27 November 2013

A two-talk day

Dryden Goodwin at lunchtime, one of the UCL lunch hour lectures, when faculty give an update on their research. The lectures are available to watch online, either live (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1.15 during term time) or archived - an amazing resource!
In the evening, Ruth Corney talking about "Swimming on the Heath" at Camden Local History Centre; she's been taking photos of swimmers on Hampstead Heath for some years and now they are part of a book written by Caitlin Davies, "Taking the Waters: A Swim around Hampstead Heath". The photos of swimmers in the snow are ... chilling ...
In between - five hours with nothing planned, and nothing I particularly needed to do. A strange sort of limbo.

First method of killing tim - poking around in a bookshop - this bit of the wishlist is from the natural history (general) section -
Then to the British Museum; the sketchbook was in my bag, but I was disinclined to settle down to an afternoon of drawing ... not sure what I'm looking to draw ... but wandering from gallery to gallery was instructive.
Percival David collection of Chinese ceramics
Love that copper glaze! The deep dish was made about 1430.
Instead of labels, info is on screens
Elsewhere, Roman surgical instruments
Hot chocolate at London Review Cake Shop (with barely a glance into its associated bookshop) - time for a little drawing -
and logging a "his and hers" conversation - the small jagged bits are her encouraging "mm"s -
Nearby is the "sophisticated hub" of Lamb's Conduit Street, with some tempting shops, including Persephone Books -
After that, to the library to read at random until it was time for the talk. I picked up "Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age" by Clay Shirky, which questions what we do with our "free" time, and what can be achieved when we turn off the television. He defines habits as "accumulated accidents" - it makes you think about how behaviours turn into habits. Also I like what he says about surprises: "a surprise is having new information that violates our previously held assumptions."

1 comment:

irene macwilliam said...

Interesting your last bit about habits etc. Two days ago I was having conversation with my friend on routine and habits and when does one turn into the other. I was commenting on how she has a very set routine of doing things in predictable ways and was it habit. She thought not.