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Showing posts from February, 2014

No More Mr Nice Guy

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It’s a nice day, isn’t it? Not many people know that there are two definitions for nice. The way I’ve used it above – a nice day, a nice dinner, a nice puppy-dog – is one way. But there’s also the definition that refers to a slight or subtle difference – a nice distinction. Here’s a ‘nice’ topic of discussion – the day you lost your virginity. Everyone remembers it, right? Whether you were sixteen or forty, in the back of your boyfriend’s car or on your wedding night – you remember that day. I remember the day I lost my ‘niceness’. I don’t think I was ever a nice person, really. Oh, I was able to smile at people and observe the usual courtesies and social conventions. I considered myself a good friend and would do ‘nice’ things for people, because I liked them or admired them. A lot of people told a lot of other people that I was a ‘nice’ lady. When I started using a wheelchair, I was almost certainly regarded as still being ‘nice’. But those days are gone forever. It’…

On Peer Support and Platform Nine and Three Quarters

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"Where is this school, anyway?"   "I don't know," said Harry, realizing this for the first time. He pulled the ticket Hagrid had given him out of his pocket.  "I just take the train from platform nine and three-quarters at eleven o'clock," he read.   His aunt and uncle stared.   "Platform what?"   "Nine and three-quarters."   "Don't talk rubbish," said Uncle Vernon. "There is no platform nine and three-quarters." If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll remember this quote from ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. Platform Nine and Three Quarters is a platform at King’s Cross Station in London. It’s magically concealed behind the barrier between Muggle Platform Nine and Platform Ten, the place where Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry students board the Hogwarts Express in order to attend school. To get onto the platform, you have to walk directly at the apparently solid metal ticket…