Is It Halloween Already?

Despite my best intentions the week got away from me AGAIN and I haven’t got a blog written. That’s skool holidays for you…

Out of curiosity I looked back to my very first blog on the OU website to see if my blogging style has developed. The short answer is no. Actually, that’s the long answer too. That said, it’s only been a couple of years, which came as a bit of a shock. If it seems longer for you, dear reader, that’s nowt to how it feels to me… 

Anyhoo, here in all its glory my very first blog, from 31st October 2010…

My son and his BFF are downstairs killing zombies and aliens on the X-Box so I’m confined to barracks for the duration. I could, of course, spend the time revising or even just reading the course materials, but that seems far too sensible a way to spend a Sunday morning. Besides, it’s hard to concentrate when you can hear two giggly teenagers farting and belching in the background as they chase school friends dressed in body armour across the surface of some distant planet or slash the throat of a groaning zombie Nazi who’s managed to get too close for even short arm firearms to be effective. Continue reading “Is It Halloween Already?”



Gosh it’s hot. Not that you’ll find me complaining, but gosh, it’s hot. I’m sure it’s not that much hotter than other hot summer days I’ve enjoyed in the past, but the never-ending winter and huge downpours preceding this lovely sunny spell seem to have thrown out my internal barometer. Either that, or I’ve been eating too much tuna and the mercury has got to me. But as I say, you won’t find me complaining, and I’ll be perfectly happy if god/mother nature/whoever decides to keep the stat up to max for the next five or six weeks or so too, because if there is one thing that I and all parents know it is that SKOOL HOLIDAYS AND FOUL WEATHER DO NOT MIX!

But gosh it’s hot… Continue reading “GOSH, IT’S HOT…”


Blimey! Did you read in the paper about those insane women in America who have been injecting their arses with an illegal mixture of silicone and superglue in an effort to achieve rear ends that look like Buster Gonad’s gonads?

Sadly, one of them – a British girl, who flew out with three of her mates to the good ol’ US of A especially for the procedure – has now ironically achieved the five minutes of fame she was undoubtedly hoping to achieve via the surgery by dying under the knife on the operating table just a few hours after receiving treatment. Well I say, ‘knife’ but obviously I mean hyperdeemic nurdle / turkey baster, and when I say ‘operating table’ it’s more likely to have been a grubby towel lain on the bare floor tiles of the hotel bathroom where the procedure took place.

Actually, thinking about it, even that is probably an overstatement – chances are she would have breathed her last bent double over a tatty sofa with her arse sticking out in the breeze like an over-inflated soufflé while some evil bint with the morals of a snake prodded and poked at her from behind with all the care and consideration of a Rentokil operative disposing of a poisoned rat. Continue reading “HEY FATTY BUM BUM, LET ME TELL YOU SUMT’ING…”

CHIP THERAPY: A Cure for Autism?

Apologies in advance to anyone anticipating the usual mix of waffle, rant and, hem-hem, “humour”. Today’s blog falls more into the category of ‘getting it off my chest”, and is a bit long-winded too at almost 2000 words. If you have no interest in the subject of autism then this is not the post for you and feel free to just pass on by. I’ll try to remember to post something a bit lighter tomorrow to make up for it – probably in the “Hackenthorpe Book of Lies” section.

For those who might be interested:

As the parent of an autistic child I am increasingly worried by the number of ‘woo’ therapies and interventions being promoted these days as alternatives to good, old fashioned, sensible parenting. The best of them at least encourage aspects of sensible parenting along with the rubbish elements, but can cost thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours only to take all credit away from the children and sensible parents whose combined efforts have actually achieved the results.

The worst kinds of therapies and interventions can, IMO, actually do harm, both physically and psychologically, to parents and children alike, further disabling autistic children by enabling dependencies and accommodating potentially manageable antisocial behaviours in ways that work to further isolate the child from the real world. Other therapies seek to ‘normalise’ children by forcing them to adhere to rigid medical models of neurotypical excellence that are often wholly inappropriate or unsustainable for autistic people. Watch a video of a DAN rally ‘stage parade’ if you want to see normalisation in action.

Of course there are many things that can help autistic people – PECS, for example, is a great communication tool for those who haven’t developed language or need to augment their speech – but even useful tools like this need to be used with caution lest the means to social communication become a strategy for social withdrawal. When used properly the benefits of something like PECS can be clearly seen, but sadly for every PECS there seem to be half a dozen alternative interventions where people claim evidence of a connection between strategy and outcome that is wildly subjective to say the very least.

I’m not going to write about any specific intervention here because there are far too many to cover, but the following can be generally applied to most of them… Continue reading “CHIP THERAPY: A Cure for Autism?”

All The Ducks Are Swimming In The Water…

Today’s blog probably falls into the ‘mawkishly self-indulgent’ category. Hopefully I’ll manage a couple of jokes along the way, but you have been warned…

Regular readers (there are a few!) will be aware that I’ve a bit of a soft spot for duk-duks, or ‘ducklings’ as they’re more commonly known… Today’s blog was prompted by the arrival of several new duk-duks (or ‘little fluffy dumplings of love’ as they are sometimes known when both duckling and duk-duk fail to satisfy) on Holden Pond. From the looks of it, there are two new clutches (are the contents of eggs still counted in clutches after hatching or is there another collective noun? Don’t answer that – I’ve just Googled and two options are ‘fleet’ of ducklings and/or ‘brood’ of ducklings. Brood is far too gloomy a word to describe such a lovely sight but fleet sounds very apt), or  (hem hem) ‘fleets’, of duk-duks doing the rounds, one a veritable armada of five + mum and dad and the other just a teensy-weensy flotilla of two + two.

Continue reading “All The Ducks Are Swimming In The Water…”