Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unexpected Visitors

On Saturday (10 November) Emma and Fred brought Anna, our new granddaughter, to stay with Jo and I for the day while they had a break in Poole. Fred wanted to indulge in some surfing and Emma had Open University studies to catch up on. Between feeding Anna Jo and I walked into Havant with her, had lunch on our return and a relatively quiet afternoon.

In the early evening our son, Tim, rang. He and his Jo were at Bognor Regis, visiting Jo’s relatives and wanted to come to our house to see Anna. The result was all of us together for the evening.

What was, in a sense, the most significant part came later, after we had a meal, followed by an hour or two of Anna receiving a great deal of attention. By then Anna was tired, so, after yet another bottle of milk Jo put her in her pram and rocked her to sleep.

By then it was a about 9.00 p.m. a little after that, ten past nine, or thereabouts, I was looking over my left shoulder towards the pram with Anna in it, plus Jo, Tim and his Jo, Emma and Fred, wondering what my mother and father would think about the group, particularly Anna, when my higher senses suddenly became more open. My late parents were behind me, by the lounge door, together; they were happy and delighted. They were standing with their backs to the door, a foot or two from it, my father nearest to me with my mother a little further away, on his left, their arms around each other. It was a shame they were not in the physical to see and be with their great granddaughter in that way but, in the greater reality sense they were with us anyway, as we are all always together. They were both very happy and pleased with what they saw. The left side of my head was “fizzing” as it tended to, at times, when my senses were that attuned and it stayed that way for at least fifteen to twenty minutes, only starting to fade when Emma, Fred, Anna, Tim and his Jo were leaving.

A very enjoyable day had ended unexpectedly busy, plus the added extra of my late parents arriving, a pleasant surprise which I told Jo about the next day. Fortunately, Jo is open enough to be able to accept that with ease; while my mother was terminally ill in 2004 events reached a stage where Jo sensed and said, to me, that my mother was not really there; her physical world representation was but not the real, actual, person, something I had largely concluded some time before that (www.richardspsychicrealm.com/RPR_PreDEMM.htm).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An interesting Conference and a strange amateur video

While September ended busily and October began much the same, it soon turned strange as well.

On 6th October, a Saturday, I travelled to London for the “Healing and Spirituality in the 21st Century” Conference at the Friends Meeting House in Euston, conveniently directly across the road from the Underground and Railway Station. The Conference was organised by the National Federation of Spiritual Healers and the London Branch of the Doctor Healer Network

An odd Sunday when several small things went wrong during some DIY around the house was followed by an even stranger Monday. Everything was normal as I stopped off in Havant on the way back from a meeting with a client. I walked through the Meridian Centre on my way to collect a copy of the local newspaper, The News, from the Newspaper Office in East Street, our Saturday copy not having been delivered.

I was most of the way through the Meridian Centre when I was passed by some youths going the in the opposite direction, one of whom stopped, came over to me and started talking, asking questions, all of which fell somewhere between incomprehensible and gibberish. The only parts that made sense included something to do with Moo, which turned out to be M.O.O., an abbreviation for something to do with video and DVD and mention of a spoof programme whereby people were set up in some situation and secretly videoed, plus, occasionally asking me if I had a word for him.

It was at that point that I realised the youth had occasionally glanced down. When I looked down as well, I saw a video camera pointing at me. At that point I asked wheat he was up to and reached for the camera. He ran as fast as he could with me after him, catching up with him outside the north side of the Meridian Centre with the camera not in sight. Remembering he had asked me if I had a word for him, I reminded him of that and said I had not one word but two, “snivelling coward”.

In due course I tracked the student back to Havant College, the authorities of which readily apologised , along with a letter from the student, though he was still not brave enough to give his full name. The full storyof the college media student is related on my Journal Web Site.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Anna and the Book

September ended busily and interestingly, fascinatingly, so this is something of a belated entry.

The most important event was the arrival, on 26th September, of Anna, a first grandchild for Jo and I. Anna was born to our daughter, Emma and her partner Fred (Fjodor) at St Richard’s Hospital Chichester. The only downside was that Emma had a rough time which ended in an emergency Caesarean and her back was injured on the delivery table. The injury was not noted or reported but, overall, both Anna and Emma were well looked after.

The day before, on 25th September, Barbara Ford-Hammond’s book “Past Life Tourism – Gateway to Bridging Your Past and Future” (Mirage Publishing) was published (www.richardspsychicrealm.com/RPR_Barbara_Ford-Hammond.htm).

Sylvie Lucas (www.familiarspirit.co.uk/FS_Sylvie_Lucas.htm) the editor of my book (www.rememberinglorelei.com) is also in “Past Life Tourism” (www.pastlifetourism.com).

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sylvie and Richard Lucas, Jo, Lorelei, Familiar Spirit Web Site and the Havant Healers’ Group

On Saturday 14th July 2007, Sylvie Lucas came to my house for us to spend a few hours building a Web Site for her and Richard Lucas (www.richardspsychicrealm.com/RPR_familiar_spirit_richard_lucas.htm), Sylvie’s discarnate husband. The result is the Familiar Spirit Web Site at www.familairspirit.co.uk. Sylvie’s own page on the Web Site is www.familiarspirit.co.uk/FS_Sylvie_Lucas.htm.

I had cleared enough space in the room where I have my computer for Sylvie to be able to sit beside me as we went through the Web Site building process. Richard Lucas along with Lorelei (www.loreleilegend.com), my discarnate Soulmate were content to stand over by the door.

Sylvie had previously E-mailed me the text and some illustrations though, as it transpired, it will be best to double check copyright on some, though clearance ahs been given in principle.

Richard Lucas and Sylvie had a preference for a green background so I had made up a dark green to very light green left to right fade on the GR Sites (www.grsites.com) free facility the night before. Through experience I had found that a white background is preferable, otherwise text needs to be large, or bolder, than otherwise. Sylvie could see that when I showed her on my monitor, so I went back to GR Sites and made up a dark green to white fade. Sylvie was happy with that and so was Richard Lucas; Sylvie told me but I had already heard him and turned to him to acknowledge that.

I thought the process might take two to three hours; in the event it was more like six hours. As a result, Sylvie stayed for some light refreshments at lunch time, which we had in the garden with Jo (www.rememberinglorelei.com/RL_Jo%20my%20Wife.htm). We needed the break anyway.

Jo had met Sylvie before but not had time to get to know her very well, so made up for it while we were in the garden, particularly as Jo had recently read Sylvie’s story “I married my spirit lover” in the August Issue of “Take a Break - Fate and Fortune”.

In the afternoon we returned to the computer and finished off the Web Site, the result being basic but that is all that is needed. “Flash” Sites tend to be just that, flash. Many times I have come across Web Sites that seem “too clever by half”, take a long time to load, are confusing, etc., and have given up on them almost immediately, as have many other people I know.

I took a few digital photographs of Sylvie, in our garden, to give her a selection to choose from for her page (www.familiarspirit.co.uk/FS_Sylvie_Lucas.htm) on the Familiar spirit Web Site (www.familiarspirit.co.uk).

As Sylvie left, we briefly discussed the day and she commented, in reference to Jo, that she could “see the light coming out of her”. The connection between Jo and Lorelei, Soul Sisters (www.rememberinglorelei.com/RL_Jo%20and%20Lorelei.htm), made abundant sense to Sylvie.

The four of us, Sylvie, Richard Lucas, Lorelei and I met up again on Tuesday 24th July as the local healers’ Group, of which we are members, was due to have a picnic that evening, Napier Hall (www.horndeanpc-hants.gov.uk/hallhire.htm), Horndean (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horndean; horndean.net/churches/baptist.shtml), where it usually met on that evening, being closed for refurbishment. I had not been to the Napier Hall before, only attending the Healers’ Group on the other two Tuesdays of each month (the first and second Tuesday) at The Bear Hotel (www.thebear-hotel.com/findus.htm) in Havant.

I was the first to arrive, then Sylvie, who told me that the plans had changed and we were going out for a meal instead. Lene, Sheila, Sue, Doreen and Jan arrived soon afterwards and it was decided we would go to the Colonial Bar (formerly the Good Intent) next door to the Hall.

Sheila insisted on buying us all drinks and during the conversations that followed I said something about IPA, which I noticed on the bar. Sheila did not know wheat it was so I explained, India Pale Ale. At that point I thought I heard Richard Lucas say something about IPA not being around in 1840, when he was last incarnate, and mentioned it to Sylvie.

“Oh, no, it was just ordinary beer then,” she confirmed, though I was aware of that anyway.

Then I heard Richard Lucas say, complain, good naturedly, that, on his current level, you good not get drunk, sloshed, as he seemed to put it, on alcohol. Again I mentioned it to Sylvie.

“He’s often complaining about that,” she confirmed, it does not have the same effect over there, “He says you cannot get wet either, not properly. He used to love walking on the downs in the rain.”

Then someone indicated we would be going upstairs, to a table on a raised floor, for our meal. As I glanced up I saw a beam, past the top of the stairs, with “MIND YOUR HEAD” in gold letters.

“Good job I haven’t go my high heels on,” commented Lorelei, which I passed on to Sylvie as I thought that, though Lorelei is tall, she is also discarnate and her head would go through the beam anyway, if she did not duck, uncomfortable but not disastrous. Besides, the beam did not look quite that low.

As when we had built the Web Site, as well as other on occasions, we were in a four way conversation, two incarnate, Sylvie and I, two discarnate (Richard Lucas and Lorelei). I commented to Sylvie that we would probably end up being carted away if the relevant people overheard us.

“More than likely,” said Sylvie, grinning.

As it happens, there are those who have already been putting it about that my “marbles are loose”, for nefarious ends and purposes, as they have for several years and which was confirmed by “The Well-wisher” (www.richardsjournal.co.uk/RJ_The_Well-wisher.htm) early in 2007. Fortunately, that is contrary to the opinion of all of my colleagues, including Members and Fellows of the Royal College of Psychiatry.

In due course we went up stairs, at which point I realised that the beam was somewhat lower than it had seemed from the ground floor; Lorelei was right. As Lorelei is discarnate, her head would simply have gone through the beam, though that would not necessarily have been particularly comfortable for her.

The rest of the evening proceeded relatively normally, with Richard Lucas and Lorelei remaining, mainly, in the background, recognising that the rest of us have physical lives which we need to live.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Familiar Spirit – Sylvie Lucas and her discarnate (spirit) husband

Thursday 5th July 2007, was an interesting day and one I had looked forward to for several weeks, along with my friend and fellow healer, Sylvie Lucas, of Waterlooville, Havant, Hampshire. The reason was that the story of Sylvie and her discarnate (spirit) husband, Richard Lucas (www.richardspsychicrealm.com/RPR_familiar_spirit_richard_lucas.htm), was that their story was to be in the August Issue of “Take a Break, Fate and Fortune”. Sylvie wrote her own story, which was initially edited and put forward by journalist Andrea Wren (www.andreawren.co.uk/2006/09/my_story.html). Following a little extra editing by Sharon Jaffa and photographs by Angela Nott, the final product arrived in newsagents and similar, across the Country. It will be interesting to see what reactions there are, particularly as the story of Sylvie and Richard Lucas has become entwined with the story of Lorelei and I (www.rememberinglorelei.com), in addition to us all being in a new book by Barbara Ford-Hammond (www.barbaraford-hammond.com).

Sylvie’s original title, “I married a spirit”, was changed only slightly to “I married my spirit lover”, with the lead on the cover, “A ghost proposed to me and I accepted!”. I had already found Sylvie to be a good writer. Andrea Wren and Sharon Jaffa, the story editors, seem to have been of a similar opinion as the printed story did not appear to vary a great deal from the version Sylvie sent me by E-mail several months ago; it certainly flowed as well. They did not give it any silly treatment and sensationalise it, though, to most people, it is fairly sensational as it stands. How many other people are married to a discarnate person.

Both Sylvie and I had wondered what sort of presentation the magazine would give her story. That was due to comments from different sources about how badly some magazines treated people’s personal stories, changing them almost completely but keeping the name of the person whose true story had initiated the magazines involvement. So, there was a degree of apprehension, which proved to be unfounded.

I bought a copy of “Take a Break, Fate and Fortune”, at W.H. Smith, in Havant, on the Thursday morning, on the way to a meeting with a client, and managed to find time to read it later in the day. Something that intrigued me was the stock photograph of the horseman used in the article; if you put a dark beard on him it would be a close very likeness to Richard Lucas as I see him.

Sylvie’s story had been passed on to Andrea Wren by Barbara Ford-Hammond (www.barbaraford-hammond.com). I had met Barbara through an abortive television recording and thought she might be interested in Sylvie’s experiences. Barbara was sufficiently intrigued that Sylvie and Richard Lucas are both in Barbara’s forthcoming book, “Past Life Tourism”, along with Lorelei and I, as well as, in a sense, the prominent businesswoman helping me with my book.

The television recording was not used, along with two others Barbara made with the same company, for which she is very thankful as the programmes were so bad.

It was during 2006 that I first met Sylvie, at one of our local Healers’ Group meetings. Sylvie was new to the Group and that particular meeting was the fifth Tuesday in the month; on such evenings we gathered at the house of a member of the Group rather than one of the healing locations. The subject of an editor for my book, “Remembering Lorelei” (www.rememberinglorelei.com) came up in during a conversation. I jokingly suggested that my Healer friends could manage the editing between them, as it would only work out at about twenty thousand words for each of the six of them.

Then Sylvie said, “I’ll do it.”

It transpired that Sylvie could read quickly and accurately, as well as having carried out similar work before.

The other development was that Sylvie, who sees other people’s discarnate companions, friends, only occasionally, saw Lorelei, more or less, immediately. We exchanged our own stories in more detail after the meeting.

Much later I learned that Sylvie had a conversation with Richard Lucas about their involvement with Lorelei and I and he expressed the opinion that it could be quite a ride, a fascinating experience. So it has proved to be with Lorelei and Richard Lucas working behind the scenes over the last several months. That included Richard Lucas watching the local artist who is painting the cover for my book, putting the finishing touches to his work; as he was making minor adjustments to the painting, Noel glanced to his right and saw a man stroking his beard while watching him paint. I have seen Richard Lucas in the same pose while he has been watching Sylvie healing.

Friday, May 18, 2007

To Beard or not to Beard?

After many years of delays in progressing past a particular situation this summer looks like being very interesting in that I am due to appear in a book as well as having my own autobiographical book published. Details will follow when the Good Witch of the South and I have finalised the book manuscripts, my book Web Site being at www.rememberinglorelei.com; all will become clear, along with other connections, in a few weeks time.

In addition, I had recently been in a conversation with a “Well Wisher”, who confirmed what I had thought about certain past events in Havant and Hampshire, as well as providing valuable information, having followed my progress through my Web Sites. The same person also advised me that certain people were putting it about that “his marbles are loose”, though professional experienced psychiatrists, Members and Fellows of the Royal College of Psychiatry no less, who know me well consider me entirely sane (www.rememberinglorelei.com/RL_About%20me.htm), though, from a limited intellect point of view, that is understandable, given the nature of my Web Sites (www.rememberinglorelei.com/RL_RK_mows.htm).

Hence, there was too much on my mind while shaving one morning in mid-April. The lack of concentration led to a cut chin. As Jo and I were going on holiday in the New Forest the following week, the obvious choice was to simply stop shaving and let it grow.

A couple of weeks later I had a respectable beard, though was not sure whether I liked it or not. Jo had thought she might like me to have one, which was another reason for letting it grow, as an experiment.

However, Jo thought it made me look stern and Emma, our daughter, said it made me look older, which beards usually do, and Jo agreed. Partly because of a remark Jo made, I told Emma, who is expecting a baby, that I was practising to be a grandfather.

I thought it might be interesting to keep it into the summer, maybe for amusing confusion when the books are published and I finally get into the public domain; as compared with the photographs on my Web Sites (www.richardking.name, www.richardsjournal.co.uk, etc.).

Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of having a beard, or not, as and when the mood takes me, though Richard Lucas, Sylvie’s husband, who I have come to know quite well, does just that. Unlike Sylvie, my Proof Reader/Editor and I, Richard Lucas is discarnate, has no physical body, at present, and with that comes such ability in defining, deciding, one’s appearance (www.richardspsychicrealm.com/RPR_familiar_spirit_richard_lucas.htm).

A positive development was a conversation about beards, Richard Lucas, the non-physical, Lorelei (www.rememberinglorelei.com/RL_Lorelei.htm, www.loreleilegend.com) and so on, during an evening while on holiday in the New Forest.

Jo is very intuitive and senses at a high level, at times, including a little while my mother was terminally ill in 2004 (www.richardspsychicrealm.com/RPR_PreDEMM.htm). However, she is very much in the physical and muted, particularly considering she is Lorelei’s Soul Sister (www.rememberinglorelei.com/RL_Jo%20and%20Lorelei.htm), a connection which surfaced when Lorelei helped Jo through a major operation in the mid 1990s. During that conversation, who Jo really is began to surface more, at least a little.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A cold spring in Paris with the Three Chicks

Thanks to a generous present from Tim and Emma, our son and daughter, last Friday Jo and I were heading for a late March weekend in Paris.

We left Havant at on the 10 04 p.m. train and, after a short delay on the way to London, due to a freight train negotiating a signal problem, arrived at London Waterloo only ten to fifteen minutes late. Jo had texted ahead to Tim to warn him, as he was meeting us at the station to confirm the tickets.

The Eurostar train left London Waterloo International at 1.41 p.m. and arrived in Paris, at the Gare du Nord. The train was impressive, particularly traveling in France when, while running alongside a motorway it appeared to be overtaking vehicles at about twice the speed they were traveling, which would have meant a train speed in excess of 150 m.p.h.

Outside Gare du Nord there was a very long queue for Taxis. We were offered a limousine style Taxi for 90 Euros (about £60), which seemed a might excessive for even a reasonable distance, let alone what was purported to be a fifteen minute walk.

After consulting a map, I took a deep breath as regards finding the way and we decided to walk. As far as map reading went I got us quite close to the Hotel, Les Trois Poussins (The Three Chicks) in Rue Clauzel, but the map was not detailed enough. After consulting a female Police Officer, who could not speak English, and a couple of greengrocers, who were very pleasant and helpful, we found the Hotel.

It was during the walk that my first impressions of Paris formed, essentially, just like London, except they drive on the wrong side of the road and the signs are gibberish. Maybe it was the cold weather combined with trying to find my way through a strange city. In any even, my mood, feelings, soon lighted. They certainly did by well into the following day, Saturday. Besides, my French, largely remembered from forty-five years previously, at school, was enough to make out quite lot, at least as far as signs and shop fronts were concerned; later, menu items started to come back as well.

The only sensible way to get to other parts of Paris, without spending a fortune on Taxis, was to use the Metro. Finding one’s way around on an underground, Metro, system is far easier that bus routes. The Paris Metro not only has colour coded lines, as does the London Underground, but each line has its own number, so, it was simply a matter of deciding on the route and following the relevant colours, number. It was also quite inexpensive at 1. Euros each way to the Bir-Hakeim Station near the Eiffel Tower.

Unfortunately, that Saturday was very cold and, intermittently, rather wet. It was also overcast and a little misty. So, apart from a long cold wait to go up the Eiffel Tower, the view at the top, up to 74 kilometers on a clear day, was very restricted. We opted for a tour bus instead. Unfortunately that was so cold, on the open top, we moved down inside; not such a good view and no place to take decent photographs but decidedly warmer. I listened to the commentary provided, on earphones, and, though the quality of the sound was, occasionally, not brilliant, I learned quite a lot about the parts of Paris that the tour covered.

It was fairly late in the afternoon before we returned to the Hotel. It was a relief to be out of the cold. We lay on the bed and read as we rested, intending to go to a restaurant for a meal in due course.

That evening we ate nearby, at La Calangue Pizza Restaurant. Jo and I had a pizza each, though somewhat different; Jo’s was her usual Marguerite, mine a Provençale. We shared a half bottle of rose and finished with a real crème brouillée as opposed to the usual supermarket variety, version.

On returning to the Hotel, I asked the Receptionist for the key to Room 203, adding that my numbers, in French, did not go that high.

She said it was easy, “Deux cent trois.”

I had not been thinking enough, or remembered enough.

She was right, it was easy, so I said and repeated,

“Of course, deux cent trois.”

“Your accent is South of France,” commented the Receptionist.

I laughed as I corrected her,

“My accent is Clacton County High School, 1960.”

She laughed as well as Jo broke into our conversation,

“Come on. You’ve had two much wine.”

I had only had a glass and a half of rosé. It was just my natural exuberant sense of humour and quick wit; not something with which all my family are happy, though immediate family are okay with it.

Jo should certainly have been used to it after thirty five years, plus; though she had some wine as well

Sunday, the day of our return, was somewhat warmer, with the weather due to improve after we left.

However, overall it had been an interesting visit with Les Trois Poussins turning out to be a very pleasant little hotel.

We finally arrived home at about 9.30 p.m., via a coach from Petersfield due to engineering work on the line south of there.

I booted up the computer to see if there was an E-mail from Barbara Ford-Hammond, a reaction to Lorelei’s thoughts on Andrea Wren’s regression, for her forthcoming book, “Past Life Tourism”, Mirage Books; about which, more later; Barbara had wondered if Lorelei (www.loreleilegend.com/index.htm) would like to comment and Lorelei had been only too pleased to do so, of course. There was no E-mail, so I told Jo and mused that Barbara was either so taken aback that she did not know what to say, or was having the weekend off, among other possibilities; though in practice, it is Barbara who is supposed to be muse, according to her Blog (www.newsfromthemuse.blogspot.com).

Jo said something along the lines of,

“You’ve probably shocked her so much you’ve blown the poor woman’s bunions off.”

Actually, they are supposed to have gone already by other means, but that is Barbara’s story, though I accepted the sentiment of Jo’s reply.

I did begin to wonder if Jo was becoming more in tune with her Celestial Sister, remember, sense, what she is like, at this stage of our current physical life together.

It turned out to be a little different, in due course. Barbara found Lorelei’s comments “interesting”. Does that mean Barbara is getting used to Lorelei? Now that is an achievement, for, almost, anyone.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The store that was not, perhaps, to be; plus a journey to Oz?

On the way back from Fareham, yesterday afternoon, I called in at Tesco, Havant, for a little shopping and to buy some coal.

When I was at the checkout, in the store, I asked the Checkout Assistant if she knew what was happening with the new store that had been proposed. She said that, as far as she knew it was not going to happen, not be built.

She said that Tesco had sold off land at each end of the site. That I, more or less, knew, as they had been denied planning permission to go beyond the present store site; hence the proposal to build a store “in the air”, in effect above the existing car park and existing store ground area.

The Assistant said that the Council had refused planning permission, due; it seemed to the large number of objections to the new store that it had received. I was surprised, taken aback; that meant that Havant Council had actually said no to Tesco.

On the basis of events over the last several years I had developed a general “rule of thumb” that Havant Council would cave in to anyone who had financial muscle of a few hundred thousand Pounds, to a million Pounds, or more, even when planning permissions were breached; anything less than that and you did not stand a chance with the Council.

The idea of Havant Council denying an organisation of Tesco proportions what it wanted was phenomenal. I began to wonder where the Council had gained its courage, short of a trip down the Yellow Brick Road to see the Wizard of Oz. So that is a fantasy, though no more than Havant Council standing up to someone bigger than itself seemed.

The Assistant said that Tesco could re-apply in March but seemed to think that it would not happen. Part of her reason for that was the new checkouts that were due. The staff had, apparently, been complaining about the old ones and asking for new ones for some time. They had new ones due to be installed in June or July, some six months, or so, hence. So, to the best of her knowledge, the new store was not going to be built.

Strange things happen in Havant, at times.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Education and Standards – Personal Experiences

The Saturday 10 February entry on the Blog of my hypnotist and muse friend Barbara Ford-Hammond (www.newsfromthemuse.blogspot.com) reminded me of my own experiences three years or so ago at educational establishments in southern England.

As well as lecturing in engineering materials and design at a further education college I was involved in providing support for students who were finding their studies difficult. That covered a range of students though included those studying engineering.

One such student, on an Engineering Diploma Course, had difficulties with a number of the problems he had been set.

Of the problems with which I helped him there was always one which particularly came to mind. It involved a weight suspended by two cords, each at a different angle to the horizontal; a simple statics problem. I showed him how to solve it by resolving forces horizontally and vertically; the sum of the horizontal forces in the cords being, of course, zero, and the vertical forces in the cords being equal to the weight supported. The horizontal forces were the tensions in the cords multiplied by the Cosine of the angle to the horizontal and the vertical forces were the tensions in the cords multiplied by the Sine of the angle and the weight.

The student looked at what I had drawn and written for a few seconds, then asked,

“What’s Sine?”

Bearing in mind that I was talking to a student who was eighteen or nineteen years old, well into his Engineering Diploma Course, and I had mastered such levels of trigonometry by the age of fourteen, I was somewhere between amused and bemused.

More was to follow. After setting out a problem in my usual way; read the question careful, draw, lay it out on paper, set up the basic equations and solve, the student again looked at what I had done, listened to my explanation, and asked a question; on that occasion it was,
”What’s Pythagoras?”

Another student was studying electrical engineering, something I had not been involved with in earnest since my first year at Brunel University (www.brunel.ac.uk) in 1967. He was stuck on some problems involving alternating current in electrical circuits with the usual resistance, capacitance and impedance elements. When such knowledge is long gone, or, at least, ahs not been used for some time, the obvious starting point is the College Library and appropriate library research skills; find an appropriate book, look up the basics, find similar problems in worked example form, follow them through and regain forgotten knowledge. A little over an hour later I had done electrical calculations of a type last worked through some thirty-five years previously and a student was a little happier and more confident with his work.

At a higher level, I lectured final year Engineering Degree Students on engineering materials at a University for a several weeks. Of the forty-plus students many (most?) were foreign. There were only about half a dozen of those who could have lived with my 1967-1971 Brunel University Engineering Degree Course.

Barbara’s 10th February anecdote of a conversation that illustrated the woeful standards of knowledge was very much in line with my experiences in the education system. To say that education standards have been dumbed down would be a rather gentle way of putting it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Back Online and Visible Again

For the last couple of years I have been concentrating on my Web Sites and have neglected blogging as such; though the Blog of a relatively recently acquired and very good friend, Barbara Ford-Hammond (www.newsfromthemuse.blogspot.com) has encouraged me to try to do more with this one. We have similar interests in the non-physical field and, it would seem, a not dissimilar sense of humour.

Besides, having been off the Internet for the best part of two months, thanks to some malware and not particularly brilliant computer repairers (eventually sorted out by someone else) it is good to be back on the Internet and visible again. This is as good a way to start as any, particularly while I play catch up with my Web Sites.

As you will gather from my Web Sites such as www.richardsjournal.co.uk, as well as the archives of this Blog, an Internet presence is about the only way of being heard in the town where I live, or the County for that matter; Havant, Hampshire, England.

However, despite all of that, there have been positive developments. My autobiographical book, “Remembering Lorelei” (www.rememberinglorelei.com) should, at long last, be out in the next few weeks, will be reviewed in national publications and I should be appearing in such publications before that.

Developments can be followed through the above Journal Web Site (www.richardsjournal.co.uk), at least when I finish catching up with the word processing.