Frances Bell

home at last – for all the mes

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Libraries in my life

I have always loved libraries. The first one that I remember is Withington Library from when I lived in Withington in Manchester as a child. It’s great to see it is still there and operating as a community hub. When we moved to Middlesbrough, I became very excited that I could join two different libraries…

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A wee poem – The Voyeur

Tonight, I was feeling like I needed a wee rest from my desperate attempt to complete the paper from hell, and I plucked a book of poetry fom the shelves to give me a different perspective. Here’s what I found The Voyeur by Tom Leonard what’s your favourite word dearie is it wee I hope…

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The tea cosy that taught me – a story about knitting and learning

          I am a fairly unprolific knitter who loves knitting. I do knit repeats of things I have knitted before, like the berry hat and Saartje bootees that I have knitted for many babies of those connected to me. But what I really like in a new knitting project is a…

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Four women on a train – one of many possible stories

This story is dedicated to Heli Nurmi whom I have known since we worked together on the CCK08 MOOC in 2008. Heli blogs about open learning, and regularly participates in MOOCs. She has extensive experience of research and practice in education, brings much insight to discussions at blogs and on forums. I have visited Finland…

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Women making social media work for good causes

On International Women’s Day I would like to highlight the work of three women doing good with the help of social media and those who participate. Kate Granger is a witty and engaging woman doctor who has used her experience of being a patient with terminal cancer to launch a campaign that has made life…

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Archaeology of family life

Diving through the layers of ‘stuff’ in our home office that was virtually unusable because of all the ‘stuff’, I found this  lovely artefact in my late aunt’s Scrabble set. It is a diary that reveals two layers. The diary dates from 1965 My aunt Celie was a civil servant and she had acquired this…

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Ice Bucket Challenge – the woolly liberal version

I suppose it’s almost inevitable that once you comment on people doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, you have raised your head above the parapet and should expect to catch a bullet.  In my case it was my dear sister-in-law Moira Richardson, a recent entrant to Facebook, who challenged me. Although I am rather too old…

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Strong as silk

Silk is natural, light, prismatic, gossamer. We know no fibre stronger than silk. One cocoon yields over 700 yards of filament. Silk can be reeled, spun, woven, sewn, knitted, patterned by weaving, printing, stitching, piecing, made into beautiful artefacts, to wear and to enjoy. Silk is beautiful and multiple. Silk can be chiffon, organza, crepe,…

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Wonderful Women I follow on Twitter

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I trawled through those I follow on Twitter to create a list of women I follow on Twitter, then create a composite image of their avatars.  This was quite a labour-intensive task but was time well spent as it made me think about these women.  I am impressed -they are…

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A sorry tale of wood-burning stoves and miscommunication

A morality tale This is a morality tale for those who have or intend to purchase a wood-burning stove to help bring down their energy bills, and those who are crafting home grown gifts for family and friends.  If, like us, you fall into both categories beware the hidden dangers. The excitement On Friday, I…

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