Establishing digital at the heart of the University from IWMW 2016

I had a bit of a surprise this afternoon when I spoke with my sister Jenni on the phone.

“I saw that lecture you gave at the university, on YouTube,” she said.

“What lecture?”

Jenni sent me the link.

It turned out to be the one above, a talk given to the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) at John Moore’s University in Liverpool in 2016, on the eve of the infamous Brexit referendum.

There was an electricity outage at Lime Street station on the day we were meant to return to Scotland, so we hot footed it down to the Liverpool docks, hired a car and I drove back to Leuchars station where I’d parked my own car. Then I drove to Anstruther to place my vote firmly in the box that said: no I do not want to leave the EU.

Anyway, this was my talk, illustrated with a lot of LEGO-related slides.

Me playing a Christmas tree guitar by Mearso

Illustration of me dressed as a priest playing a Christmas tree guitar, by Kevin Mears
Illustration by Kevin Mears (@mearso)

Last week on my 195 metal CDs blog I reviewed Laibach—Volk Tour London CC Club (2007); I gave it 60%. It was my first introduction to the Slovakian band so it’s fair to say that I have not been a fan.

But I know someone who is: Kevin Mears.

I met Kevin at an Institutional Web Management Workshop conference a few years ago, and when our conversation inevitably turned to music Kevin asked if I’d heard of Laibach. I hadn’t. He recommended them. I listened to them and gave them 6/10.

So I fired off a tweet to Kevin and having asked if he’d like a free CD, dropped it in the post. Another random act of kindness clocked up I thought nothing more of it.

Until I received a package a few days later, which included a small Christmas card and a note from Kevin saying thanks and that he was including a wee something as a thank you present.

My first thought when I read that was: I really hope it’s one of his drawings. And to my delight it was. It was a portrait of me, in my clerical dog collar, playing a guitar in the shape of a Christmas tree! Like you do.

I think it’s brilliant! I’ll have to take this to my friend Phil to get framed when I’m next in St Andrews.

Thank you Kevin.