Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Saw this on Youtube and had to share it.

Emily How did you do in your GCSE's

Well the GSCE results are in and another year of improvement. I imagine that the fact that there has been constant improvement for the last 23 years has not been much of a comfort for the teenagers, and their parents who were waiting biting their nails last year.

I did mine in 1982 and I remember the tension, unbearable, especially as I had just moved to Germany and had to wait another week to get mine as someone had to post them to me. The day they arrived in our letter box, it was a very hot day and I was so excited I rang one of my old teachers to talk about them.

So congratulations to all of you that did your GCSE's I hope that you got the results you were looking for and will get the help you need if they weren't as good as you hoped.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Dear Emily, please shop locally

I have been shopping, ok perhaps not so so exciting, but it struck me that the shops on the Wokingham Road have got so good over the last few years. When I first lived in Norris Road in the mid 90's the shops were a bit grim.

We have a couple of butchers, one shown here, a couple of food shops including the one run by our old neighbours, Bali and her husband Buckshee, Rahim Stores. This is also one of the two shops you can by alcohol. We have a laudrette, ice cream shops and even if you like vintage shops a couple of charity shops.

There are a couple of great take aways, and the fantastic Erleigh Cafe, where the coffee's good and fry ups are legendary. You can even buy tools on the parade of shops. It is an amazing shoping area. I could go on and on, a real local shopping area.

So we are being constantly asked to reduce carbon emmissions and all of us that live in Park could do this by using our local shops, we have the fantastic COOP on the junction and a myriad of small corner shops in Newtown. If you live in Newtown its an easy walk to Tescos. If organic food is your thing then we even have the "True Food Coop" which comes to the Warehouse once a week or so.

There are some issues around the shops, especially with Parking, and I know that the local Neighbourhood Action Group, NAG has a number of issues which they are trying to raise with the shopkeepers. However
 if we as residents don't use the shops, esp those selling food and groceries, the problems around parking and rubbish will dissappear as the businesses will go out of business.

So Emily, when you have finished reading this, nip out to the shops and get the ingredients for tea and have a great weekend.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Congratulations to All A Level Students

Today was a big day in the McKenzie household, my eldest was expecting her exam results. She has done her AS's and like every 17 and 18 year old who had done exams last summer today was a tadge stressful. To see what the national picture for A Levels is click here.

I haven't seen much moaning about A Levels getting easier. I took my first lot of A Levels in 1985 and I have to admit I found them very very hard. I also took another in 1995 and that was even harder. I took and A Level in French and the whole exam was in French. I took a degree in German and Russian and only had to write a couple of papers in those languages. An A Level totally in French felt much harder than my degree. If you don't believe me I suggest trying to write a 300 word essay on the songs of George Brassens.

To help you in your efforts and Essay writing here is a Youtube clip of a Brassens song. There is a prize if you can email and tell me what the song is about. Email it to the address on the right

It is great to see that A level results have risen for the 27th Year in a row, 13 of those under a Labour government who invested in the Education system throughout. The young people collecting their A Levels today started school in 1996 and apart from their first year have enjoyed the benefits of this investment. With the Condems already having cut the Buliding For Schools programme and threatening to cut budgets how long will this improvement continue? I know as a Governor that we are seeing those that support us cut back and it will be interesting to see whether our local Condem admistration will cut to the same depth that their political chums in Whitehall do.

As a governor and local activist I will fight any reduction in support that the Condems give to Alfred Sutton and Newtown schools.

As for my daughter well, that's between her, her parents and the school. But I am proud of what she is acheived and love her very much.

So congratulations to all of this year's A Level and AS Level students I hope that you got the results you were looking for, however if the results weren't quite what you wanted, the situation will work itself out and there will be lots of people to help you move forward.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Pakistani Earthquake

Met with the Pakistani Community this evening to help raise money for relief of the Pakistani flood disaster.

With Cholera breaking out, the flood waters continuing to rise and thousands of people being displaced this was one of the most important meetings I have been to for a long time. I have been really moved by what has happened in Pakistan and have been keen to make sure that Reading is able to support the relief efforts.

That being said it was very enjoyable, but with a serious purpose, to spend time with the community, break the fast and share a meal with them. All this as part of the community's attempts to raise money. I was talking to the guys who were collecting money and they were telling me how generous people on the streets were being.

I was particularly pleased to see a mix of locals, and friends there. I was particularly pleased to see some friends from Wycliffe Baptist church there. It was also gratifying to see some of our Labour councillors there. Unfortunately the Park Councillors from the other Parties seemed to be absent, which was a shame.

If you want to donate some money to the relief efforts click the link to the Disasters Emergency Committee here

Monday, 16 August 2010

Reading Youth Theatre - Recognised By RBC

So no blog for a couple of weeks. I am writing a dissertation at the moment. 20,000 lovely words about East German film. Its going well so have some time to blog again.

Been to see Sophie, my eldest daughter, perform in the Reading Youth Theatre's Edinburgh Fringe production which they showcased at the Council.

The play is about the troubles that young refugees have in trying to get to the UK. It is truely moving, the group workshopped the play with refugees in Reading so that they can get a true feel of what being a young refugee is really like. The Reading Youth Theatre is supported by the Council and there were pleas from the group for the funding to continue so that their good work can continue. I can only support this, I have an interest, both my daughters are now in the theatre group and I think all young people should have the opportunity to stretch themselves.

Well done the Reading Youth Theatre and well done the production team. Reading Borough Council, please continue to support the group.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

All the Kings Men

If you are going to Edinburgh for the Festival you MUST check out Reading Youth Theatre's production....I am biased as my eldest daughter is performing there.