Category Archives: Uncategorized


This blog has been silent for a long while – all kinds of other pressures keep me away from it. But I’ll get back to it. Meanwhile sitting outside one warm evening earlier this summer was a delight. Almost cloudless … Continue reading

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Kettling: a 1968 experience

The UK High Court has decided that kettling the G20 protesters in 2009 was ‘not justified’ (see news story). The technique seems to be a relatively new police tactic with the earliest example cited by Wikipedia in Germany in 1986. … Continue reading

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The Umbra: luxury betwixt cliffs and the dunes

Sometimes students have the luxury of living in dramatic accommodation – castles, mansions, lighthouses. Imagine my delight when friends invited me to join them at The Umbra. The house already had a reputation at the university – it was large, … Continue reading

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Hewing words

The Festival of Writing at York University, organized by Harry Bingham’s Writers’ Workshop, was an illuminating and insightful event. Illuminating, because it laid bare the highly challenging market for book publishing: you have to write ‘dazzlingly well’, as Harry put … Continue reading

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Writing in emotion

I was moved by a post on Kirie’s blog . She relates the experience of a writer who told so movingly about the death of his cat. This immediately brought to mind the death of Streaky (my 21-year-old cat) a … Continue reading

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Bach, Bartoli, Handel, and the cat

The forecast was dire: heavy snow. But you don’t give up a concert ticket just for a few metres of snow. So into the car went shovels, carpets (to grip on the snow), blankets, extra clothing, food and drink. And … Continue reading

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Of musical memories

Reports in the Economist (7 Oct 2010) about music purchasing made enlightening reading. It was not the fact that most purchasers of CDs are relatively elderly, i.e. in their 50s or 60s or older; it was not even that young … Continue reading

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