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bye bye!

I’ve left my job. No more cloister views, lunchtime antique browsing, Maggie Jones’ lunches or Caffe concerto ice creams in the old cemetery. I shan’t miss it much though. I’m in Westminster now, opposite the Holden building on 55 Broadway – I love Holden! My view is of Henry Moore’s west wind sculpture. Not that I get to look out of the window much.

This week I have, besides having started some sort of career (as someone said: it is better to be a swineherd in a castle than to be a king in a pigsty), been to hear Maurice Glasman talk about blue labour. I really like him, mainly, I think because of the jewishness (yes, I’m one of those). He reminds me of Jeff Goldblum et al. – should’ve been an actor with that face. I’ve been to a Roxette concert at Wembley which was just as amazing as you can imagine it would be for a Swedish expat like moi. And to a Terry Eagleton lecture at St Martin-in-the-Fields where an argument was being made for power and against compassion – muy interesante. I’ve also been to the Christmas fair at the Swedish Church and whad’ya know – it was exactly the same as last year. I guess that’s what Christmas is all about: repetition – or tradition as we like to call it.

For someone who has trawled through the better part of the In Our Time archive, it was a real treat to see Melvyn Bragg IRL at the National aka my second home. Melvyn (yes, I think we’re on first name basis here) is how I imagine the Victorian polymath from the public lecture halls would be. So jam packed with knowledge that it can barely be contained, it spills over in anecdotes, in jokes, in semi-unrelated facts, accompanied by gesticulation so wild, hand written notes flies all over the place.

They are celebrating the anniversary of the King James’s Bible which is the subject of Melvyn’s new book The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible (I went to some of the bible readings as well but I don’t know if it works, you know. I like costume and bit of spectacle when I’m at the theatre, and I don’t fare well with monologues.). A lot of this talk – on the social and cultural importance of the KJ Bible – resonated with the talks on the gospel and social justice that’s been running at St Martin in the Field, where Neil MacGregor did an amazingly good speech on Compassion in Art – or lack thereof.

Now, I can’t show you any Christian art of radical compassion because apparently there isn’t any but I will show you this. Engraved in ONE single circular line, starting at the tip of the nose and moving outwards (click on it, it’s awesome).

Sometimes, like Flaubert, I believe in nothing but art.