Monday, 23 February 2009


I returned to University yesterday.

Obviously, I had to make certain sartorial adjustments to fit in and not look silly though I have to confess I did find it difficult to walk with my jeans buckled just below my buttocks. Still, I looked the part.

The reason for my return was to visit the library to research a couple of topics for my opus.

Sir Basil Spence was the architect of Sussex University. He most notably oversaw the reconstruction of Coventry Cathedral after its destruction during the last war. (I note he was also the architect of Trawsfynydd nuclear power station, Trawsfynydd being the small village where we lived after returning from Malaysia, before the station was built.)

His design for Sussex is Neoclassical Brutal, to coin a phrase, the university being constructed in brick with heavy concrete Roman arches. It is something of an acquired taste but I love it. The library is set on a rise and approached by a broad flight of steps. The concept in Spence's mind, I am sure, was to recreate a Roman temple, one dedicated to learning; if so, he succeeds.

It is the most conducive environment to work in. There is an atmosphere of quiet and earnest endeavour though I do recall as a student the endeavour was, for the most part, a quiet and earnest panic. There are few distractions and it feels sinful not to fulfill your part in the study that surrounds you.

I shall definitely return.