We moan but at least we don’t have to face Hurricane Florence​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The eye ofHurricane Florence      Pic: NASA
The eye ofHurricane Florence Pic: NASA

If there’s one benefit to the weather in the UK, it is the general lack of extremes.

We might all have sweated through the heatwave, but it was summer. 

To live in a country where you are liable to have to pack up your possessions and leave your home because a hurricane is headed your way, must be terrifying, not to mention frustrating and a major source of irritation. 

People fleeing Hurricane Florence this week may live in an area where weather such as that is more likely than the UK, but do you ever get used to it?

The flooding that many in the UK have suffered in recent years is devastating enough, but should at least be more preventable than some other acts of nature.

Being able to roll with the punches is a vital life skill

Would you say that you are a control freak? I probably am – or am I just organised and like to know what’s what?

 I am always amazed, and rather envious of, laid-back individuals. 

It must be fantastic to simply take life as it comes, to roll with the punches and not worry or plan too far ahead.

I am a highly organised individual. I couldn’t function without lists and checklists, and a diary in which my working day is planned out.

This was all very well when I was about 18, having just left home and entering the domain of university, bills to pay, and rent to earn.

But as you get older, the more you realise that you have to roll with the punches.

I am certainly more flexible now that I am older. (And for the avoidance of doubt, I do not mean physically.)

As we age, we definitely realise more and more, from our experiences and those around us, that not everything in life can be planned for.

It is liable to knock you sideways. Sometimes with a full facial blast, other times with a thousand tiny digs that just muck about with your day. A flat tyre, a lost key, an unexpected bill.

The ability to be resilient is something that we need to nurture in all our children. 

That concept of picking yourself up and dusting yourself off is so key to life. 

Research has shown that children who grow up in extreme circumstances of, for example, poverty, or in a home where there is abuse of any kind, have a tendency to then end up at one end of a spectrum or the other.

They tend to be either fantastically successful, or living a life of abuse or crime themselves.

The difference between these kids was the adults around them – often just one key adult – who had belief in them and who instilled it in them to also share that belief.

Those children grew up to be resilient and to have success.

It is impossible to overplay the importance of such a skill in our children. 

It’s possessive punctuation that really floats my boat 

I am an apostrophe nerd and was subsequently very pleased to read that a possessive apostrophe has been added to Land’s End.  

The apostrophe for possession has caused my students no end of woe, but my own teacher’s words still ring in my head whenever I use one. ‘Ask yourself who it belongs to.’ 

So, in Lands End, who does the end belong to? Answer: the land. Subsequently, your apostrophe goes after land. In ‘the students classrooms’, to whom do the classrooms belong? The students. So the apostrophe goes after ‘students’, thereby making ‘the students’ classrooms’.

This tricky rule of thumb seems meaningless to some folk, but I do love an apostrophe.