This weekend we've reached another landmark for our strange times.

We're halfway through February already and it's the start of a homeschooling half term holiday. It's Valentine's Day of course (though the media has struggled to put a positive spin on that) and, yes... ITV's 'The Masked Singer' competition has reached its conclusion.

I confess I've not been watching it but understand it's been one of those programmes which has helped people get through the week. And I was amazed to see how a teacher in the north-west has responded, bringing fun and ingenuity with a booky theme.

Teachers in the school have been filmed reading the blurb of a book while using filters for their voice and head. Take a look here. At the same school, a teacher has also devised a reading website for her pupils modelled on the Netflix page, here. Meanwhile in Wales, a school attached free books on their fence for pupils to pick up and enjoy during the half term break. The books were parcelled up in goody bags with a bookmark, hot chocolate and teabag for the parents, see here. Clever, inventive ideas like this really do bring smiles, excitement and interest when things are feeling a bit flat at the moment. 

Some mishaps in video calls have also caused amusement again. This time in the US a lawyer who accidentally activated a filter appeared as a cat here, and a congressman appeared upside down here.

Hopefully we'll all be able to negotiate the technology for our Zoom Book Group monthly meeting and even without cats or goats, we'll still find it an enjoyable way to spend an evening. This time we're discussing 'The Girl with the Louding Voice' on Monday 22 February. If you'd like to join in, please reply to this email and I'll send you the details about logging in - it's very straightforward, honest!