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Voices

So a longer gap between this and the last post. I could list many cliches here like how there aren't enough hours in the day, or that I'm not reading enough for pleasure to warrant posting on literature. Maybe this post is as a result of it being a heavy week on the work front - as well as seeing the loss from public life of Bob Crow and Tony Benn. The latter had a true indefatigable spirit - and undoubtedly inspired this generation of speakers out and speakers up. Marilyn Butler also died - literary critic whose work resisted too much of the opaque of many of her peers.
Talking of voices (!) I did watch The
Network - a documentary on ToLo, Afghanistan's independent media network; TV and radio. And the power of the media for good as an agent of social progression in a country that has undergone immense trauma is undeniable. Remarkable documentary. And the timings of when the Taliban were in power and then not slightly weirded me out. Any nation - it seemed to say - that either can't see other cultures to measure oneself by, or to have one's own culture reflected back - is a severe handicap. It enables voices - as well as a collective voice.

It always seems strange when I use 2000 as a year to benchmark. I opened my current hotmail email account in 2000. I registered on the Guardian's website in 2005. What was more strange is that I registered on FT.com in 2000! Fourteen years! They should give me a free digital premium subscription for that, I'd say.

I watched The Weir last weekend. As a play it worked well. And it still draws the crowds since it burst onto the scene in 1998. Ardal O'Hanlon was brilliant. But here was, at the end, something missing.

Off to see 'I Found my Horn' next month, which is directed (in its second run) by a friend - Harry Burton.

The Viking exhibition at the British Museum looks unmissable, too.




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Location:London

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-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-


And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised

***


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…