Category: Austen’s ramblings

Marching to a different beat

Following the bout of flu’ my lad had last year, this year we have made sure to get him the flu’ vaccination. His mum took to the doc a couple of days ago. All done. I’m sure there is probably no connection but now he seems to have come down with a cold/mild fever. Oh well. [...]

Hairy legs

My son is growing up. It happens I suppose. But does it have to happen so fast?

J tuned twelve this year, he moved up to senior school, his voice is getting steadily lower, oh, and hair has started to appear where it didn’t used to be. What happened to my little boy?

The hairs on J’s [...]

A hug for my brother – sibling support groups

Its my daughters birthday today. She’s nine years old. But her best friend, Emma, has also just turned nine and she had her birthday party last Saturday. It consisted of a sleepover with a handful of Emma’s friends, including my daughter. I didn’t envy Emma’s parents!

My wife picked up my daughter on Sunday morning and brought [...]

Inefficiences in the NHS

First, let me just say I am not an “NHS basher”. Far from it. Healthcare that is free at the point of use is something to be celebrated, cherished and protected. But…

Sometimes you do have to wonder at the inefficienes in the system. And how much wasted money these must cost!

My lovely son is about to [...]

I doubt very much its swine flu

It was the Monday before Christmas. J had been really very poorly since Saturday but today he’d rapidily deteriorated and now had a raging temperature. His mum was worried. Time to see the doctor.

So the telephone conversation went something like this:

“Hello. Doctor ********?”

“Yes speaking.”

“I’m worried about my son, he’s really very poorly.”

“What symptons?”

“Well, he seems to [...]

Protecting the vulnerable from the vulnerable

Driving home from work this evening I heard a news story that made my heart lurch.

The Guardian neatly surmised the story in this headline Mother admits killing her 12-year-old autistic son after making him drink bleach. It’s reported that the mother, Satpal Kaur Singh, feared social services would take the boy away. She has admitted manslaughter [...]

The disabled in Nazi Germany

I recently found myself in London for a business meeting. It was in the lobby-cum-restaurant area of a new hotel at near Waterloo station. There was a fantastic view straight across Waterloo Bridge to Parliament, but I had my back to this view for most of the meeting. Shame.

When the meeting was over, instead of heading [...]

Another poor sentence for a hate-crime against the disabled

I sat in my kitchen yesterday afternoon, switched on the laptop, and checked the Google newsfeed on the site. A headline from The Guardian attracted my attention and I clicked through. My wife wandered in looked at the screen and asked me the blindingly obvious – “whatcha doin?”

“Reading a news story on The Guardian”, I replied.

“Oh. [...]

Britain’s divided schools: a disturbing portrait of inequality

One of the most comprehensive studies into fairness in the UK shows how class, race and gender remain crucial factors in determining how British pupils succeed at school – and beyond

Get the key data


There are some things you can’t escape from. For us its ‘routine’.

No doubt about it. My son likes routine. To illustrate.  We have a very simple calander on our frigde door. Its just a piece of laminated paper with the days of the week on it, in a row,  Monday to Sunday with barely enough space [...]