Sunday, 10 October 2010

A new site for Ulverston -

Now completely independently of the council a private individual is producing a web site for tourists that is something that is already special and will get better as more and more is added to it and others chip in to help. Let's hope it makes a real impact next season.

Have a look at

If you like it, refer to it on your web site or blog so that it sails to the top of a Google search for "Ulverston" where you may think it deserves to be.

The more references to it, the higher it will rise in the Google ratings.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Why don't we have more articles like this?

And why doesn't the thinking take off.

First find out all about broccoli brains!

Why does Ken Robinson's talk keep cropping up whenever you look for creativity?

Come on now, surely other people are thinking and actually doing something about this!

Do I detect a rustle and a stirring in the disused corners of our education establishment?

Let's have some reports of some dangerous thinking and risk taking in our classrooms!

Could there be a renewed interest in creativity with Flash where the children got all fired up with the fun of teaching each other?

Can you find something fascinating in this hotchpotch of links to kids having fun with Flash?

Any takers?

I shall try to teach you, wherever you are in the world, if you are!

Join us in being creative on our Flash blog!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Can Money ever be this important?

Give me a Thrush any day!

What is most important to us?

Other humans.

Other living things.

A roof over our head

Food to eat.

A flashy car.

The latest 'must have'.

What order do you put them in when times are hard ?

Friday, 10 October 2008

Why are we accepting money without questioning?

There are several very dubious actions going on here and our reputation abroad is suffering so that we and our compatriots abroad can no longer hold our heads up high.

A similar issue was raised below regarding ignoring the court's ruling on BAE payments to Saudis

From a British Person in Bangkok

"The only real problem I have I think is that there is a lot of anti-British feeling as the UK appears to be offering Thaksin a safe haven where he can live a good life on money stolen from Thailand - there have been demonstrations outside the British Embassy as people want him (and the money) returned and for him to face trial. His wife was sentenced to 3 years in prison recently, but she has escaped to England too."

Friday, 5 September 2008

Why don't people ask why?

Do we stop and think less these days?

Having thought, do we have the strength of our convictions to 'do'?

Are we morally weak?

Do we value length of life too much?

Are people who risk their lives for their beliefs a little deranged?

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Why do I feel uneasy about adulation

I suspect this is because this often comes from people who give it because they themselves are not proactive.

They miss out on having a feeling of high self-esteem .

They indulge in Celebrity worship and wish to attach themselves to the coat tails of others because they don't value themselves highly.

This is touched on in Erich From's book "To have or to be"

Most people these days live their lives because of their need 'to have' and very few enjoy just 'being'.

I need to have another look at this ground-breaking book myself!

I believe our world is destroying itself because of its need to have.

And here as well!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Why Knives?

The source of this problem amongst young people, and its solution is reached, I believe, by following a series of simple steps of logic.

Why do youngsters carry knives? It’s part of their gang culture, it makes them feel good.

Why is this? Aggressive gang culture has always been part of growing up – Romeo and Juliet. Young people find identity as they move from children to adults. Eventually one hopes they grow into free thinking adults with their own different personalities. Few of us get there.

Feeling good comes from activities that boost self-esteem..

The opportunities for children that don’t identify with ‘the system’ to gain this, come from the regard given them by their mates.

Schools and Families provide the culture, for many, of dissatisfaction with the system.

In Schools rather than encourage the fascinating voyage of discovery of how the world ticks, children are taught what they need to know. The teacher is at the helm when it could be the pupil. We all gain far more self-esteem if we make a discovery than if we are told. The emotional impact is vastly different.

Some Families harbour much anger and little contact with society as a whole - resentment abounds - it's always someone else's fault. The feeling of disadvantage is prominent – unaffordable housing, a rule bound and often corrupt society that ignores the views of the less articulate. A high level of depression and wish to escape through drugs - coffee, cigarettes, alcohol .. .. .. heroin

In Schools, education is at present back-to-front. The learner could be in charge of choosing the direction of the education voyage. We start life asking “Why?” but this is discouraged in most of teaching.

“Be quiet, and listen” , is the order of the day.

"You have SATS to pass" - Standard Assessment Tests at 10, 14 and at 16 -the dreaded 5 A-Cs at GCSE

With this environment those that remain curious and don’t choose to listen but want their own answers fail to get recognition by the exam system and fail to gain self-esteem. They abscond from 'the system' and truant where they find self-esteem on the street corner.

Here they seek it through status in peer groups. High status comes from being ‘hard’. To be hard – carry a knife.

Problem solution – Change the education system. A.S.Neill had the answer and founded Summerhill. The result is free thinking adults with self-esteem from finding out for themselves.

Emotionally damaged youths carry knives. Sadly, SATS encourage a back to front philosophy. Sadly,governments of the Thatcher and Blair era, try to regulate by passing laws rather than come alongside society and changing attitudes by mutual respect. Sadly, emotionally damaged kids become inadequate parents who avoid responsibility for the children they get as a result of their self-centred behaviour founded on poor self esteem.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Why do we pride ourselves on Democracy ?

Some of us struggle to hang on to our democracy

while others

. . . try to export it (to Afghanistan) ?

The way Gordon Brown won his 42 day vote is despicable. Accusations of wholesale bribery are rife.

How can we be proud of our political system ?

Thankfully some, like Diane Abbott (personal web site)are still principled and speaking out.

Why don't people realise that the more draconian our law enforcement the greater the anger of our minorities?

When is the plight of the Palestinians going to be redressed ?

(Where can I find the videos being filmed of Israelis beating up the Arabs on their border ?)

Here in Ulverston the politicians running the Neighbourhood Forum are equally despicable by refusing to put Affordable Housing on the agenda.

We'll be saying "Aha" to that very shortly as Affordable Housing Action springs into existence in the town.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Why is Gordon Brown doing this?

photo from the Independent

I find it incredible that Brown has gone through with the 42 days retention bill.

Now I look for a credible alternative to Labour.

The sad thing is that at the moment I don't find one.

I really feel shattered.

This, following on after Brown's refusal to implement the High Court opinion on the BAE bribe scandal referred to below.

Thankfully I have some sane friends around me that reassure me that there are many in Britain who haven't lost their principles and respect for human beings.

Affordable Housing

Why are we making such a fuss when house prices are dropping?

Few complained when house prices were rising at a ridiculous rate!

Time for the 'underclasses' to stand up and be heard?

At least it is quite clear where the media and the government stand - with the 'haves'!

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Taken in Paris

The picture says it all . . for me!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Why do we need wisdom when we have knowledge?

We live in an era when there is much knowledge but wisdom is rare.

Wisdom comes from analysis.

However more important than analysis is the need for criteria that form the basis for analysis.

As we pay so little attention to philosophy we rarely have a clear idea of what criteria are important to us and take the lazy view that if it's new knowledge it is desirable.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Are we too afraid to talk to one another?


  • communication between people degenerating?
  • our fear of other humans increasing?
  • eyeball to eyeball contact too threatening?
  • even the sound of another's voice too threatening?

We seem to live in an increasingly upside world. People write and read remotely across the world but do not talk or even look directly at the 'man in the street'.

When we do talk to a stranger we discover there is a warm friendly person there!

Repeatedly I'm finding that people who will email me avoid contact by phone.

Go on plunge in at the deep end - 01229 480347 (UK)

Note: My brain is not so hot between 22:00 and 08:00 GMT-

I may reply "Please try later" but it will be me and not a recording!


Monday, 14 April 2008

Is there an opportunity to avoid the chaos in education?

One idea I'm exploring is the time before 'schools' of any kind.

Inspired by floor 3 of the Baltic art gallery, Newcastle - a children's floor!

Is there a space in time where we can just call it 'growing up'?

Starting with birth for perhaps four years when groups of people get together in loose communities for mutual support and enjoyment.

People who are free and would enjoy meeting come together to 'do and talk' and maybe eat.

No one gets paid. Charges only to cover costs.

People are those who have time. Could be :




Not working

Those on holiday.

Suggest some loose activity - making pottery when people can chat, drink tea, watch the kids, kids watch the others, oldies give 'wisdom' and gain lively activities!

Anyone come across anything like this?

Probably common place in none western societies!

Is ICTOPUS actually damaging for your health?

I've just returned from a break away when for some of the time I sat and relaxed and reflected.

A thought struck me that perhaps having an organisation that has a magazine that claims to "Share Good Practice" is counter-productive.

I am reminded of Doctor Spock's reflections on his book - "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" to help young American Mums as they sought to bring up their children.

He came to realise that Mexican families who had not seen or ignored the book were doing a much better job than the followers of his book.

This hinged on their feelings of self confidence. Mexicans confident - Americans lacking confidence and feeling they always needed to consult his book to check that they were doing it 'right'.

There are possibly parallels with an organisation like ICTOPUS that tries to help Primary School Teachers.


I shall be exploring this further!

Friday, 11 April 2008

A very welcome ruling from the High Court

Sanity in my opinion has returned in the form the views being expressed by Lord Justice Moses and Lord Justice Sullivan.

They have ruled that the action of the Blair Government was contemptible regarding the BAE payments to the Saudis. They were giving in to blackmail.

Too often now the Government acts in a way that I find repulsive.

It is more important to me to be able to hold my head up high than live.

If I am killed by terrorists,

If I have to live in a hovel,

So be it.

There are many actions taken that I want something done about.

This is one.

Another is our support and involvement with Guantanamo Bay.

Prison without trial, is another, 24 hours should be the maximum.

If politicians want my support - they must take a stand on these issues.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Why take risks?

I have come to the present conclusion (always on the move) that the most valuable learning takes place when we take the highest risk that we believe we can take.

Based on the result we re-assess ourselves, if we succeed our self-esteem goes up.

When we take great risks for us and we succeed then our self-esteem goes ski high.

Take a very 'safe' risk and it goes up very little.

Take no risk (do as we're told/watch tele) and it can go down and we become depressed and try to console ourselves that we are OK - Go out and buy something - eat something special, drink. (Is this why we're a consumer society, obese, drug dominated, sex crazed ?)

I'm beginning to understand why I hated the thought of safe social networking sites/clubs. They can present such a small challenge - we can play it safe with relationships that we can ditch if things go slightly unpleasant. Reading an educational magazine gives a warm feeling but unless we take the risk of trying, of standing up to a boss, teach a difficult lesson and win the students over, put into practice what we read, then we lose out and esteem goes down - our own and the people around us.

I realise I had a mother that had faith in me to go into risky situations - cross London on the tube at age 11 with one parent in Paris and the other in B'ham - no one I knew within 100 miles.

No wonder I've been a risk taker all my life.

What we really need are parents and teachers that know us well and are close enough to be able to set us challenges that match are present abilities. Rather the time spent cooking the parents a meal than spending an hour on a social networking site.

At present I'm all for supporting parents and encouraging them to take the well thought out risks their parents didn't allow them to take!

Risk facing up to their children and encouraging them to take real risks - that of a meal they prepared being a flop! (and being praised by their parents for daring to try)!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Why does an ICTOPUS blog need Policing?

From Heather Govier, secretary of ICTOPUS - (Who are they)?

- A newly revived organisation to support Teachers at the Primary Level.

"Hi Geoff,
Just to let you know – we no longer have a blog and we have decided not to do so on the grounds that we have not the manpower to police it. There are plenty of educational blogs and wikis out there for those who want to exchange ideas. That was never our central role – we provide a different service.
However we do publish a range of articles in our magazine and if you wish to submit one I will readily consider it for publication.

I am sad that this promising organisation has the need to police its membership as they discuss articles that are written in its magazine.

I had hoped that the blog could become even more important than the magazine itself after all ICTOPUS promotes the use of Web 2.0.

The Magazine provides articles to promote teaching practice.

A blog could discuss the merits of this practice with supporting and cautionary comments. it would encourage teachers to think for themselves and apply what was being promoted in their own way.

Too long have teachers been treated as children that need to be trained and educated themselves and not as mature thinking adults.

Whilst I was at University (learning to practice my first career as a Chemical Engineer), people attended the Teacher Training College down the road.

The two organisations were run totally differently. At University the students were expected to behave responsibly - the result was that most of us gradually grew from irresponsible children from school into adults taking on responsibilities.

We attended lectures and Halls of Residence by choice with no monitoring of attendance or where we slept. If we failed our exams we were out.

Training College on the other hand had strict rules of attendance. One felt that their students could not be trusted to behave like responsible adults.

Many teachers moved straight from these colleges into teaching jobs where again they were managed and monitored in a way not found in industry.

This lack of being treated like mature adults makes it difficult for many of the teaching profession to have self confidence because many are not given the opportunity to think for themselves. This shows itself particularly when an OFSTED inspection takes place when excellent teachers turn into jelly and run around like headless chickens to put on a 'show'.

This is so sad to watch when often they could be educating their inspectors on how to teach. This was certainly the way I felt as a teacher- the inspectors had the opportunity to learn from me. But then I had the self assurance of having worked successfully in industry (Glaxo and Shell) and self employed as a Hotelier. The result was that my students excelled and I am being asked to write a book on how I taught.

ICTOPUS is perpetuating this lack of confidence and encouraging this ethos of dependency of children on Big Brother. I wonder how many of the team have experience of the world outside education where they have to be totally self reliant . . .

The earlier education Usenet groups never had moderators - we supported and kept each other in place in our discussions. Ian Lynch was a regular sparring partner of mine!

I look forward to ICTOPUS developing a more mature attitude.

All comments welcome here! None will be policed.

What a load of Rubbish !

And they say that we shouldn't allow our kids to access Youtube!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Why are we so polite to each other?

I am surprised to find that I am accused by 'polite' people (who run others down behind their backs) of being abusive.

Even when asking them straight-forward questions like:

"Why haven't you done what you promised ?"

Personally , I find abrasive people like Jeremy Paxman, a relief and very refreshing.

There aren't many of them.

When I meet one, which is rare, I am immediately attracted to them!

Why is this?

Why are people so (bloody fucking) polite?

The result is that when someone says "I like you", we wonder what they really mean.

The Bird and the Bee "Polite Dance Song"

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Why do people delight in making beautiful things

Hopi pottery

Emmanuel Peccatte - photo Geoff Dellow ! at Potfest in the Pens 2007

Some of mine


Pictures I will never see with the naked eye!

Another site with fabulous photos - new one every day.

Why do people continue to take such expressive photos

Reuters - they change daily.

I find them very evocative.

Thank you!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Why does this bring tears to my eyes?

Australia says sorry.

Will our government in the future say sorry to our young people for their policies on housing and education?

This video gives me hope that it will.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Why aren't there more people like this guy?

Jonathan Powell

Speaking a lot of sense on Andrew Marr's show. Hopefully this will appear here!