August 2019

Summer advancing on all fronts. Weather not so good which….is not good! I hear my first owl when out walking and then see a spider in my house. (Very) early signs of autumn.



Some quite grey days and, then when it is hot, it is very hot.



Harvesting happening all around me. Very near me is where an English meadow is prepared for making hay and returning wild flower seeds to the ground.



We also have an eclipse of the Moon – this is where the earth gets in between the sun and the moon and so projects a shadow onto it. For once, it is a clear night and so very visible for a few hours. Up to 60% coverage.






Otherwise, it is often very thundery – like this spectacular lightening storm one night:





Per chance, I find myself in Castlerigg stone circle. I highly significant place for me, and I have not been there for a while:





Apparently, it is approximately 4000 years old – it is certainly in a very prominent position. Despite there being around 1300 such circles in Great Britain and Brittany, no one seems to know who built them and why!!


I also get to Studland in Dorset to examine the rock colours and formations – a fascinating place.





Also, once the home of one of the Powys Brothers who interest me so much; namely, T F Powys:

But, that is a different story….


Art going takes in some remarkable work. Firstly, that of Frank Bowling – someone who has – until this retrospective – been overlooked in England for too long. Of course, it does not help that he has spent so much time in USA but, really, his large abstract painting are stunning:









The Duveen Galleries at the Tate were taken up with ‘Asset Strippers’ by Mike Nelson – really a collection of once used and now obsolete industrial machinery. Some of it I recognized, and it was a meditation on ingenuity and its fading in the light of progress – and thus mixed up with time, death and the beauty they now hold – in themselves:




The magnificent Cindy Sherman at the National Portrait Gallery with her incredible set-ups. It is amazing all of which she can convey simply by dressing up in period or site specific costume and presenting herself as at one with it:





Academically, I do an excellent conference – Ekphrasis – Inspired by Art– with a student/ colleague of mine (Lisa Koning). We focus on two feminine, surrealist painters: Ithell Colquhoun and Dorothea Tanning:






My piece on IC is here:


Whilst speaking about academic matters, here is an IntroductionI did on Bourdieu – with subtitles in Spanish:


I learn of the strange story of a possible ancestor:



Obviously, married life was not good for him and, when she left for another, he decided to take out an add stating he was was not liable for her actions/ debts.


Later in the month, I travel to Norway for a wedding on a farm. Surprisingly, the temperature is in the 30s – but a good time is had by all on the side of the Trondheim Fiord:






Of course, that far north is a very long day: it is hardly dark by midnight and is getting light again by 03.00 – so, about two hours of darkness. The actual sun sets at 22.30 and rises again around 04.00.

Of course, the opposite applies in the Winter! Still, a magical part of the world.


CD of the month – what else??!!




Interestingly, the actual CD has a rare use of the Duodecad, an integral part of Bennett’s Systematics:






My Book of the Month is the summer read of Andrew Miller, Now we shall be Entirely Free:





Quite a story this, taking in a returning soldier from the war with Napoleon in Spain in the C19 and his recovery which involves a trip to the Scottish islands and the encounter there with a ‘new age’ community of the day. He is pursued by a couple of others who seek revenge but really are looking to cover their own misdemeanors as soldiers. There is also romance and excursions into the ways of life of the day, ashore and at sea as well, and the personalities that surround the times – including advances in modern medicine. As a say, quite a read with a suitable climatic ending!!.