Dreams are strange things. Anxiety dreams are even stranger. Usually my anxiety dreams take me back to the classroom, usually a far worse classroom that I ever had the misfortune to teach in. Last night, however, it was my sister dumping her grandchildren, none of them their actual ages, all smaller, on Christmas Day for some unknown reason. The outcome was a mass of children all in the bath at once, getting more and more towels wet each time I turned my back or tried unsuccessfully to get Christmas dinner cooking. Eventually I recognised it all as a dream and clawed my way back up to a waking point surface, convinced that it must be almost time to get up. 2.15 am!!!
Why was I having anxiety dreams? No idea!
Here's another odd thing. If I leave a comment on my friend Colin's blog, the blogger system asks me to prove I am not a robot. This is achieved by ticking a box labelled "I am not a robot". Surely if I were a robot, I would have the nous to tick that box. Unless, as a robot, I had been programmed only ever to tell the truth. Or perhaps if I were robotist, A bit like being a feminist, and really wanted to assert my robotness! Too silly!
I came across a quotation from Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451. Farenheit 451 is the temperature atbwhich books burn in in that distopian society. Here'/ the quotation: "The problem with our country isn't with books being banned, but with people no longer reading. You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." Very true in our media-driven age where almost all of us believe the stories that abound on social media.
So we were very relieved the other day when our thirteen-year-old granddaughter enthusiastically informed us that she had completed one of the books we bought her for Christmas and was halfway through another one. Which she spent the rest of her visit curled up on the sofa reading. She has an extensive collection of books. I know because I have regularly contributed to it. Her mother and, indeed, her schoolteachers comment on her being a "real bookworm" and yet in recent years whenever we have seen her she has been more interested in watching "shows" (usually American tv series involving high drama or vampires or both) on her iPad.
She's not the only child who spends a lot of time on social media stuff, of course. Here's a link to an article about the problems of children as young as eight signing away their rights on Instagram and Facebook and the like. I still find it quite frightening that children as young as eight have access to all this stuff and often unsupervised.
On that note, this being a fine, crisp winter's day, I am posting this and going out and about.