November, 2023


Autumn get a grip here:


Leaves in my garden:




And ominous skies around All Souls Eve:



So, Samhain: the darkness grows – we fear for light.




I have been continuing my investigation of the anniversary of the New Craftsman Gallery in St Ives: namely an exhibition at the Craft Centre of the University of Creativity in Farnham: there are some nice exhibits of recent artists work shown in St Ives:









I have also been following the work of Lizzie Black who is very prolific at the moment. She lives and work in Mousehole, and paints in a traditional, realist style somewhat reminiscent of styles going back to Stanhope Forbes:


Managed to watch all of the 8 episodes of Robert Hughes’ Shock of the New from the 1980s – and the Coda from 25 years later. An excellent account. Hughes has an amazing turn of phrase and way of delivering it. Highly recommended.



Ahhh, I catch Covid again: the usual 3 – 4 sequence of fatigue and lethargy:



Some nice ‘Get Well’ wishes:



The Interview I did on Bourdieu is now transcribed:




Some contemporary art from me:



A visit to Dorset, and some favourite haunts – Sherborne and it magnificent Abbey and Dorchester:




A favourite Craft shop:





My latest version of Blake, Gnosticism and Gnosis is now available – to go into print later next years. Here are the texts – in English and Spanish!

Grenfell, M. William Blake_ Gnosticism and Gnosis-5

Grenfell, M. William Blake_ el gnosticismo y la gnosis-3


My Ralph McTell book – Parallel Lives : the Biographies of Ralph McTell is also now available as a PDF e-book. Downloadable from Pomara Press for just 4.099 GBP:


Selling fast this month!


Here is a historic photo: the J G Bennett Dramatic Universe conference in Somerset, 2011:





I have been reading a Bibliography of William Blake this month – both of his work and what others have written about him. Edited by my old friend G E Bentley. Lots of fascination details:





The musical event of the month as we slip into November is a ‘new’ recording by The Beatles: Now and Then. Worked up from a Demo of John Lennon and backed by the 3 other Beatles, this piece finally saw the light of day thanks to technology that can clean up the sound and separate voice from instrument. Lots of discussion around ‘is it any good?’, ‘should it have been released?’, and ‘is there a clash of recording tonality across two centuries?’. All of which are irrelevant of course: it is the Beatles playing together again, albeit across time and space. The video too is emotive with a collage of the then and now. Paul McCartney periodically looking on wistfully – what was and might have been – and now. Finally, in black and white, the video takes us  back from Now through the different ages of the Beatles to them as children and then them stood at the end of one of their performance. They bow and then, as the go to stand straight fade away. With just The Beatles name left. An adieu – for sure.  Very emotional for anyone with any memory of the optimism and energy of the times, somewhat encapsulated in their music. And, Now…and now….?


October, 2023



I have been reading a book about Vichy France: this was the period after the defeat of the French army in the second world war – 1940.



This period has been a speciality of mine; at least the 1930s and 40s. I think it would be fair to say that there was enormous upheaval in the 1930s – socio-economically – with strikes and high unemployment in many European countries. This manifested itself, in France at least, as a crisis in the Republic – with many looking back to previous monarchistic, religious times as better than the ones they were experiencing. One also has to recognize that before the full horror of the Nazi Holocaust and the Stalinist Gulag, the alternatives of Fascism and Communism seemed like realistic solutions. Therefore, many French men and women welcomed it when Marshall Phillippe Pétain – a hero from the first world war – took over and negotiated an armistice with the German aggressors. France was divided into ‘occupied’ and ‘unoccupied’ areas and governance share accordingly with the Germans. The Republican principles of Liberté, Fraternité and Egalité were replaced with Famille, Travail, Patrie to acknowledge a return to traditional values and ways of life. Of course, things did not work out as hoped: the war worsened for the Germans and they became increasingly demanding: for Jews to be sent to Germany and Concentration Camps, and for French workers to be sent to Germans factories as a policy of STO (Service de Travail Obligatoire). General de Gaulle flew to London and called on the French to continue to resist. This is the background to this excellent book by Julian Jackson and it tells of the trial of Pétain after the war. Many so-called collaborators were imprisoned, some were even executed. The account details the prosecution and the defense. Which were…..? Well, Pétain certainly collaborated and he stood by as the Nazis increasingly insisted on control of deportations, etc. Still, he claimed that he bought France time, and even reduced the numbers deported. There is some evidence that it could have been worst without him and Vichy (the place of government). Yet others close to him were more overtly Fascist. The overall impression is of an old man (he was in his 80s) losing control of the situation. As I say, the horrors of the Nazis were not entirely known at the time, although they became increasingly so. There was not much he could do about it and went along with things. He was found guilty and sentenced to death – which was commuted to life imprisonment because of his age. Many, however, were on his side – the Church, and those critical of the Republic. Pétain was one of the latter in the 1930s, and obviously took advantage of the situation in 1940 to re-establish a more traditional set of values in France. But, the allies and with them De Gaulle won – the Germans lost, which left Pétain marooned. He spent his last years in semi-prison on an island off of the Normandy coast, but the temptation to rehabilitate him and to use the vision he had of a non-Republican France was taken up by many in the decades that followed. Even in the last Presidential elections in France, one candidate tried to rally behind the so-called heroism of Pétain. This did not quite catch on, but the forces underpinning these moves certainly remain.


On the intellectual front, a new interview with me about Pierre Bourdieu – in the light of my latest Metanoiabook:





I go down to Cornwall for the early days of autumn. Stormy skies:



But, some nice cliff walks. Cape Cornwall and Godrevy:











Down in Mousehole of course….







….and a meeting to commemorate the beach pool there. Someone has brought out a book on Beach pools of the world; this is where a pool is constructed to be replenished with water by the tides. There is one in Mousehole; constructed for the community and by the community. I join in the meeting as one who was there when it was first constructed; we children helped to clear the space of pebbles. Because of the ravages of the sea, it has had to be rebuilt several times since then.





I visit the old stone cross – the one that Ithell Colquhoun named her residence after. As a child I would climb on it.




Same door – me as a baby with my Grandmother – and now years later:





Then, on to Truro. The magnificent Cathedral:





I also visit the Museum there. Some exhibits concerning ancient customs. The Padstow Hobby Horse:






Also, an exhibition of waste objects washed up on beaches in Cornwall:






More walks involving menhirs. The famous Men-an-Tol:





And, a nearby standing stone:




Both approximately 4000 years old.


As always, old mine shafts are never far away:





There is a kind of anniversary exhibition of one of the St Ives Galleries – the New Craftsman. Founded by Janet Leach – wife of the famous potter Bernard Leach – in the 1950s, it has exhibited many of the leading St Ives artists since then:


Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham and Terry Frost:



Sandra Blow:




Bryan Pearce:



Matthew Lanyon:




Breon O’Casey:




 I take a special interest in some of the Churches that way. Morvah:





Oddly this church is dedicated to St Brigit of Sweden – hence the Swedish flag. The only one so named in the UK. Apparently, there was a cult of St Brigit in England in the C14. Now it is linked with an area she is identified with in Sweden – various gifts in the Church. It is quite a spare church. In fact, it was renovated in the C18. Before then, it had lost some of its wall and roof. Cattle grazed inside apparently!



St Just:



And, Sancreed Church looking very autumn like.



The coast too with approaching storms:





Penzance, and winter not far away now:




Revellers  in a restaurant giving onto the beach in St Ives:





I buy a Pumpkin for soup, roast, risotto, cake, etc. It IS that time of year.



The Summer is gone:










September, 2023



Summer Idyll   :   Northern Cyprus



So, to the airport and on my way via the Departure lounge:




And, arrive at the home of my friends. A warm welcome.




Soon we are off to explore the archeology of Cyprus. There is lots – everyone has invaded them at one time or another: Egyptians, Greece, Romans, the Genoese, French, Venetians, Ottomans, British.   But the archeology goes back 10 K years and includes Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages with dates not dissimilar to our own:




The Kolossi Castle where Richard the Lion Heart was married whilst there on Crusade:





And the Sanctuary of Apollo: now mostly Roman but predated by some centuries:






The Tombs of Kings near Pafos:





More museums to archaeology. Things are so well preserved:






Byzantine churches everywhere with magnificent wall paintings:




Magnificent countryside:



And, then to Famagusta – and its famous Othello castle. It is said that the real Othello on which the Shakespeare play was based lived here:




A strange part of Famagusta: several kilometers of coastal resort – the centre of the fashionable scene in the 1960s – Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren had houses there. The first 7 star hotel. And, then partition of North and South Cyprus in 1974. It is said the message was, ‘drop everything and run’. They did!! Leaving the place frozen in time. Most of its contents have been ransacked and everywhere nature is crawling back in. Even the construction cranes from 1974 are still there, together with shop signs, swimming pools, etc. Just held there like the Marie Celeste. Then, a few month back, a small part was opened again for visitors – under military surveillance though:




Lots of Pool activity from me:




Where I am staying:




But, a day’s work – examining and speaking with research students of the Cyprus International University:





Mosques also everywhere as part of the Islamitisation of Cyprus:




Some churches, in this case the Cathedral of Famagusta, have been converted into a mosque:



We go off track to hunt down an isolated monastery – a 700 year tree outside and still with the vestiges of wall paintings:






And, an exciting Boat trip in front of the Ghost town I referred to above:



Also, discover an old Knights Templar Church in Famagusta:



Then, a long trip to the Eastern most part of Cyprus. Donkeys on the way there had learnt how to stop traffic and ask for food.




There is then a monastery to the Apostle Saint Andrew. It is said that he was shipwrecked there. When he came ashore, he struck his staff into the ground and fresh water came for the.  And still does – I drank some.




Then the furthest East Point: Lands End. Marked by a carving:




Then, a magnificent Sculpture Park. I had never seen such a concentration of contemporary sculpture:






Then final days on my trip:





All the while reading Lindsay Clarke’s extraordinary The Water Theatre:








August, 2023


Well, after the sun of June, July has been a damp squib. This picture sums it up:






So, in keeping with memories of summers in England and the place I usually spent them as a child, a small photo gallery of my ancestral home – Mousehole. These photos take us on a 100 + journey: 1896, 1926, 1932, 1934, 1037, 1940, 1964, 1952, 1970, 2023:


















More internal photos another time.


For the moment, see the way it has changed from a living community to pretty much a holiday village.

I always felt it lost its soul when they removed the harbour crane – “for safety reasons”. It used to lower the baulk heads down to close the harbor mouth in the winter.

Mousehole became the focus for a child’s illustrated book and then cartoon – but its commercialization began long before that:



Lots of Guitar Craft activity and then a work day. The Spanish translation of my brief Introduction to the practice of GC – with the famous and original musician/ composer Ugo Adam:






His home, with the La Plata team sheltering from Winter. Bambina the dog – feline love.





Back home and driving around Bath – notice those clouds!!







My article on William Blake, John Cowper Powys and Gnosticism finally was published in the Powys Journal. This is a version of a talk I gave to the Powys Society in August 2022. They said they had never heard anything like it. I took that as a compliment. Really, it is an expansive gloss on 40 years of study.




Also some introspective reading.



Firstly, an original love of mine, Hermann Hesse and his three short stories of characters led by their hearts and the possible consequences.






Then a lovely book about the way composers have used Bird song on their compositions.







The most obvious example from another love, Delius:




Lots of various music this month, but coming back again and again to the muse of Andy Salvanos. I met him in Adelaide High Street one day and we talked guitars and things. He is a devotee to ‘the Stick’ – a very demanding instrument. One thing I know, once anyone falls for this instrument, there is no way back!!





July, 2023



Summer advances.





Seemingly as fast as this poppy loses its petals, we are into the second part of the year. I get up at take a photo through my window at the midsummer point:




But, summer is good in England and there are lots to do!!



I take a trip to Arundel to see one who I think is probably the best contemporary singer-song-writer in the UK, M G Boulter:



Fascinatingly, for me, he takes his hometown in Southend as a theme for ‘Clifftown’, the title of his last CD: songs of English seaside places out of season.





The gig is scheduled for the Victoria Institute. I make off early only to arrive in a building with all the characteristics of the Marie Celeste! Not a soul in sight.  One advantage is that Matt arrives around the same time and we strike up an instant connection.



Great show with beautiful songs – I recommend. We resolve to meet up again to continue the conversation.



Contemporary art in Salisbury Cathedral. Churches and Cathedrals have a habit these days of doing summer exhibitions: I love it. This one on the Theme of Freedom in a place with a copy of the Magna Carta.






Musica en Moviemiento kicked off its latest AAD: Assimilation and Application. 36 names on the list and an excellent Inaugural:





These are a sample of the guys suffering for their work!!!





My Brief Introduction to Guitar Craft for Pomera Press – just 23-signed copies – sold out. Although it is available as an E-book:



Amazingly – to me – a Spanish copy has also been produced: thanks to Pablo Mandel and Pablo Ferraioli:



20 copies of this also sold out although an E-nook is available.



I have been preparing a text for Pomera on Blake and Gnosticism.



It looks to unpack and explore such images as:







Some relevant images from Blake by association:



By coincidence, I also find an old edition of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience




Off to London – for the first time since the pandemic!!!!



I take in the concert by Peter Gabriel. Of course, a great visual show but less ‘circus’ than the past. A few favourites but 11 new songs from the i/o album he has been releasing song by song at the time of each Full Moon this year. The first new songs for some 20 years (barring an occasional commission). Peter is in introspective mood and a contemporary artist highlighted each piece. The themes covered many of the pressing issues of the conjuncture.




But, in this day of mass communication, you can hear the concert yourself – in its entirety:




Onto the Globe – a full size reproduction of Shakespeare’s theatre on the South Bank in London – for a production of Comedy of Errors. Light and funny maybe, but some research showed the text was not just about mistaken identity and romance, but actually commerce: the point in time when everything became commodified/ capitalized. This implied and entire different relationship between objects and the subject – honour and time. From now on, everything would have monetary value – even cultural capital – a calculating ethos of surplus value. Basically, something for nothing. No wonder we are in a mess.



Then, off to the Tate to see the exhibition on Hilma af Klimt: a fascinating ‘spiritual’ painter from the end of C19 and beginning of C20. Actually, I have seen her work before but it is no less bewildering this time – and clearly had a definite vernacular for her. She was part of a female, spiritualist group I was looking to research: including Georgiana Houghton, Klimt, Ithell Colquhoun, Leonora Carrington – and perhaps Dorothea Tanning. That project is in the ‘to do’ drawer.




The curator mixed the expo with Piet Mondrian: not terribly successfully in my view!!







I have been reading Bourdieu on Democracy: a topic often quoted – ‘the will of the people’ etc. – but seldom understood.




I have also been advancing my Enneagram knowledge with the latest from Anthony Hodgson:




Two books of Journals from the English author John Fowles (1926-2005). He was a very successful writer in the 1960, with a series of best sellers. Probably, his most enigmatic book was The Magus. However, The French Lieutenant’s Woman is by far his best. Here, it sets a contemporary existential story in Victorians times: how social impulses and personal decisions are intertwined. He does this through a series of literary devices, like having different endings, to show the consequences of decision and how, on occasion, a whole new world rests of it.






In the Journals – kind of Confessions – Fowles comes over as depressive and techy, although he was a warmer man personally than is often portrayed here. His Journals also give a fair account both of the history of the times and the literary generation of this post-war epoch.


For summer listening I have been listening to Andy Fairweather Low. Those who only know him for this….


….are in for a treat (excellent pop from the 60s though this was). And, his later work is a fine crafted mixture of jazz, blues, skiffle, etc.




The summer:





Metanoia still haunts this year:

‘In Classical Greek, metanoia meant changing one’s mind about something or Someone. When personified, Metanoia was depicted as a shadowy goddess, cloaked and sorrowful, who accompanied Kairos, the god of Opportunity, sowing regret and inspiring repentance for the ‘missed moment’. This conventional portrayal continued through the Renaissance. The elements of repentance, regret, reflection and transformation are always present in the concept of metanoia to some degree…’’

















June, 2023



May/ June tend to be my favourite time of year: there is so much energy around in these months – flowers blooming, birds nest-building and singing, fresh spring green, long light evenings.




Some signs of life around and about here:







In my garden, the poppies come out: they are literally ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ – and when they stop flowering, one waits a further year for them to come again!!!



I also make it to Cornwall. Great sunsets at Lands End:





I do a tour of some pre-historic sites:


Courtyard round houses – about 2000 years old:





Barrows and standing stones – about 3500 years old:





Quoits – the oldest of the lot – 5000 years old.





Curiously, we know almost nothing of the cultures, which gave rise to these constructions – save some seem to be on Moon/ Sun/ Season orientations. One must remember the sky was very intimate to them – they did not know that stars were billions of light years away. One might also think that they had better things to do than heap huge stones into such constructions – like living and eating – but apparently not. These things were important to them.


Beautiful Spring flowers everywhere:





I also visit the Lizard – the most southerly place in England – amazing colours here. 





There is a exhibition at the Penlee of Lamorna artists: and not the usual Lamorna Birch, Law, etc. paintings. For example, Marlow Moss (a fascinating painter) and Ithell Colquhoun:


– check out my article about the latter:



Some nice craft jewelleries from Ella Napier – a significant figure in the community:



A visit to my home village of Mousehole, of course:






Finally, some more beautiful views in one of my favourite places – Gwithian:





The beginning of the month saw the Coronation of the new monarch: King Charles III:





Quite a sight. I was not particularly interested, but then began watching and was absorbed. One notices all sorts of things that were not anticipated: like the only time Charles smiled was when the Gospel group sang.

I am not a monarchist. But, there seems a curious logic in having a Crown who both has ultimate power and no power. This is where logic breaks down: in theory, an elected president would be preferable, but the latter do not have a great reputation – many autocratic and dictatorial presidents in the world. Almost as if we are not yet developed enough to accept the responsibility of democracy.




Very good new production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing on National Theatre at home:





I have been reading On the Origen of Time : by Thomas Hertog. An amazing account ‘the history of time’. Hertog worked with Stephen Hawkings and presents their latest thinking before the latter died. Curious concepts: the universe began minutely small and fantastically hot. There was no ‘beginning’ as such since time and space were the same. After the beginning the universe expanded fast but then slowed down and then expanded fast again. No-one knows why it slowed down but the cosmoses we know – including the earth’s – would not exist if it had not. One would think something projected out would slow down but actually the universe is expanding fast. But, it is space that is expanding not the speed of the objects in it!! Time as we experience it does not exist.





Music from Jasdeep Singh Degun:




I do not normally like ‘fusion music’, but this collaboration between a classical Indian sitar player and a group of classical musicians is very good:






Reading Special



Lots of literary works and postings this month:




Guitar Craft Book


My Deluxe version of the GC was published. Just 23 signed and numbered copies : almost all are now sold.



This book was a venture of the Pomera Press project I have been involved with:



The idea is to work outside of the commercial mainstream. After 25 books with commercial publishers, I have a need to work according to my own values. One of those is transparency. In this interests of this, I can say that production costs for this book were 3500 GBP and income was 1500. So, the challenge is how to be ‘non-profit’ without being a ‘charity’?




Conformist/ Non-Conformist Reponses to the Crisis in French Catholicism




I have always been interested in the way ideas shape society and are shaped by it.


Here is my study of the way French intellectuals responded to the ‘crisis’ in French Catholicism. France was always an avowedly Catholic country, partly as a result of its traditional, rural population.


However, from the C18 and C19 centuries, there was creeping, and then accelerating, secularization – what they called ’dechristianisation’. Invariably, this went with urbanization: the move from country to town and the destruction of traditional social structures, and with this beliefs.


This study sets out the situation; tracks the response of the Church to it – in the form of a series of ‘missions’ and Christian groups, and then the so-called ‘non-conformists’ of the 1930s. The latter responded both to the processes of secularization and what to do about it, and also flirted with alternatives to American Capitalism: Communism and Fascism.


Many projected a position of ‘Ni droite, ni gauche’, politically (neither right, nor left’. They were also ‘revolutionary’ – but of the spirit. A common theme was ‘ L’épanouissement de la personne’ – literally, ‘the blossoming of the person’ – or soul. How to bring this about through a range of social movements is also included in the study – like the ‘Peuple et Culture’ group who set about  developing a series of adult education (educationpermanente) groups to develop the cultural dimensions of French citizens (reading, photography, tourism, art, music, etc.) These were the precursors of the ‘Maisons de la Culture’ of the early 5th Republic.


There is also an account of the “Prêtres ouvriers’, where ‘worker priests were employed in factories to animate religious aspects of work life; offering Mass during the lunch breaks, etc.


See here:


See also chapters 3 and 4 of my book: Bourdieu’s Metanoia (2023 Routledge).





The Linguistic Corpus of Orléans: A Bourdieusian Analysis



In memory with gratitude to my friend and mentor Michel Blanc



I began my studies in Applied Linguistics with little or no intention to continue my work with the social philosophy of Pierre Bourdieu. However, it once again became immediately obvious that Bourdieu’s thinking about language was so much ahead of what was taken as orthodox linguistic study. His critique of Chomskyan transformational grammar was a case in point: a theory in search of a practice, or the study of something that simply did not exist. More on all this here:





Which is how I was confronted with a cupboard with hundreds of real-to-reel tapes in it at the University of London. They originated from a Sociolinguistic corpus that had been collected in Orléans, France in 1969. This had been a major undertaking, supported by large amounts of State sponsorship. The planning team had included Bourdieu and my then lecturer and mentor Michel Blanc. Various questionnaires (Sociolinguistic, Open-ended, and Close-ended) had been administered to a sample of 600 of the Orléans populace, of which 147 were finally also interviewed and recorded. The sample included individuals from across socio-economic categories, from manual and service workers industrial and commercial executives.  But, then, the recordings, etc. had more or less been left…



Details of my study are set out in the extracts that follow. There are many academic issues about the theory and practice of language, its variability, what is legitimate language within one context and another, and how social provenance affects all this. These are explored in the text from a Bourdieusian perspective.



I worked with a smaller sample of the corpus – about 20 individuals. My approach was first to analyse their responses to the sociolinguistic questionnaire: what they thought about ‘good’ speech, the use of dictionaries and fountain pens, who spoke best in the neighbourhood, etc. But, I also undertook various analyses of their actual language use: incidents of elisions and liaisons in their speech, syntax, cohesion and semantic formulations, etc. There was also some correlation across these various studies.


It was fascinating listening to what they had to say. The ‘events’ of Mai 1968 were only a year passed and they had all had plenty to say about them. One could also grasp a whole different relationship to language – say between a rich manual worker made good and a secretary. In this way, it was possible to show that language use does not always correlate with economic capital – cultural capital was the main influencing factor! Luckily, Michel had already done some work with another mentor of mine – Alex Mullineaux – in combining occupational and educational capital within the corpus. I used their work.


At one point, the respondents were asked how you make an omelet: theory, practice, and language.  I actually recorded these extracts and was intending to do a PhD on a study of the sociolinguistic variation within  – but that is a story……


I was lucky enough to be able to speak to Bourdieu about this work both as it was proceeding and the final results I came up with. At the time it was a unique study – left, like so many others – underdeveloped. The study was very labour intensive. I spent hours and hours listening to tapes, rewinding, listening again, transcribing, with a counter in hand. As Bourdieu often said to me, working with empirical data with his approach was ‘très coûteux’, Indeed!!!


I set my work against the whole sociolinguistic versus social psychology debate; also sociology of language itself; and writers exploring the ‘symbolic value of language’ (the original title of the research) – Sankoff, Thibaut, etc.


See here:






The Notebook of Kathryn Hulme


Kathryn Hulme (1990 – 1981) was an American novelist. She is best known for writing The Nun’s Story. However, she was also a student of Gurdjieff and a member of The Rope – the all-female Movements Group based in Paris.





I came across her Notebook on Gurdjieff’s ideas, which make for interesting reading:



May, 2023


Spring/ Autumn Odyssey:  


I say ‘Spring/ Autumn’ since I leave UK in the Spring and arrive in Argentina in the Autumn. Ostensibly to play guitar but – hmmm – quite a lot of eating and socialising as well, it seems!


Gurdjieff’s philosophy argues that there are three types of ‘spirit’ food : the food we eat, air, and impressions. It is only the last that deprives us of life. So, this is what (some of) my stay looked like:: 


Arrival – home and eating:







To the course:





Camp Chascomus: we are on to play.













The company I keep!!!:






My partner in crime – Luciano:



Luciano is a Master of the guitar – and Paella:





Post tour party:





Moved by the music:




Across the generation gap – me and Santino:













Transfiguration – or transubstantiation!!??



To Rosario:






Honouring the monument to the founding of the Argentinian flag:






My home in Chacras, Mendoza:




The Panama Club!!




Celebratory dinner with my friend Andres from Mendoza – a Master of the guitar – and food and drink!!



Then, a beautiful evening with the Master (mistress??!) dancer Valentina Fusari and her fine partner Jean-Pablo:



Ugos beautiful garden and I play with fire – literally. 







I fall in love with Ugo’s dog – Bambina:




Back to Buenos Aires and work with my Pomera Press partner:










But, yes, eating and drinking as well.





We launch the Guitar Craft Introduction I wrote:






Catching up with friends – ‘real’ musicians – in their studio – Kimono Studios, Buenos Aires.

 In this context, they are working with their Genesis tribute band Genetics. It sounded amazing to me – like this is complicated music and they have nailed it. They are hospitable and let us play their instruments. Claudio also explains some of the intricate tunings necessary to render this music – like Open F sharp which seem to have three top strings all tuned to F sharp. But, then it is played and a well known Genesis classic emerges.






Finally, leaving and back to the Business lounge:







While all of this was going on, there was not much time to actually ‘listen’ to music. However, you know how it is how a particular piece sticks in your mine: this time one of my favourites by Ralph Mctell:


sadly, I could not find a Live version of this. This version is recorded and so has (unnecessary) backing music and singers. But, that is the problem with people like Ralph: they are best just on their own, but it is a brave musician who record nothing but therm and their guitar for 40 years!! Interesting, the various records are kind of time capsules on style of the day.


Anyway, in this song Ralph captures what it is to be apart and connected: with all that we know and love but more – the distant indigenous spirits. One!



‘Coincidentally’ (my fiend Ken Lawton used to say that coincidence was when God wished to remain anonymous!!) I picked up and was reading another ‘travel book’, Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mechanics. I first read this in the 1970s when my Lecturer Rae Beaver recommended it. Rae was amongst the most influential teachers I have been lucky to have – he set me on a course I have traveled ever since. The book has two important themes for me: travel – leaving and arriving, the velocity of moving, our relationship to mechanical apparatus that propelled us, indeed all material objects; and a philosophical treatise on Quality. The latter is bewitching and beguiling and Pirsig brings the themes together in a brilliant fashion: the protagonist ‘sees’ the fundamental flaw in philosophy and asks THE question to his philosophy lecturer – an effort that results in the former having a complete breakdown. In this sense the book, a bit like Hesse’s Steppenwolf, is th account of someone’s recovery – but what is lost in that recovery. 



Pirsig only wrote two books: the second one – Lila – is all very good and essential reading. 








April, 2023




March was a month that continued Winter unabated.


Still spring struggled to break through in my garden.






Down to Cornwall for a trip:


First, a stop off for one of my favourite views: over ST Ives Bay.






As normal, I visit my home village of Mousehole. Hey, we even have a street named after us:





I meander around: the large granite stones on the pier.






When I was a child, used to stand on one of the rings they used to tie up boats. It made a ringing tone like a bell you could hear across the harbor. Much rusted, but the ring is still there, and so is the ringing!!





Then and Now photo: Then: a painting by Stanhope Forbes – that is my uncle William – the carpenter – in the front of the painting. Now: same scene today.




Wild skies here:






Back to St Ives and the Tate has all things Barbara Hepworth:








I go on a Dowsing trip to Gunwalloe. An unusual church: sited almost on the beach and with a separate Tower. The Tower is the node point of the Apollo and Athenian Energy lines.




I was pleased to see inside the tower. It has six bells operated by levers. Producing quite a sound!!




On the way back, I visit another favourite site: Temple Church – where once the Knights Templars had an Abbey.






More Dowsing, we look at the Cosmati Pavement in Westminster Abbey. Created in the C13 by the famous Roman family it has some 80.000 pieces. At its central point, the Monarch is always crowned – and so Charles will be next month!






I have been reading transcriptions of Sofia Ouspensky’s talks – more aphorism than talk, but no less insightful.






Listening to the quartets of Alfred Schnittke: another composer who, like Gorecki, suffered at the hands of the state for his approach to music and the values it transmitted.





Now off to ‘play’ with this bunch of reprobates:









March, 2023



Arriving back in the UK from South America was a shock to the system – one produced by a loss of +30 temperature!! It is easy for the body to go into catatonic shock.  Winter skies:





Imbolg came and went which signifies ‘the first stirrings of the light’. Such has been the case, and the light is getting stronger. Some flowers have raised their heads. But, it has remained cold, grey and damp for the most part:





Lots of internal/ house activity – too cold to go out. A brilliant new play by David Hare: Straight Line Crazy. Of course, it helped having Ralph Fiennes in the lead role – one of our best actors these days.






It tells the biographical story of Robert Moses, who was a key property developer in New York in the first half of the twentieth century. The title comes from his obsession to join any two points with a Freeway – no matter what they destroyed.

The undercurrent story is, however, more contemporary: the corrupt link between politics and commerce, how politicians manipulate, the nature of power, and the way populism is stoked for the advantage it gives to all of these.

Some excellent dialogues.

Peter Gabriel appeared with new songs – it has been 20 years since the last ones (apart from the odd film piece). It’s a very different looking Gabriel – now into his 70s.




The idea is that one song will be released at each Full Moon: how things have changed. Once upon a time, there would be a record/ CD release, which people bought. Now songs are released and gain income from the publicity they generate.  High expectations. Good then to see him developing new (less cluttered) sounds and songs with contemporary themes. The first two were:


Panopticon: (sic. Think about it) – about the universe of ‘information’ that now controls us.


The Court: a strange song with multiple rhythms. The theme here is ‘justice’ – or at least the lack of it for most – rather something for the rich.


I was once a big fan and will still follow what he is up to.

I am very aware that many of those that led us – that showed us the way – are beginning to drop over the precipice.


The book I have been engaging with is from  Sri Aurobindo:





A kind of taxonomy of Consciousness.




January/ February – Christmas Odyssey, 2023


I sent six weeks in South America/ Argentina from December – January. 


Impressions, they say, are food. I was well fed: