May, 2021






We move into April – a month of cold – even snow – and warm days. Spring is advanced now and the birds and animals are busy.



Some walking and the contrasting skies and branches:







But, in my garden, the next flowers appear: Apple blossom and the Rosemary flowers (delicate blue).






Lots of nice bright Dandelions in my garden too so I make fritters with them and Wild Garlic which is also alive and kicking this time of year:







It has been a month of talks and symposia: Like the London Textile Fashion Museum. Another on how to make Soul Dough Bread. We seem to have reverted to be being home bound – everything comes to us. Like plays: this month’s viewing from the National Theatre was Julie – a modern re-write of Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’:








It did not really work. While Strindberg’s ephemeral and somewhat drenched in C19 decadence, the Julie in this version just came over as a spoilt brat. Sad, really, because the acting by the entire cast was first rate!







Busy with my Tai Chi: we complete the 32 Posture form very soon now. I love doing Tai Chi and Chi Gong:





There has been some relaxation of the Lockdown: not that it affects me much, but the Brits react in a characteristic manner!:








Some philosophical issues to investigate relating to the relationship between the particularity and the Whole ( pace Goethe):









Also, been working my way through Ramana Maharishi’s Forty Verses . Amazing expression of the potential of human consciousness and its implications:






The other book I have been working through is Jennifer Rampling’s scholarly account of the rise of Alchemy in Britain between the C13 and C17 – a revealing text indeed, which sets the scene for understanding why we think the way we do – by what was included and excluded in modern ways of interacting with the world:






Also, Edgar Morin’s reflections:









The man is now 100 years old and has always been there: his account refers to the 1930s, the Second World War, the Resistance (he was an active member), and the history of post war France. He knew everyone!!!!

He made me smile: he said he met Bourdieu who was warm to him but then attacked him at the conference. I think the difference is that Bourdieu had an epistemological vision that he developed in a range of subject contexts, whilst Morin developed a different view of everything he considered. A prolific writer and TV intellectual. Just the sort Bourdieu detested but his reflections of the change in France are both personal and invoke the spirit of the times.



Lots and lots of music and from some unusual sources. First, I discover the lovely Catalonian music of Marina Rossell – certainly something to get one in the sunny mood:







Then some lovely pieces from the Armenian musician Art Tuncboyaciyan:





As a follow-up to our work on the MeM AAD course, this from friend and associate Ugo Adam produced with band members – also friends and associates. Stunning stuff.





The month was just coming to a close when a collaboration between Real World Records and the Music Department of the University of Oxford offered a Sensoround play back of a recording of the great Pakistani Sufi singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Known as the best Qawwali singer ever!!

The recording was from a WOMAD festival performance in Mersea Island in 1985 – and I was there!!! Hmmmm? 36 years ago!!!! And, what has changed since?







Sadly, Khan passed away some years back, but here is a sample of what one can expect from the CD of the same performance: