|Communication between friends|
phone was broken this week but I did not miss it, even though I was glad to get it back
today in normal working order again.
friend called to ask whether I was OK. She
had noticed my absence because she missed her daily doses of my photographs of
our work – she works in the offices of our Association and enjoys seeing what
we get up to and seeing what she works
so hard for!
else seemed to notice my absence from the smart-phone world because I still had
Skype and email connections from my home-computer.
thought that I had not missed the phone until looked back through my emails to check
for those I had not read. There were a few, all from the blogs that I follow
with the latest blog posting sent to me in my email inbox. Most of these blogs
are American so the emails telling me about new postings usually arrive during
the night. I read them on my mobile phone in bed, between alarm calls. There
are three. I doze between the first two and read the blog postings before the
one posting that I missed from a blog that I have only recently began to follow
another posting that I missed this week, from an old favourite –
course I missed the daily offerings, packed with so much valuable information, from
Dean’s Stroke Musings. I had to find time to read these in the evenings on my
home computer rather than in the early hours on my phone –
two advantages of having no mobile phone. The first was that I read books undisturbed
by phone calls and messages on the bus and tram, and the second, also to do with reading, I
read books instead of emails in bed in the mornings – something I have not done
two books on the go: a heavy one that I take to work as it is too heavy for
bedtime reading, and a smaller one, Lingo,
a Language Spotter’s Guide to Europe, by Gaston Dorren. This is an amazing
you must have seen people, usually men but I have also seen a woman or two over the
years, standing at the end of railway platforms writing down the numbers of all
the engines that they spot. Well this book is written by someone who spots
languages in the same way as train-spotters spot engines!
the footnotes at the end of each language-chapter, especially the second note which
is always a word from the specific language that the author has picked out that
does not exist in English but one that he believes should perhaps be adopted.
books on language and culture so much because my day revolves around so many
languages. I love to read about how these languages evolve and Lingo makes a
very entertaining journey from one country to the next, describing how the
languages travelled to become what they are today.
is full of different languages and cultures I have often written about how many
mother-tongues we have in our groups.
I spoke a bit of Hungarian, I worked with three different Hungarian conductors
and I met another four. I worked with two children whose mother-tongue is Turkish,
with one whose mother-tongue is Dutch, and another whose mother-tongue is
Russian. I worked with only two German children, one of whom gets top marks in
English and Latin – and between the conductors we are fluent in Hungarian,
English, German, and Swedish, with a bit of Greek, Italian, French and Russian!
More about the brain
heavy book that I carry to work is The
Brain’s Way of Healing, Stories of Remarkable Recoveries and Discoveries by
Norman Doidge, who also wrote The Brain
that Changes Itself.
opinion this his newest book, The Brain’s Way
of Healing, is not quite up to the story-telling standards of Oliver Sacks
but it is well on its way to being in the running. Oliver Sacks is quoted on
the back cover as saying that this book is – ‘A remarkable and hopeful portrait
of the endless adaptability of the human brain.’
Oliver Sacks’s next book being published in the spring, and its possibilty of
being his last, it is good to read a few new books that follow in his
footsteps. Another one of my recent reads in the same vein is – Reaching down the Rabbit Hole by Allan
Ropper and B. D. Burrell.
for thought for a journey
I hope I
have given some readers some food for thought over the weekend or on the
journey to work next week.
Dorren (2014), Lingo, a language spotter’s guide to Europe, Profile Books. IBNS
978-178 1254 165
(2015) The Brain’s Way of Healing, Stories of Remarkable Recoveries and Discoveries,
Allen Lane- Penguin Random House, ISBN 987-1-846-14424-0
Allan Ropper and B. D. Burrell (2014), Reaching
down the Rabbit Hole - Atlantic Books,
ISBN 978 1 782 39547 8