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 […]