Letters to the Editor

This page is available for readers to throw brickbats or bouquets, to sound off on any subject that has provoked their ire or promoted their admiration, and generally to share with the rest of us.  

There is no shortage of space!

From Stephen Bray, Turkey

Dear Joe,

Just yesterday, someone asked, "Do you miss the old country?"

I do but it is a country that never really existed.

I miss: "Hovis" bread bought over a counter, rather than from a supermarket.

The sound of leather on willow, as I slowly become drunk watching the local
brewery team, who always bring a barrel.

The drone of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine, as a lone Spitfire executes a
barrel roll.

Four Beatles claiming 'She loves me'.

Maggots on the sandwiches, which is a description familiar only
to coarse fishermen.

But here in Turkey, there's much to do, and such good food, the women are
gorgeous, but don't tell the wife I said so.

And especially the England that never was, 'lives' with far more colour and
grace than were I there with you, filling in a tax return.

October 6, 2003



From Elvira Madelin, Bracknell, Berks

I switched the heating on too late tonight; my hands are frozen. Once I have eaten I should feel warmer; which reminds me: 3 or 4 slices of fresh ginger dropped into boiling water - enough for a big mug - and left to infuse for 5 minutes gives the circulation a kickstart and warms the last tip of the littlest toe in minutes.

This may be of interest as an addition to your Notions, Potions and Nostrums piece.

October 23, 2003


Threads on ADD/ADHD

From Michael Mallows

I believe that many children diagnosed with and treated for AD(H)D may in fact be displaying symptoms of Attachment Difficulties (or Attachment Disorder as the the DSM would have it).

That is, ADHD itself may be a symptom.

I also think that the intrapersonal skills that many adults display in their interpersonal relationships are evidence of low Emotional Intelligence and may also ensue from Attachment Difficulties.

Attachment Disorder, as you probably know, results from poor bonding during the early days, weeks and months - eye contact with a nurturing parent, for example - creating human beings who lack trust, feel inferior and guilty and who, ultimately, have an underlying or constant state of impotence, futility and despair.

Feeling, basically, inadequate, insecure and insignificant, they look everywhere for someone to blame. Parents, The System / teacher / lover / ....

The preoccupation with how awful life is, how painful love is, how demanding people are, how overwhelming it might all become, how they will be held responsible, how they will probably fail, saps the spirit, deadens the soul, narrows the vision, impairs judgment, shallows the breathing, narrows the mind. In short, it makes it very difficult to pay attention in an orderly fashion. Result? Attention Deficit Disorder!

What if we reframe it as a deficit in the people who 'should' be paying attention.  After all, don't many of the NP article suggests that if our readers learn and apply the techniques, principles and attitudes that we believe in and write about the people they live and work with are less likely to have initials pinned on their souls?

October 4, 2003


From Stephen Bray

I think this very interesting. My view is that although some kind of configuration of behaviour is often represented as ADHD the term ADHD is a powerful 'meme'.

My article would agree in principle with your statement, and suggest one 'family' configuration looks something like.

Mother/child ambivalent attachment.  Parent's history, mother needy and father strong in practical support but with arrival of child, (natural or adopted).  Father's resources
overwhelmed by mother's new 'needy' focus, and becomes absent either:
a) Physically, by taking up voluntary work such as running 'parent-craft classes', often in an attempt to gain more knowledge or resources to meet home-based problems
b) By engaging in almost obsessive DIY work around the house, carried out in isolation from the rest of the family, in a symbolic attempt to 'shore-up' the fabric of his reality.
Or something like that.

October 4, 2003