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:









































































































































December, 2022




November, and not my favourite month. For me, it is the ‘pit of the year’ – especially the last two weeks!!


Some love it: all the colours.


Admittedly, when it is not raining, the Forest near where I live is ‘on fire’:









The Holly King, with one berry not yet spotted by a bird:






I prefer the Mediterranean – so, have been taken more recourse in the lovely paintings of Cézanne:






Tableaus of leaves in the Forest:







Fascinating Theatre play: Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust. Situated somewhere between a Children’s fairy tale and adult fantasy. We are in the world of the fight between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. So, many philosophical issues – even theological ones – perhaps surprising since Pullman is a keen atheist. Also, the notion that everyone has their ‘Daemon’ – indeed, ‘dust’ itself – which points to the way that living creatures communication beyond the immediately material and ideational. What I pointed to in my new book as a ‘philosophy of the invisible’.




And, so the final meeting online for our 9 month ‘Introduction to Advanced Practice: Musica en Moviemiento’ course!!






Extraordinary music from Sean Silbe who manages to be both an exclaimed classical guitarist and able to experiment with the electric guitar.




Book of the month? I have returned to Thomas Mann’s epic: Doctor Faustus.



November, 2022



November and the forest is changing day by day:




I escape to Cornwall – land of beautiful sunsets:





I do some archeology on Round houses and Courtyard Round houses: respectively  4000 and 2000 years old. Amazing that….






The amazing Ballowell Barrow – a Bronze age burial site: around 4500 years old.





Then, on to St Levan and its church: renowned for St Levan’s stone, which can be seen in the foreground. I say, ‘St Levan’s Stone’ but really it was rechristened from its pagan name. What that name is is suggested by it shape: let’s just say it was used for fertility rites.





I also undertake some Wabi Sabi photography in Mousehole, focusing on its bulk head ends:








More autumn:






Ah, a photo showing my new book has made itself to the other side of the world: Australia!!!!





A beautiful exhibition of Cezanne’s art at the Tate:





I also do some work on the Nag Hammadi codices:




An interesting book from the incredible Troy Books:




They now have a bookshop in Penzance:


As Summer changes to Autumn, my listening moves from Delius to Bliss:


However, I also read Eric Fenby’s book on what it was like to act as amanuensis to Delius when the latter was blind and paralysed. An amazing account of how they moved from total disfunctionality to Fenby more or less composing with Delius – he includes actual scores to show how they created pieces:



Actually, the book was used as the basis of Ken Russell’s account of the story – Song of Summer. Highly recommended:

Let us not forget:




October, 2022



Well, autumn came to my garden this month:




And the Queen died:





Coronated in the year of my birth, she has always been there in my life: No longer….





I always felt that things would unravel when she died, and so it has been. The Centre really does not hold now. I have never been a great Monarchist but, given the need for a figurehead, I felt she did a better job than a politician ever would. President Johnson, anyone?





Large queues to file past her coffin. On the morning of the funeral, there was a sense in the air – the intention. The Church services were pretty standard – she had asked for a short, non-boring ceremony. But, the walking along the streets of London and in Windsor, were pretty impressive.





Whatever anyone did that day, the event defined them. Now we have a King – Charles III. I hope he fairs better than I and II.









Speaking of Kings, I watched King Lear by Shakespeare. An altogether strange play; but pertinent perhaps in the way ‘the land’ reflects the psychic state of its monarch. Lear goes crazy after asking his daughters how much they love him. Because the one he loves best will not say, he wrecks havoc. Of course, corruption in the Court gets out of control because he is not paying attention!!



Ian McKellan is a great actor, but I did not like his Lear this time – he played him as a geriatric, whilst there is a deeper reason for Lear’s Madness.






The other play was “As you Like It” – a splendid comedy based around loving couples and mistaken identities. I love the way that a woman only has to have her hair cut in Shakespeare play to be mistaken for a man. Hilarity, of course, when she is discovered as she is. Great production from the National Theatre.




So, a new book by me !!!





I write about its Genesis here:




It is a summative statement by me of over forty year’s engagement with the work of the French social philosopher, Pierre Bourdieu. I met him first in 1981, and he became a kind of intellectual mentor to me. As I say, in the 1980s, it was like Rock ‘n Roll – we thought we were going to change the world with these ideas. Anyway, I sense I have been able to say something new in this book. “Final thoughts…” ? Maybe….




The Musica en Moviemiento 9 month – Introduction to Advanced Practice – rolls on. Some excellent work here as we are in month seven. Completion in Mendoza, Argentina in December.





Aaaahhh, I finally empty my self-storage container. More books and things in the house now but 120 GBP per month is just too much!! The last item: a table I made at the age of 15 for my CSE Woodwork examination. Still going strong!!





I also uncover some of my watercolours:







What’s this Guitar Craft aphorisms?





I have been reading a biography of W. G. Sebald:




And, listening to Charles Ives:







September, 2022



Summer Special : Personal Odyssey





August and well into the year. AND, it did turn out to be a full and inauspicious month – as well as the usual delights of the month.


We began with the festival of Lammas, or Loaf Mass Day – Lughnasach – traditionally with acknowledgement of the ‘first stirrings of the Darkness’. And, so it turned out to be: we began the month with 38 degrees Mediterranean sunshine and ended with 14 degrees of wet autumn weather.


I undertook somewhat of personal Odyssey for me.


I was down to do a Conference talk in the West of England. This allowed me to visit places I had not been to for a while – with travelling and then the pandemic.


First, a delightful town near Bath: Bradford-upon-Avon. I used to catch a bus here from my home and walk around its environs :







Some of my favourite buildings: the Old Granary and the Saxon Church – St Lawrence:







The Church dates from circa 1000 (but founded earlier) and was replaced by another church. The old one was then converted into a house/ school – and only then rediscovered as a Church in 1856. It is one of the most complete Saxon churches in the country. The altar – the light around it only appeared in the photo – it was dark inside!!?






The on to Little Solsbury Hill – again, a favorite walking place for me:








And, yes, made famous by Peter Gabriel:





Then, on again to Bristol – my home town for much of my childhood. Famous locales: the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Old Granary, and St Mary Redcliffe Church (a Parish Church but more like a Cathedral).











Another favourite building on mine near St John’s Gate – the old entrance to the city and place of a medieval waterspout. It depicts the history of the printed world. There were crowds in the street when it was first unveiled in the C19.





Harbour Area:







Less well known places: Cabot’s Tower – named after the discoverer of America. It used to flash out Bristol in Morse Code.






Park Street, with the Wills Tower of the University at it head. The wealth of Bristol was built on the slave trade from the C17 – C19, then tobacco and aerospace industries. Park Street used to be very sedate with the best, high-class shops located there. Now it is full of take-aways.






At its foot, the Mauritania – named after the famous ship. Here, it was first a Hotel and hostelry. I remember it as a child for its neon sign, which is still there. It was also the first place I went for a ‘grown up’ meal. In the 1960s, many pubs and restaurants were bought up by Berni Inns, who were the first to offer ‘working’ families a taste of dining away from home cooking. I treated it as sanctuary.






A little later, the Coronation Tap just over from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Famous for selling traditional Cider – mostly VERY dry and from Somerset.





Also identified at least one urban art piece by that anonymous street artist: Banksy  –






Another day, and I visit my home district. This was the result of the new, post-war social project. So, new schools, houses, shops, churches, etc.




This was a very then and now experience for me:



Social housing – now demolished and replaced with private houses.







The Church I attended – now replaced by private houses:






The shops: my mother would buy all her provisions here – there was a post-office, butcher, greengrocer, pharmacy, fish ship, grocer. Now:






The ‘Co-op’ that sold everything for the home: cloths, materials, toys, cleaning. Customers opened an account and received a dividend – money – based on a percentage of what they bought. Hence, ‘co-operative’ – part of the socially minded post war ethos. Now gone. This dividend system was replaced with ‘blue stamps’ – a mimic of the American ‘Green Shield Stamps’.






All the streets were named after painters: Turner, Blake, Cotman, Landseer, Constable. Gainsborough Square sported a lovely pub called the Blue Boy with a mosaic of the Gainsborough painting of the same name. Now:







My home street and the green we played on. Most of the families were of the same generation so there were many children around.






Our home: my bedroom was above the front door – a porch, now a strange construction. My mother kept a lovely front garden, surrounded by hedges. Now:







We were surrounded by rough fields where we would play. ‘Up’ the fields and Purdown. Entrances to these place now:








My Primary (Romney Avenue Primary School) school now:






My Infant School has fared a little better. These are still the actual buildings I attended. However, children these days seem to need a lot of protecting:






My secondary School – one of the new Grammar/ Comprehensive School projects:






And, Now:






Our playing sports field:






And, so, on to Glastonbury and the Conference of the Powys Society. My topic was ‘John Cowper Powys and William Blake’. Here is the Powerpoint and Script:






A lively weekend – someone commented that they had never had anything like my talk before. I called it ‘an expansive gloss’ since its three main subjects – Powys, Blake and Gnosis – are each extensive topics. So, synthesizing them in 45 mins. is no mean feat. We also walked up on St Michael’s Hill in Montacute the childhood home of the Powys family.  




Reading extracts from Powys’ novels that include descriptions of these locales:





Sure was hot – 38 degrees – however, we were rewarded with a handy in a local pub (a mixture of lemonade and beer, for those who do not know)    




I call off at Glastonbury for some ‘spiritual’ sustenance at the Chalice Well garden:




Later, Part 2 of the Musica en Moviemiento ‘Introduction to Advanced Practice’ began with an Inaugural Zoom Meeting and Theme presentation:





CD of the month – the latest from William Orbit:






And, book of the month – well, what else:










August, 2022



A very strange sort of summer.  The sky says it all: a sign!!!




So, rocketing inflation, War in the Ukraine, UK politics descend to slapstick, Climate crisis as the earth burns, COVID still around – general disintegration – etc., etc.


Sure is hot in my garden:






But, life goes on….

I am preparing a talk I am to give on ‘John Cowper Powys and William Blake’.







My point of reference is Gnosticism – a topic I have considered for some time:



Powys is/ was somewhat of a wild writer of philosophy and fiction:


One of three renowned writers from the same family: the others being Llewellyn and Theodore. In preparation for this talk I have been re-reading Powys’ Glastonbury Romance – a highly charged epic set in that legendary Somerset town.






So, all things pastoral and the spirit of nature this time of year:



And, some more work on dowsing:






Yes! And folk music. I visit the New Forest Folk Festival – for the first time! – in its 10 years of activity. It is kind of a ‘mini festival’ : plenty of room, spatial audience, and a handful of eating places. The same sort of festival food on offer though: lots of beans and lentils.







Some nice solo performers here.





Also, famous bands of the past – Lindisfarne!!




Also the beginning of this years Proms season : so several weeks of nightly classical music concerts.







But, I catch COVID somewhere and am laid low for the month!






A time to catch up on reading. My book of the month on a favoured philosopher: Baruch Spinoza:






Lots of music, but unusually some solo, electric bass by Björn Meyer:





The month ends with Lammas, Loaf Mass day, or Lughnasadh:

Traditionally, the festival that marks the first fruits of harvest. Plenty here:



But, also the first stirrings of the darkness.

Currently, we have a drought – all the grass has turned yellow:






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.