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Thursday 29 March 2012: Anyone's Ghost

I went to an event at the Oxford Literary Festival this evening, a film and discussion about the great saxophonist, Sonny Rollins.

In the film, Courtney Pine, talks to Rollins after his 83rd birthday gig and Rollins, responding to a question about the gig, says, in his humble way: "Well, the next one will be better". There must surely be a link between longevity and optimism (and humility too perhaps?): don't you just hope you'll still be blipping away at 83, anticipating that the next blip will be better?


The event was in a modern lecture theatre at Corpus Christi College, entered circuitously via a marquee, a white sheeted corridor (reminiscent of a hospital corridor), Christchurch, more corridors of white sheeting, a secret door, and Corpus gardens, which was where the theatre was located, set within the college walls. By the time the discussion had finished it was dark and with wine glasses to return to the marquee we attempted to retrace our steps. Well, the first bizarre thing was that at 8:30 on a Thursday evening the Literary Festival had closed for the day; the second was that at every twist and turn we met with padlocked gates or solid walls - where once there were doors, now there were none. Momentary panic set in when we found ourselves in the quad in this blip with no obvious exit. Suffice it to say that I have lived to tell the tale...

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