Passing Time is a place where I can write about the things that interest, challenge and move me. Anything from 20th century history, literature, film and music, to politics and human rights, the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, football or Dr Who. Also on this site you can find links to two other blogs, neither of which is currently active, but which may still be of interest to some (Our Island Stories, and We’ve got five years).
I’m now retired after many years working in higher education administration, most recently for the University of Sheffield. I’m a part-time PhD student in the French department at Sheffield, doing research on the connections between W G Sebald and Michel Butor, and interrogating both writers’ representations of the city (Manchester in particular), their approaches to narrative and their musicality – and the unifying motif, the labyrinth, which finds its way into all of the texts I am studying. My research will from time to time find its way into this blog… I am very pleased to say that Butor’s novel L’Emploi du temps, long out of print in English translation, is republished by Pariah Press. Passing Time is out in May 2021.
I am a trustee of Inspiration for Life, a charity which supports lifelong learning and public understanding of science and raises funds for local cancer charities, and I blog about our work on our website.
I grew up in West Africa, an experience which has been hugely influential on me, and which can be evidenced not only in my enthusiastic support for Ghana’s national football team (in contrast to my often despairing loyalty to Nottingham Forest), but also in my interest in postcolonial African history and, because I lived in Northern Nigeria during the bloody preamble to the Civil War, in genocide and xenophobia wherever they manifest themselves.
I write here in a purely personal capacity. All views expressed are my own. I tweet as @cathannabel and can be found on Instagram as @annabel5637.