Well maybe it's the time of year or maybe it's the time of man .... but I am feeling themey. Themes are like filaments along which worthwhile thoughts can form. Think about a candy floss machine (that's cotton candy to our American cousins): I know about the mechanics of making candy floss because my friend Edwin bought me a candy floss machine for my birthday a couple of years ago. You start with a bit of sugar in the centre of a centrifuge and as it spins sugary filaments form. These filaments then become the sweet superstructure of the finished delicacy. What I am trying to say is that themes can become the superstructure of finished thoughts - or, there again, perhaps I am just demonstrating that candy-floss thoughts can be made out of practically nothing.
Anyway, I thought that I would make one of my February themes, pub names. Pub names are interesting in the way that book covers are interesting; they encourage you to seek within, to imbibe. There is probably a word for people who collect pub names - it will be something like a wastrel or a toomuchtimeonhishandsoligist. Whatever it is, I am one. It is the same with whatever it is that I collect, be it banknotes or old postcards, I am driven to categorise them, file them, store them away in a plastic box. And so my first plastic box has a label on it marked "occupational pubs".
The Old Bookbinders is in the Jericho district of Oxford, not far from the headquarters of the Oxford University Press. It's a fine old pub full of wooden tables, dusty old books and overflowing pints of beer. I have a feeling that I would have quite liked to be a bookbinder, there would be something satisfying about packaging knowledge and thoughts and stories. Perhaps the modern equivalent is a blogger - the bookbinder of the digital age. Now there's a pub I would be attracted to : "Ye Olde Blogger"