March 24th, 2005

Fishy Circumstances

History at Play

When I was little and attending nursery school in Italy, each person in my class had a grembiule (a coverall) and a hook with matched patches on it. Each patch had a different animal on it, so we could each recognize our belongings. Mine was a swan.

Today, after coming back in from the sunshine after the British Library was evacuated for fire alarms, I learned that the swan was a symbol (at least in the Renaissance) for Clio, Muse of History. Very appropriate.

I spent the morning orienting myself at the Wellcome Library, time well spent filling in small gaps in my history of spectacles bibliography, before meeting up with oursin for lunch. We spent a very pleasant meal eating Indian buffet food and talking about good London restaurants, food writing, academia, and, of course, LJ.

In the evening, we joined naxos for drinks at a nearby pub. As a result, I grateful that historical narratives aren't currently patentable, that large conference calls are infrequent in my discipline, and that my email doesn't self-delete after thirty days. Added bonus: the pub serves ginger wine.