Friday, 10 June 2016


My eldest granddaughter tells me that she wants to be a journalist like her granny so I told her that she would have to learn shorthand. I had to buy another theory book after the dictation speed-building disc in mine stopped working so about a year ago I gave the old one to her to play with.

She's obviously been working hard at it and recently made me card to show off her fledgling skills. Shorthand students will notice that some of her outlines are a bit squiffy - particularly her use of the NTH blend for the word one, and not using the R principle for words beginning BR/CR/GR etc, plus the use of vowels in words where they are not needed - but she managed to understand the PL blend, generally got the hang of the system and as we shorthand nerds know, outlines are only "wrong" if the person who wrote them cannot read them back. She clearly managed to do that because, for my benefit in struggling to read her shorthand, she transcribed it and included that transcription on the card.

Considering that she is only 9 years old, she's progressing well and has enough years ahead to become a shorthand expert before her journalism training starts - unless of course in the years between she changes her mind about her future occupation.

Either way, shorthand is a unique skill that, as a shorthand tutor, I would say is useful in all aspects of life.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016


About once a month or so, I appear as one of three guests on Radio Lincolnshire's Lunch Bunch slot. Usually, the programme is hosted by the lovely Nicola Gilroy but new presenter Chris Berrow is standing in for her for a few weeks as she hosts the drivetime programme. Other presenters who have stood in for Nicola during my appearances are Rob Underwood and Jo Wheeler.

The Lunch Bunch slot begins at about 1.15 in at this link and fellow Lunch Bunchers were Sue Richie and Phil Crow. I think it's available for another 29 days on iPlayer.

It's a bit like a pub lunch chat where light news issues of the day are discussed. This time we talked about average speed cameras and the family who loved their five year-old goldfish so much they travelled 200 miles across the country to take it to a vet willing to operate on it for £200 after a local vet told them it wasn't worth it.

A new aspect of the show is that we were asked in advance to suggest our favourite three songs and why we like them. It was an impossible task so I chose three that I liked on the day. Chris then chose one of each. Sue's choice was America by Simon and Garfunkle, Phil's was Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie and mine was Sway by Dean Martin which is one of my all time favourites because it is so uplifting and makes me want to dance and more than that it makes me wish I could dance like the professionals in the Youtube video below.