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Celebrity writers

The upsurge in celebrities writing children's books is increasing, thanks to the publishers promoting names who guarantee them sales. The quality of writing is not always of a good standard and the subject matter sometimes questionable. My issue with some, is that they do not support the children's learning and are useless to use to promote spelling, punctuation and grammar. Not all disappoint, David Baddiel, Claire Balding and even Bear Grylls offer books with good stories and adventures. If only all did. Children need their imaginations stimulated, especially at a time when the focus in writing at schools, is on technical skills rather than imaginative stories. The use of the English language needs to be preserved not destroyed, it's already tough enough competing and against text and email talk.

Post Lockdown

The last two years have been a difficult time for many and making a living difficult. Promoting writing, as I do for most days of the week in schools has been impossible for long periods and even out of lockdown situations COVID has still caused issues for schools. Things are slowly getting back to normal and I'm now up to about a third of my normal bookings and the prognosis for next year is looking good. (Hope I'm not temping fate by saying that) During the lockdown period I wrote and edited for England and have at least ten books to add to the site. The first four will be up shortly with the rest to follow as soon as possible. They include further additions to my youngest age group; an extension to the Walking with Series plus a first in a new series in my mid age range group; plus young adult new books and my first three adult novels. Exciting times ahead, I just wish there was more hours in a day.

Happy reading!

Lockdown Day 33: 24/04/20 Death

The depressing news that the death rate in British hospitals is approaching 20,000. Of course that isn’t the real total because many more have died at home, or in care homes. That figure has yet to be disclosed and reports I’ve read range from 15 to 50% of the hospital total again, which would make the overall total anywhere between 23,000 and 30,000. And the virus has not finished yet. I don’t want to make a prediction about the totality of death in a year’s time or two years’ time, but it will be horrific, and we are told there will be several waves of it between now and then. Food for thought perhaps.

 The population of the world is growing so fast it’s not sustainable. In the past we’ve seen cholera epidemics, the plague, eEola and AIDS. These are not man made and there will be other virus’ or plagues in the future. Nature has a way of sorting out the world in its own way. Food for thought perhaps.

 The British people have followed instructions for social distancing well and, despite a rocky first week, if anything we have refined what and how we do a lot of things. I think the return from lockdown will be harder than the going into lockdown for many reasons and the issue of trust will be highlighted in weeks to come. This time I’m not talking about the government, I’m thinking about the trust between people. All of a sudden, from little interaction through social distancing, we are going to interact again with social distancing. You can talk to me but keep away! Have you had the virus? Two simple points that will be on peoples minds when they return to the outside world. Food for thought perhaps.

Wherever you are stay safe.

Lockdown Day 32: 23/04/20 Back to Work

The government has been talking about relaxing the closure of some businesses and I think that is the right course of action provided everyone can still follow the social distancing rule. For some industries like restaurants, if they can offer a takeaway service that will be a start. They will need to prepare a system like the supermarkets to ensure everyone can adhere to the two-metre rule, and I don’t just mean customers.

 There is still a lot of concern related to re-opening schools. As an ex-teacher, but also some one who frequents schools on a fairly full-time basis, I can categorically say that social distancing in schools would be impossible for most schools. The very nature of education is through social interaction. While I don’t understand completely how the Covid 19 virus spreads, I would have thought that schools would be a hotspot for spreading it on and there is little anybody could do about it. I really hope that the government don’t open the schools too soon.

Other industries could potentially return to work and other shops could re-open. In doing that, it will have the effect of enticing people out from their homes and giving thee impression we’re getting back to normal. There is no normal for the foreseeable future. The government has a thankless task in terms of deciding who can return to work, which businesses can open etc. There is no perfect solution. But the people of this country need to think very carefully about what they can do and if they can get by without doing what they used to do in the past.

 Wherever you are stay safe:

Lockdown Day 31: 22/04/20 Warnings

The conversation about coming out of lockdown still maintains a high focus among the questions that are fired at the government and speculations of the people. I’m pleased that the government hasn’t allowed the building pressures to make them lift the restrictions too early. The death toll for a couple of days was low, lower than for some time, and figures like that can easily suggest that things are getting better; only for them to be dashed with recordings back in the 800’s.

If you are reading reports around the world about other countries struggling with Covid 19 then the warning signs are clear. The latest from China, just after lifting lockdowns in Wuhan is to see another surge of people contracting the disease elsewhere in their country. A second wave is hitting them.

I believe our government was right to lock down the entire country rather than just the places where the virus was most prevalent. I’m not convinced that we won’t get second, third and more waves before this thing goes away but at least we stand a better chance of containing it instead of forcing it to hit other areas.

There is much still to learn about how this disease functions and migrates but if you can prevent that as much as possible through the lockdown then hopefully we will be in better shape than other countries who have tackled it by region. Well played government for keeping the lid down and please don’t lift it until we can be sure our people will be safe.

Wherever you are stay safe.