Right, I’m going to do it.


Silas Marner, the deceptively slight novel by George Eliot, can still pose problems for modern, young readers. If you are unfamiliar with the book, the main character is an alienated weaver-turned-miser who loses his gold but regains his soul (etc). He has two leather bags full of guineas, gold coins he likes to fondle lovingly.

Tonight I was marking some empathic work from students – mostly diary entries in character. One of them had written:

My genies. My golden shiny genies. Why did you have to leave me?

The recasting of Silas Marner as a magical realist tale woven through with 1001 Nights is a wonderful notion. It even got better:

Gem Rodney, I bet it was that man. He was always jealous of my genies. Oh, how my genies overpowered his.

…and a jinn warfare aspect would certainly enliven the novel for a contemporary teen audience.

While we’re mashing:

IMG_20160525_211741Here’s to Douglas Adams. It’s Towel Day today, which I chose to celebrate by not finding out about it until slightly less than four of our Earth minutes ago.

Here is a link to a list article, many of which might be adopted as a life guide only by the terminally misguided (something something the one about airports).

Still – hey hey hey! – it was the DNA. So, yes, EFF IT.


This evening I have found myself irritated by several things, but most directly the foregrounding of a long-held and ignored perception of being in an information rut.

Continuing regime of sitting scrolling on the handset ’til the battery runs down.

Too much content and too little processing time.

Yet here I am, posting, because that’s what I’m doing. “Religion is what you are doing right now.”

Yeah, time to revisit Shaving the Inside of Your Skull.


Listened to the FutureProofing podcast broadcast on BBC Radio 4 earlier, and currently available for download here. It prompted some interesting thoughts about forms of memory, and the joys of tangibility that come with real notebooks (the filling and burning of which has been discussed in various Mortal Bath posts).

In a related moment of getting distracted by reading stuff online, I found myself wading through an article in The Atlantic about Freewrite, the pricey new toy for writers who want to disconnect from it all, a bit, to let them “just write”. I have managed to forget most of the article already, proving many points from the FutureProofing podcast.



*Disconnects brain*


…a.k.a. Ye Night Off.

Went to the Bradford Alhambra with a giant party of Year 10 students to see a touring version of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls.


Some great touches: Edna’s settling down with knitting towards the dénouement, impassive tricoteuse; the Inspector’s impassioned stumbling in his closing speech (politics is not just for polished speakers); the isolated house set in waste land.

Some less great aspects: rather a lot of stomping/scampering about, shouting and self-consciousness.

All things considered, though, an interesting take. Sold out too. Popular choice of set text. Looking round the theatre at the five or six huge school groups attending the matinée performance, I imagined an examiner groaning inwardly and sinking into their seat.

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