Today, I was at Ray’s Jazz Cafe to finish marking student essays. I can never mark essays at home since I tend to do other things and Ray’s Jazz on the first floor of Foyles Bookshop is one of my favourite places to hear free jazz concerts, sit at the tables with people I do not know but who love books. The latte is one of the best in London. During concerts, the whole place turns into a very very big cosy living room with people who seem to have come for a party…

Two middle age ladies sat at my table and asked me about the essays since they were English teachers and loved their job but hated marking. One said that rather than marking, she would order new books on Amazon. She said she was not only reading literature but also medicine, science, art, history…. Can you believe that after harrassing so much my friends about the importance of reading History of Natural Sciences (for us social scientists), I found, in this high school teacher, a perfect company to share my appetite for Joseph Banks, Royal Society, combination of poetry and science…I could see a pair of eyes shining when I mentioned the Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes… I think it would have been odd if I had asked her mobile number to meet up again.

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