Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Having just dug out an old Tom Waits record, and stuck it on, I was battered by the accusing words: "What is this? We're not middle aged, you know!" Thank you, Susie, for the first clear indication that we probably are.

On the other hand, having seen Garbage at Imola, I was tempted to revisit Butch Vig's finest moment as a producer, Nevermind. A fine, fine record. Which Susie will not listen to either. Looks like our diet of Whiskeytown, The Killers, Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones will enrich our cultural lives for a bit longer.

I have been in London for a postgrad conference of European historians and a smattering of other social sciences. And mighty fun it was too. The last paper was a strange one by a Russian, who was talking about writing history. He was mainly claiming that nothing is real until there is a word for it. Maaan, some of these Eastern Europeans have not quite resolved how to move on from the structuralist project yet. At the end of a relatively long and hard conference, people were tired, and tempers getting frayed. Anyway, the mood was lightened by a student of George Soros' Central European University telling this speaker that all his problems arose from an unresolved conflict between form and content. And moreover, that nobody had written a decent book addressing this issue. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance anyone? Or was that banned by the Commies?

The weekend ended at 5am in an underground Spanish bar; undoubtedly illegal in oh so many ways, dancing to bad Spanish music. It was an excellent night, and the venue was the unpromising door next to Mia Sevilla, on the street near Centre Point where some Godwins lived for a while. Highly recommended.

In other news, 89 year old woman comes to Venice and drinks grappa! Great stuff.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Today I will mostly be talking about...

Sheep. I will be addressing the seminar of post graduate students in European Social History at Ca Foscari. It should be good.

Meanwhile...I saw these men making noise at Imola on Saturday, which was splendid. Two uncles and a grandmother came to Venice the week before. And previous to that...this:


Yes, Sarah and Jon got married. Well done!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Goodies in Hoodies

I am ending my hiatus, figuring it was long enough. How about a good word for some hoody wearers. First up, an undoubted goody in a hoody: Obe Wan Kenobi.