Monthly Archives: July 2012

Training (London 2012)

The beginning of the Olympics has reminded me about the difference between training and practice. The development of athletes depends on a structured timetable of activities and preparation. Practice is just something you do to maintain a standard; not to … Continue reading

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RH+DR

The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway is a light railway that runs between Hythe and Dungeness in Kent. It was built in the 1920s. Karen found this charming book of photographs of the railway. It probably dates, by the look … Continue reading

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Hermes Silk Steam Square

Karen and me have quite a big collection of vintage silk squares… We started collecting these in the early 1990s when they were deeply unfashionable. We buy and sell them from the store in Folkestone. Karen recently found this terrific … Continue reading

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La Bete Humaine (or the beast in the machine…)

La Bete Humaine is a story by the French writer, Emile Zola, published in 1890. The book has been turned into a film on several occasions. Notably, by Jean Renoir in 1938. A number of themes int he book and film … Continue reading

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Train d’Enfer

“Train d’enfer” is a French expression that is a little difficult to translate into English. You might think it has something to do with railways; but actually and nowadays, it is more often used to describe a kind of relentless … Continue reading

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Railway Traumas (I’m late)

I recently posted about Marcel Proust (the insomniac hypercondriac author) and his appreciation of railway timetables. Of course, Proust would never have boarded an actual train for fear of railway trauma… This wasn’t quite as ridiculous as it sounds; railway … Continue reading

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Proust’s Timetable

The French writer, Marcel Proust, was a notorious hypercondriac and insomniac. In order to help himself to sleep, he would read railway timetables; the more detailed and provincial the better. Not for him, les grandes lignes. For Proust, every place … Continue reading

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The Lady Vanishes (Hitchcock on a Train)

I’ve been meaning to post about one of my favourite Hitchcock films since I began posting on here. You will recall that I began this blog with a post about trains, Alfred Hitchcock and psychoanalysis. You can remind yourself, here … Continue reading

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