Making distinctions and observing boundaries are two activities central to my working life. They tend to bleed through, inevitably, to the rare minutes when I believe myself instead to be at liberty. I was struck in various ways, recently, by the near-impossibility of delivering crisp limits in an increasingly greyscale academic/life framework. Three images are … Continue reading b/w
We traversed the Tiber left to right one day early in July, and meandering down by Porto Fluviale as we began to set our sights on Testaccio and Home, we passed Sonino Camping etc., where last summer we bought cheap and cheerful deckchairs for the roof terrace. From the slow-flowing, golden (after a downpour) Tiber, … Continue reading Serendip
I really enjoy occupying the Classics and Ancient History stall at our Open Days at the University of Birmingham. Typically, we each take a 1.5 hour slot, and during that time we get to chat to our lovely student helpers (typically, enthusiastic current UGs on our various degree programmes) and, and this is the real … Continue reading Open Day #1
Sitting on a plane, today, reminds me of the odd confluence of flight and want in the first person singular (present) Latin terminology. This flight, FCO-BHX, is no worse than other such in the fallen world post-9/11; that is to say, one is so chivvied, corralled, grilled, herded, and dehumanised by the process of getting … Continue reading Volare
With two papers to fashion on today's to-do list, after a crushingly productive few days here in Rome without seeing anyone, I was dubious about my chances of ticking both off. I'm weary. Things started badly when I switched off the morning alarm and went back to sleep (a reconstructed explanation: I have no memory … Continue reading Buswoman’s holiday
Wow. I wish I’d been strolling down Via Galvani to smell the sizzling — while my stomach often rumbles for sage leaves fried just so, I strip the plants even more often to make tiny cups of soothing sage tea. When the annual summer transhumance (Birmingham to Testaccio) happens properly, a pot of sage for the windowsill (no balcony. Sigh) is one of our first purchases…
There is something forgotten and faded about sage, its musty nature reminiscent of somewhere that’s been shut up for too long, its dusty-green hue like something dulled by too much sunlight. Musty and dusty, lemon and camphour tinged, soft as moleskin yet rugged as my removal man, sage is one of my favourite herbs.
It had only been shuttered up for three months, but our new flat had a sage-like feel to it before I flung open the wooden shutters and windows on Saturday. I wonder if that was the reason I bought the plant? An unconscious herbal response to our new home! It’s the first of many pots that will eventually line our long, narrow balcony, providing me with kitchen herbs and Luca plenty of leaf-tugging and pot-pulling temptation.
Ignorning all advice, sage and otherwise, opting instead for the furious adrenaline fueled frenzy that spontaneously erupts when you leave…
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In brief, and that's what I prefer, there are occasionally things that don't fit into the jewel-like microblogging idiom of twitter. For those moments, there's this. Posts are only likely to be occasional rather than regular events, but it seems like an interesting experiment!
All day I've been multi-tasking. There's something vaguely sinister about the multi- prefix. Makes me think of multifarious, which rhymes with nefarious... But the point is that multi-tasking is when I'm typically at my most efficient and productive, even though it's a fine line between spinning plates and blood-spattered sherds. What I'm mostly working on … Continue reading Emotional geographies, reflected