Lent Contemplation: Friday 14th April

Recently there has been tent cities in Sheffield in front of Park hill flats and on the roundabout in front of Ponds Forges.

Sheffield | Tent City

However, the council website suggests there is help available. I have learnt that it is not always straight forward to match the help available to where it is needed. Those who need help, are not always happy with what is offered.

More of what I have learnt.

Lent Contemplation: Monday 27th March what I have learned about homelessness


Shakespeare blog party including quiz – What Shakespeare character are you?

Feel free to reblog this invitation. Love him or hating him let’s get together to talk about Shakespeare on 23rd April which was his birthday. I respect he introduced a lot of phrases that are still used today. But is it really essential that English schools spend so much time reading his plays? I would […]

Feel free to direct others to this blog party today which marks the day Shakespeare was born.

I welcome contributions whether you want to try and convince me to like Shakespeare more or you want to voice your opinion that he is overrated.

To contribute paste links to any Shakespeare related posts that you have written into the comments and / join in with your point of view about Shakespeare in the comments section.

In this green I have highlighted possible topics for posts or discussions to try and inspire.

For example:

Any reviews of Shakespeare plays or films? What is your favorite Shakespeare quote or play and why? Is learning Shakespeare in schools now outdated?

First how about a quiz from Christine Valenter to find out Which Shakespeare character you are please click on the link below (press skip when screen fills with adverts).

Which Shakespeare character are you?

I got Portia and did not even know which play she was from; so perhaps I do need to learn more about Shakespeare.  I liked the description below; free spirit sharp intelligence, value loyalty and defender of weak.

What did others get and do they like?

I looked up Portia and found she is the heroine in Merchant of Venice. From the sound of what I googled, her hand is offered for marriage by her Father, but she  fought against it by  finding legal loopholes in that agreement of that marriage so I like the idea she did not just go along with what her Father wanted. This seem forward thinking from Shakespeare’s time so I’m impressed. Indeed I know how Shakespeare plots have been adapted into modern films. Any examples of this?

My experience of Shakespeare.

My first contact with Shakespeare although I do not, think I realized it at the time was The Tempest. I went with school to see a performance of the Tempest when I was 11; I think it was called Tempest Storm in a Teacup. It was a longtime ago, so I can not remember whether it was in Shakespearean language. It only featured 2 or 3 actors; so I can remember it being quite frantic and not great at getting story across. The story itself I can not remember or the production did not put story across well, so I can not blame Shakespeare for that.

When I was 13 /14years we studied Romeo and Juliet. I had heard of Romeo and Juliet by that time; therefore it was good to find out more. I can remember rewriting in couplets one scene I think a scene when there is a fight in the square. During the time we were studying the Romeo and Juliet film came out therefore we watched it with school.

During GCSE years at school (15 and 16 years) we read some Macbeth. It was good for learning about Elizabethan times, therefore I guess that is one pont for learning Shakespeare at school. The coursework I did was we had to detail who we would direct a particular scene from Macbeth, write a historian analysis of Macbeth and write a psychiatrist interview with Lady Macbeth.

A few years ago in my 30s a friend and myself went to see Midsummer Night’s dream at the theatre. The first half was pleasant enough; although did not really know what was going on. But second half got very slapstick like, which we do not like. We both wanted to leave but was stuck in the middle of a row. We said we would not attempt to see more Shakespeare untill we were in our 40s.

Clearly I’m not Shakespeare’s biggest fan but, surely for so many people to still be studying his works 400 years later then there must be something? Then there is there is all those phrases that have become common usage, surely we should learn the context of how the phrases originated. In the picture above I noticed a couple that feature in modern songs; Fight fire with fire which is a Tom Jones song and Good Riddance; Good Riddance (Time of my life) is a song from American band Greenday. From reading the comments on Davy D’s post Davy D is Shakespeare overrated?it seems I’m not the only one with doubts about Shakespeare. Davy D’s is Shakespeare overrated post starts with the great quote The British actress, Dame Judy Dench, once said “a bad experience of Shakespeare is like a bad oyster – it puts you off for life.” Is that true or can after initial being put off, you grow to like Shakespeare?; read Davy D’s article for some opinions regarding this.  I also love the post further up Davy D’s page Shakespeare and seagulls where he states


“Seagulls are aggressive blighter’s

they spend their time attacking people



This one of the key things

I learned in school

Not from any text

or enlightened teaching practice

but ….

visit this link to see the rest …!

Click here to read rest!

Read comments for posts about Shakespeare home and whatever fantastic posts are contributed!

Lent Contemplation: Wednesday 12th April

St Vincent de Paul said “a doctor who keeps a person from becoming ill deserves more merit than one who cures him”.

Take time today to pray for change in the UK so fewer young people end up homeless.

I agree giving to hostels etc is treating symptom when also need to think what causes homeless in the first place.

Animated Life : Autism and Disney film discussion. 

This film was the true story of how a boy with Asperger learned to talk by watching Disney films.  I was able to listen to some discussion after but not stay long enough to hear it all or contribute myself.

It was voiced that,  it may be problematic for an adult to be, so attached to Disney films. However, seeing people’s excitement about the recent  release of Beuaty and the Beast, it seems that plenty of adults are very into Disney. Animated Life film showed that Disney films deal with a variety of themes for example, losing parents and growing up in Lion King, caring for others and right from wrong. The films formed a spring board for learning. However, learning from Disney films has it’s downsides. Firstly, Disney films endings are very standardised fairy tale endings, which, are not typical in real life as the subject of Animated Life discovers. Secondarily Disney films do not offer a starting point to discussing sex with your autistic brother; as the subject’s brother realises. In this case the subject has gained independence; the Disney films can be seen as a tool along the way, but also the subject was lucky with the other support they received. Therefore, an obsession with Disney films seems better than not being able to communicate and have any independence.

There was criticism of the film for giving false hope to parents; that watching Disney films was a magic cure and the film made it look too easy. I think, it did not take much reading amongst the lines to know it was not just as simple as watching a film, there was a lot of extra effort involved. I think any parent regardless of whether their child had autism, would realise there were tough times. What might be harder for parents of autistic children, to come to terms with, is not that some children may be destined to always have limited communication; no matter how much effort is put in. 

An audience member, gave some bleaker facts about autism and talked about autism increasing  sucide risk ( to illustrate that it is not the same for everyone. Considering, I believe that some people can be within autism spectrum, but not diagnosed then statistics are based upon those worse affected skewing the findings. 

Thomas tank engine has also been found to help those with autism. Perhaps because both Thomas tank and Disney films are animated that means facial expressions (the trains have large faces) are clearer defined than they may be in real life people.

Some felt uncomfortable with autistic children being closely observed by parents looking for their child’s Disney film / Thomas tank equivalent , I think it is good for all parents, not just parents of autistic children, to expose children to a range of different narratives be that films, tv programmed or books then see whst their child takes an interest in and use that as a basis of learning. For example, can watch or read proactively and use it as a basis for learning colours or numbers. 

In summary it was a fascinating film but I’m treating it as one example and not a model for all autistic people.

Lent Contemplation. Friday 7th April: Finicial Decisions made today

  1. I twisted my ankle yesterday so wanted some ibuprofen in case there is some swelling to reduce. To save money I bought Wilkinson’s own brand rather than going into Boots to buy same thing for more. Not all young people may know if not living with parents that all ibuprofen is same drug but can be packaged differently, with singnificantly different prices
  2. to 7. Chose to back 3 horses each way at 50p each on the Grand National tomorrow.

8. Bought fish and chips.

8 decisions at 2p each is 16p.

Total among collected £7.60

The final of first series of This is US

It looked like the final episode was going to be about Jack dying but keeping the audience guessing right to the end, that was not what the story was about. Could it be my crazy theory that he is not dead be true?

Penultimate This Is US further evidence of my theories (contains spoilers)

This is US random theory from someone mid series

I do not really believe my crazy theory, but I came up with it because I did not believe in the seemingly perfect relationship of Jack and Rebecca presented. As I thought the final episode of the first series showed cracks in their relationship. A fantastic end to the series seeing the cracks. More reasons to watch the next season to see what happens to Jack and Rebecca and if and how Jack dies. I have enjoyed the variety formats of episodes; different character groups and different combinations of time periods.