On a happier note, I went to the street food festival forming part of the All Things Morris weekend last Saturday. On the way, we made the obligatory stop at the Hockings ice cream van for my 3 year old grandson – fortunately, the 5 month old one has not yet discovered the delights of ice cream. After that, the first thing we saw, as if to remind us, on a warm, intermittently sunny day, that winter is but a few heartbeats away, was the Combe Christmas stall, selling what I am assured were delicious cocktails.
We passed a few craft stalls, selling some excellent hand-made artworks, and moved on to the main point of our visit – the food stalls. I may be mistaken (I often am, apparently), but I had the impression that there were fewer this year than last. If that is so, what they lacked in quantity, they more than made up for in quality and variety. My daughter and I both went for the Brazilian stall, whilst son-in-law went for the Mexican.
We took the food off to Landmark Green, where the 3 year old enjoyed the bouncy castles, while the 5 month old practiced rolling over on, and eating, the grass. He was pretty good at the first of these, but, perhaps fortunately, less adept at the second.
My barbequed pork in a bun with salad and a sauce was delicious, as was my daughter’s beef. We both also enjoyed a taste of my son-in-law’s confit duck.
Many thanks to Marsdens for sponsoring this.
Back in what my daughters regard as the dawn of pre-history, i.e. when I was a child, my mother used to take me to our local public library. I always enjoyed reading and soon exhausted all of the books provided in the children’s section. As a result, despite my being still very young, I was given special permission to borrow science fiction books, but only science fiction books, from the adult library. I have had a soft spot for libraries ever since.
Libraries today are very different in many ways from those of my childhood, but one thing remains the same: they are still staffed by people who love books, love reading and want to encourage others to share that love.
Do you know any children who enjoy reading or might read a bit more given a little encouragement? Ilfracombe Library, along with others all over the country, is taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge. The idea is to encourage children to read at least 6 books, borrowed from the library, during the summer holiday. For each book completed, the child receives a special reward and there’s a certificate for each child completing the challenge. Children participating through Ilfracombe Library will receive a goody bag containing something rather special – this is a book “For Cats’ Eyes Only”. The book will be published on 19 July, the day the challenge begins and is as local as it could possibly be. It was a result of a suggestion by Ilfracombe Librarian, Cath Newton, to Ilfracombe author, Olli Tooley.
It is illustrated by a young Ilfracombe artist, Amii James, a student at the Academy, and published, printed and financed all locally. Officially, the challenge is for children from 4 to 11, but I am told that children of all ages will be welcome at Ilfracombe Library. The book is said to be suitable for children from 6 to 106, but I am sure a confident reader a year or so younger would still enjoy it. A bit tough if you are a child of 107, but there you are!
The event is from 3.30-6.00pm on 19 July, so be sure to be there.
Last year, I am told, there were over 200 children involved. This year, the initial print run for Olli’s book is 1000 copies, so there should be enough, if you get in quick!
You can also get it as an audiobook, very reasonably priced, from https://ollitooley.bandcamp.com/album/for-cats-eyes-only-audiobook. The first three chapters can be downloaded now; the rest will only be available after the book is officially published.
I have had the advantage of reading an advance copy, and can tell you that I am sure that children of the suggested ages are very likely to enjoy it. However, it also contains sly humour and a variety of puns, some so awful that they would probably be banned under the part of the American Constitution that forbids cruel and unusual pun-ishments (sorry – I couldn’t resist that one), so adults may well not find it too tedious to read to their children.
If you know children outside Ilfracombe, why not suggest it to them. Or it might make a welcome Christmas or Birthday present.
And finally, although I have already posted this on Facebook, in case you missed it, here is an announcement of bursaries for first year science undergraduates:
Time marches inexorably on, and the end of the school year rapidly approaches. I expect that many students will have taken or be taking A-levels, and many of those will be contemplating the next step – going to University. Although it is now over half a century since I took A-levels, I can still remember the anxiety of waiting for the results, not knowing until late August which University I would go to or even if I would be able to go at all.
Now is, however, probably a good time to advise you that The Tubby Foundation expects, once again, to offer bursaries to undergraduates beginning a first year undergraduate course in a science or engineering subject. We expect to offer two bursaries, each a one-off payment of £500, although the trustees reserve the right to offer fewer or even none if they feel that there are insufficient worthy applicants. To be eligible, you must be going to a British University and must have some connection to Ilfracombe, specifically, you must live or be educated in Ilfracombe or in one of the surrounding villages.
DO NOT APPLY NOW. After the A-level results are out, we will post again, giving the deadline by which applications must be received. At that time, we will accept applications.
However, I suggest you should look at the draft rules, see mrtubby.online/rules. These give more information as to eligibility. They also tell you what documents we would like you to provide. One such is a teacher reference, which you might find easier to get whilst school is still in session. If you have any queries, please first look at the rules, as you may find your answer there.
As a parent myself, I know that parents will always want to help their children if they can. However, the Foundation expects students going to University to be sufficiently mature to handle their own affairs. Accordingly, while I am prepared to answer preliminary enquiries from parents etc., I will not enter into extended correspondence. Any detailed information must be requested by the student themselves.