Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow! 

​I’ve been finding it difficult to sit down and write – sorry, that word can be found in the dictionary under ‘Ancient’ – my blog what with a daughter in bed, sick, for the past 2 weeks and my life dominated by a scenario which makes ‘Charles and Di’ look like scrapping in the playground but, moving on … I wish! 

I often jot down potential ‘blog’ subjects on a piece of paper and, as you might imagine, I have a number to choose from.  The following is something I wrote down ages ago but which irritates me daily: you know when you’ve been watching a really good film and you can’t remember the name of one of the actors or there is a piece of music in said film and you wait for the credits to find out what it is? Or, the ending is really sad and you’re lost in the mood and … they shrink the credits, shoving them to one side so you couldn’t make them out with the help of an industrial telescope, and THAT person starts to talk over the music telling you what is coming up next?  Is it just me or do they all have horrific, exaggerated accents?!  Please God, what I would give to have them bring back someone who spoke the Queen’s English and announced, at Midnight, that that was the end of the scheduled programmes for the evening before playing the National Anthem!  Oh, then the lovely, well-spoken gentleman – he’d be smartly dressed and clean shaven, I would imagine – would remind you to switch off your television at the mains before retiring to bed!  What happened to that life?  I miss it … 

That scored off my list, I move on to the second item.  I don’t know whether this is still current but Chris Evans, on Radio 2, is promoting a writing competition for children up to the age of 13, I think: 500 Words Of course, I am all in favour of anything which involves writing and encourages a love of English and the written word but … I happened to hear one of the judges, one morning – an author, himself  full of enthusiasm for the whole idea.  Chris, then, asked him if spelling and grammar were a consideration in the judging process?  Why would such trivialities be a consideration?!  Who cares about spelling or grammar?  Isn’t that what ‘spellcheck’ is for and the little red dots which flag up the use of too many spaces?!  The answer was, of course, negative.  It is more important that the children tap into their imagination without any heed to correcty written English.  As long as one can decipher the meaning, who cares?!  Shakespeare would turn in his grave; in fact, the turning in the grave of all our literary greats – past, of course –would, I fear, cause an earth tremor at the very least.  What the hell?!  What kind of world has this become when there is no longer any value placed upon being able to spell correctly or use the correct grammar?  I find it all so depressing. 

I will forever be grateful for my education.  I had a wonderful English teacher, Betsy, as she was affectionately known; an inspiration.  She taught us all how to write and the value of grammar and spelling.  One could write the most brilliant essay but too many grammatical errors or spelling mistakes – all circled in bold red pen – meant it was ‘Returned’.  There was no greater shame but what we learnt in that classroom lives with us all to this day – and we have passed it on to our children.  I would put money on the fact that Becca and Manny know NEVER to start a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘Because’ and one must NEVER put a comma before ‘But’ … Thank you, Betsy.  I wish every child had a ‘Betsy’ to teach them the value of English and the written word; to teach them HOW to write. 

Now, moving down the list  

This is Trish, signing off.  As ever, nobody forced you to read it … but I’m glad you did.