We all draw inspiration from women whose names make the headlines and whose stories are in the history books, but often our greatest inspiration comes from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, and friends.
Only people who live outside cities realize the size of them. London turns out to be huge; there are great swaths, vast panoramas, a whole diaspora I'd never imagined. The place I live in tends to be manageably small, a few familiar journeys and destinations.
I was proud my father spoke Arabic fluently - his father sent him to learn Arabic from a sheikh - and we had Arab friends. His task of understanding the Arabs - not only politics but poetry - was very important; he took it as a vocation.
Some of my academic friends think I've fallen from a very special grace.
If in any divination the Tenth Card should be a Court Card, it shews that the subject of the divination falls ultimately into the hands of a person represented by that card, and its end depends mainly on him.
On the rare occasions when I spend a night in Oxford, the keeping of the hours by the clock towers in New College, and Merton, and the great booming of Tom tolling 101 times at 9 pm at Christ Church are inextricably interwoven with memories and regrets and lost joys. The sound almost sends me mad, so intense are the feelings it evokes.
When I think about atheist friends, including my father, they seem to me like people who have no ear for music, or who have never been in love.
Watching a whole cluster of friends, and my own mother, die over quite a short space of time convinced me that purely materialist 'explanations' for our mysterious human existence simply won't do - on an intellectual level.
Measuring nuclear yield depends on multiple parameters - the location and number of instruments, the geology of the area, the location of the seismic station in relation to the test site.
Patriotism has no appeal to us; justice has. Party has no weight with us; principle has. Loyalty is meaningless; it depends on what one is loyal to.