Oxford taped – 1982/83 video

mymindbursts:

Pulling together footage from some 17 video tapes of content shot in, around and about Oxford University in 1982 and 1983.

Originally posted on Oxford University in the 1980s on Video:

Oxford Theatre Group – Oxford Review Rehearsals

What follows is the log sheet for 17 recently digitised Sony Betamax tapes of content shot in and around Oxford University in 1982 and 1983. Includes the Oxford Theatre Group on the Edinburgh Fringe (performances and rehearsals) and the Oxford and Cambridge Ski Trip to Wengen, as well as numerous boat crews, other plays, student union, and union activity … and much more.

Tapes were recycled … often recorded over several times, this explains how and why there can be such an odd mixture of material on any particular tape. We also did a commercial job for a language school and made our own ‘TV Commercials’ to feature in Oxford Television News. We also provided a video recording service to producers: so covered many plays, individual boat crews, hustings, even the boxing club … and more, that may or may not appear in…

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The stunning story of a First World War Tank crew

Fig. 1 Episode 3 of ‘Our World War’

There are many reasons to watch this 45 minute drama made by BBC Documentaries:

1) It is a gripping piece of entertainment that incorporates modern music to help evoke the feelings and tone.

2) The sense of what it meant to take part in this conflict to Britain then, and today, is palpable

3) For a piece of screen writing I can think of little that is so sharp, so succinct, so remarkable …

4) You don’t think of it as a documentary. This isn’t docu-drama, so much as drama that seamlessly includes a few animated maps and subtitles as does many a movie or TV series these days

5) You too will be recommending that people watch it.

6) The series so far is excellent, this episode stands out as brilliant – I was left weeping in sadness and joy, while reflecting the violent conflict, though not on this scale, is still very much a contemporary issue.

7) You have this week to watch it. (What seems to happen then is that towards the end of the series it will be offered as a DVD)

Does how you peg out your clothes indicate an obsessive tendency? Does it run in families?

Fig.1. Habit, boredom or an obsessive nature? 

I match the clothes pegs to the item going on the line. I’ve done this for years and dropped it into the conversation like a confessional at Sunday Lunch. My wife and daughter became very passionate about it – saying I always got it wrong. They in turn confessed to going out and changing the pegs around if I had made a mismatch of colour, or peg type. It appears that the wooden pegs should go with the yellow items, not the yellow ‘soft’ pegs. We never have enough white pegs and no black pegs at all.

Fig.2. Would a wooden peg be better on beige shorts?

My response to this discovery is to deliberately miss-match all the pegs and then see who is first to go out and change them.

It goes beyond this too – on how I put items out individually, or hang them over the line sad*

Fig.3. The colours match but should the peg be turquoise?

Can you imagine what life is like indoors?

Because no satisfactory system can be agreed upon the preference is not to put anything away at all: clothes, dishes and books come to mind.

Is there a gene for this kind of thing as it comes entirely from my wife’s side: a combination of a desire for order, an inability to throw anything away and disagreement on each other’s systems.  My mum had a simple answer: if it didn’t have its ‘place’ it went in the bin; the house looked forever like a show-home where no one lived, but at least you had a reason to get the vacuum cleaner out as you could find more than a patch of carpet to use it on.

 

Fig.4. Perfect pegging?

With autumn approaching the dryer will be used.

Oh shit. I’ve just noticed its raining and I’ve just put the washing out. Now. Do I tug everything off and leave the pegs on the line (my wife), take it all down and bung it in the dryer … or just leave it in the hope that the sun and wind later in the day will still do its work???!

Mork and me

From Profile Photos

Fig.1 Mork and me

Promoted to being a ‘school prefect’ in my late teens at the RGS, Newcastle and required to keep a line of 11 year olds in order during morning assembly I would repeatedly hear mutterings and giggles of the line “Nanno Nanno” behind my back: ‘Mork and Mindy’ was on TV at the time and I supposedly looked like the main character played by Robin Williams. Only by doing that thing that Robin Williams did with his fingers when greeting Ork would this lot be satisfied. That was 1979.

35 years later I’m in the Senior Common Room at the University of Birmingham and a fellow graduate student asks “Do you know who you look like?” (we’d obviously got bored with talking about the First World War). I tell the above story. Whether or not hair or glasses or smirk are similar, I am a) not as hairy b) not funny c) six inches taller d) manic, but never depressed e) can’t grow a beard f) ten years younger and g) English.

Escape

From NSSC 3AUG14 ARK

Fig. 1 Five Lasers, like butterflies

Helming the boat that set the buoys for this race (it’s called ‘Ark’) I got this shot and likened it to butterflies in the back garden. I so wanted to be out there competing in the race and juggling my inabilities to control the dinghy, but got a thrill from this moment all the same with this imbalance of boats. One getting away, the others heading towards the buoy.

My turn next week.

I’ve done 12 hours on a ‘pond’ in various winds on a Laser so feel ready for the sea, and ready for bruises, muscle pain, a dunking: ready too for managed risk: I will have on a wet suit and life jacket. I will have a pouch containing an inhaler (asthmatic) and water.

I like danger. I need the physical and mental thrills I so enjoyed in my ‘youth’. I prefer a challenge. I want to be hit with a stick and offered a carrot. The Open University equivalent of the written exam and recognition of success: Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs) are too infrequent for essay writing to become a way of life, whilst End of Module Assignments (EMAs) lack the danger and challenge of an examination. At Oxford University essays are weekly, read out and shared in a tutor group of two or three and at the end of the year you sit exams – terrifyingly demanding but both proof that you know your stuff and a way to distinguish the pack.

‘Ark’ is a bit of a tug, a diesel engined quasi-fishing vessel on which the day’s race buoys are kept – hunking great things on a long length of rope with a chain and anchor attached. It has a VHS radio so you call back and forth to your harbour of departure and the Race Officer in the clubhouse and RIBS in the bay.

Seven years since I was last on the thing I had with me a cushion I grabbed from the sofa at home not thinking why I did this … until in the chop I recalled how I had broken my coccyx training to do this when I had bounced off the rubbery side of the RIB and landed on the anchor: twice. Broken coccyx. Imagine how they test for this in A&E? Basically someone prods you up the arse and if you scream there’s a problem. This problem then turns into ‘there’s nothing we can do’. But here’s a rubber-ring you may like to have to sit on for the next six weeks … or don’t sit down????

You live and learn, or rather learn through giving things a go until you can get it right enough.

Fig. 1 Five Lasers, like butterflies

Helming the boat that set the buoys for this race (it’s called ‘Ark’) I got this shot and likened it to butterflies in the back garden. I so wanted to be out there competing in the race and juggling my inabilities to control the dinghy, but got a thrill from this moment all the same with this imbalance of boats. One getting away, the others heading towards the buoy.

My turn next week. I’ve done 12 hours on a ‘pond’ in various winds so feel ready for the sea, and ready for bruises, muscle pain, a dunking: ready too for managed risk: I will have on a wet suit and lifejacket. I will have a pouch containing an inhaler (asthmatic) and water.

A couple of races assisting the Race Officer I will then set a race myself.

Time to move on from thinking that I am, and can only ever be, No.2.

That’s Nothing Compared to Passchendaele

 Fig.1. British Soldiers struggling in the mud – The First Gulf War (early 1991)

1) The cool, calm and quiet of the early morning – my work space.

2) The dog rolling over on her bed and wagging her tail for a bit of TLC

3) A pot of coffee

Set to go. iPad open on a Kindle eBook on the First Gulf War; Mac Mini in Google Docs. Working on something my grandfather said in 1991 when watching a documentary on a DLI private in Saudi Arabia waiting to enter Kuwait during the First Gulf War : ‘That’s Nothing Compared to Passchendaele’, he said regarding the regional news programme from BBC’s Looks North. Was it nothing like the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres July – November 1917) or more similar than different? Scale and technology were different, operation and tactics different due to the technology and lessons of previous conflicts, mud for sand … but a soldier when hit by shrapnel or loses a mate feels the same pain. And there was mud too (see above). There mistakes and the wrong kit.

The remark was pointed at the individual soldier’s lot. BBC Look North were doing a profile of a ‘day in the life of a private soldier of the Durham Light Infantry’. It was when looking at the man’s rations and gear that my grandfather, by then in his 94th year, said this. It’s had me thinking ever since, not least since the plethora of ‘soldiering’ we are getting and will get during the Centenary Commemorations of the First World War.

Samuel Pepys at his mischevious best: dalliances and subterfuge in 17th century London

Fig.1. Sam Pepys – the 17th century ‘Alfie’

The devious and duplicity of Samuel Pepys has him with two different ladies this week, both times trying to dodge his wife and keep his man servant Will otherwise occupied while he … I forget the phrase, but it sounds more like eating a second portion of cake. Having followed this since 2011 I have to wonder if there will ever be a CD or Podcast. Catch this final series in the next 7 days.

Wonderfully evocative, better than any TV miniseries from Netflix, Blinkbox or Amazon Prime. Just as visual. Not so violent. Far more raunchy.

Samuel Pepys