Thursday, March 15, 2007


De regering maakt zich zorgen over taalachterstand bij jonge kinderen, en wil de kinderen om wie het gaat twee dagdelen per week naar een voorschool sturen om de taalachterstand weg te werken.
Op zich niets mis mee. Maar wat is dat, taalachterstand? Hebben ze werkelijk van alle kinderen gemeten hoe de beheersing van hun moedertaal is?
Natuurlijk niet! Het gaat om een achterstand van allochtone kinderen in het Nederlands, in vergelijking met autochtone Nederlandse kinderen.
Niemand, die door heeft dat deze kinderen helemaal geen taalachterstand hebben.
In tegendeel, ze hebben een voorsprong. Ze spreken over het algemeen hun moedertaal op het niveau waarop alle kinderen gemiddeld hun moedertaal spreken. Daarnaast zijn ze al begonnen met het beheersen van een tweede taal.
Aardig van de regering dat ze deze kinderen ook nog eens de gelegenheid geeft hun voorsprong te vergroten!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mushroom Chowder

We had a delicious mushroom chowder last night:

Sauté an onion in olive oil and salt until lightly browned. Add cleaned (with a brush or a dry scouring pad!) and sliced mushrooms, Oyster would be good, but the Parisian variety will do. Cook down until all the juices have evaporated, stirring often. Add a splash of white wine, cook down again, repeat with another splash of white wine.
Meanwhile boil a peeled and diced potato with sliced leek and celery stalk in water, or vegetable stock, with a bay leaf and thyme, until soft. Add to the mushrooms, with some hot sauce, red and black pepper, parsley. Cook a little longer to allow the flavours to marry.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, more parsley and a piece of fresh brown bread.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Deborah Catesby

New website under Links!
This time by a genuine writer. And good friend.
Go check her out!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Retiree Students

It is quite en vogue these days for retired men to go back to university and take up a study, usually history or philosophy. The students proper are not always happy with these venerable older men who crowd the lectures and working groups, asking intelligent questions of teachers younger than themselves, and bringing their experience and maturity to the discussions.
I can’t blame them. University should be a place for venerable professors and inexperienced immature students, who should be able to stumble out of sight of fathers, their own or anybody else’s.
If Daddy is bored after retirement, and would like to explore new fields of knowledge, let him go to the library, either public, or that excellent research one, the Royal Library. There he can use the skills he learnt when he was a young student, doing research, writing a paper if he insists. And if he wants to discuss what he has studied, let hem start a debating group, where he can explore the essence of Kant versus Plato with fellow dads, and keep his brain sharp as a razor.
But for Pete’s sake, let him leave the university to those who belong there!