June 2008 " if Jackie does attend would you would like to be the chairman? Neither Kieren or Brian [Love] are all that keen and your experience and role seem to fit perfectly, you could do an opening and closing bit, off the cuff responses to the other's contribs? - I am concerned that we do need someone with an overview and who can perhaps link the diverse speakers into a coherent thread, perhaps with a Q&A bit at the end....we're open to advice! Love from Dolores and Kieren.

"Dolores, I am seeing her for a cuppa next week
She would be particularly good for your theme
Because of her success as an artist and a teacher with zines
As an old warhorse (carthorse) of the Lecture Circuit
I’ll fit in with any plans of what you want me to do. Chris"

July 2008 "If it suits you
Slate me in.

Happy to cavort in public as the Genial Host
Who With a Lordly wave
Launches another vessel of wisdom."


I had contributed over the years to such events as had Jackie. The challenge here was dispensing the ad hoc in front of quite a large audience. In the pianistic trade, the term used is "vamp till ready", which suited me.

Jackie and I had stayed overnight having had an evening meal with Jack, my son, who worked in the town. A major attraction at the Symposium was meeting Benoit Jacques whose work I had long admired as well as being introduced to Dolores and Kieren. In the audience was the delightful Darren Diss from the Brighton MA, attending in his capacity as Tutor at Lincoln School of Art. Some of the speakers were easy to incorporate but several were to arrive later. I was to receive the signal, wind up my prattle and shoehorn them in. The provision of the live Web feed at least allowed me to call up The Visual Telling of Stories and FORTUNE covers in particular.

As the afternoon was winding up., the challenges of fusing "the diverse speakers into a coherent thread, perhaps with a Q&A bit at the end... " became more and more daunting. I was going to have to busk this and the levels of group energy were dwindling as lunchtime drinks, and a surfeit of pontificating took hold.

I think Jackie knew what was ahead for me, giving me sympathetic glances.

In the past I had often, in my oily way, referred to her as my Interceding Angel. Perhaps it was even beyond her angelic powers that a Fire Alarm sounded at a quarter past four, just as I broke into my schtick. Dr. Batey and I were out of the building, into a taxi and on the early train back to Brighton. I know I was dodging my responsibilities but my guilt was partly assuaged by never being paid. This was not a reflection of my performance but purely administrative oversight. I hope.