... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Tuesday 22 March 2022


Not quite in the league of Herbie quizzes, but whilst waiting for a very slow volunteer to ring up my purchases in Oxfam, I idly glanced around and alighted on this. Unfortunately it was behind a pile of sofas so the angle from which I could photograph it was rather constrained, hence the reflections.

I am terrible at identifying locations, but it looks vaguely familiar even to me. I'm not saying where I think it is though as I may be wildly and embarassingly wrong. I will write it on a slip of paper and put it in a sealed envelope, and reveal my guess only if the Herbies (for it is bound to be they) confirm it. Please feel free to tell me though if you get in before Kath and Neil.

Only four days in and a waterways-related post. I'm as surprised as you are.

Monday 21 March 2022

Spring springs

A photo - admittedly very carefully framed - of my garden, where I was sitting out in the sun on Saturday for the first time this year.

Sunday 20 March 2022

A tin hut in Philadelphia

That's the Philadelphia on the borders of Upperthorpe and Netherthorpe, of course, but none the less picturesque for that. Photographed on the way back from coffee in Kelham Island (yes, I know), where they served a perfectly nice buttermilk and chocolate chip scone, and insisted on calling it a cookie.  Kelham Island for you.

Friday 18 March 2022

It's been a while

Two years to the day, in fact.

On Friday 13th of March 2020, I was having a pint (or two) and a packet of crisps (or possible two) in a packed Blake. It was a worrying time. Earlier that evening, just as I had been about to leave work, t'Boss had called me into his office. It was quite likely, he said, that lectures might be suspended from the following week. Could I please check if any of our teaching sessions were formally timetabled as lectures.

Other than the Death in Venice-evoking posters that were appearing over campus, this was the first real sense that something significant, that might really affect us, might really be happening. Yes, of course I would. First thing Monday. Then I went off up the pub for a prearranged drink with my neighbour from round the corner. 

For some reason I took my iPad with me. While Margi was at the bar, I idly checked my emails. At twenty to eight, the VC had sent an email saying that all face to face teaching would be suspended from Monday.  

We weren't meant to go into the office on Monday; but that morning - March 16th - we had the first of what must now be thousands of online meetings, and I could see that many perople were in the office. So I walked over - basically, just to do it properly; to say goodbye knowingly. I left a note for myself on my desk, that said the date and 'au revoir'. I don't think it occurred to me that I wouldn't see it again until the October, and then only briefly.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

So last Sunday, exactly two years after my last visit, I popped back into the Blake. It felt good.