I love reading and I have always done so. I am an excellent reader as I can comprehend pretty much anything in English regardless of subject or complexity and I will do it pretty quickly too. People are quite frequently amazed at how quickly I can accomplish reading anything and that I not only understand it but can reiterate what it said too. Now for a person so versed in the ways of the English language you think I would know all about the different ways and methods of learning to read etc but I’m always finding out new things about my abilities that I didn’t know before like the differences between intensive reading which is reading for quality and making sure that you know the meaning of each and every word that you come across and extensive reading. Extensive reading is for quantity and your skim reading an article to get the gist of it but you don’t fully understand the meaning that is contained in the sentences. Both kinds can be for pleasure although the former is more like the style I use and the latter is a more dyslexic style but is also useful in studying. I have found to help my learning style in Greek that I need to practice more extensive reading as its too difficult to intensively read at my current level. I’m not progressing as well as I would like which is disheartening considering the amount of time that I devote to my Greek studies. I have found a new source of reading material the Gutenberg website which was a previous issue as I couldn’t find anywhere to get any literature but there are lots out there. You just have to find out where its located as it’s not easily accessible if you don’t know what you are looking for. I would like to thank Steve Kaufmann for bringing this to my attention but also Kato Lomb as it was her that first advocated this approach of reading to acquire sufficient knowledge in a foreign language to be able to communicate in it.


It’s been a very long time since I have written on this. Too long in fact but a lot of progress has happened in my Greek language learning ability. I have recently undertaken the 3-month challenge that is espoused by Benny the Irish polyglot in his fluent in 3 months scheme. While I don’t think that is a realistic goal anymore then when I was jokingly challenged to become fluent in Greek in 2 weeks; I have improved tremendously and there is a lot more to learning a language than just being a walking dictionary which is my usual not particularly helpful approach. The most useful thing I have found is that LingQ have started doing Greek mini stories and this is good for me as I like reading and this is mainly how I pick things up. I like watching all of Steve Kaufmann’s videos about how he learns languages and his progress in the Greek language. Listening and reading are so very important in order to be able to understand the material that you come across because if you don’t have comprehension then you are not going to get anywhere. There is quite a lack of reading material online if you a) want something free and b) something that doesn’t cover dry boring topics like politics or the economy. If for example, I wanted to read a story book that wasn’t to teach children how to read, I have had to buy some books off Amazon. I choose the series that everyone uses but its difficult to find especially if you have no idea what you are looking for due to the fact they are Greek so don’t normally come up in search results.


Aspergers and language learning

Now on the face of it you would think that the two go together really well because really good memory, desire to learn, curiosity, appreciation of culture, history, word association and lots of time to devote to it plus the ability to search out all the resources that are free through the internet, print, audio etc. We might even devote sufficient time to write a book about acquiring these resources as languages are built upon other languages and if were really interested and go to a place frequently we can understand the need for permanent copies. The tricky thing is interacting with people and checking that what we have learned it correct. If your pronunciation is anything like mine its atrocious and I can’t even be understood in my own language let alone any other. This creates issues as how are you ever going to progress if all your doing is learning a language much like you did in school that consists of memorisation of words but no way of actually conversing with any one? How does one get over the innate shyness that is present with Aspergers and prevent yourself from becoming a laughing stock as you accidently said something extremely rude etc? This could be a common occurrence as there are words called false friends as they sound very similar but are completely different in meaning. Well I don’t know how to overcome this because while the safe subject to talk about after you have introduced yourself is the weather in the UK this doesn’t follow for most of the rest of the world. So do you talk about sports, politics, religion, current affairs? I tend to not really say anything which is really hampering my language development. I can order food, drink and ask base questions like what is your name, what time is it, where is ? but beyond that I’m a bit lost. My degree of comprehension varies depending on the language and I can read/understand a fair bit but talking forget about it. I’m just too shy which is very weird if you have ever heard me talk. I tend to be a bit extreme in details at times because the filtering process isn’t really there. Perhaps I should apply that approach to my own language lol. I guess it comes down to getting an interest in people’s lives so that I sufficiently relate to what there dealing with which is a difficulty in Aspergers becoming involved in the minutiae of daily social lives.

Books and their visual adapations

I have read both Game of Thrones books and watched the tv shows. I am very happy with both incarnations. Same for Lord of the Rings. However the same can be said for Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy which I thought was atrocious.  I have been reading the Hunger Games recently which actually was quite boring. Maybe I should have read the books first but I didn’t know about them before hand. I have just watched Divergent and I’m reading the book too. This is seeming to have the same problem. Yes there teen adult books as I call them but no need for them to be so simplistic. I guess it needs to pander to there limited attention span. Its not all bad news as I read the Uglies series of books by Scott Westerfield and I thought they were rather good. Enders Game and Cloud Atlas are also based on books and there movies are really good. Terry Pratchett’s books vary depending on the subjects covered in each one.

Writing Through Grief

I started writing a story to deal with a double family death earlier this year and found it very helpful but when I was over most of the sadness I found it too difficult to continue. Maybe I will continue it only when sadness strikes.

Here is the beginning.

Joseph, Steven and Sarah had known each other since they were infants. They were inseparable, however now they were becoming teenagers, things were beginning to get strained. The hormones were emerging and causing trouble in there once peaceful lives. They wished they could go back to simpler times but such was the March of time. It didn’t help that recently Joseph’s grandfather had died recently and left his spooky old house in Yorkshire to them. He would be visiting it shortly and he was not looking forward to it. It was boring, plus it was cold, wet and windy. He hated those weather conditions being a child of the Sun. He also disliked unfamiliar places, people and negative emotions. He would have to deal with all that soon and it would overwhelm him leading to many days where he would be inconsolable. The only people who could bring him out of his shell were Steven and Sarah. It’s how it had always been but changes were happening there and he doesn’t like it one bit. He had recently noticed how Steven and Sarah looked at each other and wanted more time alone excluding him with secret code words and gestures. Maybe the trip to Yorkshire would be good after all he thought but then it’s out of the frying pan into the fire. The anguish he felt tore himself in half sometimes as he couldn’t seem to find a girl to be friends with in the same way as he had been with Sarah when they were younger. It seemed to Joseph or Joe for short that the whole world was turning upside down as he was close to his grandfather Bert and he couldn’t believe that he was gone since he had seen him a couple of weeks ago and he was full of life. His granddad had been a sailor for most of his life as he had taken to it as a young lad and he never felt happy when he was landlocked. Joe liked swimming and was competent in most water sports thanks to Bert. They were kindred spirits and he had talked to him about girls too. He has said that the sea and women had had a lot in common as they were both mysterious a hid a lot of what they were thinking and feeling from you. You had to interpret the signs and moods. If you were inexperienced you could sail into a storm that would be devastating to your morale and ego. Joe wished he had understood better what Bert was talking about as he didn’t get metaphors easily. He liked straight talking people better that didn’t use all of this non verbal information. It confused him too much as there was too much input from the world around him let alone what the people in front of him were doing. He was easily distracted but he couldn’t help himself. He was just so curious and the environment held so many things that were new but could also be very dangerous and scary he was finding out.

The Blog

Blogs are incredible vehicles for exploring our passions and finding our voices. They can also be powerful tools for healing in the face of trauma; for many of us, the act of writing is a cathartic one.

These brave moms are blogging their way through one of life’s more traumatic losses: the loss of a child. Calling themselves babyloss blogs, they provide insight for those of us who have never experienced this unique pain and support for other parents starting to navigate the same grief — along with hope that life does go on, and happiness is still possible.

C is for Crocodile

2014 BlogHer Voices of the Year winner Timaree started C is for Crocodile to chronicle her pregnancy, never imagining that after three years and five months, she would instead be chronicling her son’s fight with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia — an incredibly rare form of cancer. She blogged through his treatment…

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