April 2017

Well, I am not sure whether we had March winds, but I am sure that the last month signaled the real move from Winter to Spring.  The Spring Equinox on the 20th suitably marked the balance of half day and half night – and marching. The clocks then when forward which translated as longer light in the evening.




I began to study astrology in more depth – not the stuff you get in the newspapers, but the real planetary alignments at the time of one’s birth and how the planets affect one. Rather surprisingly, I found the information quite accurate!  More work on this in the future.




I went to see the ‘comedian’ Stewart Lee. I say the ‘comedian’ because, despite the fact that he refers to himself as a clown, he does not really tell jokes as such. More sort of chats.  Pretty clever though with some in-depth observation – and from several perspectives. At any one time, he might have 4-5 levels of reflexivity happening. Very clever. The crowd loved it.





For only the second time in my life, I went on a demonstration/ march. This was against Brexit – that is the UK leaving the European Union. Of course, Europe has featured in most of my adult life – both personal and professional: lots of travel, European ideals, joint projects. It seems inconceivable to walk away from this – there is still a sense that it might not happen. Well, amongst the ‘remainders’. Of course, we are derided as the ‘liberal elite’. Whatever way it goes, it is clear that with one thing and another, we really are entering a new era.




Art wise, I went to see the Australian Impressionists – yes, there are some! These are the painters Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder and John Russell. They took the ‘impressionist’ style that developed in France from the middle of the eighteenth century and applied it to Australian subjects – mostly landscapes. So, they painted from the last part of the C18th into the C20th. Very good!




 Book of the month:





This is a discussion of The Four Zoas – or Vala – by the poet William Blake, who I have studies and had a very close attachment to most of my life. Interestingly, the Zoas somewhat anticipate the archetypes that the psychologist Carl Jung came up with. Blake struggled with this poem\/ prophesy for some years, even re-writing various whole sections. He then abandoned it and gave it away – never had it engraved/ printed. There are some fine passage in it – well known ones: 

‘What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the wither’d field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer’s sun
And in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the homeless wanderer
To listen to the hungry raven’s cry in wintry season
When the red blood is fill’d with wine and with the marrow of lambs

It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughterhouse moan;
To see a god on every wind and a blessing on every blast
To hear sounds of love in the thunderstorm that destroys our enemies’ house;
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field and the sickness that cuts off his children
While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door and our children bring fruits and flowers

Then the groan and the dolour are quite forgotten and the slave grinding at the mill
And the captive in chains and the poor in the prison and the soldier in the field
When the shatter’d bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity: Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me.”