Ah, the age old bad back question that has plagued mankind since the dawn of time. Research obituaries in nineenth century newspapers, or Gran Turismo 6. Hmm...
The blog will now return to normal service about my research into Abercromby Square. Sadly, my dodgy back has gone again, so updates may be sparse for a few days. Still, on the bright side, I may be full of exciting updates on the Square when I am here. Or not. Lying down will at least allow me to go through some papers a fellow researcher has kindly loaned me, so many thanks to Adrian for these.
Apologies if anyone is hoping to listen to all of my DT talk tonight ( on the new tab of the website ) . Sadly my copy of Audacity keeps crashing, so I may have to fix tomorrow and record the remaining sections then or over the next few days.
Have you ever googled yourself?
It’s a shameful activity I know, best done in private, but I am proudly announcing to the World that I recently googled myself. In my defence ( M’lud ) I was seeing whether the tags on the new page showed up, but I never realised how many ‘Chris Williams’ show up online, particularly related to Dylan Thomas, research and Liverpool. In case you were wondering, that’s why I’m gingerjesus in the blog ( my own name was taken ), and why I’m including the title bfeore my name. There’s a Prof Chris Williams elsewhere, a Chris Williams writer of poetry, horror and erotica, and numerous others.
I shall embrace my common-ness, but remain unique.
And hope that if anyone ever digs up the patio, the body gets blamed on one of the others.
Blog will return to research matters next week when I get back into the Abercomby square stuff ( the fun of C19th census returns, bet you can’t wait!). I was invited to the talkback with the cast of the MilkWood production last night ( if you have seen it yet, highly recommended if you can still get a ticket ) which was lovely of them, and hopefully I was able to add a couple of interesting snippets. I’d adding a page today after a couple of requests, for links to some Dylan related material, which should appear later tonight. I’ll add in the talk when I get my ruddy headset microphone working again, but will make it discrete to allow people to politely ignore and pretend it isn’t there. Was going to youtube but think I’ll just do audio so you can surf something while you listen instead, or mull on that lick of paint the ceiling needs, or doodle. I actively encourage multi-tasking.
So now for the obligatory Oscar speech. Many thanks to Mr Owen Teale for inviting me to the Q and A and listening to my ramblings with a very kind ear, thanks to Theatre Clwyd, Liverpool Playhouse and Mr Terry Hands for the show, thanks to Liverpool Sound & Vision for bigging up the talk and for the review; thanks to Waterstones ( who, as I worked there twenty years ago, I am contractually obliged, signed in blood, to promote forever, with or without the apostrophe – though seriously, please do support your bookshop, online can never replace that experience! ). And finally a huge heartfelt thanks to the cast of the show for making the weird bloke who turned up last night feel so welcome, you are a genuinely lovely little Town of people, so much so I can even forgive the fact that two of you are Man Utd supporters. Before I make myself vomit by making it appear I’m nice about everyone, I’ll stop. All thanks genuine and heartfelt. Except for the Waterstones one which is only genuine, but also a contractual necessity or I owe them my firstborn.
ps Always nice? ... That Hitler, what a total bastard!
Went to see the Theatre Clwyd production of Under Milk Wood at the Playhouse last night. Really enjoyed the interpretation and performances. Highly recommended. Talk seemed to go quite well today (thanks to those able to attend) and hopefully I didn’t bugger it up too badly. Or at least that no-one noticed the bits I did bugger up. Which no-one seemed to. Apologies to the ghosts of DT and Cat for the mangling of Love in the Asylum.
Owen Teale was great, and his enthusiasm for DT and the material is plain to see, particularly in picking out and reading slightly less famous sections of the dialogue, which came over a treat. Really interesting to hear his thoughts afterwards on reacting and interacting of the cast, one of the things that make the production so effective.
Will record some of the talk in all its flawed glory and upload at some point soon (on a new DT page). Hopefully something of interest.
I'm going to include a few links to interesting former occupants of Abercomby Square over the coming months, ones unlikely to feature heavily in at least my first volume on the history of Abercromby Square ( which details the period 1800-1900 ).
Sir Joseph Rotblat lived in a flat on the Square in the mid twentieth century, while working at Liverpool University. Amid a very interesting life, Polish-born Rotblat worked on the Manhatten Project, which strove to develop the first atomic bombs. Better than this though, he quit the project because of his moral concerns over the work, one of the few to do so. A founder member of CND and a Fellow of the Royal Society, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1995, for his work towards nuclear disarmament with the Pugwash Conferences. This is aside from his own contributions to science and nuclear physics, and his own fascinating journey.
Rotblat was summed up by Bertrand Russell with the description:
"He can have few rivals in the courage and integrity and complete self-abnegation with which he has given up his own career (in which, however, he still remains eminent) to devote himself to combating the nuclear peril as well as other, allied evils."
One of the good ones. I'm afraid you'll have to wait for volume two to hear more about his time in the Square though!