Saturday, 14 March 2009

Boredom versus interesting things

1. I am bored with Stephen Fry.

2. Also bored with: The Guardian. I can't believe that today's Guide has an article explaining such recondite slang as "Funky", "Mash-up", "Preppy" and "Lolcats". They make me feel young and hip: and I am an Anglo-Saxonist whose recent work has mostly been on charters or liturgy.

3. The contents of the last Downside Review were sent to me by the zetoc alerts service. It apparently includes articles by "Osb, H. H." and "Osb, J. R. F.". So much for Benedictine anonymity. Osb makes rather a good surname.

4. Here you can see a man with an excellent beard talk about the ancient Babylonians.

5. I bought myself another little toy -- a small uncomplicated netbook. It's great in the UL. After some struggling I have finally managed to set up a mini network so I can share files between my Vista laptop and my XP netbook. Hurray! This sort of thing is very good value; it makes me feel all clever. Bless its little cotton socks.

6. Suddenly this week I have two possible options for future employment. Someone has offered me some work I would love, and I have also got an interview for a job which would be career-type stuff. The two jobs are very different and I am feeling a bit confused about what I ought to want. Still, the possibility of being able to pay the mortgage is a pleasant one. Hurray again!

7. I went to the Cockerell exhibition at the Fitzwilliam. It is great; lots of very high-quality stuff which isn't usually on display (some of it because it's light-sensitive). The real revelation for me was the work of scribe and illuminator Florence Kingsford. I usually dislike modern calligraphy, but her stuff is beautiful. She was utterly penniless, and Cockerell tried to help her get commissions and encourage her to keep going in her work while she copied Egyptian artefacts for Petrie, who was renowned for the terrible working conditions which he expected his staff to endure. After a bit Cockerell married her, and as his wife she was known as Kate Cockerell. She almost immediately had three children and developed a nasty slow form of sclerosis, the combination of which ended her career. But her work was beautiful, far better than William Morris's. There's a picture at the bottom of this page. She's one of those women who isn't in ODNB except as a wife and a mother (her son invented the hovercraft); the original DNB was notorious for that sort of thing, but wasn't the ODNB supposed to rectify it?

8. I shouldn't just repost stuff which popjustice has already put up, but I've been listening to this quite a bit recently. I like the way that they rapidly alternate between quite plain suits and outfits which I would be hard put to characterise.

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