Inside Story

Memories of 1980s Oxford, for the second time this month. In the same week in which I received an invitation to the Osma Centenary Symposium, Andrew informed me that he'd turned up a cassette tape from 1982 while looking (inevitably) for something else. He digitised it and emailed the tracks to Bernard and me. The…

Osma Centenary Symposium

Symposium, amongst other things, can mean "a one-day conference". Who knew? (Not Plato - or me.) Last week I was invited to a symposium at Oxford's Bodleian Library. A year ago I blogged about my trip to Madrid at Easter 1980 when I was 25 years old. This memorable experience was made possible by the…

Wirral we go?

Regular readers (both of you) know that I come back to visit The Wirral, or just "Wirral", as some prefer, most months of the year. This is where I went to school, and where my parents still live. I sleep in the same room I slept in when I was six. Space is the depository…

May we prosper in 2020

I have been flying under the radar since I last posted (before Christmas). If that seems a long time ago, it's probably because it is. And starting a new year turns the previous year into ancient history. You buy a new calendar and throw the old one away. On the whole I was glad to…

The Brexit-Bar

I've had the flu this week (if this is just the masculine version, God help women) so I am not in a musing frame of mind. Methodist Church Hall, Herne Hill Like you, perhaps, I always think the latest General Election is the worst ever - in terms of candidates, shenanigans and dumbing down -…

Musings on retirement

As mentioned in a previous post, I joined the British Library in January 1986 and left in March 2015, retiring at the age of 60.┬áSo that's more four and half years ago (I haven't lost my razor sharp brain) and it won't be long until I am 65. I have restrained myself from writing about…

Keep on strumming

I am an enthusiastic, if very limited, musician. I don't even think of myself as a musician - and neither does anyone else! I've never been able to read music properly, I've never had a lesson and I am certainly no virtuoso on any instrument. But music means a lot to me, and not just…

Back to the Future?

Jessica Rimoch is the young woman who owns, and can nearly always be found in, Jarr Market, a zero-waste shop that has opened a few minutes' walk from where I live. Born in Mexico City, Jess came to London six years ago. After initially working in the IT industry she became increasingly concerned about the…

Not fade away

I had a long one-on-one lunch and even longer conversation with a former colleague this week. The theme of memory, and loss thereof - personal, cultural and institutional - quickly emerged from our discussion of couple of recent incidents. He'd recently met, by chance, an old friend in a part of London he rarely visits…