Archive For The “Learning” Category

What men think

By |

What men think

Alan West tries to break the habit of a lifetime When a friend asked me to join his new club, I admit I was a little dubious. What sort of a club? I asked. Well, it’s a bit like a Women’s Book Club. My friend had been impressed by his wife’s book club, which meets…

Read more »

Down and outs in Paris and London

By |

Down and outs in Paris and London

There can’t be many things I have in common with the down and outs of Richmond, but it is clear that we both share one affinity; the local graveyard. I know why I like it. Apart from it being a short-cut to the station there is something special about its airy calm, elegantly bordered York-slab…

Read more »

In the aspect of the beholder

By |

In the aspect of the beholder

Until recently our feelings about views have usually differed. While my wife loves ‘untouched’ expanses of nature, the Cairngorms for example with not a house in sight, or miles of Atlantic rollers, my breath is taken away by man-made structures. The Roman aqueduct at Nimes blew my mind when I was a teenager, and for…

Read more »

Spellbound

By |

Though I have a lot of time for the written word, for me the appeal of the spoken word is the greater. Ideas from a good talk, lecture, or even a chat get into my mind with minimum interference. And spoken commentary has an immediacy that is seductive. Moreover, with talking there is the added…

Read more »

Once upon a moonless night

By |

Once upon a moonless night

The road between us and the neighbouring village – the strangely named Mejou Roz – has no frills. It runs around fields, through a hamlet and looks across to the sea. It has no markings, no kerb,  no street lamps and it is very winding – 4km for us, two for the crows. It is…

Read more »

Shell shocked

By |

Just a short walk down the road from our cottage in France there is a most beautiful beach. It stretches in a long curve as far as the eye can see and at low tide it takes 10 minutes simply to get to the sea for a paddle. The sand is a fine white-yellow and…

Read more »

Trials and tribulations

By |

We were invited to attend the public ‘defence’ of a PhD thesis one afternoon in Paris. Unlike in the UK, in France and indeed in most other mainland European countries, universities hold the oral component of the PhD exam (the ‘viva’) in public. With preliminary assessments by the examiners, coupled with careful oversight by the…

Read more »

What’s in a face

By |

Just as I have a system for recalling words, I now have one for faces. For words I do a mind search. As others do, I scan through the alphabet focusing on each letter in turn looking for those that best match the starter letter of the lost word. I then run through second letters…

Read more »

Follow