PLAGUETIME 8


ON ‘THE ESSAY’ Why do I call these posts ‘globs’? Because I wish to dissociate myself from the word ‘blogs’ – they are essays – but that’s a word distinctly out of fashion… From September1968, at the beginning of my time of being what’s called a ‘teacher’, I taught briefly (though it seemed like forever) […]

PLAGUETIME 6


META-I : TIME-LINES & WRITING HUTS This afternoon (28th May 2020) one of my ‘I’s suddenly had the idea that perhaps Meta-I could step outside of tick-tock time. It had been reading JBPriestley’s account in Midnight on the Desert (1937) of the moment in America when he chanced to find in a secondhand bookshop a […]

THE HUMAN PREDICAMENT


Early on in The Fox in the Attic Richard Hughes steps aside from his narrative to consider how the experience of the First World War played on the consciousness of those who were alive at the time. I understand this completely: reviewing my own war-time experience at the age of 3 to 8 (!) I […]

MORE OF HILAIRE BELLOC


I continue my exploration of the work of Hilaire Belloc in a determined effort to discover why, since many of his beliefs are so inimical to me, he continues to have a very special place in my intellectual life. He would no doubt have defined me as somebody possessed of a ‘…one-legged, knock-kneed, gimcrack, purblind, […]

AN ENCOUNTER WITH FLOW


I sent a good friend a copy of my Room Twelve. He thanked me for it and said, ‘I already dipped in – and it is as WONDERFUL as all the others…’ He asked, ‘How do you do it?’ while suggesting that it was a silly, unworthy and unanswerable question… HOW DO I DO IT? […]

IT ALL DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN BY…


Sometime in the 1940’s somehow I stumbled upon a radio programme called The Brains Trust. I think my mother perhaps used to listen to it. This must have been before 1948 because I was upset by media enthusiasm when, on 12th April 1948, Professor CEM Joad (1891-1953), a key figure in the programme, was convicted […]

I was Practising Flying


when I suddenly forgot to flap my arms sufficiently vigorously and finished up at the bottom of a flight of stairs with what turned out to be two broken ribs. They were somewhat painful. In hospital in the middle of the night, after oral morphine had settled me down a good deal, I was suddenly […]

STORIES (R12+)


(For Laurie & Pat & Patrick & Tom & Ed & All…) Life’s a Story We Tell Ourselves One of the stories I tell myself is that it’s always time to begin again, like Mr Polly. Last night (3rd May 2014) for the umpteenth time I watched the old b&w, entirely gimmickless, film The History […]