Review – Andrew Davies: A Very Peculiar Practice

AVeryPeculiarPractice A Very Peculiar Practice was originally a 1986 BBC television comedy series set in the health centre of a fictitious low-ranking university somewhere in central England.

Everything takes place to the background of short-sighted opportunism I recognise from my own university experiences … changing the nature of universities from being trusted guardians, creators and communicators of knowledge who provide a public service into dubious commercial outfits who rip-off customers and employees alike in order to maximise profits. (read more…)

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Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny

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Professor Clarke stood at the blackboard with assured elegance…  He was talking about pre-natal and neo-natal human development… He concluded with a short quotation. None of us quite caught it. He said something like: “Antigen capital file genre.”

In those days students weren’t given all the slides and notes on the internet to learn and parrot back in examinations. We went to the library and made notes from text books and academic journals. We even owned quite a lot of expensive text books ourselves. So before long I had worked out what he had actually said (read more …)

Old and New Cars

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1960s Mini dashboard and instruments

Wondering whether to change my ten year old Golf Estate, I went for a test drive in a fairly new Honda Civic Tourer – the SR version. What a sensation! I could have been in the cockpit of an R.A.F. stealth fighter.

If you have driven a new car recently then you might not be overawed, but I haven’t and I was … what a difference from the first three cars I had (read on …)

The Yellow Shed

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The Yellow Shed

“Every man should have a shed” the saying goes. Well, I got a shed at the age of twelve when I took over the yellow one in the garden. Did that make me a man?

There I drank my first bottle of John Smith’s Magnet Pale Ale, brazenly bought from the corner shop with my own pocket money in the confidence they would assume I was on a parent’s errand. And there I tried one of my mother’s menthol flavoured cigarettes (read on…)