Forgetting Memory

Have been forcing myself to get up at 7 and get to the college library or computer rooms for regular ‘homework’ sessions at 9. My body doesn’t like early mornings, but my mind does – I seem to think more clearly first thing.

Today: Spent a final three hours on the Finisterre essay before submitting the thing for good (deadline was today). Must have been about my tenth draft.

On top of the unfortunate penalty fare incident the other week, I had another piece of essay-related bad luck on Sunday night. I left the memory stick – which had my essay on – in one of the college computers. Even though I rushed back the next morning – getting there at 8am – the stick had gone. Thankfully I’d printed the latest draft out, so it just meant having to type it into a new Word file from the printout. Took me a morning, but it meant I could revise it as I went.

Kind people on Twitter recommended I scanned it by OCR, and used Dropbox but, being on a deadline, I really wasn’t in the best mood for learning how to use new software for the first time. And I’d covered the printout with yet more revisions in pen, so an OCR scan would have been tricky. Typing it up then just sending the file to my Gmail was actually quicker, as I knew what I was doing. I generally do things faster when I know what I’m doing.

But a lesson was learned. I’m not the sort of person that can remember a memory stick.

Someone told me a ‘computer proverb’ regarding this: ‘If it doesn’t exist in three places, it doesn’t exist.’


Also today: read the latest set text for the London module – the play London Assurance (1841) by Dion Boucicault  – and attended a lecture on it. A kind of Victorian take on Restoration comedies, but with the kind of inverted witticisms that would influence Wilde.

Also attended yet another study skills workshop on essay writing – can’t have too many. A fairly college-heavy day, then.


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File Under Other

I’m the guest DJ at the indiepop & vintage soul club How Does It Feel To Be Loved this weekend.

Date: Saturday Jan 21st
Venue: Downstairs at The Phoenix
37 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PP.
Time: 9pm-3am. I’m ‘on’ from about 10.30 to midnight.

Further info here.  I also highly recommend the club’s podcast.

Always a pleasure to be asked. Thinking of playing McCarthy’s ‘Red Sleeping Beauty’, what with all the talk about Mrs Thatcher that The Iron Lady has inspired lately.


Catching up… Last week has mainly been about college: Woolf’s Room Of One’s Own, Chaucer’s House Of Fame (with talking eagle) and Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1. Just been reading how it was unusual for Shakespeare to not write a comedy set in the London of his day – from 1599 virtually all his fellow playwrights were doing it. Instead he chose to smuggle the city into his histories, particularly Henry IV, to give it a genre-bending mix of power-plots and battles alongside comic London pub scenes.

Learned today: Dickens was such an admirer of Falstaff that he not only bought the Gadshill house in Kent because of its association with Falstaff’s robbery scene in Henry IV, but put up a plaque in honour of the play as soon as he moved in. The more one realises the influence of Falstaff on Dickens, the more it makes perfect sense; the colourful name, the larger-than-life-ness, the mix of humour with pathos, the instant mass appeal.


Last Saturday was a day out to Suffolk to see my parents;  first trip to the house I grew up in since I turned 40. I took the little rural branch line from Marks Tey to Sudbury; a single carriage train that runs on diesel rather than overhead electric lines. Think the first time I used it was in the late 80s, when I went straight from school near Sudbury up to London, in order to see REM and Throwing Muses at Wembley Arena. I’m now rather less of a concert-goer and rather more interested in picturesque train journeys for their own sake.

Stumbled upon the new Adnams shop in Store St, Bloomsbury this week. An unexpected little piece of Suffolk tourism in London – specifically Southwold. With added free gin tasting, as the brewery now does spirits. They also sell mugs depicting the now famous Southwold beach huts. Turns out there’s a branch of Adnams in Spitalfields too.


Discovered that I’ve been the subject of someone’s 100 picture icons (or avatars), those little square images that people use to identify themselves online. Often the image isn’t of the person themselves, but a favourite picture of a cat or Doctor Who or Sherlock Holmes or the like. So it’s very flattering indeed. They have me filed under ‘other’.


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