July, 2021




June was the month of mid-summer. Still, in England, it was the usual white/grey skies and rain!!


But, nature carries on. The birds have stopped singing now and their chicks are growing and fledging.



Flowers aglow in the garden and meadows:






Bees busy on flowers in my garden.






And, some spectacular sunsets and sunrises:





I escape to Cornwall for a few days and almost avoid the tourists and the G7 summit in Carbis Bay. Cliff walks and favourite prehistoric  landmarks:







I also join a group to study sun/ moon/ star alignments for various menhirs and stone circles:






Cornish hedgerows are alive with wild flowers.






In my garden, these little fellows pay a visit:






I also escape to Chesil beach and draw patterns with the beach pebbles:







Back home and I begin a new course on martial art self-defense: Wing Chun. Apparently, it was invented by Chinese women for self protection. It is therefore more close to the body work and hand based:





I had not seen it reported but I learn that one of my favourite writers Barry Lopez – had died – on Christmas day 2020:









Horizon fades from blue to black

with infinite tenderness

tonight. Yet even at full dusk a smear

of cobalt rings the tree line. Maybe

endless love await us. I know you believed

so, even as forests and rivers turned to fire,

libraries to ash. Now that you’re not here

to tend them, I see the lamps you lit for us.

Sometimes it is important to see the darkness,

you would say, to regard one another other,

and our trembling. Or on other nights, like

now: we must look up. How is this same

moon in my sky hanging over you these

small hours? Do you feel its comforts?

As you sleep through the final stretch

how badly I want you to know we have

the torches now, my friend, we’ll protect the flame,

while you are free to be the wind again.





On the artist – writer, musician, painter, poet, sculptor, craftsperson – Krishnamurti nails it:






Then words from Bhagavan Ramana later:






I also visit ‘the Refus Stone’. Oddly people travel to the New Forest especially to see it. However, even though I have lived here for about 30 years, and it is only about 5 miles from where I live, I had not visited it before.





Refus – 1200s – turns out to be a ‘bad man’ – and it is not really certain that this is indeed the spot where he was ‘accidentally’ killed by an arrow glancing off of a stag. Fun but underwhelming.




I watched Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Good – an early play about mixed up twins and mistaken identities. Very good.




Also, the amazing Samsara: a film of photography depicting time, circles/ circuits, nature, life, etc.





Book and CD wise, it is not often that a book changes the way we think. This one did for me.





I find myself ‘grooving’ to summer sounds – African, South American, Mediterranean French. So, what better than Georges Moustaki:






Then the first European Salif Keita record:





This was an early example of what happened when the digital studio guys in Paris got hold of African stars such as Keita, Baaba Maal, Yousou N’Dour, Thomas Mapfumo, etc.


Ah, I remember it well: 1987, I was just getting into what became known as ‘Global’ music – which basically means anywhere. WOMAD (https://womad.co.uk) had just found its best festival site in Reading. Everything seemed possible. Little did I know that, after some years teaching French and German in a secondary school in London, my life was about to irrevocably change:




On the music front, great to see Andy Kershaw again producing radio shows – now as a pod cast:






The very best in global sounds!!!