Chapter VII: “You’re to swim as well as splash”

Content warning: Fishing and fish cleaning

I’m interested in the boundaries these siblings set for each other. Titty doesn’t want John and Susan to know that she’s practicing being a cormorant, but she’s absolutely fine with telling them that she’s diving for pearls. I think her shyness comes from the slight possibility that the former might work: she wants to completely exclude the possibility of catching fish with her hands, even though she’s grown-up enough to know that it’s almost certainly a silly idea.

There’s a similar dynamic later, with the dowsing in “Pigeon Post”, and I think it is one of the reasons I love Titty so much. I spent quite a bit of time practising flying when I was about her age, just in case I could – and I certainly wasn’t going to tell anyone about it. I think I still have the same tendency, and I’ve been working hard at letting people see me try stuff I might actually succeed at, too.

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Reconciliation and the Naughty Step

As part of Religious Education at my school, we studied the Seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. It was actually quite interesting.

Within the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we learned about the criminal justice system and the different purposes which punishments can serve.

I recently came across this article,which raises some concerns about the current popularity of ‘time out’ as a parenting technique. However, the article seems to me a bit equivocal as to whether the strategy actually works, and I wonder whether this is because it fails to establish the victory conditions. It is an important research principle that one cannot evaluate the success of anything without first defining what success would mean.
With that in mind, I propose to apply the categories of punishment from the 1992 GCSE RE syllabus to the ‘Naughty Step’.

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Chapter VI: From an island of your own.

Everything goes so slowly when you’re camping. A few years ago there was a thing called the ‘slow food movement’ – it seems to have quietened down a bit now. While it was (like most food ‘movements’) pretty problematic in terms of guilt trips and unchecked privileged and exoticising other cultures, I definitely think there’s something to be said for going through daily subsistence-tasks mindfully, and that is a lot of the appeal of camping for me.

In this chapter, they collect the milk, visit their mum briefly, and go for another sail for no particular reason. There’s a whole other layer of skill in writing about it in a way that is enjoyable to read.

Continue reading “Chapter VI: From an island of your own.”