Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Travelling British Columbia

Outside the teepee our fire is crackling. The mountainside campsite grants us a spectacular view of a snowcapped range with the sun setting in the distance. From the border with Alberta I can reflect on four days in eastern Canada.
     Vancouver is a city. Like most cities it has skyscrapers, restaraunts and buses that don't run to time (although they were better than many English services). We also visited the pleasant area of Gastown and had dinner there.
    In north Vancouver is a hidden valley and across it the Capilano suspension bridge. Above the river and between the trees we swayed and I began to feel like I'd found some of what I came to British Columbia to see.
    Monday morning we collected our hire car and departed Vancouver on the Sea-to-sky highway. It was precipitating rather badly but we ignored that and set off in search of mountains. It wasn't long until we found some and lost ourselves amongst their soaring peaks.
     In Whistler we stopped in the Olympic village before heading on around hairpin bends, deeper into the Canadian wilderness. We drove over 500 km and finished at a small youth hostel with old railway carriages for dorm rooms.
     Today we continued further into the Rockies, in dryer weather thankfully, until we arrived at Goldenwood Lodge and our teepee.

Our aim to reach Calgary by Thursday night should still be possible, despite the floods. For the meantime though it is farewell BC, hello Alberta.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The foolishness of exams

In a week in which Mr Gove has announced there will now be even more emphasis on exams and less coursework, I thought I would congratulate those who have made it through exam season with a reminder of the foolishness of exam papers.

Remember, exams don't actually prove how smart you are, only what you can regurgitate under timed conditions, and from 2017 sixteen year-olds will be required to produce two years worth of studies in two months of intense pressure. Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Britain's Got (no) Talent ... apparently

So this year, possibly for the first time ever, I actually loosely followed what was happening on Britain's got talent, i.e. I watched the most popular youtube clips and then spending a spare evening watching the final on catch-up.
     I had been quite impressed with what I'd seen and the line up for the final looked interesting, entertaining and occasionally impressive. I couldn't call who was going to win, although from the running order it was clear who the producers (and mainly Simon Cowell) wanted to win.
     After last year, when a dog won, I thought that this year Britain might actually have an act to be proud of and that the Royal family might appreciate at the Royal Variety Show.
     In the end it went to Shadow Dance group Attraction, who, don't get me wrong, are very impressive, original and moving in what they do. They looked good from their audition right through, and, as far as the competition went, were worthy winners. However, they are from Hungary. Yes the winners of BRITAIN'S got talent, aren't even from this island! At least the dog could claim that!

In the light of this I think it's time for a name change.
     How about: Where is Britain's talent?
                         Britain doesn't care about British talent, so here are some other options!

Please add your suggestions below!