Reading matter

I had a piece in the [url=]Chronicle of Higher Ed last month[/url] and today the paper copy arrived. I didn’t even know there was a paper copy. It’s strange though, that even as confirmed digital kinda guy, it still induces a warm feeling to see your name in real print.

Half mast

Whenever a current or past employee of the OU passes away, the flag is flown at half mast. We used to get an email around saying who it was lowered for, but I don’t recall seeing one for a while. I wonder if now that we’ve been going for so long and have had so many employees, it’s too frequent an occurrence now.
Wonders if they’ll lower it for me one day…

Big country

My daughter went for a horse ride from [url=]Cantref [/url]today up in the Brecon Beacons. It was a lovely day and as they disappeared around the corner you could almost convince yourself you were in Montana or some such.

Not quite daily bread

Haven’t baked a load for a while, so did this one today. I was too impatient and cut into before it had cooled so it’s a bit crumpled. I’ve often though, or perhaps I picked it up from someone, that buying a loaf everyday is the key difference between our society and that of France. In France that daily act keeps people local, they engage with small shops, which prevents large chains moving in, it means they chat to people everyday and have a greater sense of knowing their neighbours, etc. In Britain we buy a great big doughy loaf to last the week from Tesco.


Greek Gods were portrayed as a petty, malicious, capricious bunch. If I believed in deities I think I’d go for this interpretation as it seems to match life. One can imagine a mischievous deity saying “Oh, declare a drought and doubt my benevolence will you? In that case I shall give you 5 years of rain in one month!! Hahahhahahaha”

We few, we happy few

I took my daughter to see her first Shakespeare play on Saturday: The Globe Theatre’s production of [url=]Henry V[/url] at [url=]The New Theatre[/url].
She enjoyed it, (despite being the youngest person there) slightly to my surprise, although there were large chunks she didn’t understand. But there was enough action, and in this production anyway, comedy to keep her interested. It’s not a perfect play – I was aware for instance that unless you’ve read Henry IV you don’t know who this John Falstaff is that they’re mourning or why that’s significant. It also doesn’t know how to end, at least to modern sensibilities anyway. It should end on the field of Agincourt (or have a brief wrapping up scene), but drags on for another 40 minutes or so with the rather superfluous leak eating scene, then marriage.
But it does contain two of the most rousing speeches ever written, firstly the Once more unto the breach one at Harfleur, and then the St Crispin’s Day speech before the big battle at Agincourt. These have become rather over-used in war and modern sporting events (and adverts even), but I think there is something more subtle about the St Crispin’s day speech. Shakespeare captures the feeling of achievement when you realise something substantial with a small group of people, against the odds. Being successful with a large, formal project group is all well and good, but there is a sense of having done something extraordinary with a small group. As Harry puts it “I pray thee, wish not one man more”