Sunday, July 31, 2005

Retail therapy

Do you like these?


I hope so, they cost a flaming fortune!!

Glass beads
"All the way from Brazil'"
said the VERY charming boy in the shop!!

Saturday, July 30, 2005


We need a bit of a lighter note from yesterday I think ...
Today I went on a visit to LIverpool, home of so much culture.


The city does have a reputation for crime and so naturally I felt nervous when I saw this warning...


So I kept a vigilant eye out for dodgy juveniles and saw them abusing the scenery EVERYWHERE.

There was this one in a hoody:


Obviously more scarey as I could not see his face.

This one was marching through the fountain



This one attacked a defenceless old lady, Miss Rigby:


(I saw him just run up and hit her. Really I did.

Anyway, what do you think this is?

What's this

The answer, and more multimodal narrative soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bad mother?

Anya cited Weblogged who cited Anne (ha!ha! ha! - so many citations) all reaching to this article about a mother who is so enlightened that she has realised that not only are blogs not harmful, but they could also be educational.
Well, yes, I agree this is what we are all driving after, but I am not sure I see this parent (great credentials 'single mother of two') as liberated and enlightened as Weblogged does.

I may well be a bit too lackadaisical in my care of my two teens, but I would never feel I should vet their friendships anymore than I would stand at the edge of the playground; follow them round town; or check out who they spoke to at the bus stop (etc.)

I agree that it is important to try and ensure that your children make sensible decisions about others; that they are careful etc, but the idea of signing contracts is way out of my league:

This is what Laura, ('single mother and freelance journalist') says:

'Like any privilege, computers can be a lesson in responsibility. Before gaining access to the computer at age 13, my children had to sign a computer contract of appropriate online behavior (see box below). They learned early that Internet privileges stem from whether I (the bill-paying head-of-household) think that they (the eager self-expressive socializers) have a full grasp of the issues. The contract was a first step in proving their understanding of what was at stake.'

For what it's worth, I think that teaching kids values is not a one off where you swear to agree to a contract, but shown through daily lived experience and ongoing discussions about people, about life, how to judge situations. And after that you have to trust and let them take their own risks.

I cannot believe she insisted on being able to access her 16 year old daughter's Xanga blog!! Surely a blog can be private if the blogger wants.

When Laura writes:

'To keep a blog going, you have to have the discipline to write daily. This puts today's young bloggers on the fast track to future Pulitzers. To keep your friends coming back, you have to be interesting, funny, intelligent, relevant. These kids are all that and more. Once I got past the immature spelling and punctuation (along with usual teen slang and vulgarity), I was treated to some of the best poetry I've ever read. '

I think the blog is being judged in a way that is inappropriate and intrusive. I'd like ,to think beyond the idea of blogs being just a training ground for novelists; how about being a good blogger fullstop? The spellings I have observed are not immature; what kind of comment is that?
Yes I AM glad about the fact that she does say some good stuff and may be encouraging othes to be less bigotted; but I think we need to ask for even more understanding than this.

OK. Am I being mean to Laura?

Am I too permissive with my kids?

Have I been cossetted by my own good luck of having kids who act responsibly? (Am I naive?)

Or are they like they are because I DO trust them?

One little anecdote: my friend's Mum used to stand at the back of youth club discos when we were teenagers - just checking that she did not kiss boys. But I can tell you, where her Mum did not follow (i.e. in the youth club cloakroom) she did things her Mum did not dream of - but was the only one who did behave like this.

What do you think of that?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by Gadjo Dilo.
I love it, that even when life is a bit of a struggle, people still manage to look stylish when they want.
I really like this shot.


Originally uploaded by Gadjo Dilo.
Oh nice to just relax and read.
This is a theme on my blog at the moment it seems. Maybe I am yearning to be on holiday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Reading Faust

Originally uploaded by Lt. TL.
Loving this!!
Reading Faust.
On duty in Iraq.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Making like the old folks

Yesterday the weather was dreadful, especially considering we expect sultry warmth at this time of year.

Anyway, we decided to make the best of it and 'made like old people'. We went for a drive, occasionally pulled up at the side of the road and took photos through the windows.

Loxley valley, Sheffield

It were grand.

Loxley Valley

On one occasion we even stood by the car for a few minutes and took photos standing up.


Photography is all the rage in our neck of the woods.



As usual, this was all I could see of my husband ...


And if you look closely, I am in his lens - so to speak.

Who dies in Harry Potter?

Found this video cited on Joi Ito's site, it is a video - called Potter Crash (man spoils harry potter ending - funny) - video.
I thought it was funny but am in a MEAN mood.
(Obviously you should only watach this if you want to know who gets killed by who without reading the book.)

I am name dropping - Joi Ito is Mimi's brother.
keep it in the family.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

More from the glocality

There is a group called Muslim cultures on Flickr.
There is also a blog which has arisen frrom the pool here.

This is DrJoolz bringing you pix from across the globe, into our glocality.

Reading is very bad

Obviously it is not just play station and computer games which some parents want to ban.
If a book is really popular then that needs to be slated too.

We know all about Harry Potter and how it turns kids evil. The pope has even spoken out against him. And he is usually very liberal of course.

Now we need to keep them away from Mark Haddon's foul book.

fresh fruit

fresh fruit
Originally uploaded by snapshots of life.
Mmmmm scrumptious.
This is from 'Snapshots of Life' - uncannily like my blog title.
This photographer has LOADS of lovely photos - check them out.

Friday, July 22, 2005

free prostitutes

free prostitutes
Originally uploaded by wacky doodler.
Thanks so much to wacky for so much blogging material lately!!

fat orange

fat orange
Originally uploaded by Madge Webb.

What would Trinny and Susannah say?
I agree.
Why not check out what Victriolica has been up to lately?
She's even got new paintbrushes and has been conjuring some EXCELLENT visual treats for us.

Gangsta Grannies

I am sure the Hoody Moral Panic group on Flickr will be delighted to know that in Margate the Grannies are joining in the irony.
Thanks to Vitriolica for the marvellous illustration.

Digital Glocalities

This is an art installation set up by a group of artists, 'Visual Resistance' who use artefacts in order to make protest statements.
I recommend following this visual resistance link, to the VR blog as it is interesting.
There are a number of photos of so-called Ghost Bikes on Flickr.

I think it is interesting the various ways in which people make protests and I like the way people realise that the web can be used to distribute art. I like the idea of political art. I like the way we can see so much of the world from our homes and hear messages of local protest. And I like the way we get these messages from small groups now, rather than from huge corporations all the time.

As Vic and Allan might say
"Keep it Glocal!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Lots of mess

Kate is so interested in mess and in artefacts that I found these for her on Flickr.

This is the chaos pool , which includes some pics of messy houses.
This one is of a group focussing on messy desks which has a certain appeal.
And these photos, are all tagged with 'messy'.

Kate also lurves artefacts and so here are some of those.

But if you spell it like the Americans as 'artifacts' then it is more interesting. Which shows that Americans get it and that the English do not understand like Kate.

But look how many people want to share their graduation photos!!

(I am such a miserable blighter that I did not go to mine.)

Flickrites sharing their mess and their victories with the whole wide world.

Now, why do they want to do that then ? Huh?

You tell me.

Reality Drama - Real- not -Real

Sometimes you just cannot be bothered to do anything at all in the evening last night I watched tv from about 7 p.m. to about 11 p.m.


The news at 7, followed by some awful thing about doing up your street with the neighbours. It did not live up to the hype and I watched people choose what walls to knock down, put up and then knock down again. I could not decide whether to watch the reality show about hellish neighbours, but instead (like Clare) opted for the old faves Trinny and Susannah. I saw them blitz a couple of women's wardrobes so they could be made into Trinny and Susannah clones on holiday. Then I think it was straight into Big Brother which I now cannot bare but HAVE to watch. I now do not want anyone to win and it is as much fun as being in a car crash with all your enemies, watching that. But I force myself just to show a bit of discipline; I mean if I cannot stick at something for a couple of months, what am I worth?

I had to pay the price for all this fun fun fun, by getting up at 6.45 in order to read a dissertation chapter ready for a student meeting me at 10. (Should have read it the previous evening of course.)

But nightmare, nightmare, had to do Tuesday's washing up as had not done it on Tuesday and was so rushed that I smashed the penultimate wine glass against the sink.


Basically the margins between Reality TV and those of my life are blurring; this is all so post-modern I don't know who I live with. The walls of the BB house are ever open and I live in that house with THEM, but OMG they are in my house with me. It is all so confusing.

So here I am this evening back in my blogging routine.

In the Big Mother House.

It is day 5,000; I have done the cooking; I have washed up; I have done my marking; am doing my blog.

Bet you're pleased.

I know I am.

Monday, July 18, 2005

here n there

Great set of photos here.

Interesting theme, abandoned, here.

Read a bit of online journalese on The Culture of Participation.

That's all for today.

Am zoned out.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

summer in the steel city

I only live twenty minutes walk from the Sheffield city centre so I tend to walk in.
It is always pretty, especially so on Saturday as it was so sunny and I saw tennis, and frisbee, kids in the park and men playing bowls in Crookesmoor park - which has a lake (with fish).

Game of bowls

I know you can't see much from this, so let's check out the detail ...

Here we have an exchange of tactics...

And I thought this lot were meant to be watching ...


The wives are just talking about their suntans I reckon, and the little guy is off and away..

Once I got into town, the women there were much more attentive spectators of men:

I fancy yours

These stylists from 'La Coupe' were checking out the credentials of the workmen knocking down a building. (I think they passed muster).

That's it really. A quiet weekend where I cleaned my house, went shopping and waited for TT to return.

I got presents. Yay!!!

But not from here.

TT seems to have spent most of his time taking weird photos like this with this.

Better luck for me next time maybe.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Rosa decided it was time to detox.
(Personally I am busy re-toxing as quickly as possible with the use of red wine and cheese. )

So, it was off to the beauty parlour and off with the shoes and off with the socks.

She stuck her feet in a potfull of water which, I kid you not, turned dark brown and had DISGUSTING blobby white bits floating all around.


Our beauty clinician (sic) reliably informed us that the treatment had 'worked' because the toxins were all coming away.

After further pursuit of The Truth (no time for post-modernism in my Real Life, thank you very much) I was told the following, in no uncertain terms:

(And as Kate would say, 'best read in a South Yorkshire accent')

You know like you're all made up of ions? Well any way you are. You are made up
of positive and negative ions and these are like pluses and minuses. Well the
pluses and minuses are suposed to be all sorted out and not muddled up. You have like pluses down one side, and minuses down t'other. But if
you are stressed, or ill, or depressed, the pluses and minuses get right, like
messed up. Well by having Aqua detox, they go back in order again and that's how
it works; it gets rid of the toxins then. But this takes several
treatments to work properly. We recommend five.'

Hmm, right, so that's that then.

The wonder of Science

(Five treatments @ £15.00 each is £75.00 to you. Thank you very much Mrs.)

We are back again next Tuesday, with our fingers crossed. (That's a plus.)

And another thing...

It was SO INSPIRATIONAL to hear Barbara Comber (University of South Australia) talk last week about Critical Literacies and turnaround pedaogies.

This is a researcher with sensitivity and respect for pupils and their teachers.

So eloquent was she, that as I listened I wanted her to repeat phrases so that I could keep them in my mind in the way she said them. Things like,
'teaching literacy is about helping pupils in assembling dynamic repertoires of literacy practices'

She had some gorgeous metaphors ... such as 'the virtual backpack' of knowledge that children bring to school.

She talked about how over recent years teacher autonomy and good practices are being eroded, so that

'what constitutes literacy has become colonised... by teaching 'blocks' and

She said we need to teach literacies with


In teaching repertoires of literacy practices, she talked about enabling the young, to enter different spheres of life.

'Literacy with currency and durability. Literacy that is legal tender in a range
of sites.'

She described this as urban renewal from the inside out and talked of projects where the young worked with architect students about developing their neighbourhood, and impacting on planning and building work. She talked about how it does not take a lot to reposition children as nowledgeable, as having opinions, of being curious and active. By seeing them differently, they behave differently, and tecahing needs to shift so that there is a shared investigative approach to learning.

This was sheer music; when I see the young learning together on the Internet, in groups and projects they have set up themselves, I wonder how it is that this is not going on in all our schools. The inspiration of Barbara Comber is that she manages to empower teachers to help the children act out powerfully in schools.

Here is a key note speech she gave elsewhere, but which outlines some of these ideas.

But I also like this, 'Coming ready or not.'

Well that's a relief

Clare has now got her own blog.

It's right good and there's only two posts so far.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

OK so

you need to get over here and see a 'Many Lemons' production. Thanks to Anonymous leaving the address on my post yesterday.
This was the film which Mimi(yes we can call her this) aka Mizuko Ito showed us at UKLA conference. It is young people working 'beneath the gaze of adults' as she put it so eloquently.(Although not so 'beneath the gaze' as the Narutrx film did get two awards - one from the prestigious Boing Boing).

I recommend you also check out the Ninja spoof while you are over that part of the web, I actually like this one more. It has a related
'fan site' with loads of bits for you to fall over laughing at.

So thanks anon, I did Enjoy and hope everyone else will too.

PS I think I know who Anon is.

It is so hot here

that I have real sympathy with this.

Check out the rest here.

Read this aloud:

Margaret is training for movement and mime
She comes each morning in very good time
For she must keep the muscles of each lively limb
Mobile, nimble, rhythmic and trim.

Muriel had to recite this at her elocution lessons when she was a young girl.

In view of the fact that I could BARELY STAND from laughing after Muriel's well paced and practiced recitation, my little group attracted the attention of Henrietta Dombey who contributed this fine verse:

Uncle George and Aunty Mabel
Fainted at the breakfast table
This to you should be a warning
Never do it in the morning.

Goodness me.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The ambience

of the UKLA conference was, as anticipated, everything you could dream of.
Exciting, scintillating, stimulating, silly , fashionable, superficial, deep and meaningful.
It was.

So I am going to talk you through a few snaps just to give you a flavour. I will begin with the fact that I have a famous friend who was asked for her autograph. I will let you see if you can guess who it is ...


And next I want to show you that academics also have an eye for fashion - not least in being able to spot a trend in coiffeur.

I know!!
Let's do a quiz.

See if you can guess who is the owner of each 'chignon'.

Actually, I wll make it easier. Guess which one belongs to Kate.
(sorry Kate you are actually exempt from this quiz.)





When we went on our little opentop bus ride I was very afraid as Muriel was trying to terrorise me with her hoody. (She is a Professor and you would have hoped she would be MUCH more sensible.)


We were in fact a very multimodal group and not only was one of our number able to read during the bus tour:


Someone else was able to text during a keynote session whilst also listening very carefully:


But most impressively one deleagte was able to talk on his mobile, write in his book and prepare to do squat jumps at the same time:


Quite frankly he was the most multimodal of all.

I do need to tell you though, that Muriel, Rebekkah, Jackie and I were able to KICK ASS at the skittles. We came second to
this motley crew


who had the unfair advantage of being less drunk than we were.
They kept brandishing their medals in our faces in a most ungainly (not to say unladylike) manner.

As I was leaving I took the opportunity to photograph some of the lovely bicycles parked near me:


Oh yes.. before I go, I need to give out one or two little notices:

1. Rebekah and Muriel were sucessful in heading up an ESRC bid for a group of us to be funded in organising a seminar series focussed on
'children’s digital cultures, specifically examining the role of play and creativity in learning with new media technologies'

2. I heard that the proposal I wrote with Guy to give a paper at the National Reading Conference in Miami in September has been accepted.

3. Theo is leaving Cardiff for warmer and wonderfully stimulating climes in Sydney. Thank goodness Anya will be there to work with him.

As if these notices were not enough, you really need to check out these sites:

1. Go here for setting up a special blog for your holidays and let your mates get (I am sure you are allowed to keepone for Study leave too.)

2. Go here for the TIME OF YOUR LIFE, playing fashion with dolls from real life. There are some very cool outfits to sort out. This is the site Rebekah is researching.

3. Clare sent me her excellent paper which talks about girls being mean on Bebo. (Hmm. I notice Clare is a qualified aerobics instructor. That must be why she did a little dancey skippy thing before she threw her skittles ball.)

4. And there is a new blog that has been set up by a Flickr group, featuring the colour Green.

5. Thanks to Kate for the address of this site which claims quite bravely that We are not Afraid.

And as you can have too much of a good thing, I am saving the information about Margaret, George and Mabel until tomorrow.

I had a marvellous time

at the United Kingdom Literacy Association conference.
Most of it was held here in

sex house

Sex House.

Some people called it Wessex House. But I do feel they were being very conventional.

Should you have favourites?

I completely LOVED Mimi. (Yes we can call her that.)

AKA Mizuko Ito.


She talked about
Young people as fluent natives of the digital world

and her research which looks for

emergent practices in their culture

is so interesting because she looks at stuff which is
below the radar of the adult gaze.

I lurve those phrases.

So much of what she describes also is part of what goes on in online adult affinity spaces too, because she focuses on learning and literacy as a by-product of social engagement, and peer to peer local knowledge communities. And this of course is how I see Flickr.

I sqaw her speak last year at another fantastic conference and her paper from that is here.
The project she described at UKLA is outlined here.

It gave ME a lot to think about anyway.



I joined!!!

After so much deliberation I have now joined the gym.

I went first thing in the morning to create a good impression but failed to do so. I looked like I was about to keel over when I walked in and was even worse when I left an hour and a half later. A sign of increased fitness will be that I do not swear under my breath the whole time and do not walk as if drunk when departing. (I bumped into the bin and then could not push the door open. It is killing me so far if you really want to know.)

Obviously I must thank all commenters greatly for their advice, support, encouragement and frankly their heart felt views over the last few weeks. (I may still be turning to you for more of the same if we carry on like this.)

We must wait and see what happens to my body over the next few months. It could go either way quite frankly.

I wonder if I will stop blogging while I increase my jogging.

In case you do not believe me, I sneaked my camera into the changing rooms and got the evidence.



(That swimming cossie looked as lost as I felt.)

As you can see from the basic kind of layout, I have not gone upmarket this time, but on the advice of sweet Rosa will be getting new kit soon.

And does anyone know this? ...
How long does it take before you become beautiful?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hi Everyone

We are all really shocked about the bombs in London. My nearest and dearest are all OK but thoughts go out to all those who have family affected.

Have come to an Internet cafe in Bath as we cannot use the Internet at the uni.
So sorry, no photos as yet but would like to say that so far we have had:
Mizuko Ito
Carey Jewitt
Jackie Marsh
Julian Sefton Green
Carey Facer

A kick ass first day thanks to Vic.

Glad to see TT is having a great time, mixing with those who matter.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Am off to Bath!!

Where they have roman baths and a university. What a winning combo!!
If you like you can come with me, virtually.
Finished my paper at last and must now do my slide presentation properly - needs lots of images to keep everyone awake.
Will be back on Sunday evening but hope to blog while I am there.

Monday, July 04, 2005

so sorry

to have kept you waiting.
I have been busy writing and it is sometimes VERY hard work.
But I did nip out on Saturday (shopping) and discovered there was a 'thing' going on at Devonshire Green in Sheffield - fifty yards from the city centre.

(Please note the spy on the wall at the back - she is on't phone)

I think this was the boss lady:


People in fancy dress leaping about like Gawd knows what and all that malarky. (I bet you're glad this isn't YOUR Dad.)



here are the next generation of drum bangers:


Dunno why they weren't watching Live 8 like everyone else (apart from me)
But I did pick out a Superhero...


poor old Trois Tetes doesn't know what has hit him. He is the Big Apple and is having to read THIS sort of polite notice. Meantime all I have to put up with is this:


About Me

My photo
Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.