Bank Holiday Monday on Seaford beach was enlivened by a fire on a motorboat, which exploded and sank off Splash Point. The and the Newhaven lifeboat was called out and the one man who had been on board rescued . This has variously been reported as happening 'off Beachy Head' (that night's BBC local television news) or 'off Newhaven' in the next day's Guardian. I'm the first to acknowledge Seaford's obscurity, but even so...
Admirable as Spence's University of Sussex campus is, why are there no clocks? I was out running and needed to look up the time. There is a clock on the tower of Falmer church, but that is not visible from the campus.
Rachel Cooke writes once more on public libraries in the Observer, and asks if anything has changed since Lamy left and Hodge arrived. She also attacks Yinnon Ezra's idiocies. If reports are correct, Ezra has single-handedly tried to revive the 'should public libraries stock fiction' non-debate, dead and buried even when I was a library school, with his suggestion that, 'we have to ask whether fiction should remain in libraries when most people buy books' . The words attributed to him seem not to be on the Portsmouth News website.
However, she holds up the Coates intervention in Hillingdon as an example, but ignores, or does not know, that this plan depends not only on purchasing savings, but on cuts in staff, both qualified and unqualified. Some money has been found by selling coffee-bar franchises to Starbucks. As an aside, surely they could have found someone better to sell coffee in libraries? I have no objection to coffee shops in libraries, indeed as a library user welcome them, and I doubt if there are any rare books in Hillingdon that need protection from a carelessly wielded macchiatto, but let it be drinkable coffee, not the filth that Starbucks peddle. No matter, the redundant librarians can always retrain as a barista. Hillingdon once, through the Hilligndon project, was a name on every library school students lips. Now it shows us that modern Britain prefers baristas to librarians.
The university canteen, which serves food unchanged since I was at university thirty years ago is clearly in the grips of the portion-controllers. When they offer roast potatoes, a severe sign used to limit people to six potatoes (or parts of a potato, to be strict). Today the ration has been cut to five, though the pieces of potato are no bigger. Revolutions have started over less. When the students return, there'll be trouble. While I'm on the subject, who in the University Bookshop thought to shelve Herodotus in fiction?
There are other possibilities: I could turn this into one of those frighteningly clever blogs which drops Slavoj Zizek's name into every post; or the Fothertington-Thomas school of blogging, posts so sensitive they hurt, about flowers and birds and stuff; or a blog metaphysical, musicological or horticultural.
This is my thousandth post. What should it be about? Some horse-racing selections, something stolen from the newspapers, a jeremiad against the state of the modern world, in particular the press, radio and television's obsession with the trivial, a diatribe against war-mongers, the current government and capitalism in general, a description of some agreeable food and drink, a philippic against house-buyers, estate agents and solicitors, more about the neglected virtues of Patrick Hamilton, an account of an unusual dream I had last night, the rainbow I saw on Seaford Bay while running early this morning...? It might be time to reinvent this blog as something completely different. For example, sex-blogging seems to guarantee of a lot of hits. I'd have to make a lot of it up, but I'm sure so do some of the more established names in the field. The closest I have ever been to an orgy is the disco at certain library conferences, but I have an imagination. Or I could write a fashion blog, especially when my suits from Old Town arrive. On to the next 1000 posts, and thank you for reading so far.