Friday 30 August 2013

How Long Before It Happens Here...?

To say this is disturbing is a massive understatement.

I thought Germany, in view of its history, would be one place where the rights of parents to educate their own children would be sacrosanct. Hitler was, after all, very keen on youth camps and indoctrination of the young.

The Obama administration stopped one German family, the Romeikes, from seeking asylum in the US so that they could homeschool. The US administration argued in court that parents essentially have no right to determine how and what their children are taught, leaving the authority with the government.

And now we see the heavy-handed methods used by the German authorities to enforce the homeschooling ban on another family, the Wunderlichs. 20 social workers, special agents and police with a battering ram stormed into the family home in a quiet village at 8am. The children were frogmarched out and their mother was not even allowed to kiss them and reassure them as they were taken away. The youngest child is 7 years old.

So, if the rights of parents to educate their children are not being acknowledged in the US or Germany, how long before the government in the UK decides that it wants the same sort of control?

Happy Feast Day!

Today is the Feast of St. Anne Line. I know, it's also that of St. Margaret Ward and St. Margaret Clitherow, but I have a particular devotion to St. Anne (she was the patron I chose when I made my vows) and I feel that the other two are better known. I also tend to think of her more in February (she was arrested on the Feast of Candlemas, and martyred on 27 February 1601) but I quite like the idea of celebrating three significant feast days... besides which, the date of her death is usually in Lent.

I wrote a chapter about St. Anne for a book, English Catholic Heroines and I also went on a mini-pilgrimage with Joanna Bogle to find out more about "my" saint.

On that cheerful note, I am off for a celebratory lunch...

Wednesday 28 August 2013


I'm going through one of my mad housekeeping phases - everything has to be tidy and sorted before the start of the new school year.

The room I originally designated as my study ceased to be a study when I got broadband - the connection was in the sitting room, and so the computer moved there too. Much of my work involved the computer, and thus the study gradually became that useful thing known to most single people - a large, scary cupboard where items which don't have any immediate use (but which might prove useful at some indeterminate point in the future) are dumped placed.

As the computer was in the sitting room, that is where I worked. Then the computer died, and, after much anguished consideration, I opted for a laptop. At about the same time, my ISP provided me with a nice new modem and I found that I had a WiFi connection. I was therefore no longer tied to the sitting room, and the acquisition of a tray table meant that I was able to work in my bedroom. The sitting room was in serious danger of suffering the same fate as the study...

However, today I have been tidying up and rearranging things. The computer monitor has been delivered to the Council's Re-use & Recycling Centre (a very nice chap came and helped me lift it from my car when he heard that it was fully functional.) The printer has been moved to the place where the computer monitor used to be. The shredder has taken the place of the printer. My scanner, laminator and guillotine have all found new homes within easy reach.

One day I shall reclaim the study, but it is much too scary right now.
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