Busy typing gibberish


I’m trying to type up my weekly journal for a college course I’ve started. I need critical thinking, but I don’t think I have the gene for it! My head hurts and I can’t get my head round the concept of signs and signifiers? So many different ideas, thoughts and things to consider.

So I’m taking it slowly, trying to dip my toe in after thirty or forty years doing other things. So if I’m missing from here please understand its because I have my head stuck in the vice of education and I’m hoping to love it!

Music and singing


I’ve been to a choir workshop on Sunday where we learnt songs and short pieces over a four hour period, then tonight I was learning songs for the penkhull mystery play which is being accompanied by Clay Chorus, a choir I’m part of. I’m a member of the cast of the play, so I might not actually be singing all the songs but it’s good to learn them.

It is quite tiring doing so much singing. It takes concentration and the ability to listen closely to your fellow choir members and the choir leader. We learn a capella so we often don’t have any accompaniment.

I also went to a concert on Saturday night and later today I will be watching a live broadcast of the Pirates of Penzance at our local cinema.

Music can transport your mind, calm stress, but also excite and enthral. Music can be raucous, noisy, loud, rhythmic and ugly. It can also bring tranquility and peace.

I think music should be taught more, to all ages and abilities. It should not be elitist and should not be for the privileged few. Music broadens the mind and the senses.



With cuts in education it appears that arts subjects are getting lower take up’s these days.

Students have to do more “useful” subjects, like Maths, English and Sciences, plus probably a language. Then if they go on to college or university the temptation is to go for more academic courses, especially when a 3 year course is going to cost upward of 30 or 40 thousand pounds.

I went to a Polytechnic, many years ago now. I got a maintenance grant and didn’t have to get a loan (they didn’t exist then). The costs were paid for by taxation, which was higher in the past. This made sense because that money raised by the exchequer sustained the education system as well as other services such as the NHS.

Things gradually changed, governments changed, their ideas changed and the rules changed. Where once there were grants now there are loans, where once there were bursaries, now there are loans. You may not have to pay them back until you are over an earnings threshold. But student loans are at 6% interest per annum, when inflation is between 2% or 3%. In other words the loans are a form of future taxation. Only low level, but over the years it takes to get a good job that persons debt is due to spiral. Is it any wonder that Art subjects are being dropped….

But Art is important, if you look at the patterns on these dresses, the design of the dresses, even the frill on the lamp shade? Someone designed that….

Artists may not get paid much but they make the world more beautiful and interesting. Artists can be innovators…look at the art of Leonardo da Vinci, he not only drew and painted, but came up with designs for tanks and helicopters and planes. They were not built because the technology did not exist to make them, but the ideas were there.

Art and design can be done on computers nowadays, press a button?  No you still have to have someone to draw out the designs. Without art the world would be a boring, grey, sad place.

So if you feel like doing art….do it!