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A dam of undecided asylum applications at the Home Office now results in applicants being sent “legacy” letters which say that their application is likely to be determined at some time prior to July 2011.
Only new applicants are being dealt with under a different model – the New Asylum Model or “Nam” – which promises them a final decision, after exhausting all appeals, within six months.
For applicants under the old system, the wait until 2011 will be painful. Those not allowed to work will continue not to be able to work legally, but will have to rely on benefits until their claim is determined. Many will be limited to benefits only under the safety net regime of Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or Section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948. Those entitled to benefit administered by the National Asylum Support System will receive 70% of the level of Income Support – already only at subsistence levels – paid to British nationals and those having leave to remain. The NASS rate (April 2006) for a single person aged over 25 is £40.22. Rent and Council tax will generally be covered completely by Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. The NASS payment will still have to cover electricity, gas, water, food and household items, clothing, mobile phone top-ups and cigarettes … Utility charges usually run at between £5.00 and £10.00 a week normally paid on a pre-payment meter. With no work and no money to spend on entertainment, wandering the streets is about the only affordable occupation.
More details on legacy letters below.
Legacy Cases – ILPA information sheet – April 2007
In July 2006, the Home Secretary announced that there was an asylum “legacy” of around 450,000 cases, and the Home Office would clear this legacy within 5 years. To deal with these legacy cases, the Home Office have established a separate directorate – the legacy directorate.
What is a legacy case?
A legacy case is any case where all of the following apply:
there has been a claim for asylum
the Home Office records indicate that the case has not been concluded
the case is not being dealt with by the New Asylum Model (NAM)
A claim for asylum will include a claim for humanitarian protection or discretionary leave, whether or not a claim for asylum under the Refugee Convention was made.
Cases dealt with by NAM cannot become legacy cases. Similarly, it is not possible for a legacy case to transfer to NAM. (For information on NAM please see the separate information sheet called “New Asylum Model”.)
The Home Office have not provided comprehensive or clear information regarding legacy cases. ILP A is still seeking clarification from them. However, it seems that legacy cases will include:
cases where the asylum claim remains outstanding
cases where there is an outstanding appeal
cases where asylum has been refused and any appeal dismissed, but the individual remains in the UK
cases where a fresh claim for asylum has been made (a separate information sheet on “Fresh Claims” will be produced shortly)
cases where the individual has been granted some form of leave to enter or remain, but this is limited and may need to be renewed (e.g. an unaccompanied child granted discretionary leave; a person granted discretionary leave for medical reasons)
cases where the individual has been granted 5 years refugee leave or humanitarian protection and may apply for indefinite leave to remain at the end of that period
cases where the individual has left the UK but the Home Office records have not been updated
Home Office legacy directorate
It is intended that, by the summer, there will be 1,000 Home Office staff working in the legacy directorate. They will not all be caseworkers with the authority to make decisions on individual cases. The legacy directorate will work through all the legacy cases.
The Home Office will consider a legacy case concluded when the individual has left the UK or been granted leave to remain in the UK. Working through a legacy case may include dealing with an appeal to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. The Home Office will treat a legacy case as closed if they cannot contact the individual, but they will first make what they consider to be reasonable efforts to make contact.
The Home Office have identified four criteria for cases, which they will prioritise. Those criteria are:
cases of individuals who may pose a risk to the public
cases of individuals who may easily be removed
cases of individuals receiving support
cases of individuals who may be granted leave to remain
However, the Home Office have said that it may be difficult for them to assess which cases are priority cases and which are not. They have confirmed they will select cases, so far as they can, according to the criteria. If a case is selected and it is found it does not fall within the criteria for prioritising, the caseworker will nevertheless work it through to conclusion.
Home Office legacy letters and questionnaires
The Home Office have been sending standard letters in response to letters or applications for further leave to remain from individuals who fall within the legacy cases. The Home Office letters have in the past simply stated that the individual’s case will be concluded within 5 years. They have now confirmed that the letters will be changed. All cases will be concluded by July 2011. That is 5 years from the Home Secretary’s announcement.
Receiving a standard letter does not indicate that a caseworker is actively dealing with the case. It indicates only that the case is regarded as a legacy case. The letter gives no indication when, within the period up to July 2011, the case will be dealt with. Home Office practice has been to send information on making a voluntary departure with the letter. This does not mean the individual should be expected to leave the UK.
When the Home Office select a legacy case, they send a questionnaire to the individual. This means the case is being actively dealt with by a caseworker, and will be dealt with through to a conclusion.
Legacy is not a regularization process
Some people think the legacy questionnaire indicates the Home Office have begun a new ‘amnesty’ exercise for granting indefinite leave to remain to people in order to clear their backlog. This is not correct. The Home Office may grant leave to remain to some individuals. However, this will only happen if the individual’s circumstances meet existing criteria for a grant of leave to remain.
Asking the Home Office to deal with a case
It may be possible to ask the Home Office to treat a case as a priority. Legal advice should be sought before someone asks that their case is treated as a priority. Even if the Home Office do prioritise a case, there is a risk this results in a decision that the person should be removed from the UK.
Steve Symonds ILPA legal officer
020 7490 1553
Download the document: ILPA(Legacy).pdf
ILPA Information service funded by JRCT
Last Friday at an evening garden party I sat next to a solicitor about to retire, and opposite a woman with grown-up children who had never worked outside the home. A difficult conversation ensued when I tried and failed to tread a line strewn with mines between – on the one hand – honestly explaining to the solicitor my frustrations at having had to choose between my career and my children and – on the other hand not offending the lady who had never worked outside the home.
We moved around the table for pudding, and I was left with a feeling of having been misunderstood. The solicitor could not understand why I could not find work that fitted around my children (though I told him I needed seventeen weeks holiday each year) and the lady could not understand why being a mother was not enough of itself. It is not that I do not love being a mother but that I also enjoyed the intellectual stimulation, the male brain company and conversation, the status, even the earning power, of being a practising solicitor. Prior to my daughter’s birth I had chosen to define myself largely by the lawyer label and the shock of the label being pulled off and replaced with one which said “mother” and nothing else was one which I remembered.
Two days later the solicitor rang to ask if I would consider taking over his practice when he retired. I could have seventeen weeks holiday since he thought that he would still like to do some work. His clients were mainly commercial, lots of boat builders and designer, marinas, and agricultural landowners. Interesting work, quite similar to the work I had been doing when I abandoned my own practice. I tried again to explain to him that whilst becoming a father for him had not involved him in any sacrifice, I had had to give up something that defined me. I contrasted my position to that of his wife. She is an artist, a label that fits happily alongside “mother”. Neither label need obliterate the other in her case. At last I felt he understood.
This is what I wrote to him, having considered his offer.
Thank you for contacting me with such an enticing offer of a possibility of returning to practice as a solicitor. I feel as if I have had to re-make choices that I made when I gave up my partnership when my elder daughter was born fourteen years ago. I was enormously fortunate in my relatively short career to land in a firm which allowed me to spread my wings without clipping them. It was a very exciting time for me, building a new department, forging links with European offices, and being part of bringing Tina Turner to my home town. I still miss my work as a solicitor and the relative autonomy I enjoyed as a partner. I would relish an opportunity to work again as a solicitor.
But I cannot make any decision without taking into account my husband and my children. D has a wonderful practice with endless interesting cases and he funds our life save for my very meagre contribution. However his cases often, but unpredictably and irregularly, consume him so that we can have week following week where there is little room for anything else in his life and he can rarely leave London except at weekends. I have to be able to manage everything that we are involved in alone then. We also have two daughters who have become used to a mother whose work is almost invisible – done when they are at school – and who seem to be flourishing on the experience and are still too young to be left alone for long. I am fortunate to have no economic imperative to justify any disadvantage to my children that a full-time work load would inevitably create. I, too, would suffer if I worked full-time even if only in term time, since almost everything that I currently do would still need to be done. I do not know how women do manage to work full-time and run a family. I can only imagine that they have to delegate responsibilities that I do not wish to delegate or that their lives and those of their family are limited by the amount of time available or that they have more stamina that I have.
I remember [Hero #1] telling me a couple of years ago that at some point he and his wife had agreed with their children that his wife had as much right to fulfil herself as any other member of the family, and that his wife had returned to work as a lawyer after that. I think my family would agree with that too, but our constraints are different and I have to find a different balance. I really do enjoy working at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and chairing the […] Committee. These are two very different jobs. The first allows me to practise my legal skills to a surprising degree and I find the work very rewarding. The second allows me to experience the area of academic law I was teaching at University first hand and acquire new skills working in a very different environment to a solicitors’ office. I have decided that I am happy with these occupations for now especially since they leave me enough time to look after my family without any of us feeling uncomfortably stretched.
I am very grateful to you for offering me such a delightful package. I am also glad, in a way, to have had to confront returning to work in more than a purely hypothetical way. For now my children and my husband have to come first and I think those priorities rule out returning to work as a solicitor in private practice since the hours and commitment I can presently offer are not likely to commend themselves to many clients.
With very best wishes,
75 Years of Women Solicitors, BBC News 1997 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/40448.stm
Female lawyers earn half as much as their male colleagues, The Independent on Sunday, 2005 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4159/is_20050717/ai_n14784133
If you’ve got time, leave the pork in its marinade-rub for 12 or even 24 hours. But otherwise, just do the necessary when you get home in the evening. By roasting the pork at gas mark 6/200C (note: about 400F) you can accommodate both croutons and meat. You want the loin boned and rindless but with a very thin layer of fat still on, and tied at regular intervals. That’s why I go to the butcher. And ask him to chop the bones and give them to you to take home while he’s about it. The boned, de-rinded weight of a 2 1/4 kg joint should be about 1.8 kg.
Loin of Pork with Bay Leaves
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, bruised, and, crushed, with the flat side of a knife
- 6 peppercorns, bruised
- 6 dried or fresh bay leaf, crumbled or 2 tsp ground bay leaf
- 2 1/2 kg. loin of pork, boned, de-rinded, and, rolled, (1.8 kg oven-ready weight)
- 1 medium onion
- 16 more dried or fresh bay leaf, whole
- 150 ml white wine
Loin of Pork with Bay Leaves
- In an small bowl mix the olive oil, garlic, salt, peppercorns, crumbled or ground bay and a teaspoon of, preferably, rock salt and then put the pork on a large dish or in a large polythene bag, and rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover the dish or tie up the bag and leave in the fridge if you’ve got steeping time, otherwise -if you’re about to start cooking it- just leave it out.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200 C (note: about 400F). Finely slice a peeled medium onion and line the roasting tray with it. Strew about 10 bay leaves over the onion. Place the pork, including its marinade, on top and the bones all around, if they fit and if you’ve got them. Roast in the oven for 1 and 3/4 hours, basting regularly.
- Remove the pork, scraping burnt bits off, to a plate or carving board and let it sit. On the hob at moderate heat, pour about 150ml wine and 150ml boiling water over the bones, bay, garlic and onion. Let it bubble up and reduce by about a third, and then remove the bones gingerly and strain the liquid contents into a saucepan. Heat, taste, and add liquid as you like to make a good, thin, not-quite gravy.
- You can carve, put the slices on a big warmed plate, sprinkle with salt and pour over a little of the juice-gravy, then tent with foil and leave in the turned-off oven while you eat the starter. It is a bit prinky, I know, but it will look fabulous if, when you take it out, you arrange, Napoleanically, some more bay leaves around the edges of the dish with the bay-scented pork.
Excerpted from How To Eat by Nigella Lawson
Copyright © Nigella Lawson 1998
Fowler’s ‘Stages of Faith’ in Jamieson, Alan, A Churchless Faith; Faith Journeys beyond the Church, SPCK, 2002, pp112-120
STAGE 1 – THE INNOCENT (INTUITIVE-PROJECTIVE)
This stage is found in pre-school children whose lives are a seamless world of fantasy, stories, experiences and imagery. Their experience of God and faith is understood through the family experience. Where parents talk about God and pray with the children of say grace, some understanding begins to develop, but at this stage there are no inner structures with which to sort out their experiences. Life is therefore a collage of disorganised images including real events of daily life and the imaginary fantasy life of the child. The transition to the next stage involves the child’s growing concern to know now things are and to clarify what is real and what only seems that way (Fowler, 1995, p125-34)
STAGE 2 – THE LITERALIST (MYTHICAL-LITERAL)
This stage normally begins when the child is around six years of age. Somewhere around this age the child is better able to organise their experience and begins to categorise them. At this stage ideas and stories are interpreted literally. Children at this stage interpret stories and adults’ explanations of life and faith literally. They love the stories from the Bible about Noah’s ark, Jonah and the whale or David and Goliath, often taking enormous interest in the details of the size of the ark, the number of animals or what it would have been like inside the whale.
Although powerfully influenced by narrative and story, children at this stage cannot stand back and view events from the position of a neutral observe as they lack the ability to reflect on their own position or the position of others from a value-free perspective. During this stage the bounds of the children’s world widens. The primary influence of the family is now added to by the influence of teachers, school, other children etc. Here the child typically makes strong associations with people like us and is aware and often critical of those who are different. Although this stage begins in childhood, for many this is the stage at which their faith journey equilibrates during adulthood or at least for a substantial period of their adulthood.
These adults tend to appreciate churches where a more literal interpretation of Scripture is encouraged. This stages brings with it real strengths, offering security for the individual and deep conviction and commitment. Adults at this stage are often strongly influenced by rules and authoritative teaching, their main images of God tending to be of a stern and just, but loving parent.
STAGE 3 – THE LOYALIST (SYTHETIC-CONVENTIONAL)
Stage 3 is a conformist stage in which the individual is acutely tuned to the expectations and judgements of significant others (F, 1995, p173). It is very much a tribal stage, where being part of the tribe is significant to the person. Here the security of the tribe or community of like-minded believers is important to the individual’s own beliefs, values and faiths. Loyalists may hold deep convictions and are often committed workers or servers who have a very strong sense of loyalty. While their beliefs and values are often deeply held they are typically not examined critically and are therefore tacitly held to. That is, they know what they know but are generally unable to tell you how they know something is true except by referring to an external authority outside of themselves. At this stage the person has not stood outside their belief system and made a personal in-depth critique of it. Predominantly these people have a vision of God as an external, transcendent being and in discussion refer little to God as an immanent in-dwelling God. Perhaps because of this many are uncomfortable with the notion of God within.
Among adults, this is the stage most commonly found among church members. This should not be surprising, as this is why we have churches and congregations in which people can find some common faith identity… Often identification with their church is a key identity marker for them. Most find enormous meaning for their faith as they share in the activities of the church… Many experience a strong sense of belonging to their church community … At this stage people tend to become dependent on the church for confirmation of selfhood and faith. They will often work hard to provide support in times of trouble or difficult in others’ lives and maintain a supportive web of relatedness… Because of this, conflict and controversy are threatening to them. They will tend to work for harmony and would often prefer to bury conflict than allow it to surface and potentially destabilise the sense of community that is so important to them.
STAGE 4 – THE CRITIC (INDIVIDUATIVE-REFLECTIVE)
The transition to the fourth stage is probably the most difficult to traverse and involves the greatest dismantling of what was learnt and experienced in the previous stage. Because of the “walled in”, secure feel of the third stage it often involves a major upset for the transition beyond Stage 3 to begin.
Fowler describes the move as a two-part transition. The first involves the emergence of a new sense of self that will take responsibility for its own actions, beliefs and values and will stand out against the significant others of the past. This is often a courageous and difficult journey. The second aspect is a new objectification and examination of the beliefs, values and expectations they have received. Fowler illustrates this stage using a drawing in which the Critic stands alone outside of any group. It is clear in his illustration that the Critic has removed themselves from the encircling relationship of significant others and is developing an independent position. At this stage the individual in increasingly uncomfortable with being asked to conform to the beliefs, teachings, values and actions of the group.
In their examination of their faith and practice, Critics begin by raising previously accepted beliefs, values, world views and actions for inspection, often as if they were looking at them and analysing them for the first time. In this critical examination flaws, inconsistencies, unanswered aspects and overly simplistic solutions seem to be their primary focus. This is a process of unpicking their previous faith and their communities’ beliefs and practices. It is lonely, uncomfortable and often protracted. But through this process a new respect and trust for one’s inner feelings, intuitions and personal judgement is commonly experienced. In contrast to the previous stage, the Critic trusts their own perception more than the perception and view of any community of others.
People at this stage tend to hold themselves, and others, more accountable for their own “authenticity, congruence, and consistency” (F, in Fowler and Keen, 1985, p70). It is important to people that they take responsibility for their own beliefs, actions and decisions. They will not tolerate following the crowd, or previously held significant others. Freedom to make their own decisions becomes increasingly important to them. Because of these changes the place of relationship changes too. No longer are relationships essential for the formation and maintenance of identity: this is a strongly individualistic stage. Where relationships are built a high priority is placed on each person’s autonomous identity.
As the stage progresses a person’s reference group tends to widen enormously. The person becomes interested in the views, beliefs and practices of groups they may previously have stayed away from. … Where the Stage 4 Critic may also be involved in groups, churches or congregations, they are looking for acknowledgement and support of their self-authorisation. Groups that provide intellectual stimulation and challenge but do not try to impose external or conventional expectations and beliefs are most comfortable to people at this stage. They often appreciate forums which allow them to question, present divergent opinions and in which divergence of belief and practice is appreciated, even celebrated. They are now more comfortable with criticism and debate, even disagreement. The conflict and disagreement that was once seen as potentially threatening is now viewed more positively, perhaps even relished.
At this stage people frequently see themselves as ‘self-sufficient, self-starters, self-managing and self-repairing’ (Fowler, 1987, p91). Because of the strength of the sense of self and the inner determinacy, people at this stage do not sit easily within a leadership structure that requires them to be dependent. They want a leadership structure that acknowledges and respects their personal positions and allows room for them to contribute to the decision-making.
STAGE 5 – THE SEER (CONJUNCTIVE)
This stage is not as easy to explain as the previous stage, as it encapsulates what seem contradictory aspects. In fact, it is this seeming contradiction that lies at the heart of Stage 5, for at this stage the firm boundaries of the previous stage become more porous. The confident self becomes humblingly aware of the depth of the unconscious and the unknown. This is a process that often coincides with a realisation of the power and reality of death. Although the transition between stages cannot be fixed to certain ages and people move through at different paces and equilibrate at different points, this stage is seldom reached before the onset of mid-life… Fowler describes this stage by outlining four distinctive hallmarks:
• “An awareness of the need to face and hold together several unmistakeable polar tensions in one’s life: the polarities of being both old and young and of being both masculine and feminine … the polarity of having a conscious and a shadow self
• A felt sense that truth is more multiform and complex than most of the clear ‘either/or’ categories of the previous stage. In its richness, ambiguity and multidimensionality, truth must be approached from at least two or more angles of vision simultaneously. People at this level will resist a forced synthesis or reductionist interpretation and are generally prepared to live with ambiguity, mystery, wonder and apparent irrationalities
• Here faith moves beyond the reductive strategy by which the Critic interprets symbol, myth, and liturgy into conceptual meanings … The faith of the Seer gives rise to a second naiveté, a postcritical receptivity and readiness for participation in the reality brought to expression in symbol and myth
• A genuine openness to the truths of traditions and communities other than one’s own. This openness, however, is not to equated with a relativistic agnosticism, [for at this stage] faith exhibits a combination of committed belief in and through the particularities of a tradition, while insisting on the humility that knows that a grasp on ultimate truth that any of our traditions can offer needs continual correction and challenge” (Fowler, 1984, pp65-66) As Fowler’s hallmarks of Stage 5 suggest, people at this stage love mystery and seem to relish the vastness of the unknown. They seek to understand the great unknown, realising the more they understand, the more the unknown is opened up before them. Here people are able to identify with perspectives other than their own… This does not involve an uncritical or total acceptance of these perspectives; rather it is an acknowledgement and incorporation within their own faith and understanding of a number of new perspectives.
The Seer’s faith is clearly the Seer’s own. Although nurtured by the faith of parents, of significant leaders, writers and the lives of others it is the individual’s own compilation and one that is deeply held. Their faith may well be quite orthodox … or it may relish aspects of faith and ideology from other perspectives. What is significant is that it is the owned and firmly rooted faith of the individual, a faith that shapes and connects with all aspects of their lives. Because of the strength of their own stance, people at this stage are able to identify with people of different races, socio-economic status and different belief systems. In fact, such cross-cultural experiences are generally sought after and often important aspects of the individual’s life and faith. The boundaries of faith at this stage are very broad and often difficult for others to identify. For this reason people at Stage 5 are often more confusing, irritating, and even threatening to those at previous stages.
STAGE 6 – THE SAINT (UNIVERSALIZING)
The final stage is the most difficult to understand and is perhaps better described through poetry than by definitions. It involves two major transitions: first, what Fowler calls a ‘decentration from self’ in which the self is removed from the centre or focus of the individual’s life. It is a move beyond the usual human obsession with survival, security and significance coupled with a continued widening of the circle of those who count. The second transition is a shift in motivation to the complete acceptance of the ultimate authority of God in all aspects of life. This shift is perhaps best illustrated when we observe Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine own be done’ (Luke 22.42, RSV).
Mother Teresa, Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King are examples of people operating at the level of Stage 6
“As space rockets go, the BMW goes well. But then it is more rocket than space – with seats in place there’s less luggage room than in the saloon. Yet there’s greater versatility and, seats down, it’s practical. The biggest attraction lies at the other end, though – a three-litre straight six that’s more addictive than chocolate and, depending on what you do with it, almost as entertaining. Fluid handling and a fine ride quality ensure that this is the top choice for keen drivers who need extra space occasionally. So if you need more space for the dogs and kids, sell them.”
You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove
1 (45,700) Labrador retriever
2 (20,495) Cocker Spaniel
3 (15,133) English Springer Spaniel
4 (12,857) Alsatian German Shepherd
5 (12,729) Staffordshire bull terrier
6 (11,411) Cavalier King Charles spaniel
7 (9,373) Golden retriever
8 (9,300) West Highland white terrier
9 (9,066) Boxer
10 (8,916) Border terrier
11 (6,575) Rottweiler
12 (4,436) Shih-tzu
13 (4,396) Miniature schnauzer
14 (4,154) Lhasa Apso
15 (4,042) Yorkshire terrier
16 (3,522) Bulldog
17 (3,388) Doberman
18 (3,361) Bull terrier
19 (2,744) Weimaraner
20 (2,681) Pug
Breed Registrations, Country Life, April 26, 2007
Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s new book, Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success (Harvard Business School) looks like an essential read. She is working with 34 global companies – from Time Warner to BP – to ensure that women stay in the work place and her book sets out a practical blue print for a workplace where women are not penalised for opting for a non-linear, non-conventional career path. She remarks that 2/3 of women are “sideswiped, sidelined, pretty much for the rest of their lives” by the male competive model which demands unreasonable hours. Even competing with the men won’t work. Supporting Carol Gilligan’s thesis that women fear success because they fear it challenges their perceived feminity, Hewlett says that earning a zillion dollars is not going to make you an attractive woman. It might, rather, be a little off-putting. For men, however, the storyline is still relatively simple:
“The compensation package, the power, the title … money and power. Men are conditioned to understand that this is what gets them respect and stroking in this world.”
Been there, done that, got the T shirt.
What gets women respect and stroking? (“stroking” is a Transactional Analyis term, btw)
In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that?
(Kohlberg, 1963, p. 19)
Answers below, please, with reasons.
I write about things that interest me and which make me think, as writing helps me develop my opinions. Sometimes this is a place to store a memory, or an experience. I find that I cannot write if I write for an audience, so I have to write for myself. I do not expect my posts to interest other people, but if they do, then I am delighted. I do not pretend to be an expert on anything. I expect others to disagree with me and find it develops my understanding. I would be really pleased to hear from you, as long as you write politely.