I have this little book where I keep newspaper cuttings that have made me go, ‘I don’t believe it?’, and, since nothing majorly annoying has happened since Saturday (if you don’t count the fact that some more of my bathroom tiles have fallen off the walls; I did help by banging them with a metal bar, but they were holding on by a thread and threatening to land on my head while I had my next shower…), since nothing majorly annoying has happened since Saturday (thought you might have lost the thread by now), since nothing, no, I’m not repeating it again, I thought I would take out one of those cuttings and share with you something that stunned me recently.
Apparently, ‘more than 20,000 children in London do not know they live in the capital. One in five six- to 14-year-old British children cannot find the UK on a map of the world and one in 10 was not able to name a single continent. Boys had slightly better geographical skills, with 65 per cent being able to locate countries compared with 63 per cent of girls. Scottish children were the most geographically aware.’ (London Evening Standard)
I was never very good at geography; I’m still a bit vague on quite a lot of countries (I liked the Berlin Wall for all sorts of reasons) and there are some countries I don’t believe in at all, like Colombia. Don’t ask me why. It’s a quirk I have. Still, I do know where I am, most of the time, and when I was between six and 14 I knew I lived in the capital of France. After that, it became more complicated and confusing: a few years here, a few years there…
Slapping those British kids and myself for not paying more attention during those excruciatingly boring lessons!