Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Cerrie Burnell

I was appalled to learn that some parents are apparently objecting to the BBC's decision to employ disabled presenter, Cerrie Burnell, to host programmes for young children.

Astonishingly, some parents are so psychologically disabled themselves that they cannot find a way to explain to their kids that, in nature, not everything turns out the same size, shape and colour - that people are natural things and, unfortunately, not everyone comes out absolutely perfect. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the children of these repressed parents are also psychologically damaged to the extent that they are frightened by the sight of Ms Burnell.

At last I understand how we managed to breed a generation of Eurocrats who believe in the value of straight cucumbers. I guess it's the same philosophy as objecting to organic apples because they're not all the same shape (incidentally, what do you call the other sort of apples - inorganic?).

Presumably these same parents would also be objecting if a disabled child were to join their offspring's nursery school or playgroup. Perhaps we should have more consideration for these unfortunate souls and pass legislation forcing all disabled people to stay at home, thus avoiding the possibility of scaring their sensitive sons and daughters.

Or maybe we should be doing the more sensible thing of seeking out these parents and gently persuading them not to have any more kids, or even to relinquish the ones they've already got, as they are clearly not up to the job of bringing them up.

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Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow, snow. Quick, quick? No.

If there's one thing we Brits have never quite got our head around, it's the fact that, occasionally, at this time of year, white slippery stuff falls out of the sky. It always takes us by surprise.

I woke up this morning to find most of the south east covered with a thin, but very pretty, white blanket. It's like a Chrismas card which has come about six weeks too late.

The list of school closures on the local radio goes on for several minutes. It would probably be quicker to list those that are open. There is stationary traffic in the main road outside my house. In fact, there's stationery traffic too. I spotted a W H Smith's lorry. The busses and local trains aren't running.

I am in the fortunate(?) position of being able to walk to work so I feel smugly superior as I effortlessly overtake the traffic queued on the A329. On my journey I pass several groups of school children who have set off prematurely. My route takes me past a number of bus stops, and a local railway station, where stranded passengers are talking anxiously on their mobile phones, trying to let offices or loved ones know they are going to be several hours late.

A Danish lady phoned the local radio station this morning. When she was a child, growing up in Denmark, her school never closed because of snow.

'In Denmark,' she tells us, 'we have a special word for this kind of weather. We call it "winter".'

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