In the good old days I could sit in the sun, cassette player to the left, Imperial typewriter to the right, trusty pipe and matches easily to hand and write long-forgotten lectures on Labour Law. A generation of students would half-listen to those lectures whilst thinking about what they would have for tea or where they would head for at the weekend. And over time the details of the Taff Vale dispute or Devonald v Rosser faded and so did the Cyclostyled handouts that listed case after boring case. The students grew up and went on to live their lives, the lecturer grew old and went on to walk the dog, and the hand-outs ...... well they accumulated in his back passage.
Yes, in case you are wondering where I have been, the answer is a simple but distressing one : I have been spending a long time clearing out the accumulated mess of a lifetime of paper. Isobel says that unless progress is made she is going to submit my name to one of those television production companies that make documentaries with titles like "House Hoarders Exposed". A greater threat is provided by the imminent arrival of the decorator which necessitates a rolling programme of de-cluttering. Amongst those boxes of old lecture notes and hand-outs an occasional gem is to be found, such as an old strip of negatives with a picture taken in an Oxford garden in the mid 1980s (I was simply visiting I must add, the lecturing took place amongst the less cloistered quadrangles of South Yorkshire).
I am allowed a few minutes respite in the fresh air of nostalgia before the Lady Wife calls my name and I have to crawl back into the eaves and fill another rubbish bag with my memories. Take pity on me, dear reader, it is so unfair. You would think there would be a law against it.