A Good Education

When I was away last weekend, I discussed my time at school with a friend who I met there, 58 years ago. That discussion has prompted me to reblog this post. A tribute to my education, originally posted in 2012.

beetleypete

I confess that I know little of the school system today. I am aware that many teachers are unhappy, that exam results are possibly being manipulated, and Department of Education targets seem to be the driving force behind teaching. I also see that standards of spelling, literacy, numeracy, and general knowledge have fallen, and students rely heavily on the Internet for information that they might once have learned. University degrees have lost their status and potential graduates now have to face the prospect of years of debt ahead of them. Things have changed, of that there can be little doubt. There is a distinct lack of Historical knowledge, and little regard for the relevance of the subject. Geography, and geographical awareness, has reached a low, to the extent that many young people could not place themselves on a World map.

I do not have statistics to support these claims, but…

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Free Crime/Mysteries

More free books and samples! This offer includes something from author and blogger, Stevie Turner.

Stevie Turner

Do you like to read Crime/Mystery novels? The BookFunnel promotion below features 66 FREE books or samples for you to enjoy:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/freemysterycrime/51vgiokbur

I have added a free sample of my novel ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards‘ to the promotion, parts of which are loosely based on actual events.

Here is a 5 star review from January 2020:

In Stevie Turner’s latest novel, Examining Kitchen Cupboards (2019), Jill Hayes takes on a new job In a college exam administration office. She had hoped it would lead to a career but quickly discovered it was much too technical for her skillset. As she struggles to learn the complicated tasks that would allow her to succeed, she stumbles upon illicit activities that she feels honor-bound to report. No one will listen–not the newspapers, the college, or even the agency responsible for the exams–until finally someone does. Things don’t work out as Jill had…

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Some Britsploitation films

Another old film post from 2013, a look at some very different British films. I think only Eddy and Vinnie have seen this one previously.

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The Antipodean film buff, and blogger extraordinaire, James Curnow, recently added an interesting post on his website, at http://curnblog.com/  It was a look at twelve Australian films, and he wittily entitled it, ‘Ozpolitation: Twelve Australian Exploitation Classics.’ This was a play on the often-used term, ‘Blaxpolitation’, common in film writing to describe a genre of American films that featured predominantly black casts, small budgets, huge Afro hairstyles, and jive-talking leading men. These films were mostly made in the 1970’s, taking popular cinematic subjects of the day, and re-making them with a black cast, and lots of cultural references relevant to the largely black-populated districts of America’s cities. Well-known examples include; ‘Cleopatra Jones’, ‘Car Wash’, ‘Shaft’, and ‘Superfly’. They usually had soundtracks featuring leading black artists of the day, including such leading lights as Curtis Mayfield, and Isaac Hayes.

This gave me food for thought. British Cinema has not escaped this…

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Summer Giveaways

FREE BOOKS and samples, including something from writer and blogger Stevie Turner. Available until the 18th of July.

Stevie Turner

Over 50 Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Romance / Suspense FREE books and samples feature in this BookFunnel promotion which runs until July 18th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/summer-shorts-giveaway/xtl0xxkvrs

I have featured my romantic suspense novel ‘A House Without Windows‘ in the promotion:

Dr Beth Nichols thinks she has been held captive by Edwin Evans for about 8 or 9 years now. Amidst her grief she often looks back and thinks about her fiancé Liam. She lies awake at night staring at the one light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that Liam is still out there somewhere searching for her...

5 Star Review:

Devastating, creepy, and deeply affecting, Stevie Turner’s A House Without Windows is many things: among them are several different, disturbing love stories, a tale of abduction, imprisonment, and menace, a narrative of a woman clinging to hope in the face of utter…

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The Letters

A tremendously poignant piece from Cheryl that many of us can relate to. Beautifully written, and full of genuine emotion.

Living in the Gap

“To write is human, to get mail: Devine!” Susan Lendroth

I didn’t know it would be the last letter I would ever write my Mother, that it would never be delivered, and I would not find it until four years after her death.

Have you ever questioned your understanding of time? How it slips by unnoticed until one day you’re given a blatant reminder, emphasizing our limited time, reminding us not to waste a single moment.

My reminder came right from the grave.

As you know there’s a story behind everything, sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are humorous, but behind most of my stories is my mother, because she is the beginning and the end.

I share this story enmeshed in deep emotion that has nowhere to go but onto the page, receive it gently, with the upmost care, I’m a fragile one today.

…There was no…

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Short Story Collections

Free Books and Samples. Short story collections this time. Check out Stevie’s post!

Stevie Turner

Are you too busy to read long novels? If you are, then you might like this BookFunnel promotion, which features 18 collections of short stories and runs until June 12th. You will be able to download free books and/or samples by clicking on the link below:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/short-stories-on-bookfunnel/7pj2z8oqkp

I have added ‘Understanding‘ to the promotion, a collection of true and significant life events told not only by myself, but also by 19 of my author friends. Here is a review written in May 2019:

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Stories of the Struggles in Life that Lead to Joy and Peace

Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2019 – Verified Purchase

I’ve delved into this book as if reading/listening to the lives of good friends who have gone through traumatic times, and come out of them with insight and wonder to write about them. Each ‘chapter’…

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Some Comedy films

Another old film post from 2013 that no current followers appear to have seen. (Except Eddy) Unusually for me, this one is about comedy films.

beetleypete

Some time ago, my friend Jim Medway (look him up, very talented cartoonist) asked if I was going to post some suggestions for comedy films that I would recommend. I had feared that someone would make that request, as Comedy is my least favourite genre, when it comes to films. It is not that I don’t find things funny, far from it; just not the sort of things that are commonly called ‘comedy’, by film-makers.

I could barely raise a chuckle at the big box-office successes starring the likes of Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Steve Martin. It is also highly unlikely that I will ever want to watch a teenage ‘rom-com’, or one of the cruder attempts at being funny, that seem so popular in the multiplexes these days. I will confess that some parts of ‘There’s something about Mary’ made me laugh, but not enough to get it…

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Some Musical films

Another film post reblog from 2013. This time it features some musicals. Hardly anyone has seen it before, except Eddy and
Vinnie.

beetleypete

I am not generally a fan of musicals, especially theatrical ones. I have never seen a Lloyd-Webber, and have nothing good to say about ‘Les Miserables’, or ‘Moulin Rouge’. However, there are some film musicals that I do like, and it is those I recommend here. Most, if not all are well known, so nothing to surprise the reader.

The Producers. This original 1968 version, written and directed by Mel Brooks, still makes me laugh 45 years later. The story is about an unscrupulous Broadway producer (Zero Mostel) duping old ladies into backing a production that is designed to be a failure; then all the backers lose their money, and the producers of the title clean up. At least that is the plan. He recruits a shy accountant (Gene Wilder) to fiddle the books, and buys a sure-fire disaster of a script from a Nazi fanatic, entitled ‘Springtime for…

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Some American Civil War films

Another film post reblog from 2013, this time on films about the American Civil War. I appreciate this is a very niche interest. 🙂

beetleypete

Something that I have not previously mentioned, I have had a life long interest in the American Civil War. To be accurate, Civil Wars in general, though that will probably be the subject of another post, not in this category. When I was young, there was a television series, called ‘The Gray Ghost’. This was imported from the USA, and concerned the exploits of a Confederate irregular unit, led by the real life officer, Major Mosby. The issues surrounding the causes of the war, States’ rights, Industrialisation and immigration in the North, and the issue of slavery, were not really addressed of course, and it was all about the action. I later read a lot about this war, and carried on the interest into adulthood. Like many others, I favoured the Confederacy, though naturally not from a racist standpoint, more from admiration of the tactical skills of their generals, and…

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Some films about Art

Another film post from 2013 that hardly anyone has seen. This time it is about famous artists whose lives were filmed.

beetleypete

You know the old  quote, ‘I don’t know much about Art, but I know what I like!’ Well, I only know a bit about Art, but quite a lot about films. Here are some suggestions that manage to combine the two, providing visual delights, exciting action, and some great acting in the process.

Caravaggio. Whatever you think of the controversial English film-maker, Derek Jarman, don’t let it put you off this 1986 work. Despite the quirky additions to the story, ( a typewriter in 17th Century Italy!) strong performances by a very good cast make this well-worth watching. The story of Carvaggio is told both on film, and by his paintings. His love interest, played by a younger Sean Bean, is an integral part of the plot also, with Bean taking hold of the film for the most part, and overshadowing Nigel Terry, in the lead role. What makes it…

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