Two plus two equals four or more



I think I have posted about this before, but, as some of you may know, I am following a series of prompts on the wordpress site as a way of improving my blogging.

Today’s prompt was two plus two equals four. The aim is to write something inspired by the prompt, not about it. Co-incidentally, just after reading it I was looking at a piece of work by a Scandinavian student in which she talks about the Midgard serpent. This is the huge serpent called Jormungand which is so huge that it encircles the earth and grasps it own tail in its mouth. If it ever lets go the world will come to an end.

I include the Midgard serpent in my list of dragons for the project I have been writing about recently. I know it’s a snake, but, well, I like the story and it’s my project.

But the point of the post is that I have been wondering about the project and what we are going to do with it, and why I am devoting a lot of time to something which is not that CV-friendly, but which I enjoy very much but I feel guilty when I do something on it and not a more obviously useful topic and so on.

This feels like a little gift from the universe – a little bit of encouragement to keep going. So, this unknown person is helping me with my work, which is an interesting case of two plus two being more than four.

Happy New Year – and this blog revisited



I have been blogging now for quite a bit, and so to get a bit of a refresher, I have joined WordPress’s Blogging 101 tutorial group.  The first exercise was to introduce yourself and/or to refresh your ‘About’ page.  Just in case you are interested, here is my revised page.


My name is Ann Rippin.  I am a reader at the University of Bristol in the Department of Management.

My research is centred on the role of cloth in society.  This covers everything from how we organise to produce cloth to why we keep certain items of clothing, to how we form our identities through what we wear, to the importance of what I call Hestia crafts in women’s lives.  Hestia crafts are to do with creating a home, after the Greek goddess of home and hearth, Hestia.  There is very little to do with fabric that does not interest me.   And so, to me, it is perfectly natural that as part of my research, I create quilted and embroidered textiles about the companies I research or some of the themes that I am interested in such as organisational excess, or foundation narratives.   I have set up my blog for people who are interested in my work and want to follow my new pieces as they emerge.

My big project at the moment is about Laura Ashley.  This is partly for me to explore narrative approaches to work, but also for me to do a bit of homage to the woman who got so many quilters in this country started.  I am wrestling with whether I should include a photo of my first quilt, which is old and disgraceful, but which was made with some Laura Ashley fabric, which I bought in the 1980s in Cardiff, as well as some Liberty fabric.  Quilters will recognise this pattern!

I have also just taken over as the co-editor of Culture and Organization, which is a scholarly journal for people who study management.  Prior to that I was Chair of SCOS, the Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism ( which is a scholarly organisation of about 1000 members from all over the world, although mainly Northern Europe, dedicated to exploring the more interesting, unusual and provocative elements of business and management research.