Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Paths, Tracks and a Hop

Stepson Two and I are spending the day in Oxford whilst Tom attends a study day at the Faculty of Music. We wander into the Bodleian Library where there’s a small but rather lovely exhibition celebrating 800 years of Oxford’s contribution to the art and science of medicine. I’m particularly moved by the original manuscripts there; Thomas Sydenham’s careful and caring observations of his patients (written in John Locke’s hand), Dorothy Hodgkin’s letter to her husband as she worked to unlock the structure of penicillin, and a host of neat notebooks which convey a vivid sense of immediacy despite the faded ink and yellowing paper. 

At the Ashmolean museum, I take myself to see ‘Flesh and Bone’ a stunning exhibition which bring together works by Henry Moore and - a personal favourite - Francis Bacon. I enjoy the Bacon paintings very much but leave feeling faintly covetous and wishing I could take Pope Innocent X 1965 home with me.

There’s also plenty of time for Stepson Two and I to drink coffee, eat cake and catch up. It’s fair to say that neither Tom nor Stepson Two have done things in what is supposed to be the conventional order, which, I suspect is due to them both being very clever at whatever they turn their minds to. Stepson Two is now employed turning horrendously dry maths into beautiful, deceptively-simple apps, but some of you may remember when he had a record deal with a major label and an album which – thanks to the sudden upheaval in the music industry and a change of management - didn’t see the light of day. So here, for old times sake, is a glimpse of the path that might have been taken. And Stepson Two in a top hat...


At the weekend we’re joined for my birthday by Rose, Si, Lily and Russ. Two days later, it would have been my dad’s birthday too (Ma always joked I was her birthday present to him). Amidst the laughter, I can’t help but feel sad for all the growing number of people in the room Dad didn’t get to meet. But if he could have seen us, I think he would have approved. 


Knowing that it’s Dad’s birthday puts a spring in my step for my Sunday morning long run. All the bad health news this year made me decide that I’d feel much better running again – so I did and it’s great. I’ve entered the Llanelli Half Marathon in March 2014 and, thanks to Tom, I now have a neat little GPS watch that tells me all sorts of useful stuff like how far and fast I’ve run and how many calories I’ve used. Short of actually patting me on the back and saying ‘well done’ it’s a great way to stay on track


And finally, I’m participating in the Coastal Romance Writers Christmas Blog Hop. Do come back on Friday for details of how you could win a $100 gift card and 26 books!

3 comments:

Chanpreet said...

The video and song are quite good Chris! Stepson Two could've had a good career in music if things hadn't fallen through.

I think it's amazing you got to see the exhibit at the Bodleian library. How fascinating! I'm always amazed at how ordinary people have been full of such greatness.

I'm sorry your father isn't here to see the family today but your mom is right. You were his birthday gift. I like to believe that those we've lost can still see us. I'm sure he approves.

Running a half marathon is quite a feat! Good luck with training, it sounds like you've got all the tools to get in top shape.

Chris Stovell said...

Thank you, Chanpreet - it was so exciting when he got the deal and so disappointing when the album wasn't released. Bitter-sweet times. I can't say I miss the moshpits though!

The Bodleian exhibition was lovely - very much enjoyed it because it made me so aware of the people and personalities behind those discoveries.

And thanks - I'll keep training and see how I get on!

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