Friday, 31 December 2010

Old long since...

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Or friendship e'er grow cauld?
Should we nae tighter draw the knot
Aye as we're growing auld?
How comes it, then, my worthy friend,
Wha used to be sae kin',
We dinna for ilk ither spier
As we did lang syne?"

'Tullochgorum' Skinner

Picture of Robert Burns’ original manuscript and lyrics to Auld Lang Syne from Google Images.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

"From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun, written by Francis P. Church, September 21, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

"Dear Editor--I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.'
Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?"
Virginia O'Hanlon,
115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

Image:From Google Immages.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Speech by SLW at 7th World Congress on Conductive Education

"Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Following is the speech by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at 7th World Congress on Conductive Education today (December 6):

Professor Leung (Professor Leung Nai-kong, Chairman, Organising Committee of the 7th World Congress on Conductive Education), Ms XuXiao Ming (Secretary General/Deputy Director, China Association of Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons), Professor Ildikö Kozma (President, International András Petö
Association of Conductive Education), Mr Fong (Mr Fong Cheung Fat, Chief Executive Officer, SAHK), distinguished guests, ladiesand gentlemen,

Welcome to "East Meets West: Adaptation & Development"- The 7th World Congress on Conductive Education. We are indeed honoured that the Congress is being held in Hong Kong. It is, if I may say so, an encouraging recognition of our effort and achievement in promoting the well-being of persons with disabilities.

The Hong Kong SAR Government is fully committed to helping persons with disabilities develop their physical and mental capabilities, fully realise their potential and integrate into the community.

For children with special education needs, our objective is to help them acquire a whole range of skills.

These include their fundamental developmental skills, intellectual ability, and perceptual-motor, cognitive, communication, social and self-care skills. Conductive Education is one of the programme options being implemented in many of the special schools for physically handicapped children in Hong Kong.

The holistic approach of Conductive Education combines education and therapy specially designed for children with neurological impairment resulting in weak or uncoordinated movement, Since its inception some 40 years ago, it has helped improve the quality of life and psychological well-being of these children and their families.

I would like to congratulate the SAHK and the International András Petö
Association for hosting this important event. Researchers, educators, policy-makers, carers and other specialists worldwide are invited to get together to share their knowledge, experience and best practices.

In this regard, the unstinting effort of the International András Petö Association is most commendable and impressive.

On the other hand, as the pioneer in the field in Hong Kong since 1980s, SAHK has not only made great strides in applying Conductive Education to its special child care centres, special schools and adult services, but also taken up the pivotal role in promoting Conductive Education to the Mainland of China in the 1990s. We are very proud of its accomplishment.

With the valuable input of our distinguished speakers and knowledgeable delegates from both the East and the West, I am sure that the Congress will lend further impetus to translate insightful ideas into practice. I wish all of you fruitful exchanges in the Congress, and our visitors a pleasant and enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.

Thank you."

Source: HKSAR Government
7th Space:

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Susie Mallett's book arrived today with a lovely card.

Although I wasn't able to make it to Hong Hong for the 7th World Congress on Conductive Education, today I received Susie's first book in the post which she published herself to present at the congress.

Thank you Susie!

On the front cover of the book is her sketch of Mária Hári the late director of the Pető Institute, Budapest Hungary.

I also received a card from her tucked nicely in the book. A card which has relevance to my own intention to contribute to Pető's work.


Photos: Susie's first published book and the card which I received today .

Friday, 3 December 2010

Light has no past; it lives in the eternal present.

Photo: Buddha in the snow in our courtyard and hungry birds having breakfast on the back patio Winter 2010.