monthly magazine, for the March 2015 edition. I have been granted permission to share on Facebook and on this Blog, prior to publication in March

The first (A-B_HET_LFA_1), is a broadly factual piece about the Holocaust Educational Trust's Learning From Auschwitz Project, with some editorial of my own. The pics to go with this are the first four attached to this post.

The second article (Through the valley of the shadow of death_Alternative ending_3), is an account of my own response to the day. You should note that my monthly column looks at the world through the prism of being the father or an eight year old girl who has Down Syndrome. The 2nd set of four pictures are associated with this column.

As noted, both the above articles will be published in March 2015.

In April 2015, I shall supply a follow-up article based around the 24th February session in Cardiff where the students from Wales who went to A-B on 11th February will outline their reactions and proposed next steps. .

I have noted which pics are my own and which come via HET/LFA sources.

Feedback is welcomed and I hope that I have avoided any unintended errors of fact. If not, please let me know asap.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Is Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome actuallly about Abortion?

Is Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome actuallly about Abortion?

I can't twig how to uplpoad a Word document to Facebook. (If anyone knows please reply.) However if you go to this link (long-since left alone but I will update it soon):

and then look at the bottom of that page you'll see a document titled "Pre-natal screening for genetic conditions.doc (70k)" which is my follow-up to the brief post this morning about Denmark being DS-free in a matter of years.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

(Nightin)gales of laughter!

Today, Angharad's friends Dulcie and her brother Charlie Nightingale came to play. Naturally, Caroline and Mike (parents and friends of ours) came along too. We had fine lasagne and the kids insisted on jellies, ice-creams and sprinkles for dessert. And there were some beers too, natch.

That's Dulce and Ace concentrating on a jill-in-the-box. (Angharad always does that tongue-thing when concentrating.) What was nice was that Charlie, who is 7, not only looked out for the younger two but joined in and had a good time. At one point D and A were giving one another make-overs in the sand pit that involved pouring sand over one another. Taken in haste, you can see some of the after-effects here.

They went on to operate Angharad's mobile disco-and-mic combo at full blast whilst dancing like dervishes. For about three and a half hours the kids held hands, chased each other, took turns leading the various play and just laughed. It was a truly lovely afternoon and Angharad went to bed happy as Larry. Here's Master Charles:

Goodbye hug and kiss.

Over post-prandial coffees the four adults had been talking about the McCann case. We thought that the parents had been terribly vilified for their error of judgement; that so much of child-rearing is about risk-management and where we draw lines. Not only wont all parents draw lines in the same place but any particular parents may not even draw their line in the same place next time (at least not if they learn from experience).

The four of us had left the three kids alone to play in the front room whilst we chatted in the dining room. We could hear their singing, laughing and dancing and only felt the need to investigate if it suddenly went quiet. Our front room is a typical front room with CD player (Ace can operate this), sofas, CDs, books, etc. Breakable things are out of reach. No dangerous edges anywhere. Fireguard and built-in ornamental poker block the gas fire from tiny fingers. Windows all locked. etc etc. So imagine our surprised horror when Dulcie came trotting through giggling and Angharad came chuckling behind her waving said poker with it's fearsome looking marlin-pike hook. In her 62 months on this earth Angharad has never touched the poker. Perhaps Dulcie or Charlie had picked it up and Angharad took it off them; perhaps this was just the day that she decided to play with it of her own volition.

Perhaps, perhaps, what if. Clearly, one of the kids could have brained the other, and two families' lives would have been forever changed. As it was, the four of us mostly reacted with a  muttered, 'dear god...!', a quick hold of head in hands and laughter. Because we've all seen this before; some thing, some activity, something new to her or perhaps something old and familiar the child now uses in a new way for the first time, blindsiding our expectations and making fools of our risk analyses and H&S manuals.

Kate and Gerry McCann. May their god bless them and be with their 3 kids. For non-god-botherers among us, let us judge-not lest we find our lives tipped over during something as safe as a wonderful Sunday afternoon meal with friends.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Christopher Hitchens: Unspoken Truths Culture:

Christopher Hitchens: Unspoken Truths Culture:

A very moving post from the formidable and I believe great man Christopher Hitchens. And the phrase "living dyingly" is so powerful.

Return to blogging

Apologies for the silence since December 2010. I've been doing more and more picture-based stuff and am afraid I let the blog slide, Having been asked twice this week to renew it here we are. There's a few things from the past five months that are worthy of attention and I shall come back to these  one-by-one over the next few postings

Today however, a topic worthy of being blogged. Yesterday, after we had spent half an hour or so playing and (mostly) laughing, Angharad leaned forward, hugged me and said "I 'ove you daddy". She had signed this before but never come close to yesterday's sentence. Well, you can imagine how she made me feel!