The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “children”

Motorway Service Stations

Driving as I do around 20,000 miles/year sadly I am sometimes forced by circumstances to stop at these appalling places. My childhood recollections are of stopping late at night often on the way back from football games at wonderful places such as Barrow ( and I mean that, Barrow is a wonderful proper real football ground, the simple fact that it borders on Mordor and takes weeks to get there should not detract too much from that) and finding cold service stations, long queues and smelling vividly of fried food. Sadly not much has changed except two things. In the main they are all outlets, Burger King, Costa ,Waitrose etc, they are all incredibly expensive, but the queues have gone as no-one wants to or can afford the extraordinary prices.

Today typified things. Mug of tea 2£. Served as tea bag floating in mug. Go on a hunt to find milk, spoons etc. Served by the eternally damned or at least they look that way. No hello, no smiles, no thankyou’s. The atmosphere was dire. The tables looked like they had been sourced from a car boot sale selling ancient tables from a closed down club. Dirty. Smelly. It must have taken the last 20 years to extract every last ounce of atmosphere, pleasure, call it what you will. These places are devoid of anything resembling humanity.

Then the shops. Selling a selection of things that non-one in their right mind wants or needs. Buy a paper and one gets asked if one wants to buy two packets of chocolates for £4. The petrol station. Anywhere on this island diesel costs around 133.9-135.9 pence/litre. The more greedy local garages might ask for 137.9. The service station today was asking 144.9 pence/litre. This equates to an extra £7 a tank if I were to buy there.

Service stations are doomed. Only the desperate stop there in increasingly smaller amounts and the reasons above are why. Either charge a fortune but serve excellent stuff or charge reasonable prices in a reasonable atmosphere. Doomed unless you fancy buying one of these nice coats for sale in the shop. I am being serious…….

photo 1 photo 2

West End Stage. Great opportunity for children

Before you wonder this is not an advert. The 11 year old has spent a week in each of the last three years doing acting/drama/singing/combat lessons at the guildhall near Barbican in London, then they all have a performance at Her Majesty’s theatre in Haymarket on a sunday evening. The quality of the teaching is superb. Just wanted to mention this. Not especially cheap but not a rip off either.

Burlington Junior School. How a child changes in 7 years. A photographic dissertation

Burlington junior school is a primary and secondary school deep in the suburbs of New Malden in Surrey. By chance it sits less than 300 yards as the crow flies from our house. When our daughter was 4 we took a look around and made a decision that this was a good school and more importantly the right school. We were not wrong. Our daughter now 11 years of age leaves the school today after 7 years to venture into secondary school next term. What have we learned? Firstly that this school nurtures children. Yes, there is the flurry of excitement to get good SATS results, yes, the homework is annoying at times, but at all times the children are encouraged to be children. School is so much more than rote learning. It is about socialisation and working out how the world functions. The teaching experience has been good with many examples of excellence. Looking back would we change anything? I dont think so.

We have watched many of the children grow up in a lovely manner and for our daughter we took a photograph each first day of the school year. So the first one was taken when she was almost 5 and the last one today when she is almost 12. Without doubt the biggest change is in Year 6 ( when the children become 11 years old and some even almost 12 years old).

So please enjoy seeing these changes and it is going to be a strange old walk tomorrow for the last time to Burlington Junior School. Thankyou for all your kindnesses.

5 years old. First day at school

6 years old

7 years

8 years

9 years

10 years

11 years

Last Day

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