Last week I completely bust my hamstring playing football against a bunch of younger and fitter players and I’ve spent the week laid up, doing my best to rest to recover. At some point, I will start training again but I am also realistic. At 56 years old, I have to face the fact thatContinue reading “Retraining”


The hardest route up Snowden/Yr Wyddfa, the highest mountain in England and Wales, is called Crib Goch. It’s a sharp ridge, uneven and rocky, with some vertical, sheer drops. A risk of ascending this vertiginous route is that some climbers become cragfast: so terrified that they can’t move in any direction. Like limpets, they stickContinue reading “Cragfast”

Good discussions

In my second undergraduate year, I got into badminton. I would go to the sports hall most afternoons and play against a few of my friends and course mates. Every single time I visited, there was a group of Indonesian chemical engineering students, who played constantly. They were obviously brilliant. One day, I plucked upContinue reading “Good discussions”

Go slow

As the years roll by, I am becoming more and more of an ancient philosopher. When a colleague told me the Classics department were running a reading group on Plato’s Gorgias, I couldn’t resist. Last week we had our first meeting and I turned up not knowing what to expect. A few other philosophers wereContinue reading “Go slow”


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