I write a monthly blog to cover the things I have been involved with, events, and the sorts of things that have passed my way: art, music, theatre, books, etc. It has also evolved into a diary of the changing seasons…

What has been happening in my corner of the globe!

July, 2022



June was not exactly a washout, but it was not exactly scintillating either. A bit of sun but a lot of cold and rain.



Still nature moves on: the leverets are out and the birds have stopped singing – mostly. Meaning, their rearing job is done.






The magnificent Lavender bush in my garden bursts forth!!






Cannot quite believe it, but there is a touch of autumn in the sky: the new moon announce ominous skies and there are signs of the turning of the year in the forest leaves turning yellow and the Rowen tree has its berries. Sadly, the Oak King has had his day and, from 10.13 am on the 22nd of June, the Holly King begins his ascent.












Meanwhile, the world is on fire. It is reminiscent of 1968 – and ‘Street Fighting Man’.


Almost everywhere, there is fighting and discontent. As well as ongoing wars in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere, Ecuador burst into street fighting and demonstrations – quickly followed by Libya. I have friends in these place – so, concern and prayers are very much with me these troubling days.






I do not normally write about Television – because I do not really follow it. I do not have a TV, but I do watch the occasional programme on my I-Pad. Two noticeable series this month:








Set in a Nottinghamshire town, it is based around a crime story. However, the background context is the tensions and conflicts within the community. These arose because of events in 1984 when there was a national miner’s strike. It went on a year. Key aspects of this was the fact that some miners carried on working – much to the anger of those on strike. Great violence was also shown towards the miners demonstrating: with police being brought up from London to confront them with shields and batons. In the end the strike was crushed and the miners went back to work; only to have their mines shut down by the government. The story in Sherwood is based around the animosity still existing in this town – partly true and partly fictional. But, the final telling messages are: firstly, the strike was partly engineered by the then Conservative government in order to divide the labour movement – which they succeeded in doing; secondly, the continued animosity continues this work – and is in effect activated by those involved; and finally, that communities are always stronger when they hold together. A important piece of work!–85)




The second piece was The Outlaws. Written by Stephen Merchant, who co wrote The Office with Ricky Gervais, it has a similar tone and is set in Merchant’s home city of Bristol, which is also my own!! It is a more comfortable watch than the Office, but still has a similar style – mixing comedy with some genuine issues of a personal and political nature of how we behave.








‘The outlaws’ are a mixed bunch all doing community work for various offences. Each character is a story in itself and adds up to an intriguing set of scenarios. Very good.




It being summer, it has been somewhat of a musical extravaganza. So, here goes:



Off to Glastonbury for their 50th anniversary festival. I have to confess to remembering the first one and seeing its various changes over the years: from an amateur – free – affair to the now multimillion business it is. However, it has retained its philanthropic principles, supporting CND, Greenpeace, and Climate issues.






A new painting by Peter Blake of Sgt Pepper cover fame of Michael Eavis – whose farm is used for the festival.






 In fact, it was his original idea. Somewhat odd, in a way, for a Quaker and chapel going Methodist. The festival now comes together as somewhat of a mini-town – 200, 000 people – with multiple stages and activities. It is possible to go there the entire weekend and still only see a fraction of what is on offer. However, there was only one place to be on the Saturday night: Paul McCartney on the main stage.






He opened with Can’t Buy Me Love and carried on for almost 3 more hours. This was a man with a point to make. So, besides all the Beatles’ favourites, there was a lot of middle period Wings pieces and songs from his most latest CDs. He did not even always play the best or most loved – a kind of way of pointing out that even the not so good is still pretty good!! The general effect was a kind of Macca revisionism with a lot of his back catalogue previously written off as twee and inconsequential now seen for its progressive experimatalism. A true phenomenon who shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 80 – a lesson for us all!!



Really, enjoyed this summer song by Paul Weller (of The Jam fame) and Suggs (of Madness fame) Oooh do U Fink UR:






Elsewhere, sinking into Gallic chanson from France, a country I am pining for:



Some great stuff from the B52s as well:




Also, listening to William Orbit talk about his new CD made me revisit his ‘Best of…’. A extraordinary musician with a robotic lyricism (I seem to have found my journalistic pen this month!!!).




Art wise, the splendid installations of Cornelia Parker at the Tate are a wonder:







I also read Digital Republic by Jamie Susskind, which is the first book I (for one) have come across which addresses the mess we have got ourselves into with the Internet and Social Media in terms of what possibly might be done about it.




We live in hope….

June, 2022






Moving through May and a real sense of moving from spring to summer; although, this being England, it is full of hiccups. Even so, spectacular skies.






Flowers in my garden as well. I have no idea where these came from: I did not plant them  ??!!







I make it to Cornwall again and some favorite haunts:




It is also a Pathways to the Past weekend – so, I visit some lesser known prehistoric sites – and some more familiar ones.








Also, spectacular views around Penberth Cove where they filmed the latest Poldark series.






A glimpse of what it is to sit on the beach at Mousehole:









I take possession of the John Fahey Handbook (2nd Edition now in one volume).




As one of the Foreword writers writes, this book sets the bar for all future popular archive collections. There is the fan, the hard core fan, the fan-writer at 6.5 or 7.3 on the Richter scale, and then the obsessively psychotic…….and then there is Claudio Guerrieri. Inclusivity is an understatement. This is the book that will tell you all the facts and figures: release dates, recording schedules, different versions, concert set lists, (unpublished) writings, tribute albums, etc., etc., etc. There are also anecdotes, stories, reports, accounts. Here, you will find piece descriptions; a breakdown of album notes such as those included with The Voice of the Turtle; who Knotts Berry Farm Molly was and what happened to her; all about Evil Devil Woman; who was Pat Sullivan; the sources for the Singing Bridge of Memphis; and the differences of eye coloration on the Turtle of the album of same name. And, much, much more. This is a tome to dip into, there are features on almost every page. Claudio has spoken to just about everyone who knew Fahey. They say much; they make it clear that there is so much more to say. And, I do also feature with my own little account of spending the day with Fahey. There on page 540 is the publication that came from it – more or less my first professional piece. I received 60.00 GBP for it. At last, my writing was considered ‘professional’. More details here: 


And, by the sort of coincidence you only get with Fahey, I come across this photo of him with his cat Lion.






Here is the piece Lion he composed as a kind of Requiem for the cat when it died:


So, we now have a biography, a film, an account of his writing, and this archive. For me, this latter is by far the best and a kind of empirical evidence of Fahey’s life and music – yet, still no-one has managed to pin down Fahey, to analyse and account for the elements that made up this genius of a man – the contradictions, philosophy, psychology and music…..




Up to the Tate for the magnificent paintings of Walter Sickert:







I hear this strange, eerie sound out in Forest:






It turns out to be the Nightjar.






A crepuscular bird pitching its song at various levels. It resides on the ground as it apparently lays its eggs on the earth. Well, I had never heard it before.






Readings of the month. More on the Enneagram:








The new one from Spiritualised:






Also, Drone Mass by Johann Johannson – sadly no longer with us. I saw him once in Dublin and he certainly conjures up emotive tones and images from piano, synths, photography and voice.  




April, 2022



March announced itself with further super gales, but we then settled into some nice spring weather. The birds are singing where I live and setting out their territories. Spring flowers too as the temperature in my office garden reached the 30s.




Time for enjoying the garden:




Oh dear, though, World War 3 erupted in the Ukraine. I described it as the first ‘post post-modern war’. Firstly, because it has no sense – even less than usual. Secondly, it is really a Civil war – these are the same people. Thirdly, it is partly being conducted through social media and there is a minute by minute account of its goings on – with all fake news and disinformation. Therefore: why? How? Echoes of Spain etc. in the 1930s. As Marx wrote, history repeats itself: the first time is tragedy, the second time is farce.




I catch up on some reading:







Lachman takes us though the history of Russia and the religious elements in its decisions:



He explains how Russia – around 800 – began in the Ukraine when the Pagan Slavs aligned themselves behind the Greek Orthodox Church and moved north to form Russia under Vladimir 1. The sense of religious mission – against a corrupt, liberal West – is then very much part of the plan, as well as all the military considerations (a place to control the Black Sea and site nuclear missiles). This is the first time Russia has not been an Empire and it is hurting – feeling it is not being respected. And Putin???!! Peter Gabriel’s Family Snapshot comes to mind:




This from a former Archbishop of Canterbury:










Time to brush up on my Kant and Perpetual Peace – something to be achieved through democracy.







In the C18, he writes:


‘ One cannot conceive of international rights as a right to war (since this would be a presumptive right to determine what is right, not according to universally valid external laws that restrict the freedom of every individual but rather means of violence, according to one-sided maxims); one would have to mean by it that it is perfectly just that people who are so disposed annihilate each other and thereby find perpetual peace in the vast grave that covers all the horrors of violence together with their perpetuators’. (p. 81)



Anyway, it seems to be a long and painful process that is unfolding with no obvious end. I guess ‘the West’ took Russia for granted. Ironically, much of Putain’s modus operandi is shared by people like Johnson and Trump: autocratic rule, manipulation of elections, control of press, censorship – mass disinformation and control, banishing opposition. Just not quite as extreme – yet!!




Actually, quite a Bibliophilic month. I took possession of this superb facsimile of the Carfax Monographs by Kenneth and Steffi Grant.













The Grants were into all things occult and esoteric, friends with the like of Aleister Crowley and Osman Spare. These Monographs are part of a publication of various occult philosophies and systems presented by the Grants. They are certainly visually sumptuous and set out many of the disciplines of the Golden Dawn.




On a not unrelated note, a major exhibition opened at the Tate in London on The Surrealists:







It is a funny title and I am not really sure they ‘existed’ as such. Caught between the Symbolists, The Blue Rider, Post-Impressionism, Cubism (pre World War I) and American Expressionism (post World War II), they are really quite a diverse group. I would not be the first to note that of the many artists included in the first 1936 Surrealist Exhibition in London, not many of them were actual Surrealists. Apparently, when Roland Penrose and Herbert Read went to invite Eileen Agar to exhibit her work at the show – the one where Salvadore Dali turned up in a divers outfit – she said, ‘I am not a surrealist’. They responded, ‘Well, you are now!’.

Certainly, there are even academic centres now for the study of surrealism. It is true that they were all heavily into what might now go under the banner of ‘neurotic realism’ – drawing on the sub and unconscious, dreams, hyper reality – not surprising that (especially with Freud not far behind) sexual and (with Golden Dawn around) occult imagery. Andre Breton – the de facto Director of the movement, embraced all these characteristics as well as pushing for its political dimensions in attacking bourgeois society – and also dropped them in his various manifestos. Once the horrors of the Holocaust and the Gulag became apparent, it rather took the wind out of their sails in terms of the ‘power of the mind’.  Still, they remain influential, and a fascinating show.




Also, connected by association, I watched Meetings with Remarkable Men – a cinematic account of Gurdjieff’s Second Series. It is an odd film. All the actors have terribly English accents, and all those false beards! However, the movements are lovely and well presented by Jeanne de Salzmann. And, there are plenty of Gurdjieffian themes on offer: the futility of search, the need for discipline, discovering you are nothing, exceptional practice, guides, etc.





I never noticed before that in this photo, he is walking on a bridge = and I have known it for about 45 years.





Music of the month – two very different pieces:



The latest from Johnny Marr : some highlight Indie Rock – spirited and great tunes/ arrangement. Uplifting!±!







Then the Patitas by Bach played by a then very young Andras Schiff. Schiff is really my favourite player of Bach. He is not the most expressive or genuinely original interpreter. But, that purity of form and tone!! A nice atmosphere for forthcoming Easter meditations.












March, 2022



February can be a ‘wicked’ month in the UK. Not too cold this way, but dreary days. But, the light is strengthening. Still some spectacular skies out in the Forest:






And then a hint, of a soupcon, of a suspicion of spring. The first Celendine and Daffodils in my garden:







Execpt that we were then hit by three successive storms: Dudley, Eunace, and Franklin. Where I live in the South was in the pathway of the second of these.






Rough weather and trees destroyed in the Forest:









A remarkable Musica en Moviemiento At-a-Distance course, including part residential.  Amazing what we can do now with Zoom, etc. It is almost second nature: guitar playing, pranayama, T’ai Chi, Feldenkreis, sitting, meals, discussions, Q&A. We were around 30 in different countries: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, UK, USA. Amazing. Here is the Agrelo/ Mendoza team:






Some good ‘culture nights’; like No man’s Land by Harold Pinter, A Beckett-type situation drama about age, time, power, relationship. Starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen:






I was sent this map of my international readership. The darker the blue, the more readers I have had for my books. Interestingly, readers increase in countries I have visited, which proves something!!






Reading a book on the Holy Grail myth. Also, an account of a ‘literary salon’ in Long Critchel, East Dorset. I have always been fascinated by artistic groups and movements: how they define themselves and behave.







Music has been a bit of retro rock. Martha and the Muffins – Remember Echo Beach?. Art Pop. Also, the fine song writing of Richard Ashcroft. Then, the new Tears for Fears – and after 17 years! I always enjoy their music, and the CD is up to the mark!!









February, 2022





Since last writing, there have been three important annual calendar dates to mark the changing of the year:




The Winter Solstice:






















The actual Winter Solstice occurred around 16.00 on the 22nd. At that point, the Sun is returning to the Earth – or, so it seems. I sense the shift immediately.

For me, then, Epiphany – 6th January – is the time when we first notice the strengthening in the light. More traditionally, this is Imbolg – 2nd February – Candlemas/ St Brigid’s Feast. Soon after it if the Chinese New Year – Welcome the Water Tiger!







So, time are auspicious – although there is still plenty of bleak news about the Pandemic, political situation, climate. And, a general ‘head in the sand’ syndrome.




To counter the sense that in response, I am becoming a little nature focused, I should say that plenty of reading and writing occurred during this time as well. I seem to be going through a bit of an Irish renaissance. So, writing by that fine commentator of things socio-political Fintan O’Toole as a reflection of his life in Ireland. Someone once said to me, ‘The English never remember history and the Irish never forget it’. And, so, I found it to be true when I lived there. Also, the kind of magical seduction the country and culture exert of one – unknowingly!!







And, so more reading of the crazy fiction of Flann O’Brien (aka Brian o’Nolan 1911 – 1966). The Third Policeman:  Part surreal, part socio-cultural commentary, part poetry, one is pulled along in the heady mix. As another Irishman once said to me, ‘how is it that Irish, having lost their first language, became so good at their second language’ ? – in turn Irish and English.  Their answer had something to do with losing touch with reality!!







Then more music from Sean O’Riada. Irish music tends to be of two extremes: very slow and sad or very fast and happy – somewhat reflecting their innate nature. O’Riada takes on board both and also expresses the innate faith of the Irish.







Winter retreat proved a snowy affaire:








Lots of online theater. Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler; a new re-write of Salome; and Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art.








So, three plays all with a woman as their focus. The Ibsen was an interesting modern interpretation that did not quite catch the sociopolitical issues the original implied. The Salome received bad reviews but I liked it: a kind of sound-visual-poetic collage. Experiential/ elegiac – so you had to go with the flow. The Habit of Art was Alan Bennett’s reflection on art, theatre, gay-dom, the turning of the years, etc. Based around the meeting of Robert Graves and Benjamin Britten it was a typical Bennett play: amusing but philosophical.




This month also saw the twentieth anniversary of my friend and mentor Pierre Bourdieu (1930 – 2002).







A new book by me about his philosophy is in the pipeline. So, more on that in due course.






Book of the month!? Well, everyone is reading it!!!!:







And, some African music from the great Tanzanian musician RemmyOngala :





Sorry to read that Norma Waterson has flown away. One of the greats of the English Folk revival of the 1950s’ and more or less a co-founder of modern traditional music along with her associates and family. Here she is on one of her last appearances: A Bunch of Thyme – and yes, the analogy is intentional







December, 2021






November is always the ‘pit’ of the year for me..


So, I tend to take my mind off things by keeping busy.


The forest begins the month in lovely autumn colours – and mushrooms!







A trip to Salisbury, and a visit to their lovely cathedral.







And, then to Cornwall.



Those who read this Blog know that I tend to visit Temple Church on the way down – with its stone sculptures from the actual Knights Templar Abbey that gives the name to the place.







I am down there to do some Dowsing: Plan a Gara at St Just – ancient gathering/ yheatre site. It turns out to be a meridian energy structure with a clear core and radiating rings.






St Just has become a bit of an artists’ community. But, has also lost much of its indigenous industry. The sad sight of the Warren’s Pasty factory – closed a couple of years ago with the loss of hundreds of jobs. Their ‘Cornish’ pasties are now made out side of Cornwall. Yet more industrial decay caused by Tory neoliberal economic policy. It is a scourge:







Up to Cape Cornwall for exhilarating cliff walks. Also some prehistoric sites and crosses:







And, then down to my home village of Mousehole. Thankfully deserted now of the crowds that invade in the summer.








Christmas is coming and I mix my Christmas pudding:






Pretty active in the kitchen this month with vegetarian dishes:







I take a visit to Roche Court sculpture park. Always some intriguing pieces there. This time from Richard Deacon and Gary Hume:






Also, a lovely production of  Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette from the National Theatre:






Did a great MeM guitar day with the Salta team in Argentina. Amazing connection across all of these miles:





All things Beatles at the moment: and there is the new CD, book and film from the Let it Be sessions. Lots to mull over here. The continued attachment to this band is because they were that good – my nephew’s son (16) knows everything about them. But, also, their music evokes an era of youth, energy and optimism – sadly in short supply these days. One of the associated projects to the Get Back material was Paul McCartney speaking with Rick Rubin. Fascinating conversation with Macca really involved for once. They play various pieces and break them down on the studio mixer, so you can isolate each element. Lots of asides and anecdotes, and flashes of him composing before your very eyes. Yes! it really is that easy…






As for book, I have been reading Tony Blake’s The Intelligent Enneagram half chapter at a time, and discussing it intensely with a friend. Lots of insights into the various forces it contains and how they elucidate creative systems:






Speaking of Blake – another one, William, my spiritual mentor, it was the anniversary of his birthday this month – 28th November (1757). Here, his magnificent Ancient of Days:






Lots of listening this month. In particular, two ladies: the renowned Russian composer Sofia Gubaidalina; and the English contemporary composer Jocelyn Pook:





To end, I came across this lovely piece by Paul Simon, the subject of which is the surrealist artist Rene Magritte. Lovely!!!


Apparently, it was the only song he composed without having a musical instrument to hand.

He took the title from a magazine article and worked out the rest while driving his car!!

November, 2021



The month began with a trip to Cornwall.


Wild scenes down there along the coast.




I was there to do some Dowsing work on the Treryn Dinas Iron Age fort near Porthcurno. Some fascinating finds.







Also, some country walking:






And then a trip to Lands End for the sunset:






I also did some Wasi-Sabi photography while I was there. Beauty in the overlooked:











Then to Zennor Church and to visit and old friend there – the Zennor Mermaid who lulled the vicar to his death:







And, here is another Cornish reference. A rather splendid photo of Pamela Colman-Smith – probably one of the best I have seen of her. A couple of quiz questions for those who routinely read this Blog site: why is she a significant figure in the history of British esotericism? What is the Cornwall connection?






Really, The Beatles somewhat passed me by as I was only a child in the 60s. I do remember mention of Sgt Pepper as part of the zeitgeist but had little interest. But, then, in 1969, my first 45 rpm single purchased as a teenager was Hey Jude, with that iconic Apple label. I read a book on The Beatles as part of the socio-cultural scene in the 60s. However, I cannot say I learnt much and, disappointingly, the author told The Beatles story – all the usual events – and then the various socio-cultural events of the day in alternate chapters – not really as one and the other influencing the other. Other than say they did, that is!




I attempted something along those lines in my last lecture tour in Australia.



Now, after the remaster box sets, etc, etc., the stereo versions, the individual remasters, and the Anthology series which provided the footnotes to The Beatles’ recordings, we have the Let It Be book, films, CDs. Of course, they are a must for those who remember these times, and indeed many who do not, The Let It Be project was not, of course The Beatles last recorded LP – Abbey Road was – but it was released – as The Beatles broke up. Let IT Beseemed a suitable sentiment of the day as I remember.





Not perhaps their greatest record or indeed collection of songs. But, this is what they sounded like – playing together live – in those years. That is, not as an exercise in recording techniques. In that way it is raw but superbly musical.



Then there is the book. Lots of sumptuous photos here, and then transcripts of The Beatles working on the album. Here, you have the genome of creativity: with all the false starts, bad stuff, laughter, arguments, etc. Anyone involved in a group creative project knows about this. But, hey, imagine having the transcript of a conversation you had with a group of friends published and poured over for significance 50 years later?! Such is the continuing draw of that special fairy dust. Indeed, the Apple label itself is enough to connect again: yes, we were there, we were part of that. The flame continues to burn.







Even the fact that all this is coming out just before Christmas – it was always like that: The Beatles Christmas gift – set the tone for the season..




Elsewhere, I have been having a bit of an Irish renaissance – care of the music of Sean O’Riada:






Also, some lovely music from Iran:







It has been a poetry month as well, with readings from Rimbaud and John Clare.






Samhain came at the end of the month. Now the darkness dominates until the Winter Solstice.







Storms in the forest and many tree casualties; including one of my favourites, under which I would often sit on my walks. Before and After:






October, 2021









Some time off on sabbatical over the summer and time to take a break.

Time is a key theme this month.



Now back in full autumn mode. Autumn:  A time of flowers and fruits in my garden – Harvest.









In the forest too it is time for turning. The Rowan tree and the colours of the heathers:






September is also the time of the Autumn Equinox: Hare Moon, Harvest Moon – the time of equal light and darkness in the globe.






After now the dark grows….




One highlight of the month was the Completion of the latest MeM (Musica en Moviemiento) course. We celebrated with two days of calisthenics and performances from teams in Santiago, Chile, La Plata, Argentina, Ecuador and Mendoza, Argentina. All in all, very good work, on guitar but also involving Themes, Feldenkrais, and Pranayama.





One area was Kitchen Craft, and dishes were cooked according to principles of the Kitchen with a little Enneagram work thrown in – Involution and Evolution:





Our study piece was the Moving Force, which each of the teams performed honourably:


A photo arrived of an early Guitar Craft course in Italy – 2002. I am there on my knees to the right with the team. Amazing!






Some excellent theatre this month – both from the National Theatre. Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson) and Under Milkwood (Dylan Thomas).





Under Milkwood had a lead from Michael Sheen – a favourite actor of mine. The piece is really based on a village but out of time – almost disembodied voices offers reflections of their past, present and futures. A kind of poetic tapestry.




Here Michael reciting Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night – an iconic poem by Thomas about refusing the ‘dying of the light’ – perhaps apt for autumn!!!:



I have been putting together some of my own art, which is posted elsewhere on this site:



Also studying the ephemera art of Andy Goldsworthy – an artist who builds in nature so that it fits and then erodes in time.







Lots of other work on the temporal dimension, the extended present moment, etc.


Speaking of time and nature, I have also been studying cloud forming and formations:






And, then, happy sounds from 1967. At the time, I was just a child and I hardly remember the ‘summer of love’. But, the vibe here is unmistakable. Happy music with an RnB groove.  Kinda’ of an antidote from the previous intensity of Pet Sounds and Smile – and moving to later classics, Surfs Up. I particularly like: Darlin’, Wild Honey, Country Air, Aren’t you Glad.