I spent my school years, until the age of fourteen, in Buckinghamshire. Now, I am not saying the true-blue ultra-conservative Buckinghhamshire is backward, but the last time I looked at the council’s website it had chains running down each side! That was back in the 90s. In the 60s, they were just about as blue as you can get, and they certainly believed in giving every child’s sanity a run for its money.
The Bucks model of education was simple: your kid had to pass Buckinghamshire’s special Twelve-Plus exam to get a proper education. (All counties had the Eleven Plus, but we also had the Twelve-Plus for grammar school applications and our school didn’t do the Eleven-Plus.) Anything else was failure and rewarded with being sent to a ‘secondary-modern,’ which in Bucks meant a school for dunces. There you would never get the chance to do O-Levels or A-Levels and you would certainly never go to University. So every day of your school life, you were having the message ‘Success is everything’ rammed down your throat. Unfortunately, the flip-side of this philosophy was the message that ‘your humanity is nothing.’ It was only many years later that we would all discover Hans Eysenick’s IQ-based formula for the eleven-plus exam was all based on fake research. Continue reading “Memories of the 1960s – School”→
This week: Walking in Buckinghamshire, Reviews, OCD update, Badger culling, Free Offers
Walking in Buckinghamshire
There is no sneak preview this week, because the stuff I am working on is very complex and time-consuming. Hence I haven’t actually written that much. If I did sneak previews every week, there would be no need to publish. Instead I will tell you about my ramble in the Chiltern Hills of Bucks on Sunday. It was a beautiful day. Originally I had intended to go on Saturday, but it clouded over. The forecast said Sunday would be more completely overcast but warmer. In the end, there actually was some sun. The autumn leaves thickly carpet the ground now and bathed these ancient clay woods with a yellow light. I used to spend a lot of time there in my childhood, but I don’t remember them looking more bewitching. Most people were still in church, so the woods were quiet although I had a strange encounter. As I parked my car among those of the worshippers at a tiny church, the priest spotted me and said, “Ah! You!”.
He looked Asian which intrigued me; this area of Bucks is true-blue Conservative territory (ha! ha! Pun intended). I thought by the way he was talking that he must recognise me from my youth, although this seemed very unlikely as I didn’t recognise him and I have a very good memory for faces. When I walked up to him, a crowd gathered around the ‘stranger’ and I asked, “Do you know me?” Continue reading “Blog: Amazon Women on the Moon – Lazlo Ferran”→