Charlie Partridge

Charlie Partridge
BBC Radio Lincolnshire, England (on leave)
Knight-Wallace Fellow 2008
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tottered on: 14 March 2008
Temperature: 38 F
Ceiling: partly sunny
Ground: disappearing snow cover; frozen to ice
Wind: SW at 2 mph


paid advertisement



paid advertisement

TT AD

Huron River Watershed Council

The mission of the Council is to inspire attitudes, behaviors, and economies that protect, rehabilitate, and sustain the Huron River system.

Follow online the steady stream of our Huron River and watershed events, and we think you'll eventually find yourself joining us for one!

paid advertisement

TT AD

Old Town Tavern

In downtown Ann Arbor on the corner of Ashley and Liberty, Old Town Tavern features a casual, relaxed atmosphere, full menu specializing in homemade soups and sandwiches, Southwestern entrees, daily specials and the best burgers in Ann Arbor!

The Old Town is a great place to hear live music in Ann Arbor--every Sunday night from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Sunday Music at the Old Town features diverse local talent.

paid advertisement

TT AD

Roos Roast Coffee

John Roos roasts every batch of coffee by hand, and bags it up in a block-printed bag with his own hand-crafted designs. So inside and out, every bag is a work of art. If you want to buy coffee and get free bicycle delivery in Ann Arbor, John Roos is your man.

paid advertisement

TT AD

Books by Chance

Too many books?

We'll take'em all.
Sell what we can.
Send you a check.
And donate the rest.

Free pickup in Ann Arbor!

(734) 239-3172
info@booksbychance.com

CDs and DVDs Too!

www.booksbychance.com



TT with HD: Charlie Partridge


[Ed. note: As with all guests of the totter, any opinions expressed by Charlie Partridge are his alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer. To get an audio flavor of what Lincolnshire is like, listen to a BBC Radio Lincolnshire podcast.]

HD: Welcome to the teeter totter!

CP: Well, thank you. Or see-saw as I would call it.



HD: I was just going to say. [laugh] And when I was trying to figure out what to name this enterprise and what this enterprise was going to be about, I thought about an enterprise where people would come and just sing their favorite song. And it would be called See-Saw Songs. And then I thought, you know it would be hard enough to get people to climb aboard this contraption.

CP: [laugh]

HD: And to ask them to sing in addition to that, I mean I think that would probably make the bar too high. Shall we actually get some ...

CP: ... okay, some movement here ...

HD: ... some up-and-down movement going. Is this going to work for you?

CP: Yeah, it's fine!



HD: So, if I were to ask you to sing one of your favorite songs, would the Lincolnshire Poacher rank among them?

CP: 'when I was bound apprentice in famous Lincolnshire', that one?

HD: Right!

CP: ... 'full well I served my master for more than seven years.' 'Full well I served my master, dah dah dah dah daah Tis my delight ...'

HD: ... on a shiny night ...

CP: ... in the season of the year.' You know it?!

HD: Well, I looked it up on the internet, the magical internet, and you can find the tune and you can find the words. I found only a brief snippet of some English folk singer actually singing the words to the melody. So yeah, I've practiced it up and got to where I could do the first verse.

CP: It's a really good tune, actually.

HD: Yeah, you can imagine a group of people singing it.

CP: And you do. You will find, there are pubs in Lincoln where you could go, there would be a group of people ...

HD: ... who could sing it at the drop of a hat?

CP: Yeah, amongst the repertoire would be that. It's a bit cliched, really. It's almost become the official national anthem. I suppose that every kid will know it.

HD: Oh really, so it's something they teach in elementary schools?

CP: Yeah. It's one of those sort of folk songs that they'll teach.

HD: Well, the fact that in the space of a couple of hours of internet research, I could become acquainted with something that really is a fairly local aspect ...

CP: ... absolutely, yeah ...





HD: ... of another part the world certainly speaks to the topic they you are exploring here as a Knight-Wallace Fellow: What does 'local' mean in today's online world?

CP: Indeed! Because you've just proved it, haven't you! You've just been on the internet and you found it, you heard someone singing it. You know, I have my doubts as to the fullness of the interaction that you had. Because you're not there, you're not looking at people. You're not sitting on a see-saw--teeter totter, sorry. [laugh]

HD: [laugh]





CP: But the way that communities are coalescing around things is what fascinates me. Because, I'm sure you are aware of this, but broadcasters like me, we were of bit like the monasteries in the Middle Ages.

HD: How so?

CP: Well, in the Middle Ages, the monasteries had the keys to the kingdom, basically. They had everybody who could read and write. So if you wanted to get a book written you had to get a scribe to come along, and that scribe would have been a monk, ...

HD: ... ah!

CP: And it would have been 'he'. And he would have lived in a monastery somewhere and would have made you a copy of the book. And that's the only way information could be disseminated. And scroll foreword, you've got the printing press, which of course changed the monasteries, bye-bye scribes! But scroll foreword a few hundred years and you've got broadcasters, newspaper owners, and they own the keys to the kingdom, they are the people with the means of distribution. And now that ain't so, is it?

HD: No!

CP: You and I, Dave, could whip in there and get on your computer, blog something, and put it out there and it's published, it's distributed ...

HD: ... instantly.

CP: It's out there!

HD: Right, there's no editorial force that would require us to submit it to somebody else.

CP: I mean there are some legal constraints in terms of libel laws and things like that. It's interesting some U.S. people are using British libel laws, which are much stronger, to sue people they don't like. And that's happened a couple of times. I can't tell you the exact details, but there have been. And what they do is, on the grounds that someone has read it in England, therefore it is open to the English libel laws, which are a lot tougher than U.S. laws.

HD: Wow.

CP: And they say, so we will sue you in England, then. And we'll make lots of money!

HD: [laugh]

CP: And that happens. So it isn't a universal good. It can be a problem, as well. Hey, I'm moving downwards!

HD: Are you okay? Yeah, there's ice still on the ground.

CP: Right, okay, I'm with you. We don't own the means of distribution and production anymore--'we' being traditional broadcasters, traditional newspaper people. And I think that means a whole big change in the way that we look at stuff. That's what I'm looking at.



HD: So, are you taking a slate of courses? Or, are you working with particular faculty?

CP: I'm talking to a few professors in the communications department. Paddy Scannell is one, who has been very helpful. I'm reading lots of books. That's basically what I'm doing. I mean, folks like me don't get a chance to read books, so my four months in Michigan has been reading books, really.

HD: Wow, okay.

CP: They haven't all been books about community. I'm reading Shakespeare, I'm doing Linda Gregerson's Shakespeare course. Which is fantastic! Proof to me that university is wasted on 18-year olds!

HD: Oh, really?

CP: It should be people my age!

HD: [laugh]

CP: Because, we get it better.

HD: I'm sure there's a lot of truth to that.

CP: Well, you know I last studied Shakespeare when I did my English A-levels, which ...

HD: ... your?



CP: A-levels. That's sort of end of high school exams. It's what you do if you want to go to university. A-levels in English. So I did English A-levels, and part of that is Shakespeare, and it was wonderful! But really apart from going to the occasional play, I have not had a chance really to study it. And to be able to go back and sit in a lecture theater with someone like Professor Gregerson, who just loves the poetry, loves the words, loves the text, and really communicates that so well with her classes--that's a joy. So I have been doing that as well.

HD: So, do you find that simply having a British accent in a class like that gives you a bit of authority with respect the other students?

CP: Well I'm a bit older. I'm older than most of them, so that gives me authority! It perhaps does. It shouldn't be.

HD: You don't exploit it, though? [laugh]



CP: Not at all! But you see, you could argue that the language that Shakespeare spoke would have been closer to the way, say, that you speak than the way I speak. And I have read many articles that say that. To give you an example, 'gotten'.

HD: 'Gotten'?

CP: 'Gotten' is something that is archaic in my English, but you use it all the time. But it's in Shakespeare!

HD: Huh.

CP: And there's definitely evidence, particularly people, I believe, who live in the Appalachian Mountains in the United States, their accents are probably closer to how Shakespeare spoke than the modern-day English accent.

HD: Interesting.

CP: You see, I think that Americans are conditioned with actors like Patrick Stewart.

HD: Yes, he was here in Ann Arbor last year, I think, as a part of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

CP: I know! He's with the RSC, isn't he. So I missed that. So I've been doing Shakespeare and I've also taken Juan Cole's course on the modern Middle East and the history of. So I always believed that I was going to come here, and I was going to come here to a major, major university and take advantage of it. Part of what I'm doing is looking at community. But it's not the whole thing. We all want to be 18 again, don't we, really! And I know I can't be, but I can get into that kind of kid-in-a-candy-shop, Oh, I'll study that! kind of mode! And that's what I wanted to do.



HD: So other than the University of Michigan, had you heard anything about Ann Arbor? The reason I ask is that our local Visitors and Convention Bureau recently commissioned a study ...

CP: ... oh my!

HD: To investigate that. The results were not earth-shattering.

CP: I had never heard of Ann Arbor.

HD: Okay.

CP: And I'm pretty well informed! I think probably in the back of my mind I'd heard of the place called Ann Arbor, but you know, it a small place. I knew Detroit! I knew Michigan. Ann Arbor, no.



HD: You know when I said the word 'earth-shattering' just now I was reminded last night when I was looking at the Wikipedia article on Lincolnshire ...

CP: ... we had an earthquake!

HD: You had an earthquake two weeks ago! 5-point something on the Richter scale?

CP: 5.2!

HD: So have you talked to people who experienced it first hand?

CP: Well, I was there!

HD: Oh, you were actually there!

CP: Yeah, because I went home for spring break.

HD: Oh! Okay.

CP: So I was in bed, and I was woken up!

HD: Holy cow!

CP: [laugh] And--what time was it--it was five to one in the morning.

HD: Oh, man.

CP: So I'm in bed in my Lincolnshire village, a place called Welton, which is actually about ten miles away from the epicenter. The epicenter was in a town called Market Rasen. And it was weird because I'm a deep sleeper. I woke up and I thought there was a train going past the house--well, that's weird because there are no trains, there is no railway!

HD: [laugh]

CP: And I said to my wife, What's that!? And it was like somebody was in the house shaking the bed. Ornaments and things, you could hear them chinking. And she said--because she's of very matter of fact girl--she said, Oh, I think it's an earthquake. And I said, Oh! And we kind of laid there for a bit longer, and then it stopped. And then there were a couple of more tremors and then it stopped. And I thought, Well, I'd better get up and check that stuff is alright, have a look around. There didn't seem to be anything fallen over, checked on the kids, they were both asleep.

HD: They slept right through it?

CP: They slept through it.

HD: What age are they?

CP: 12 and 17. The 17-year-old thought something had happened ...

HD: ... thought maybe he had a weird dream, or?

CP: And the 12-year-old simply didn't get it at all. [laugh]

HD: Wow.

CP: So yeah, a proper earthquake. And I think it wasn't a shifting of the tectonic plates earthquake, not like San Andreas Fault. It's the effects of glaciation basically. Because the whole of the British Isles was under huge weight of ice 70,000 years ago and the land is still kind of recovering and regaining its previous shape. And so occasionally there's this kind of umphf, a kind of squeeze. And that was the earthquake.

HD: So was it the first one that you have experienced in your life time?

CP: Yeah, absolutely. Never anything like that before.

HD: So any structural damage at all to your house? Cracked plaster, or?

CP: Nothing like that. The were some churches around, older buildings, that lost little bits and pieces, but as far as we could tell, no. One guy in a place called Barnsley, which is about 60 miles away ...

HD: ... I read that a chimney fell on a guy, and broke his pelvis?

CP: Yeah. But that was it, I think. Yeah, the earthquake!



HD: Well, you came here on the bus, right?

CP: Yeah!

HD: Was it one of the new--they're like diesel-electric hybrids? Have you tried one of those out yet?

CP: It was just the bus. It must be a diesel. It's got a sign saying, Clean!

HD: Oh, okay.

CP: They're terrific. When did you get these buses? They're all new and nice.

HD: Well, the new diesel-electric ones are very recent--within the last two to three months I think. They cost something like a half million dollars apiece.



CP: They are terrific. And I mean that's something which I didn't think you would get in an American city is such good public transport. Public transport here is great and with a U of M card, it's free! Which is nice, wow, I like that!

HD: And even without that U of M card, it's only a dollar a ride. Which if you do the math on it, is pretty cheap.





CP: Yeah, yeah. So do you need a car--I mean I'm trying to exist without a car.

HD: And so far it's worked out you?

CP: I use Zipcars.

HD: Oh, do you!

CP: Do you know Zipcars?

HD: I know what they are. And actually back when there was some discussion about whether Zipcar was going to come and there were rumors floating around, my wife and I discussed that, you know, if they did come, then were going to get rid of our car. And then they did come and then suddenly reality set in, and when you look at what it would actually mean. If there were a Zipcar parking lot closer to us, it might make all the difference.

CP: I think they've got to move--they've got three in Ann Arbor. One is on Central, and there are a couple on North campus. And I think they're probably in the wrong place. They need some more on Central. I think the University's got to find someplace for them to park. And parking is at a premium, isn't it?

HD: Yeah, I think if they are able to use the University market to subsidize more Zipcar locations out in the community away from the University, that might make it more feasible for people like my wife and me, who are really quite amenable to the idea of getting rid of the car.

CP: A car is such a tyranny, isn't it? I mean when you look at the real cost of it, then a Zipcar at 8 dollars an hour is actually quite a bargain.



HD: So, in Lincolnshire one other thing so I read is that it is fairly sparsely populated? And as far as cars go, people have them but there's not are really robust network of improved roads?

CP: Lincolnshire is very--squeak! [Ed. note: CP is simply echoing the sound of the totter here.] Lincolnshire is very rural. It's big.

HD: Far-flung.

CP: Far-flung and the population are quite distributed, although the city of Lincoln is about the same size as Ann Arbor. Probably about the same size. They might be similar, actually. With a university etcetera, but anyway ...



HD: ... I would think that that would be a perfect sort of setting for radio as an organizing medium for community. I mean, delivering newspapers, say, out to the further reaches of the county seems like--I mean, does that happen in actual practice? Is there newspaper delivery service to the entire region?



CP: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. But you're right, radio is a good unifying factor. And people are quite proud to come from Lincolnshire, and so you have a radio station that calls itself BBC Radio Lincolnshire, then there's a kind of, Oooh, I must listen to that, because that's about where I am from! So there is a unifying factor, and people are intensely proud to come from Lincolnshire--to be a Yellowbelly, which is what people from Lincolnshire are called.

HD: I missed that in my background research!

CP: Ah, you missed that, did you!



HD: What is that a reference to? Because a yellow-belly, that is sort of a derogatory term, at least in American English.

CP: Well, it is, yes. Yellow-belly cowards! A Lincolnshire Yellowbelly is a person that comes from Lincolnshire. And that's so-called because the Lincolnshire regiment in the Napoleonic Wars, wore a yellow waistcoat, or yellow facings on their coats, and so their fellow troops, their comrades, wearing red coats or whatever, referred to them in sort of a derogatory fashion as yellow-bellies and they adopted that ...

HD: ... so they adopted the derogatory term for themselves as their own.

CP: Yeah, that's one theory. There are other theories. There is a sort of eel that lives in the Lincolnshire fens, which has a yellow belly, and that's another. And they grow mustard in parts of Lincolnshire. And if you're picking mustard, apparently, many years ago before ...

HD: ... you wiped your fingers on your ...

CP: ... and you would get yellow here.

HD: Huh! [laugh]

CP: [laugh] So three theories.

HD: I like the mustard theory.

CP: Yeah, I think that the Napoleonic one is probably the most likely. But anyway, so anyone from Lincolnshire is a Yellowbelly, and you're proud to be a Yellowbelly. And you can tap into that local pride, as well. And, of course, people from Lincolnshire feel left out because--on an American scale this might seems strange--but you're a fair way from London, you're 200 miles from London. There are no major means of communication through Lincolnshire, really. And it's a bit forgotten. And people take a perverse pride in being forgotten, and nobody really caring about them. Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure, but again, it is something that a radio station, you can use that, and you can have a sense of community. The radio station that I am with, we have a campaign which said basically, Proud to be a Yellowbelly. Radio Lincolnshire: Proud to be a Yellowbelly. Car stickers, bumper stickers: Proud to be a Yellowbelly. I've got one here, I'll send one to you.

HD: Okay!

CP: And you can stick it on your car, and no one will know what the hell you're talking about! [laugh]

HD: [laugh] So, you have been back once at least. Have you been back multiple times or just the once?

CP: Just the once. I only came here on the second of January. We went to Turkey--the Fellows went to Turkey--did you know about that?

HD: I think I heard some vague discussion about it.



CP: This is what's great about this program. We get to go to some interesting places, not just Ann Arbor ...

HD: ... Steve Edwards mentioned that in the fall they went to Brazil?

CP: No, Argentina.

HD: Argentina. Okay.

CP: And then we went to Istanbul and Ankara, just in February. And when we arrived in Instanbul, I'm thinking, Oh, great, Turkey! It will be spring! I won't have to wear my coat. It was snowing like a--it really was! They had three days of snow, they had snow plows, they had it stacked up everywhere.

HD: Is that typical?

CP: Well, the Turks that I spoke to said, you know, we get four seasons, we get a winter ...

HD: ... so they had snow plows.



CP: Oh yeah. But they were kind of going, Oooh, what are we going to do!? Not like here where there is a big fall of snow ...

HD: ... people complain but they're not surprised.

CP: Well, I think people deal with it really well here!

HD: Do you really?

CP: Oh, yeah! And they drive really well in it.

HD: Huh. [laugh]

CP: Five, six inches of snow that we had last week, that would have closed Lincolnshire down. You know, that would have been it. I went out for a meal, there were some friends, they were looking at the snow and they're saying, Well, yeah, that's okay we'll get by.



HD: You know I had an interesting experience with one of the other fellows just by random chance on Tuesday this week.

CP: Oh, right?

HD: I had my portable teeter totter over at a market that is going to be re-opening.

CP: I'll move down here, that's better, okay go on.

HD: So, I took the teeter totter inside the market.

CP: How do you transport this thing??

HD: On my bicycle trailer. It disassembles into a base and the main span. It's really no problem.

CP: Who's the most famous person you've had on your teeter totter?

HD: The most famous. I don't know, that would probably be a judgment call.

CP: Alright, okay.

HD: But anyway back to this on-location ride that I did earlier in the week. So we are teeter tottering away in front of the window, and this is a market that is re-opening under new ownership after being closed for a while. It was a very popular and well-loved market. I was teeter tottering with the new owner and people are stopping by, all kinds of people, just really excited that the market was going to be re-opening. And they would peek in the doors wanting to know what's going on, You're re-opening? Great! And this one guy stops by and he was really keen to know whether the new market was going to have coffee.

And he explained that they--he was there with his wife--they had just got the tail end of the old ownership in the fall and they were hoping that it would be re-opened in the spring before they left, because he said that they were just here for a year. And a little later on he said something like, Well, I'm a journalist, and I said, Hey, are you a Knight-Wallace Fellow?

CP: Wow, and he was surprised, right?

HD: I don't know if he was so surprised, but the guy's name was Miles.

CP: Oh, Miles Harvey!

HD: Yeah.

CP: Oh, well right, he's a fairly well-known author! He's written some really good books.

HD: So, had you heard of him before the Fellows program?

CP: No, I Googled him. [laugh]

HD: [laugh] I see. He's well known, he's on Google!



CP: Well, no, strangely, once I'd Googled him, I realized that I had read, or at least started to read, one of his books. And certainly I read a review of it--it's called The Island of Lost Maps--and it was reviewed in some of the English newspapers. It actually got slammed by the Guardian, for instance.

HD: Really? What did the Guardian slam it for?

CP: They didn't like it! The way it was put together ...

HD: ... the writing, or they didn't like the underlying research, or?

CP: They didn't like the way--they didn't like the writing, basically, I think. That's probably it. I do remember reading the review and thinking, That's a bit tough! I must read this book, because I think there must be something in it! I have yet to read the book, but I have promised Miles that I will read the book. So has he been on the see-saw, yet?

HD: Not, not yet.

CP: You're going to have to get him on because he's very good.

HD: I figure somebody who just randomly stops by while I'm doing and on-location ride that's a good enough excuse to lasso them ...

CP: Yeah, he's good.

HD: So in general, I mean, it's not like you guys have to hang out together, the Knight-Wallace Fellows, but I assume that some of you probably do? Is it sort of a friendly gang of folks?





CP: They are out of very friendly gang of folks. I find that the international scholars, we tend to stay together, because we haven't got families with us. So Telma Luzzani from Buenos Aires, and Ali Adeeb from Baghdad, and Ipek Yezdani from Istanbul, and myself, we tend to kind of stick together, really, and we go out to things together. And they are an incredibly social bunch. The Fellows won't allow you to be on your own. You know, What are you doing? Oh, let's go bowling!

HD: Have you been bowling here?

CP: Yeah!

HD: Where did to go? Do you remember the name of the place?

CP: It's out on Jackson.

HD: Yeah, oh, gosh, I've been out there, too.

CP: Strangely, there's Colonial Lanes, which is really close to where I live, and I would be very happy to go there, but they all go to this other place, because it's a dollar a game. After nine, a dollar a game.

HD: That's not bad.

CP: A good deal.

HD: So is that something you've done more than once then here in Ann Arbor?

CP: Oh yeah, I've been three or four times.

HD: And is this something you'd also do in Lincolnshire, or?





CP: Oh yeah, we've got bowling just like that. Lincolnshire has had strong American influences because of the USAF. There are a lot of air bases around Lincolnshire, a lot of Americans stationed in and around that area. And that has been 60 years, so there is a certain American influence. For instance, a lot of Boeing employees live and work in Lincoln and work on some of the planes. It's not unusual to hear an American accent. And apart from anything else, tourists would be very common. I'll give you an example. The day after 9-11, okay, the world is thinking, What does America think? What does an American think?

HD: So there were plenty of Americans roaming around you could just grab ...

CP: ... there were loads! Just went out into the center of Lincoln, which has a lovely ancient cathedral ...

HD: ... yeah, I've seen the webcam shot.

CP: Glorious!

HD: Yeah, that's a very cool webcam shot.



CP: And there were Americans there, so you're able to go up to them and say, Look, how you you feel? It all seemed a bit trite, actually. You know, when something like that happens, but actually ...

HD: ... when you say 'trite' you mean?

CP: Well, you know, the kind of journalistic question, which is, How do you feel? ...

HD: ... I feel horrible.

CP: Yeah, come on. You want to ask better questions. You know you need an open question, like you're asking me, to get people to open up. So, How do you feel? I think is journalistic shorthand almost. And you really need to ask more questions than that! [laugh]

HD: Or maybe just a prompt--okay, here's a microphone you can say anything you want about this topic.

CP: Well, that would be interesting. You would have to have a lot of time to do that. Journalists tend to be sent out by news editors who say, Right, I need this for the next bulletin.

HD: Right, exactly.

CP: So you've got thirty minutes, go and do it. So discursive interviews like this wouldn't work. There are places for them, obviously, but not in the news bulletins.

HD: Well, is there anything else that you wanted to talk about while we're on the totter, before we dismount?



CP: Well, I read somewhere that Ann Arbor is going to get trams. Did you read about that?

HD: This was the Michigan Daily article that showed up, I think it was yesterday or the day before? And then I guess there was also the Ann Arbor News piece about the study.

CP: Well, look, I just say: Get trams!!

HD: Okay!

CP: Because trams are great! And the other thing I'd say, since I have an opportunity to talk to an American ...

HD: ... yes, how do you feel?



CP: How do you feel? [laugh] I'd just like to say I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit that I have found in American people. Overwhelming generosity and openness, which is extraordinary. And I have loved it. I have absolutely loved it. I would like to come back here, actually. I'd like to come back here and to live here if I could do.

HD: Really?! So if we got trams?

CP: Yeah, trams would do it. Trams and a warmer winter maybe. Can you arrange that? A big dome over Ann Arbor.



HD: Well, you know global warming might arrange that for us, but. Yeah, with the the trams, you know I like street cars, too. I lived in Germany for year

CP: Ah, trams. They do trams.

HD: And the street cars, they glide. They are just so much better than buses. I mean, I like the buses here but sometimes when I get off of them I just feel like I've been really been put through the wringer. I mean, they vibrate. The newer ones are much much better, but the old ones that aren't the hybrid diesel-electrics, they'd just rattle your bones to the core.

CP: I think since Ann Arbor is the kind of place that it appears to me that cities should be, it's probably a template where you can actually do stuff, which can point to other cities, and point the way for other cities.

HD: Maybe so. I think the real question with the street cars, or the trams, is simply, How does it get paid for?

CP: Indeed. The old story. But I think unless we do something like that--and this is world-wide thing--we are not going to be sustainable. The way we are at the moment is not sustainable

HD: Not for very much longer, anyway.

CP: I'm speaking personally here, by the way ...[laugh]

HD: ... not on behalf of they BBC? [laugh]



CP: No, no, no. What we've done a lot here amongst the Fellows is talk about sustainable development, global warming, climate change and we had some really interesting, controversial speakers. But the jury isn't out anymore, the jury has returned.

HD: It seems to be. Except for--did you read this news story recently, I think I saw it on Yahoo! News, and I haven't been able to find it anywhere else--the guy who owns the Weather Channel is suing Al Gore for propagating the 'myth' of global warming.

CP: [laugh]

HD: On reflection, it could be that I saw it on the Onion somewhere and is just like a fake news story.

CP: It might be a joke. I hadn't heard that one. I have found the Michigan winter to be ...

HD: ... it's gotten to the point were the warmer weather really needs to click in.



CP: Yeah, I've enjoyed it, I've been skiing.

HD: You were up at Boyne Mountain, was that it?

CP: Yeah, I went up to Boyne.

HD: Was that a Fellows-sponsored event, or?

CP: No, no.

HD: Just a bunch of Fellows got together?



CP: Actually there were no Fellows, it was some British lads that I know, from--they work in the auto industry--and some of them are American citizens now. One of them I was in school with, strangely.

HD: This was just by random coincidence??

CP: Well, Facebook. [laugh]

HD: [laugh] So are you a member of the Fellows Facebook Group?

CP: No, I'm not, I should be on it, actually

HD: You should be.



CP: And that is something that we need to do, because I am a Fellow and I feel like that is something that will be with me always, and I've got friends all over the world now. So we need to keep in touch.

HD: Yet there's a guy I know down in Indiana University, physics professor, he was a Rhodes scholar, and he still keeps in touch with the group of people from the year he was a Rhodes scholar with them.

CP: Yeah, absolutely right.

HD: It probably a similar kind of experience.

CP: Yeah, I mean we won't become a sort shady global conspiracy type of group. We'll just be kind of a group of people who have all had a pretty interesting--in some cases life-defining--experience in Ann Arbor, and who want to stay together.

HD: Do you know if they have reunions of any kind? That would be a fantastic thing.

CP: I think they do have reunions. I think almost by definition the reunions will be people from the States, it would be difficult, though not impossible ...

HD: ... no, not impossible. Certainly the percentage of people who could just at the drop about hat to arrange travel ...

CP: ... I would love to think that in five years time I'll be back here with a bunch of guys, it would be lovely to see how they get on.

HD: If you do return to Ann Arbor ever, you know where there is a teeter totter where you can get yourself another ride!

CP: Absolutely, Dave, thank you!

HD: Listen, let's hop off.