The Aardvark Blog

The Aardvark Blogger is always busy!

Lots going on with events and visitors to the bookshop. Not to mention plans for next year, markets and fairs, author events, live music and much more. Keep looking in to find out about everything that is happening in the bookshop in the middle of nowhere.

Back from La Belle France to Scarecrows, Art and More Work30th July 2016

10 Days in France flashed past, and before one knew it we were back on the Ferry from Dieppe arriving at a cold and damp Newhaven. There we had the joy of the new 'tougher' passport control ( a series of fairly useless but somehow impertinent questions). Earlier on the Ferry we were treated to signs ( see below) telling us what to do in case of a terrorist attack. Apparently it is a good idea to run away and hide - who would have guessed. Welcome to 2016 where it is easier to do something or indeed anything provided it is done quickly, than give time and thought to what  might really make a difference. It seems to me truer than ever that being secure requires more than security. It requires community, looking out for each other, acts of individual bravery and defiance.

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Too Many Tears16th July 2016

It seems like I have found myself writing a lot about non-book matters over the last year or so. After the appalling deaths last year in the two Paris attacks, Bastille Day plumbed a new low in ideological homicide. The stories of families running for their lives, and of people sacrificing themselves for their family members are respectively chilling and uplifting. Yet it seems like we are running out of whistle in the dark platitudes, and we perhaps have to begin to accept that Europe and the Middle East are,  as one French commentator put it, a single continuum. Having accepted this we need to look for new solutions that allow both regions to find a safe, secure future, based on more meaningful cooperation than has previously been achieved. Security alone will sadly not make us secure, nor will building walls remove us from the evil that is already present on our own side.

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Books the ultimate consolation10th July 2016

As the country and indeed the world experiences one of the most fraught periods I have lived through during my lifetime (I was listening to a programme about Edward Heath on R4 last night and it made me think about how much it seems that we are headed back to the 1970's), it occurs to me that it is important to seek out the small pleasures and comforts that help to improve our lives and bring us consolation. 

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Geoffrey Hilll, Peter Florence,Marking Time, Food and Farming Day2nd July 2016

Sad news yesterday of the death of the wonderful Lyric poet Geoffrey Hill. When I was at Emma in the dawn of the world, Geoffrey Hill was a magnificent brooding presence around the college. He also had a connection with Keble where he was an undergraduate, which he celebrated after being made the Oxford Poetry Professor, thus he was a poet always popular amongst the Aardvarkians, where university loyalties are ever bifurcated.

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