A Writer’s Nightmare…and a Taster’s Dream

Don’t you just love to read? As a writer, it’s part of what you do: part of what you have always done. Before you learned to write, you learned to read. When your Mum or your Dad, your teacher or Elmo on ‘Sesame Street’,  wrote down the alphabet for you to copy, you had to read it first. Reading is to writing as breathing in is to breathing out.

Now imagine you can’t read. The letters keep sliding off the page before you can quite make them out. They jump about, dancing with one another, doing things they’re not supposed to do. You can’t pin them down: can’t decide what order they’re in. Can’t copy them. You have so much to say but no way to make words to say it. And your short-term memory is such that you can’t remember what you set out to do anyway, so you wander off from the task.

The day before yesterday, you met my granddaughter, Hayley, and yesterday you read her essay. She has the condition known as Dyslexia. Hers is not quite so severe as the description above. The letters don’t dance together and swap places so much. But, for another of my granddaughters, a younger one, all of those problems and more are preventing her from learning to read and to write.

Can you imagine not being able to read and not being able to write? Do you, like me, love words: love how they flow off your pen, roll onto the paper and tell you a story. Or how your fingers fly across the computer keys and form an orderly line of printed text along the screen: text that you and others can decipher and read. The books you can read, the books you can write. A whole world of make-believe, a whole world of characters, there, laid out before you.

Language is such an amazing gift! The art of communication is priceless. Without it, civilizations would crumble. In fact at least one did!  See Genesis chapter 11 verses 1-9.

I seem to be having a ‘Dyslexia Awareness Week’. I’m a bit early with that, because The British Dyslexia Association are having theirs the week Monday 14th October to Sunday 20th October 2013. If you want to read more about it, and how you can support it, here’s the link: http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/get-involved-and-fundraising/dyslexia-awareness-week.html

I’m also having a rather pleasant creative week. I’ve posted another page under the Cycling tab in my menu bar. It’s Day 10 there now and, if you’ve been following our Land’s End to John o’Groats journey, you’ll realise we are crossing the Scottish/English border on Day 10.

There are a couple of treats for you: the story of Gretna GreenBlacksmiths Shop, Gretna

and the recipe for Ecclefechan Tart.

I have to confess, I have eaten and enjoyed  Ecclefechan Tart…don’t you just love saying ‘Ecclefechan’?…love the name…’Ecclefechan’…sorry, yes, as I was saying, I have eaten and enjoyed Ecclefechan Tart but have never made it. Must rectify that sometime, though I’m not much of a baker, I’m afraid. So, any of you bakers who try it, I’m a very willing taster!

We could pull our chairs up to the fire and you can tell me about your baking while we tuck in.

Any takers?

Any bakers?

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