Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Reading articles in the press and hearing on radio mention of Ramadan in all kinds of different contexts has led me to really miss my teaching job for the first time since retiring. Not the paperwork and endlessly trying to reconcile the requirements of a scheme of work with those of the students wanting to be able to live confidently in this country you understand, but the sharing with those students of the festivals and feasts which mark the passing of the year. Ramadan seemed to me to draw out the best in people who sometimes didn't observe the traditions of their faith during the rest of the year. Ramadan in the middle of winter meant breaking the fast at the end of our class around 4pm, with students and staff bringing in contributions to share with everyone whether Muslim or not. I was always saddened that our Lenten fast didn't bring the same sense of celebration. We have so much to learn and share, and we waste so much time in hurting and fighting.

I spent the afternoon in discussions about carbon management in Stockton Council, trying to balance what is possible technically with what is possible financially and what's desirable environmentally. As a council we have a duty to lead and encourage the people and communities of the borough but we also have a duty not to squander the financial resources at our disposal. There are more talks to be held before we can produce final recommendations for Cabinet to take forward over the coming years.

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