The dirty work is for students, not supervisors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Again, he heard a tap at the window, louder and more insistent than before. Dr Tailboys, noticably irritated, stopped in mid-sentence and stalked from the room. I followed.
A seagull sat on the windowsill, peering into the front room.
‘Oh, I thought it was my post-doc.’
There was something in his tone that made me think this was a confirmation, rather than an admission of error. He fished something from his corduroys and opened the window. The gull, to my surprise, remained on the sill.
‘Hear.’ The Doctor gave something to the bird and it flew off towards the Cathedral. It looked like it had a USB drive clamped in its beak.
‘Well that’s sorted.’
The Dr closed the window and turned back to the office, picking up the sentence he had left at the desk.

(further fragments from Nails for St Andrew’s Cross: An Oxford Noir Mystery)

hidden talents

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

‘Men skilled of their hands’, is what Malory called them. But in this current academic job market, selection committees had little interest in that partcular skill set. Better to leave those works off the CV. Besides, men skilled of their hands followed a rather different model for peer review.

(more from Oxford Noir).

Nails for St Andrew’s Cross (Oxford Noir)

St-A-Noir-2

‘Seems a fitting place for a homicide’
The inspector was feeling meditative. The Sergeant was not.
‘It’s St Andrews sir, everyplace looks like a potential crime scene.’

(from the unpublished, and unremembered Nails for St Andrew’s Cross: An Oxford Noir Mystery)

Oh, how I miss St Andrews now…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The porter had suddenly turned chatty. Perhaps he was bored. More likely he was taking a measure of the new fellow.
‘So why St Andrews? If you don’t mind me asking. Must seem very dull here compared to Oxford.’
‘Oh, that’s fine by me’ I said ‘too many tourists in Oxford. Hard to get any work done.’
‘Plenty of tourists here as well,’ the porter corrected me, ‘at least in the summer.’
That was true, but the difference for me was hard to explain without self-incrimination or unhelpful vagueness. You could weed those numbers tourist numbers down a little, given the circumstances, but those same efforts employed in Oxford hardly made a dent. More certain methods were not my style.
‘Yes,’ I said finally, ‘but I am no fan of golf, so the tourists can have the links, and stay out of my way.’
The porter smiled. He thought that was a perfectly sensible plan.

(more fragments from the Oxford Noir series. This time, the equally obscure and forgetable Nails for St Andrew’s Cross).

Hēllūo librorum

I am sure that the phrase identifies someone with a far more serious compulsion than I have, but it seemed apt for this brief and cheerless post about the books I have bought (or where waiting for me) on my return to Oxford.

I'm not sure a well rested and rational version of me would have gotten everything you see here. However, I am now unable to decide which of these would qualify as rational.

I’m not sure a well rested and rational version of me would have gotten everything you see here. However, I am now unable to decide which of these would qualify as rational.

 

I’ll let you read the titles and make your own explanations for why I chose them. It’s easier, and potentially more entertaining, that way. I can say that this pile is nowhere near as expensive as it looks (I’m still sorry Z).

 

Tiny Bookcase

This bookcase is too tiny! How am I going to finish my DPhil with such a tiny bookcase? If I am not careful, I could be trapped in the tiny bookcase, because it is so tiny.

 

It's so tiny and wee, that I think the pixies made it.

It’s so tiny and wee, that I think the pixies made it.

Continue reading