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New Eyes Each Year

14 Jul

Yet Another Larkin Event! It seems you can drive out Larkin with a pitchfork but he still comes straight back in. So this is the New Eyes Each Year thing at the Brynmor Jones library at Hull University. As Margot quipped “New Eyes Each Year” sounds like a good line for an optician and indeed there are plenty of Larkin’s spectacles on show along with his shoes, razor, trousers, crayons and so on, there’s even an x-ray of his head!. If, like me, you are a gawper at the debris of other people’s lives then you will find yourself in a rich seam. If however you need to know just what each display means then pick up the informative pamphlet that is available or ask the helpful assistants. I found it an interesting half an hour or so; my one gripe was the ambient music. I know Larkin couldn’t go a day without jazz but there can be too much of the damn stuff. But that’s a petty grumble, I wear a hearing aid; normal ears might not notice it so much. So what does the passing visitor learn from all this? That he was an obsessive, a hoarder of books and correspondence, he had big feet (I’m saying nothing but he did have three lady friends on the go at the same time) and a large collection of ties; other than that his bric-a-brac is pretty unsurprising middle class stuff. Overall it’s a satisfyingly dull exhibition, really, and somewhat depressing; a bit like his poetry.

Some of his books, all catalogued of course, he was a librarian after all.

Some Beatrix Potter potteries.

Mr Larkin’s Olivetti word processor. (Margot took this)

His hedgehog killing machine along with an early draft of Toads.

Margot took this. She claims it’s somewhat sinister but I think it’s just a depressing collection of neck wear.  

Trademark spectacles.

His middle name was Arthur

He was given this little Hitler by his father so it’s no surprise he kept it. It’s more camp than Kampf.

I thought this was a nice chilling touch. Larkin died sometime between 2nd and 3rd December 1985. He never did get his pension.

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You’ll be amazed at a Mazda

8 Jun

“The fact is that if you want a sports car, the MX-5 is perfect. Nothing on the road will give you better value. Nothing will give you so much fun. The only reason I’m giving it five stars is because I can’t give it fourteen.”  -Jeremy Clarkson
While the demos are off merrily democking I thought I’d just post a picture of a natty sports car in red and cream. Kind folks on social media and a spot of googlifying tell me it’s a Mazda MX5. Now I consider the private motor car to be the most pernicious invention known to mankind but if we have to have them (and it seems they’ll be around for a while yet) they should all look as smart as this.

Some rusting steps

30 May

At the back of the Uni connecting one concrete sixties building with yet another is an elevated walk way and being elevated it needs steps. These are those steps.

Say it with flowers

29 May

At the entrance to the Uni the Botany Department shows it can grow a few plants.

Margot probably wants some credit for taking this; how hard can it be to push a camera button?

L’homme d’hier

25 May

I freely admit my ignorance of Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry. You can’t know about everyone, nor should you be expected to. I gather, after a quick look see on Google, he was of some import. Still I don’t see why the uiniversity took so much against him that it removed a rather large version of the above inscription from the courtyard behind the library and replaced it with this piddling thing that seems to be covering up some utility port in a flower bed that you would quite easily miss. Below is how the old feature looked taken from the 2008 University report it’s been replaced by a giant comma. Clearly pauvre Antoine is no longer flavour of the month.


Driven up the wall

19 May

You’ve met this poor guy’s feet the other day so I thought it it only appropriate that you were given a fuller, more rounded picture. This is of course another of those figures being featured at the University over the summer.

The Nation’s Feet: a scandal

14 May

Armies may march on their stomachs but most folk use their feet. So what happens if, say, you get corns, calluses or ingrowing toe nails? Not that you would; no you will go through life like a dancing fairy with no need of podiatry care. But suppose you did and you went along to your doctor expecting the NHS to give you relief. Well unless you are under 16, over 65 or a registered disabled person with diabetes you will be turned away. Now this seems a strange policy since the workforce of this country needs good strong feet and not caring for them will mean a painful and less productive workforce, lost workdays and reduced GDP; all the things the NHS was designed to prevent. But as you can see feet are not glamorous, they’re a bit of a joke really and so people are left to suffer. I’d write to my MP if I had one right now… and my feet weren’t playing up.