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Principal's Blog - Easter 4th Edition

Amidst the pressure of exams and dismal weather, it was good to see so many Southies in the Plaza (socially distanced, of course) to welcome the animals to college. Having grown up in Peeblesshire - where sheep outnumber human beings - I am familiar with their capacity to consume grass. In fact, they do it with such quiet and docile efficiency that I think we should employ a small flock every exam term. They are a lot less noisy than a lawn mower.
Goats in trees

Principal's Blog - Easter 3rd Edition

Lockdown is loosening. The changes are slow and cautious, but they are changes for the better and, if all goes well, they can mark the beginning of a return to real freedom. From Monday, it will be legal to eat inside a restaurant or drink in a pub or bar. Limited indoor social gatherings will be possible, including in college. Getting here has taken a lot longer than any of us expected, and it is important that we understand and follow the rules.
A picture of a straight road and some trees

Principal's Blog - Easter 2nd Edition

Forgive me for starting about eighteen miles south-east of Durham. To anyone interested in politics - and that should be all of us - what happened in Hartlepool on Thursday is of real significance. To a veteran observer, the constituency looked and felt like a Conservative gain from day one, but the scale of the victory and the extent of Labour's decline does lend added significance. It is amplified by the results in council elections elsewhere.
A picture of a sunset over the ocean

Principal's Blog - Easter 1st Edition

South College is busier than any time since the beginning of Michaelmas Term. More than 350 Southies are in residence, and I am sure I detected a sly smile on Oswald's normally inscrutable face this morning. He is always happy in Reception, not least because the company is excellent, but the attention of South College students flatters his ego.
A Picture of Jeremy Cook, Tim Luckhurst, Steven Beckett, and 2 students at the Matriculation Signing

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 10th Edition

Last term ended with mass lateral flow testing in the JCR. I had not expected to enjoy it so much. In fact, I had the chance to meet many Southies I had not met for weeks. It could have been a lot worse. However, as I prepared to celebrate Christmas, I really did hope and believe that this term would be better.
A picture of a hand putting a ballot in a box

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 9th Edition

I am still learning about weather in Durham, so what follows may provoke raucous laughter among those who know the city better. It suddenly feels like spring. There are rabbits in my garden again. The first frills of green are appearing on trees and bushes. Most delightfully, as I walked into the Pitcairn Building this morning, I could feel the very gentle warmth of the sun on my face. Granted, the wind soon made me regret that I had left my overcoat at home, but it was a lovely moment.
An image of the words International Women's Day

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 8th Edition

I am feeling optimistic. The reappearance of rabbits in my garden made a big difference. As a child, I enjoyed Richard Adams' Watership Down as much as my own children adore Harry Potter. So, any Southie who recognises the names Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig will grasp why leporine quadrupeds makes me smile. However, even the rabbits take second place to the prospect of a College Day and a Summer Ball.
A picture of grass

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 7th Edition

The Prime Minister has revealed his plans to ease Covid restrictions in England. I confess that I find it hard to get intensely excited that I may be permitted to meet a friend for coffee on 8 March - provided it is not raining and we can find a park bench.
A picture of a wavy rod sign

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 6th Edition

The pandemic has produced many surprises, few of them entirely pleasant, but this week our pandemic brought us pancakes, and for this I am very grateful. The socially distanced queue of Southies who waited patiently for their pancake was a delight to behold. The pancakes themselves brought additional revelations.
A picture of 3 pancakes with berries

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 5th Edition

I shall always remember the week beginning Sunday 7th February 2021 as the week of the Igloo. When Richard announced that he was planning to build a house out of snow, I did not realise the scale of his ambition.
A man standing on a house covered in snow

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 4th Edition

Your Principal has had an interesting week. On Thursday I learned that I have been appointed to the Editorial Board of The Conversation, the charitable media outlet that publishes news stories written by academic researchers. I have long been a fan this title that one admirer calls 'a crucial channel for academics seeking to share their research knowledge with the world'.
Logo for The Conversation journal

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 3rd Edition

My sincere thanks to Southies resident in College for your good conduct this past week. Keeping yourselves and our community safe during this pandemic imposes severe restrictions on our liberty. By complying with the rules, you set a fine example.
External shot of accommodation block