Merkel’s TV address to Germany, 18 March 2020

Yesterday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel made an unprecedented television address to the German people. Clips were shown with English subtitles but I couldn’t find a full English translation this morning – so I did one myself below. I think its value goes beyond Germany in the current international crisis, and it shows a kind of … More Merkel’s TV address to Germany, 18 March 2020

Celebrating German reunification in Göttingen

So I find myself in Göttingen* on the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). 3rd October is a national holiday, the 29th anniversary of German reunification. I didn’t realise this when I planned the trip: my knowledge of the historical unification of Germany in 1871 is probably more systematic than my grasp of reunification, experienced … More Celebrating German reunification in Göttingen

Delving into Graves’

Last night I discovered what happens when you combine Graves’ disease with hay fever. The results weren’t pretty, and I rather wished I hadn’t looked in the mirror at around 10pm. The offending eye is now back where it belongs, leaving me with something akin to a hangover. But the experience was a reminder of … More Delving into Graves’

Keep calm – play Brahms: a talk for International Women’s Day

Looking through some old computer files the other day, I came across a talk I gave at work three years ago, on International Women’s Day 2015. It’s odd to re-read it – especially the end, as I didn’t expect I’d have “retired” (if indeed that’s what I’ve done) a year later. But I think the … More Keep calm – play Brahms: a talk for International Women’s Day

Where the rooves have eyes: 2 days in Sibiu

6 years ago, in October 2011, Ellie Knott took me to Transylvania. We had been travelling to Europe together for years: from Disneyland Paris, through the red-light districts of Lyons, Cologne and Berlin (“mother, don’t stand on the street corner”), to cocktail bars in Madrid, Krakow and Aix (where “Madame et Mademoiselle” became “Mesdames” around … More Where the rooves have eyes: 2 days in Sibiu

Knitting through the looking-glass (Or how Martin Gardner helped me design a blanket)

Since my first knitting blog in March, I’ve been occupied with a much bigger project: a “log-cabin” blanket. The log-cabin design is based on traditional American quilting, translated into knitting: each square panel in the blanket is built up from a series of “logs” around a reddish central square, supposedly symbolising the hearth, surrounded by … More Knitting through the looking-glass (Or how Martin Gardner helped me design a blanket)