Reading Jefferies (R20)


Reading a few books for the first time, but mostly re-reading with new eyes what’s been on my shelves for many years, I’ve been struck by the drift of Jefferies’ way of putting things together, his cast of mind, notably his way of making contrasts between this & that: in essays, reportage and novels (where […]

Beach’s Bookshop by Alan Clarke


On the corner of the High Street and Crane Bridge Street stands an old timbered building.  For many decades this used to be Beach’s Bookshop.  It had an incredible range of old books.  Mr Beach would even buy school text books and put them out for sale.  There are quite a few images of the […]

AND THEN CONSCIOUSNESS (R18)


Having hunted through the tons of files in my computer as I sometimes do, I seem to have addressed the issue of ‘consciousness’ many times for one purpose or another. My renewed enthusiasm for pursuing the subject of ‘consciousness’ has been stimulated by finding the writing of haiku dumbed down by the popularity in some […]

THERE I WAS (R18)


There I was dawdling through Sunday After the War (1944) by Henry Miller (1891-1980), various autobiographical writings randomly put together, when I was suddenly reminded of his connection with Gurdjieff. He had returned from Europe after ten years away from home which he finds greatly changed and spends a good deal of time in tears. […]

GO INTO THE ARTS (R15)


In this time of plague we constantly hear from the profiteering Power Possessors how everything must be done to ‘save the economy’, including opening the schools and sending children back into what could still be a dangerous environment. Though I’m fairly convinced that sending them back is probably just so their parents, instead of having […]

READING IN A TIME OF PLAGUE (R18)


It is suggested that one result of Lockdown is that people are reading books. Wow! They haven’t been doing that? In the last three months I’ve had my habitual average read for the last 60 years – 15 quite demanding books. I have been described as a ‘chain reader’. Having completed my third or fourth […]

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 […]