1997

This was the year in which Lilette and I celebrated our fiftieth birthday in style: other pretexts we used for parties included my 75th birthday jointly with Belinda, and our 25th wedding anniversary, as well as the first ever HCU-hosted OUCS Christmas Ball. 1997 was the year in which my first published book appeared, and in which my brother in law Mario died. Years are like that.

My first serious engagement of the year was a trip to the US, (Jan 2-19) taking in the Universities of Indiana, Michigan, and Berkeley, and far too many snowbound airports. I lost my luggage on the way to San Francisco, but it caught up with me before I left.

February was dominated by the long-awaited move of the Humanities Computing Unit to its palatial new basement premises, and the usual endless sequence of meetings and argument. I also did a fair amount of work on the manuscript encoding proposals.

In March, I went to Wuerzburg for MAVAT5, with Jakob, Alan and Mike. The CTI organized a one day workshop on film and video at St Annes on the 17th. And the weekend meal of the decade occurred, as planned, at da Olga, 21-23 March, where Guy, Lilette and I celebrated our 150th birthday in style.

In April, I fitted in a fairly unsuccessful attempt to persuade a group of European linguists interested in creating a code-switching corpus that the TEI was for them. This took place on 9 April at Newcastle University as a curtain raiser to a conference on codeswitching, and was fairly unsuccessful: they'd already made their minds up. Undeterred, I zoomed off to Lodz for the first international conference on Practical Applications of Language Corpora which was much more fun (see visit report). I flew back home on the 13th, with just enough time to go home for some clean shirts, before leaving again for a ten day TEI workshop Guy had cunningly arranged for me to give in Forli from 14th to 23rd -- also a very enjoyable experience, and with much better food. I returned to Oxford in time for the official Launch of the HCU, which was very drunken.

In May, the HCU organized a one day seminar called Beyond the Library (16th), and both Claire and I went to Chester for ICAME (21-24). June began with Stuart, both Mikes and I going off to Canada for the ACH-ALLC conference at Kingston, Ont. I had to get there early for the TEI's Technical Review Committee meeting; they wanted to do some site seeing.

Back in Oxford, the IT Support Staff conference occurred at St Cats on the 26th, and there was a very good party to say goodbye to Linda Hayes on the 27th, where various figures from the past turned up to get drunk in good company. At the end of the month, Lilette and I cashed in some airmiles and had a pleasant weekend in Amsterdam to pre-celebrate her birthday.

July was a heavy month, beginning with the first Text Encoding Summer School (9-11) (photographicaly immortalized by Primos Jakopin), after which I felt I deserved a fairly laid-back few days in Soria teaching a workshop on corpus linguistics. Mike P and I re-used some of the TESS material, first on a one day course for archivists, and then at the start of August on our first crack at the CSW SGML training courses. At the end of August we all headed off to Glasgow to get drunk again, this time ostensibly to celebrate STELLA's anniversary. I visited the Barrers and Princess Di snuffed it.

September was also fairly heavy duty: the DRH97 conference occurred 13-17th, preceded by the TEI Header Meeting, and followed by the TEI Steering Committee meeting (18-19), attended by Henry Thompson for a change. On the 20th we went to Leicester to move Sarah Daisy in, and then on to Nottingham to recover.

On October 4th Mike Popham got married, at last. Claudia from Chemnitz visited for a few days 13-16th and learned how to tag the Lampeter corpus properly. I visited my Mum on the 18th, before setting off to Kyoto to attend the EBTI conference, where I found myself unexpectedly lionized. At the end of the month, Stuart and I went to a somewhat sybaritic conference in Granada organized by the ACOHum network.

The beginning of November was dominated by news of Mario's illness, and by arranging for Lilette to go out to Malawi to see him, before he died on the 12th, which rather distracted my attention from enjoying the TEI's 10th anniversary conference at Brown, 13th-17th as much as I might have. I was co-author of three of the papers presented, and the HCU made a striking contribution. On the 24th, Claire and I went to Brighton to visit Adam Kilgariff and discuss the prospects for the BLINK project. Peter Pope and his new woman visited at the end of the month.

December was dominated by parties: on the 6th Belinda and I had a joint 75th, and on the 18th, the HCU organized an amazing Xmas ball for OUCS. I visited Lancaster 12-14th for the PELCRA workshop, at which I tried to impress the BNC approach to encoding on the poles. And the very first copy of the BNC Handbook appeared on my desk on 19 December.