Kinsale

I was in the south-west of Ireland recently, on business matters but with a couple of days extra in which to explore. And so I went to Kinsale. It’s a small town, not far from Cork, located at a river mouth feeding out into the sea, its harbour facing a long cove, beyond which liesRead More

Looking at paintings

There was a piece in The Times recently in which assorted experts – artists, art historians, gallery owners, critics – were asked to tell us the best way to appreciate a painting. Their responses ranged from the practical (choosing the picture you admire and devoting deep time to it), to the impractical (visit the galleryRead More

On indexes

Some years ago now I had a bright idea. It was for a mechanism which would bring together all of the indexes of digitised books to make one super-index linking back to each of those texts. Yes there would be huge unevenness between the individual indexes, and yes it had a Borgesian air about itRead More

The last library

I went to St Helena, one of the remotest spots on the planet. I flew thousands miles to get there, travelling down a continent and then across an ocean. When there I met wonderful people, saw entrancing countryside, visited historic locations, scaled heights to enjoy exhilarating views. I spent two weeks in the most exoticRead More