March, 2021



They say that February can be a wicked month. In the event, it proved so-so – but definitely temperamental. A mixture of everything of a bit of sun – LOTS – of rain, and then an icy spell towards the end.



But, nature knows better than that and Imbolg, Candlemass, or St Brigid’s Day came along around the 2ndFebruary, to duly signify that ‘the light’ was indeed growing. The skies in the morning were a celebration:





Also the birds and animals know it: lots of twitterings in the garden with a view to staking a territorial claim. Even, the local Tom cat seem to decide it was time to take a patrol of set feline boundaries.




A kind of quiet month with the pandemic lockdown dragging a bit. Although still very busy with various.




A Musica en Moviemiento event and a Kitchen Craft challenge to prepare tapas and a dessert.







Also, Shrove Tuesday, so a good excuse to make pancakes by another name:






Culture wise, one of the standout pieces was Adam Curtis’ Can’t Get You Out of Mm Head: an extraordinary watch of getting on 8 hours of film: available on BBC I-Player for a year if attainable where you are. Striking images and music (Robert Da Naja of Massive Attack was involved) and a strong narrative about the sorry state of the world. Much food for thought.






Also, some John Fahey activity: with Facebook, there is a real archiving thing going on turning up all manner of recordings, photos, reviews, publicity and the like. My own contribution – interview, performance recording, and publication is here:

I really must write-up the day I spent with him – so much more than what I was able to get into the article.







I also found myself doing quite a bit of work on the Enneagram: a topic that matures and comes more and more alive for me as the years go by:






CD wise, I very much enjoyed John Wilson’s recording of ‘English’ strings. He does not go for the obvious – Elgar, Vaughan-Williams, Holst – but still missed opportunities. No Bernard Stevens, for example, so a great composer still overlooked.

I have Wilson’s equivalent with ‘French’ strings – I think I prefer that one! Being a Francophile….





I also very much enjoyed Francesco Corti’s Little Books: J S Bach. Nice to return to solo harpsichord music. Thankfully, recordings are now able to be in a way faithful to the tonality of this instrument. Before, it could be shrill, but is mellow now. 




The month’s reading has been dominated with Michel de Montaigne’s Essais – extraordinary homilies on all matter of life subjects: domestic, of love, politics, and life and death itself…

Lovely reading these again:






In a similar mood I went back to a favourite Catholic theologian – very important for me at one point, and his explorations of a kind of spiritual existentialism are always illuminating…