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Mixed Experiences: Growing Up Mixed Race - Mental Health and Well-being
Mixed Experiences: Growing Up Mixed Race - Mental Health and Well-being
by Dinah Morley
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The experience of being mixed race, 28 April 2014
The soaring success of mixed race performers, children and adults in stylish advertisements and so on, may give the impression that having a visibly diverse heritage is a considerable advantage these days.
The reality is pressingly disturbing. Dinah Morley and Cathy Street explore, in their explore in their affecting, impressively researched and challenging book Mixed Experiences - the experiences of children and young people of mixed race.
We learn that in the UK mixed race children and young people are over-represented in the numbers of children in care, on the child protectiion register, in the youth justice system. The authors conducted a study of twenty one people of different ages, for their survey and asked them to look back at the impact they felt being mixed race had had on their lives.
Importantly, the authors point out:"The people who shared their stories wanted to be seen for who they were... their ethnic heritage recognised. " And for all the difficulties there may be and these include racism from black and white contemporaries: "they were most proud of having two or more cultural identities. "
This is an enlightening and valuable book which has a wealth of insightful quotes from the interviewees. It should be of real significance to those who find themselves working with mixed race young people and children, needing to understand the particular issues around their life experiences.

But it is also a book which can enlighten us non- professionals living in an ethnically diverse society where getting along together and cherishing the success of a mutli-cultural and mixed heritage society, can benefit greatly from the understanding Morley and Street offer.


A Bigger Prize: Why Competition Isn't Everything and How We Do Better
A Bigger Prize: Why Competition Isn't Everything and How We Do Better
Price: £6.64

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating journey into learning, 24 April 2014
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Each chapter takes you into a new world in which assessing our value system, and our personal ethics and concerns is thrown into fascinating relief. Thought provoking and beautifully written


A Conversation About Happiness: The Story of a Lost Childhood
A Conversation About Happiness: The Story of a Lost Childhood
by Mikey Cuddihy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars nostalgia for me, 24 April 2014
This is a deeply affecting tale of children's emotional survival and the significance of Summerhill where I, too, went as a pupil learning as Cuddihy did about the possibilities - and impossibilities - of creating an environment for happiness . She learned as I did that freedom in childhood can be a lifelong gift, but it doesn't answer all the questions.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2014 7:25 PM BST


The Gemini Enigma
The Gemini Enigma
Price: £2.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, page-turning suspense and beautifully written., 17 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Gemini Enigma (Kindle Edition)
Rick Wilson uses beautifully evocative, carefully crafted, well-paced prose to explore and unravel a fascinating tale of twins and a great many sinister "known unknowns" in the very different lives of the two beautiful girls one growing up in Madeira, one outside Amsterdam in Holland. The locations are vividly depicted. The internal landscapes of the twins equally so.
As a writer myself, I read a lot of fiction and appreciate quality writing. This is just that


medsin. the private diary of a junior doctor
medsin. the private diary of a junior doctor
Price: £3.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important, thought-provoking and humorous, 17 July 2013
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"Dr Smith" has touched on one of the most compelling dilemmas of our time: how far can and should a doctor use his kills to help someone die when they are emphatically clear it is what they want? How far is it actually damaging the hope of healthcare for patients who want it and will benefit it? In this page-turning book "Dr Smith" not only addresses with a fine thread of fury running through the shortcomings of the NHS from moderate daftness to full-blooded inanity. His perspective is that of a young idealistic doctor who loves the actual art of practising medicine, but leads us through his stream of consciousness, ribald, irreverent, skittish exploration of how he sees his profession.
A thoroughly enjoyable read yet one that leaves you thinking.... and thinking about what caring for the sick really means, and how far we will let doctors allow patients some right to decide how long they want to be kept alive.


Rewriting the Rules: An Integrative Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships
Rewriting the Rules: An Integrative Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships
by Meg Barker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can we be more ourselves?, 31 Jan. 2013
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Has there ever been a time when it was harder to believe in a relationship that will grow with you and last the long haul? A time when who and what we want as a partner seemed less clear? Or a time when the pressures to conform to some glamourised ideal and for the partner we choose to do so too, has been greater?

These are questions that have enormous resonance in today's climate of "great uncertainty" about relationships says Meg Barker, senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and a therapist specialising in sexual and relationship therapy. She addresses them in an original and challenging way in what she describes as an anti-self-help book "Rewriting The Rules".

Barker's contention is that we are led to believe there are rules that we abide by or else our relationships won't work. We are assailed with a ceaseless outpouring of guidance, strictures, morality often proposing confusing and contradictory rules about what relationships should be.
Which adds up to uncertainty in an area of life with the highest risk of pain and distress although there is that ever present message that if you get it right transcendental happiness could be yours.

The pages of glossy magazines newspapers, TV, promote ubiquitous images of what a happy relationship looks like.

Most often this plethora of guidance and imagery relates to a traditional, heterosexual, monogamous style of relationship and we see ourselves as successes or failures depending on whether we make this rule-bound way of relating work.

In doing this we deny the possibility that a relationship which allows for same sex relationships, relationships where monogamy is not the bottom line, where we might.
want a different way of allotting roles to different genders, can be as happy as the traditional Oxo family. Or happier, indeed, given that nearly fifty percent of marriages based on the 'til death us do part pledge, hit the skids. And on average after just eleven years.

Barker, in this intelligent, provocative book, asks us to consider the rule most of us buy into, that we must have a 'self' that matches the popular notions of desirable qualities, attractiveness and so on that make us loveable. If we fail to match up to the rules governing this demand, then how can we expect to be loved?

Likewise Barker with her humane intelligent approach takes us through the pressures and orthodoxies that ring fence what is good and bad, right and wrong regarding sex, gender,monogamy, conflict,commitment and suggests how we may re-think what are so often ingrained and unchallenged beliefs. Beliefs that make us strive to love by rules that may diminish rather than increase the chance of us having sustained, nourishing relationships.

This is a fascinating book, rich in research and reasoning, valuable in guiding us towards tolerating and even embracing uncertainty . Underpinning this, urges Barker, should be gentleness towards ourselves, our imperfections and fears.

The wonderful poet May Sarton declared on her eightieth birthday: "I am more myself than ever". And if we can learn from this timely book to take charge of creating relationships that area actually as we want, and learn from our own miscalculations, we may well be able to achieve that happy declaration far earlier in life.


Beasts and Lovers
Beasts and Lovers
by Jane Corbett
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars entrancement and angst, 3 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Beasts and Lovers (Paperback)
Curled up in front of a log fire, the evening sky fading into darkness,
with that particular quietness that fills a room when nobody else is there, you have the perfect ambiance in which to read Beasts and Lovers (Beggar Books) ,Jane Corbett's enchanting and disturbing modern day collection of fairy stories, morality fables, cautionary tales, parables where unwise and unsettling lust lurks.

Here, seemingly commonplace events weave us into a place of inchoate fear, a frisson of unfathomable excitement; mistrust; the mysterious . In stories like Grimalkin, which I found particularly affecting , you are deep into the known unknowns of the subconscious, so that childish feelings, superstitions and thrills are galvanized. There is too that edge of madness which can underlie the mythical entrancement offered by a person fleetingly encountered.

In Circe Mike, like men in a myriad of traditional fairy tales , is driven to find a harpist singer whose sound had captivated him as he heard it spilling from the upstairs room of a psychiatric hospital. His search takes him to deepest Ireland where his thoroughly 21st century attempt to impress with a "passion" for James Joyce wins him the antagonism of old Seamus O'Malley . Hostility mounts as Mike's realization that the voice of the barkeeper Margaret is the exact thing he has been seeking. But when "sexual gratification" takes over there is disappointment , disillusion but finally tinged with the possibility of transformation.

We are right here in present times, it seems, with Pig Woman. This story opens with John, a social worker, who had been working for two years on exposing a paedophile ring, but the case had collapsed. For him, caring for two children of families he knew to be involved in the ring, was devastation and led to a breakdown.

When he finds a new job he is assigned a child protection case involving Pig Woman so named a colleague tells because she will lie in a ditch with anyone.
It is an assignment that takes him into a world of fantastical quasi-reality, a place of unexplained reality and revelations that would not cut the mustard in John's conventional world.

But then we must suspend the conventional world to be embraced by Corbett's multi-layered story telling, the elegant, evocative prose . Within the seemingly effortless flow of the stories are startling, arresting images, and some of spectacular beauty. Oh and not to be forgotten is the humour, the occasional spivvish bit of slang, a crass phrase, cause for an invigorating hoot of laugher.

Nor should the illustrations by Sean Victory which so artfully and cleverly open just a chink of illumination into the stories to come.

Curl up, as I did with this book and relish the world you enter with Beasts and Lovers.


Places of the Soul: Architecture and Environmental Design as a Healing Art
Places of the Soul: Architecture and Environmental Design as a Healing Art
by Christopher Day
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars creating heart in a home, 23 Oct. 2012
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Christopher writes like a dream but what he has to say is grounded in the greatest sense and reality. He believes we have allowed the idea of architecture as an ego-led competitive profession, to stamp over the much more fundamental business of how we create buildings - and very much homes - with soul. As he says we send so much time in or near buildings "that it is true to say that most of our environmental experience is affected by architecture". He takes a broad and fascinating view of how we may view our built world, and the places we build, taking of architecture as potentially a dangerous tool ... that environment can be used ot manipulate people through to to discussing how, when designing a home for someone he wants them to be as fully involved in the whole process from visiting ground and really feeling what it means for them, to thinking about the way they will live in it, possibly modelling it , and thinking about the materials to be used and how far they are empathetic to human wellbeing.
He is as his title tells, much concerned with the soul of our places which he describes as "an intangible feeling" , a repository for sensory experiences.
Day has much to say, and fiercely, about what has gone wrong with our building with the pursuit of profit destroying cities and countyside and he says "in terms of spiritual nourishment deeper than the glossy cosmetic, much of our daily surroundings approach bankruptcy."
The author is erudite, hugely informed and with boundless important ideas for our time. Yet don't imagine this makes it a forbidding book. Far from it and I urge you to read it. Day takes us on a fascinating journey writing, as I say, like a dream


Fly London Women's Yakin Wedge Sandals
Fly London Women's Yakin Wedge Sandals
Price: £36.72 - £85.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars price of shoes on amazon, 22 Aug. 2011
The Yakin wedge sandals are great, but when I go to see the indigo version the price of £59.99 apparently with £20 saved is a con. They sell for £65 in my local store


Sunshine Picklelime
Sunshine Picklelime
by Pamela Ellen Ferguson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.68

5.0 out of 5 stars enchanting tale of a heroine for our age, 30 July 2010
This review is from: Sunshine Picklelime (Hardcover)
This review is from: Sunshine Picklelime (Hardcover)
PJ Picklelime is a gorgeous heroine for today's young people. She is bright, sparky, funny, disingenuous and ever curious about the world she lives in. In the course of her adventures in this enchanting book, PJ Picklelime finds herself caught up with some of the pressing matters ranging from the environment and wildlife, to friendship and bereavement, but the writing is so ebullient and intelligent that however much information is given, you never feel you are being told to learn, or to feel particular emotions. Rather Pamela Ellen Ferguson, wants us to have as much rollicking good fun reading her first children's novel as she had writing it. She has written with an absolute understanding of the inner world of the young and PJ Sunshine is the kind of youngster we should want tomorrow's generation to be like. I would recommend anyone and everyone to make sure their daughters and their sons read it.


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