August 28, 2014


‘The quality of mercy’ was unrestrained this morning. I ‘umbrella-ed’ and took a short walk to the local hospital for a consultation. Long live Bronglais General Hospital! And, God bless the NHS! For all it’s shortcomings (which are largely the result of underfunding by successive governments of all colours), it’s still the best health-care system in the world:


Back at the School of Art, Dr Webster and I  exchanged our enthusiasm for Peter Capaldi’s assured performance as the new Doctor. We hoped the series would continue to darken in tone. It would be a brave and intelligent move on the part of the producers. In the days of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, the BBC made no concession to the sensibilities and needs of a younger audience. (If you wanted children’s television, you watched (‘with mother’) Andy Pandy and The Woodentops.) We were given original, imaginative drama with more talking than action, some of the most disturbing alien villains ever conceived in science fiction, and loved it. That’s why the children of my (and Peter Capaldi’s) generation remain loyal.

The remainder of the morning was set aside for, what turned out to be, a productive PhD fine art tutorial. Sometimes, a student discovers themselves before they determine the subject and method of the research. At other times, they find themselves along the way, or else retrospectively. But find themselves they must. In between teaching tasks, I made a list of all the research initiatives that were ‘revealed’ to me in the ‘vision’ (Diary, August 20, 2014).

Afternoon. A second and anticipatory PhD fine art tutorial with a prospective student, followed by an interview for the MA Fine Art scheme. Both applicants will be joining the School in September. Beginning a new course, at any level is daunting. Often even the very best students start-off with too many ideas with too loose a connection one with the other. It takes time to construct a conceptual filter through which only the few most relevant concerns can pass.

Through the evening and into ‘the night watch’, I finalised the current lecture for Art/Sound, taking time-out to watch part of the recent BBC documentary on Kate Bush — an extraordinary artiste:


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