Life with Me: 1990

I entered the nineties beneath Mauritian stars, at the Villas Caroline, Flic en Flac, and within a few hours had reluctantly concluded that I was now too old to dance the Lambada. Of other tropical vicissitudes I shall say nothing further at this point. Returning to what passes for normality in these parts on 24th January wasn't easy. &digmess;

At the end of January, I spent several hours on the telephone with the National Portrait Gallery, which was then, as now, winding its courage to the sticking point as far as implementing my suggestions for computerising its catalogue. I suggested they get a third party to say whether or not my proposals were any good, since they were clearly incapable of forming an opinion themselves.

February began with a visit from Tom Corns, my co-Milton conspirator, and a meeting at OUP, where we were told that our original plans to produce an electronic text only were not felt by the Delegates to be interesting enough. We dutifully went away and rehacked the plan to be much more interesting, ambitious and hypertextual.

Also in February, interviewed a number of postulants for the job of cataloguing the oxford text Archive at the Bod. Went to see Monica Price about her minerals database. Went to London to NPG, and then on to Kings to discuss CATH90 session with Harold Short. Guy and Gordon visited us for halfterm (16-18 feb)

During the last week of February: the TEI Text Representation Committee met in Oxford (feb 26-27). Some of the Brownies stayed on to give a seminar, and Allen Renear stayed to be amazed by my family.

TEI meetings dominated the spring. After an AGOGC meeting in Abingdon (5-7), I went to meetings of the Metalanguage Committee in Chicago (8-10 March), followed by Analysis and Interpretation Committee in Tucson, the so-called Rutgers-Princeton Database project (later to become CETH) (15-16) in Princeton, and the Steering Committee in Bernardsville NJ. After a day in Manhattan with A Zampolli, I returned to Oxford for lunch at Al Shami with Angela Blackburn of OUP (excellent) who expressed enthusiasm for the notion of publishing the TEI Guidelines, for a meeting of the Text Documentation committee (22-4).

Just for a change, in April I went to a conference on Computers and Teaching. CATH90 was held in St Andrews (2-5), followed by History&Computing4 at Wolverhampton (only a day trip). Easter I spent almost entirely on redrafting bits of TEI stuff, and preparing an introductory talk on SGML, using Hypercard. I went on a daytrip to Sheffield for an interuniversity database working party meeting (25) (entirely pointless), followed by presentation of the aforesaid stack at Kingston Poly.(26) ditto and at OUCS on 2May The SGMLDSIG met in Oxford on 4 May

May 15 I was back in Chicago, 18th being Michael's birthday, followed by the TEI Steering Committee, followed by lots of work on the Guidelines till 24th.

Popped into BP on 1 June, and then off to Siegen on the 3rd for the ACH/ALLC conference, at which Michael and I failed to give a very illuminating TEI Workshop. I took a leisurely trip to Berlin for much nicer ICAME event, back home on 14th, and then off to Shandy Hall to hear M Lesk, with Guy, on 15th. To Glasgow 28/9 June (but why?). The TEI Steering Committee met in Oxford 6-7 July. I went to Brussells on 14th July (but why?).

August looks as if I had a holiday. Those were the days. 29 August I attended a meeting at UCL in London, the purpose of which (it later transpired) was to set up a corpus building project, for something which eventually became the BNC.

In September I went to the AHC Annual Conference at Montpellier, returning in a lesirely motorized manner with Digger. Then, to Chicago again for the first TEI Workshop (18-24). This month's visitors included Antony Freeman of "SDS Data Services", Gavin Burnage (in search of a job) and various people from Longmans. I spent half term writing my chapter for a book on using computers being edited by Christopher Butler. At the start of November (16-18, actually) the metalanguage committee met in Oxford, and I paid my farewell visit to BP.

December began with a visit from Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey himself, the purpose of which seemed to be some hare brained scheme to make a CD of all available English Poetry, and with a meeting of the TEI Steering Committee (6-7 Dec). I had a birthday, and then spent five days on a BASIS+ training course held about half-way up the Centrepoint tower in London.