Wednesday, 26 June 2013


Bubbles of time carry us through
Temporary states, atoms in flux
Weightlessly lifted mutating forms
Fleeting and turning with wind
Like notes of the band drifting out
Down over the water, down to the sea
Bubbles in swell both beneath and above

Bubbles of air are carried aloft
Endlessly recreated, suddenly stop
Nothing but puddles, like our footsteps,
Remain to show silent whispers of soap
As music ebbs, time shouts out
Bells of the churches, chug of the boat
Bubbles in swell both beneath and above

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Monteverdi Ballets; Baroque-Hip Hop

Tonight's outing heralded a very busy couple of weeks therefore I have no doubt that this won't be the last review posting of the up and coming weird and wonderful. It also strikes me that I have never done a really negative write up of something I've seen.

I'm a polite reasonable member of an audience, willing the performers to do well and I would never let criticism get in the way of enjoying an evening out. However the Monteverdi Ballets, presented as part of the Spitalfields Summer Festival, made me think about what makes an event work. Or not. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Get me a Retrospectascope...Stat!: John Hunter

Hunterian Museum
‘No theory can ever be proved true - we can only show that a theory is false’ - Karl Popper
I've been meaning to do something specific on John Hunter (13 February 1728 – 16 October 1793) for some time and though there have been a couple of posts that touch on him, I've not written anything explicit. Indeed my course in the spring used his collection of curios at the Royal College of Surgeons as a point of departure for many themes coming out of ‘exhibiting the body’. Therefore the excellent talk presented by Professor Stephen Challacombe at the RSM provided the material for this post.

The simple question that he wanted to explore focused on the relevancy of John Hunter’s approach to science and research. What was so special or different about his methods?

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Contested Histories; Aborigines, National Museums and controversy

This is a tentative blog post because it's an area into which I wouldn't normally stray; I have no knowledge and no declared interest in either side. It feels like I am stepping in to unknown territory armed with only my wits and – in the current terminology, a bucket of privilege. Still, I can always blame naivety - and the lecturer; Prof Amanda Nettelbeck of the University of Adelaide. She gave a few of us an overview of the national museums project that she and other historian colleagues are working on. The title was: ‘Contested Histories: Settler Colonialism, Aboriginal History and the National Museum’.

I’m not going to present a complete transcription of her lecture but do a brief overview.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Colour of Money; The New Financial Services Regulations

Two of the best things about being in law librarianship for decades are 1. seeing the changes in colours of institutions’ rule books; 2. the learning and relearning of industry acronyms. London Stock Exchange Listing Rules went from being the ‘yellow’ book to ‘that weird aubergine colour’ and the SFA, SIB, FIMBRA, PIA rule books all had their own coloured binders which had to be painstakingly updated by hand. I vaguely remember one of them being green, though the Bank of England reports tended to be a very elegant expensive looking white and gold. However when the FSA overturned these organisations in 2000-01 all their rules were subsumed into the multiple FSA Handbooks (white, purple and pale turquoise green), horrible new binders which would take your thumb off if you let them.