DAVID COBB – WORLD-MAN (R17)


David died on the 6th November 2020 aged 94 Shiki said that in order to write a haiku a good mental discipline to follow was to look down at the violet at your feet and then look up at the distant mountain. David’s version of this might have been to take infinite care of a […]

NOTHING (R17)


In the same dark corner where I found Living by Zen I discovered another book by DTSuzuki – Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism. Alan Watts did the introduction and wrote about the cultivation of intellectual silence when desirable ‘to be aware of whatever happens to be, without thinking about it, without forming words & symbols in […]

LIVING BY ZEN (R16)


  “What’s that you’re reading now?” said Euphemia.“It’s called Living by Zen by DT Suzuki.”“It’s a bit late for that, isn’t it?” she said.I missed her point till it caught up with me a bit later. She meant that in my 84th year there wasn’t much time left to put whatever advice it might contain […]

THE BRIDGE BETWEEN (R14)


For the whole of 2020, I was reading the works of JBPriestley. I found that a familiar pattern in his novel writing went like this:- • First you imagine what’s going on ‘elsewhere’ • Then you endow it with something more wonderful than could ever be the case • Then you realise it couldn’t be […]

PLAGUETIME 19 PERSONAL SURVIVAL IN PLAGUETIME


‘We’re all in this together’ is a meaningless slogan invented by the Boss Class to make us think that we’re all suffering the hardship they impose on us to the same extent as they do – whether as a result of Austerity (a political ruse), getting out of the EU (an absurdity forced on half […]

Plaguetime 18: NOBODY EVER SAID ON THEIR DEATH BED, “I WISH I’D SPENT MORE TIME AT THE OFFICE…”


It seems that the benefits that are supposed to be had from ‘retirement’ – ‘the never-ending weekend’… ‘freedom and rest…after decades of hard work’ – are not to be thought of as inevitable. Poor health and ‘decline in cognitive functioning…’ seem to be associated with retirement, though not, of course, for everybody, according to Ross […]

PLAGUETIME 17 Slap-happy Painting


I’ve just finished reading JBPriestley’s book of small essays published in 1951 called Delight. It is truly full of delight. In her biography of JBP, Dulcie Gray wrote: ‘…Priestley was lucky to be writing at a time when essays were popular – he was one of the last great essayists…’ I was lucky enough to […]