Friday, 20 February 2009

Funerals, Fermat and fields.

It’s a little difficult to know where to start with this, somewhat delayed, posting. Much has occurred since my last.

A funeral in Hay-on-Wye for a prematurely-taken friend whose laughter, compassion and dedication to often hugely complicated practical-jokery will be as much missed as his full-beam smile, warmly macho hugs and constant flow of tea. The church was packed with his family and friends, abundant proof of how he touched so many lives; the service and eulogies resulting in the most heart-warming celebration of a life well-lived that I have had the honour of attending.

A weekend prior to the above spent with friends whose hospitality extended way beyond any norm and included the best walk I’ve had this year. We sighted a remarkably unafraid barn owl from about 20 yards, picked a dead and curiously head-less sparrow hawk from the middle of a field of spring barley, drove errant ewes - with their new lambs - from the riverside back to their field and generally revelled in the crisp, clear air, the fun of the two springer spaniels who accompanied us and the wonderful views of the Black Mountains, frosted with what remained of the recent snow.

In the meantime I have of course been wondering where I went wrong with the Artistic Director interview and - if I’m honest - still feeling a little sore to have not been selected. Though I do feel foolish for even saying so.

But a long train journey is a wondrous balm to a troubled mind and mine was spent reading Simon Winchester’s excellent “The Surgeon of Crowthorne”, a magnificent tale and as beautifully told as one would expect from Mr Winchester with its delicious twist in the end. Perfect for the outward journey. My return mental and rail journey was Simon Singh’s superb classic “Fermat’s Last Theorem” which is a close to a work of romance as any popular account of a scientific conundrum is ever likely to get. A complete triumph on Simon’s part, it makes the elegance of high-level, complicated theoretical maths and number theory seem approachable enough for even me to realise quite how complicated and high level they are. Both of these were given to me by a kind – and rather brave – pal. It’s a long time since someone gave me any books and given my past ten years it’s hardly surprising. In this case said pal judged it perfectly as I’d not read either and loved both equally.

Back in the metropolis a telephone message shook off some of the sadness. Another interview, this time for a yet more fascinating job. No names, no pack drill, but this one is of a very different cast from the last. It will, I imagine, be very competitively fought for and rightly so. I shall therefore keep my powder dry for now, but think good thoughts for me at noon on Monday. I will need them.

For those of you that listened to “A Good Read” last week, bless you. I hope that my recommended book, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “Letter to a Hostage” brings you as much pleasure and food for thought as it has me.

Forgive the vagueness in this post, I can’t help but feel that there’s more to say but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, let alone find the words.



1 comment:

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