Monday, 30 December 2013


Thanks to everyone who comes over to read this. The blog has had 7,000 page views since I started it two and a half years ago. Hopefully we are now in the end phase of this one as I start to write the Leonard Cohen dissertation in earnest.

Then its on to the next phase of my life plan. I'm 62 and there's lots to do.

Happy 2014!!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

This will NOT change my image

TSH's daughter has had a baby boy. So I am married to a granddad. And they have suggested I be called Granny T. I am thrilled to be accepted and included. But I am not old enough (well, OK, maybe I'm old enough). But I'm not mature or sober or wise. And I'll still paint my nails and angst about my hair and clothes.

I am looking forward to hearing the language development in a real child instead of a text book. But I need to focus on Leonard. I'm re-writing my analysis of Marianne at the moment.

And I cannot (will not?) ever ever knit.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Always at the back of my mind

So we've shopped and cooked and served and eaten and cleared away and washed up and tidied. We've enjoyed the last few days whilst eating and drinking a lot and managing very little exercise.

And all the time at the back of my mind there's Cohen's keywords. What do they tell me? Do I need more analysis or am I nearly there? I've done some work on 'he' and 'his', which are key in his songs. There is a third party in there in a way which doesn't occur in my comparison lyrics. Sometimes its 'the other man' and sometimes a controlling being and sometimes he conflates the two. On close examination, these lyrics are even more complex than I thought they were.

Merry Christmas, everybody!!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Rushing around

We've been to visit TSH's mother (age 94 and still in very good physical and mental health) and his daughter.  This meant 500 miles of driving and a number of late (for us, anyway) nights and early mornings. It will be just us plus a visitor for drinks on Christmas Day itself.

Old Faithful took the hair discussion very well and we now have a new plan for 'identical every time'.

I haven't even written up my notes from the Skype with S. At this time of year Christmas seems to take over even if there are no real plans. But I've decorated the cake - marzipan, icing, icing stars scattered on top and a few white sugar sprinkles.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013


I met S by Skype and he gave me some good steers on what needs improving. We have agreed on a strategy whereby I will include some manual analysis, some corpus (computer) analysis and then show that there are linguistic features which can only be detected by one or the other and features which show up in both methods. He says I am on track for where I should be at this time.

Tomorrow I go to see Old Faithful for the Christmas hair-style. I'm still furious about last time, when he cut it far too short. It looks better now than it did during the first week after my last visit. Its not a very private salon, so I need to have a fairly difficult conversation in front of all the other stylists and clients.

I was busy with the Skype, so for the first time TSH is putting the tree up. I've given him a few hints from my experience but he is storming ahead his own way (regular readers will not be surprised) and is then baffled because the final string of lights won't reach the socket.

And I still think I looked old on the screen during the Skype session.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


I spent today preparing for Skype with S next week. I Skyped my sister, as its ages since I used it and was shocked at how old I looked on the screen. I need heavier makeup - I don't want him to think I'm really ancient.

I have three manual analyses (Marianne, Manhattan and Going home), an intro to them and a summary conclusion, timetable, summary of findings so far and a draft table of contents. So I hope he won't think I've been idle.

My conclusion so far is that LC's lyrics are like a conversation which keeps switching topic so that you don't know what its about. But full of metaphor, so that its poetic as well. And that's before you introduce the uplifting music!!

Had a wardrobe clearance and put lots of 'could do better' out for the charity shop.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela

The sad news today reminded me that I analysed the speech Mandela made on April 20 1964 from the dock at the opening of his trial on charges of sabotage at the Supreme Court of South Africa in Pretoria. I compared it with a speech made by Emmeline Pankhurst and I discovered similarities and differences in the way they addressed their  audiences. Both were clear that their campaigns were taking actions which were against the law of their respective countries. But while Emmeline tried to engage her sympathetic audience at a personal level, Mandela's speech was quite different. He knew that he did not have a sympathetic audience, so he did not try to engage with them. Instead, his remarks, which were very formal and rehearsed, addressed the world, speaking of vision and hope for the future. But he also found time to refer to his 'proudly felt African background’.

He was already a statesman.