Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Room with a View

To mix the literary references (someone called me ‘Clarissa’ after yesterday’s post – we can’t have that sticking!) here is the view from my top floor room. This morning, after carefully scrutinising all that Earlsfield had to offer, I ventured into an Italian eatery named Carluccio’s for breakfast. I was pleasantly relieved to discover that they make a delicious cappuccino (in two blends: strong or smooth; I chose the smooth). That’s one important piece of research successfully concluded.

                This morning I trialled ‘The Independent’ as my daily press.  My verdict? Rather like reading a magazine rather than a daily newspaper – for example, there’s a two-page article on poetry of the English countryside. The lead story is about global warming; and of course the cricket scandal needs to be thoroughly gone over (including an article by the SHM’s Peter Roebuck). I was interested to see a photograph (on page 20) of two Sydney policemen arresting Alain Robert, who had apparently climbed the 57-storey Lumiere building in Sydney; but not until after hiring Max Markson as his PR agent.

                My morning was then enlivened by allowing myself to become locked out of Kyle & Andrew’s house. A couple of Polish (or possibly Romanian) builders were involved in this, along with a significant breakdown in communications, but you don’t need the whole sorry story; suffice to say I repaired back to Carluccio’s for another excellent coffee while awaiting re-admittance by Tania the cleaner. Thank you Tania.

                Yesterday evening, through a jet-lagged haze, I began scrolling through rental properties on the web, beginning The Great London Flat Hunt. My criteria are: within 1.5 miles maximum of Birkbeck (which is in Malet Street), two bedrooms (visitors!), and a budget of £450 - £650 per week (I know, I know – crazy expensive). I found literally hundreds of possibilities, made a shortlist of about 50 or 60, and emailed for more details of about 15. We’ll see. I am very fortunate in that there is ‘no rush’.

                I also spent some time looking at the course descriptions at Birkbeck – this year’s are not yet posted on the Philosophy Department’s website: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/phil/ but last year’s are presumably a good guide to what to expect.  I can’t wait to get involved with an article entitled ‘Plato on why Mathematics is good for the soul’, or to discuss questions such as ‘Can a person know the better and do the worse?’  And how about this interesting stuff from the Philosophy of Mind course:

What is the relation between mind and body? This is a central question in Philosophy of Mind, and it is one that continues to divide philosophical opinion. In these classes, we shall look at five of the most influential theories that have been developed in response to it. Key questions that we shall consider along the way include: are there good reasons to think that the mind is separate from the body? What is the relation between the mind and observable behaviour? What is the relation between the mind and internal states of the brain? What is the causal relationship between the mind and the body?

It is 18˚, sunny, and the sky is very blue. I have acquired an Oystercard, that ubiquitous London travel card, which comes with messages from the Mayor of London. That’s progress enough for the first 24 hours, I think.

Hmmm...must be Britain

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