OnDishevelled with shoes untied,
Pembroke Road look
out for my ghost,
Playing through the railings with little children,
Whose children have long since died.
On Saturday I did a talk at the British Design Conference at the V&A. One of the other speakers was Maurice Howard, a professor of art history at
Sussex who has curated the current exhibition on
Basil Spence (the campus architect) at the ,
celebrating its 50th anniversary. One colour photograph he showed of Falmer
House, the student union building, pulled me up short. It looked like it had
been taken last week, but it was actually 50 years old. I thought of the
hundreds of thousands of students, most of them now ghosts, who have walked
through its quad over the last half century. The bright, unfaded colours of the
photograph made it seem like what Thomas Hardy called 'an eyelid's soundless
blink'. University of Sussex
Actually, I think I did see the ghost of my 25-year-old self in the library, hurrying off to the stacks to check a reference for a thesis that will be read by precisely two people, one of whom is now dead. I tried to catch up with him, but I no longer know my way round the bookshelves, and when I turned a corner he was gone.