Archive for 2013

Angst and the void: Vienna portraits and Mira Schendel

October 18, 2013 2 Comments
Angst and the void: Vienna portraits and Mira Schendel

Two London exhibitions, two very different ways of presenting and seeing art: ‘Facing the modern: portraits in Vienna 1900’ at the National Gallery, and ‘Mira Schendel’ at Tate Modern. We all think we know about art in Vienna in the decades immediately before the First World War.  Politics: a rickety, arthritic empire waiting to be […]

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Tangible intangibility

October 12, 2013 1 Comment
Tangible intangibility

‘Tangible intangibility’: the present and future of research libraries The Charles Holden Lecture, Senate House, University of London, 10 October 2013       First of all, I’d like to thank the Friends of Senate House Library for inviting me to give this year’s Holden Lecture. Charles Holden, of course, was the architect of the […]

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Glamorgan Coast Path, day 1

October 6, 2013 0 Comments
Glamorgan Coast Path, day 1

We could be accused, C. and I, of cherry-picking the best sections of the south Glamorgan coastline. I have a hunch, though, that the least promising looking sections of the Wales Coast Path may turn out to be the most interesting.  Anyway, here we are in the car park at Dunraven, below Southerndown, with our […]

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Walking poets

October 1, 2013 0 Comments
Walking poets

In 2012 the Huddersfield poet Simon Armitage published a book called Walking home, about a trip he made on foot two years earlier from north to south along the length of the Pennine Way.   He started without a penny in his pocket, paying for his accommodation and meals through poetry readings he gave at various […]

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A brief note on bedside books

September 24, 2013 0 Comments
A brief note on bedside books

Back in the days when Glyn Tegai Hughes and R. Gerallt Jones were Wardens there was a custom that most overnight visitors to Gregynog appreciated as an unusual but delightful practice.  Somewhere in your bedroom – usually on the mantlepiece if you were placed in the old house – you’d find a small collection of […]

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Zennor in light

September 19, 2013 2 Comments
Zennor in light

Penwith is as far west as you can go in England.  At the toe of Cornwall, it’s a region that looks and feels Atlantic.  Its place-names are mostly Celtic.  Prehistoric remains lie scattered across its open granite landscape. Three nights we spent recently in Penwith give me the chance to taste the South West Coastal […]

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Afallon = Abertawe?

September 3, 2013 0 Comments
Afallon = Abertawe?

‘Nofel ddarllenadwy a chrefftus’ yw’r ansoddeiriau ar glawr Afallon gan Robat Gruffudd, a enillodd Gwobr Goffa Daniel Owen llynedd.  Disgrifiad teg iawn, ‘swn i’n dweud: mae’n llyfr sy’n dal ei afael arnoch chi hyd y diwedd. Y cymeriad canolog yw Rhys John, dyn sy wedi gweld llawer o’r byd, ond ychydig iawn o hunan-dwyll sy […]

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Attacking Syria: an MP replies

August 30, 2013 2 Comments
Attacking Syria: an MP replies

Letter 1 From: Andrew Green Sent: 27 August 2013 20:07 To: CATON, Martin Subject: Syria Dear Mr Caton I find it hard to believe that the UK government is seriously intending to take part in a US-led military attack on Syria.  It seems that nothing has been learned from the experience of invading Iraq.  It […]

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What Calgacus said

August 27, 2013 2 Comments
What Calgacus said

Andrew Marr recently made the point that the future of Scotland is a subject almost totally ignored in the rest of the UK.  ‘Nobody is talking about what kind of a Scotland we want after independence’, he said, ‘people in England haven’t really come to terms with what it would mean.’  It would be fair […]

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London: scene of flight, scene of destruction

August 15, 2013 1 Comment
London: scene of flight, scene of destruction

Fleeing from the noise and heat of the midday traffic we took our sandwiches to a bench in a small public garden off Marylebone High Street.  What we’d chanced upon was the site of the old St Marylebone church, across the road from its 1817 replacement.  Nothing remains of the first three churches (the current […]

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