Category Archives: Friend

My hosts: Gareth and Moonlight

Sunday 22nd January 2023, 9.50am (day 4,168)

Gareth and Moonlight, 22/1/23

After booking the second set of flights to and from St Helena, and a couple of airport hotels, the travel budget was well and truly spent: there is literally £5 left of the £5,000 we were granted back in 2021 to do this project. So over the next two weeks I am crashing with these two good individuals, Mr. Gareth Drabble and Moonlight the cat, to whom I must defer. The guitar case is representative of both of them too: Gareth plays. Moonlight sleeps in it sometimes.

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The Last Class: photography ceremony

Tuesday 13th December 2022, 10.45am (day 4,128)

ETC last class, 13/12/22

It’s the last class of the semester, and the done thing among students now is “get a photo of themselves with the lecturer” at this point. I acknowledge this but it did require leaving at least 20 minutes at the end of the session so the ceremony could take place: what you see here is the queue after at least half of them had already had their time. I was feeling like a cardboard cut-out of myself by this point, although not an unhappy one. Here I said, ‘right, I’m taking a photo of all you lot while you wait to take a photo of me’… and this is the result.

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Norwegian visitors

Monday 31st October 2022, 5.00pm (day 4,085)

Spent the whole day entertaining some visitors from Norway, so they should feature on the daily post. Johannes ponders his beer, Anita brings more, and Catherine seems happy that her luggage — thought lost in the system — has been found. They and their colleagues reminded me that Norway is a place I have not been to lately, despite it remaining the third-most featured country on this blog (after England and Australia); its last appearance was 26th April 2018, as I departed Tromsø airport for the last time (so far). If I made a good impression today, perhaps I will get an invite back…

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Lynn’s wake

Wednesday 5th October 2022, 5.55pm (day 4,059)

Lynn's wake, 5/10/22

There are, by now, a number of ‘digital ghosts’ that haunt this blog. I know of, for sure, seven people who have appeared on here who have since died: both of Clare’s grans, our former neighbour Richard, a professorial colleague at work, and three friends, of which Lynn was the most recent, passing away last month. Her last appearance on here was on 30th May. It’s possibly the only one, although I would be surprised if she didn’t also turn up in the background of some other shots: as, technically, she does here.

So what do the rest of us do….. A wake is the party that they hold for you, the one time they know you can’t come. And then we move on. Eventually everyone depicted on here will be dust, including me: I’m only two years younger than Lynn. Whether I will get the chance to let you know I’m on the way out, is as yet undetermined.

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Ivy and Mark get ready

Thursday 22nd September 2022, 9.55am (day 4,046)

Ivy and Mark, 22/9/22

Time for the new academic year to get going. Behind us, as I took this shot, the latest clump of aspirants, our objects of care for this year — the new students. Ivy tries to outline the scale of it all to colleague Mark. I think we’re ready for the whistle.

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Marije sorts it out

Monday 22nd August 2022, 2.25pm (day 4,015)

Wageningen conference, 22/8/22

Welcome to the era of the ‘hybrid’ academic conference, run by hassled people in rooms trying to get the technology to work properly. If we could just stand up and talk it would be a lot more reliable. Still ,Marije — and the other members of the KBSI2022 team — did their best, and it has been worth coming over to the Netherlands, rather than sitting at home and doing all of this crap.

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Day of rest

Sunday 31st July 2022, 4.30pm (day 3,993)

Love shack nap, 31/7/22

It is, perhaps, a little early to be taking a nap, but it was Sunday, after all. We’ve all been there.

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Enjoying the sunshine

Saturday 25th June 2022, 4.20pm (day 3,957)

Outside Railway, 25/6/22

I did very little else other than enjoy some sunshine on this Saturday afternoon; and I was not the only one.

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Prof Brown tells us how it is (or was)

Thursday 23rd June 2022, 12.35pm (day 3,955)

Prof Brown and fans, 23/6/22

During this week at the London Rare Books School I have felt privileged to be taught by Professor Michelle Brown, second from the left here. What an awesome fund of knowledge she has, seemingly knowing absolutely everything that happened to everyone before about 1500 AD. Like being taught physics by Richard Fenynman, and the sort of experience that you just ain’t gonna get through Zoom, sorry.

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Friday afternoon reflections

Friday 17th June 2022, 4.50pm (day 3,949)

In Mark's sunglasses, 17/6/22

Friday, at the end of a busy week, and the sun was out. I make no apologies for heading for the pub. Others thought the same, as depicted in my camera, and in Mark’s sunglasses.

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