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 […]

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 […]

PLAGUETIME 12


Five years ago I visited Simon Weir who still lives in Burley, Hampshire in the cottage where his father Peter Weir lived till he moved to Needs Ore, Beaulieu. Peter Weir was born in 1915 and I had written a personal account of his masterpiece The Island as a Centenary Celebration and which can be […]