Wednesday, 24 August 2011

"Why do people have

blogs if they don't write in them?" Daniel asks me. He has come from "over the back fence" to talk to me.
"You know me Cat, not particularly computer literate. I am not really sure what a blog is. Can you talk to him?" his grandmother tells me. It is one of those moments when she looks as lost as he does. Daniel's mother died not long ago and his paternal grandmother has moved in to help. She is doing a marvellous job on the love, food and clothes fronts but there are things she does not know about school. Daniel likes to tell me or my father about school. We know about school - or do we?
Daniel settles himself on top of the hay bale my father is yet to use for garden mulch and tells me about what he is doing. They have been talking about blogs at school. His class is keeping a blog.
"Did your class have a blog?" he asks me.
"No, we didn't have computers when I was your age," I tell him.
He looks at me in amazement.
"Then how did you write things?" he asks me.
Telling Daniel about this brings back memories of "the daily diary". Every morning we were expected to think of a sentence and, with the help of the teacher, we were expected to enter it into the exercise book which was used for that purpose. It was only ever done in pencil in our "very best writing". We had to keep a list of "spelling words" in a special dictionary which was another exercise book with a page for each letter of the alphabet.
I am not sure how long this took every morning. I know I always had something I wanted to say and that I was sometimes told the words I wanted to use were "too difficult". (My answer to that would usually be that they were the words I wanted to use and I could spell them thankyou very much.) My handwriting might have been atrocious but I could spell the word. Yes, I was an annoying child.
Apparently they still do something similar but they use a keyboard to "write" and "the computer does the spelling". It is not an everyday activity either.
"I don't think I could think of something every day," Daniel tells me.
"Well do you think that might be why some people don't write in their blogs every day?" I ask him.
He frowns and then says, "P'raps but we looked at some blogs and some people have not thought things for years and years."
I have just given him the answers I was given about not writing up blogs (thanks to Twitter last night) and he has headed off to school. But, I do wonder about his idea that some people "have not thought things for years and years."


Sarah Pearson said...

Out of the mouths of babes...

jeanfromcornwall said...

I think plenty of things but not very many of them are fit for sharing!

I well remember those daily diaries - in Miss Leggo's class. We had unlined exercise books and had to rule at least three lines for the writing and then we could draw a picture and colour it in. It was hard enough to think of something new every day, but it also had to be something that could be illustrated by my merely adequate drawing skills.
Anyone who has visited my blog will recognise that, even with a digital camera and a keyboard, I am still stuck with a lack of inspiration more often than not!

I think my blog is, as much as anything, a way of telling the three well scattered children, and any friends who are interested, that I am still bumbling along having a quiet but satifying life.

widdershins said...

Sheesh ... I remember those spelling books too. I once stole a sentence from Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia ... and never got caught!!!

JO said...

and aren't they just the saddest people? They let life happen to them - and surely, one day, they turn round and notice how much they've missed.

Miriam Drori said...

So that's why people don't know how to spell any more. The computer does it for them. Except when it doesn't. *sigh*