Wednesday 27 January

This is Holocaust Memorial Day, chosen because it is the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp by the Soviet Army in 1945. On Woman’s Hour today (I am not a regular listener but I was driving) there was a debate as to how to teach this topic to children and whether one could begin to tackle the topic in primary schools. I think one has to accept that there are some very nasty episodes in history, both ancient and modern, and no purpose is served by trying to sanitise them.

I have temporarily relocated to Ealing, in a childcare bubble. Adam’s nursery has closed pro tem, and I am helping out while both parents work. It is of course highly entertaining to be in sole charge of a 2 year old. He is currently going through what in our family has been called “the last of the great dictators” stage. “Grandma jump” (in puddles), “Grandma big one” (push on the swing) and the like. He is learning a lot of nursery rhymes at nursery and it is so cute to hear him singing to himself. He knows that Grandpa likes fish, so one, two, three, four, five in the nursery rhyme book, with a picture of a large fish dangling on the end of a line, is very popular.

The sea shanty clip seems to have sparked some interest, and I am told that the good-looking Scottish postman Nathan Evans is credited with having started this craze. It’s the Wellerman which has really caught on, but this is a slightly earlier shanty and sounds to me very authentic.

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