Mind & body.

I am interested in the idea and practice of spirituality: but it may all be nonsense, and I may be venially corporeal. This category is a bit of a catch-all for posts on subjects ranging from the intellectual (I should be so lucky), to the spiritual (likewise) via the psychological and the creative.

“Seven Up!”, “63 Up” and D-Day +75

They did rather well didn’t they? The Granada TV company, often a trail-blazer, wittily turned its 1964 World in Action special Seven UP! into a seven-yearly snapshot of a cohort of kids who were seven year-olds in the phoney revolution of the Beetles, lifestyle Sunday colour supplements, and Swingin’ London. Read more...

Published

08 June 2019

Tim Lawson-Cruttenden: A memoir

A personal account of Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, 23 January 1955 - 17 April 2019 : A fine Christian, civil liberties lawyer, cavalryman, charity worker, and sportsman. (2000+ words) Read more...

Published

06 June 2019

Cribsheet: Relativism vs Expertise

This is a longish (1,700 word) cribsheet on how one can judge gardens – and fashion, art and much else - almost objectively. It aims to counter the relativism and populism of the argument which suggests that all opinions are subjective and thus purely a matter of personal taste. Read more...

Published

26 May 2019

500 years of businesswomen

Royal and aristocratic women often wielded considerable power as mothers and widows. It is curious how other women, formally unable to own or control assets in their own right, did often inherit their late husband’s stake in the wider world, and run it. They had other routes to control as well. Read more...

Published

19 May 2019

Anne Lister & “Shirley” in business

There is a long tradition of women being successfull in farming, landowning and business. Here I look at Anne Lister (Gentleman Jack) and Charlotte Brontë's Shirley in that light.
Read more...

Published

19 May 2019

“Palais de Justice” (2017)

I very much enjoyed Carey Young's video installation at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne. (It closes 2 June 2019 but I imagine it will be screened elsewhere.) I know that I wanted to see the thing as soon as I saw the publicity still of a fair-haired, I would say careworn, woman, a judge I presume, returning the camera's stare. I am a little foxed and therefore intrigued as to what, in the event, it achieved for me. Read more...

Published

19 May 2019

“Styx” (2019)

I was lucky to have forgotten everything I knew about this film before I went to see it. Its 94 minutes of study of the moral, technical and emotional problems which suddenly confront Rike, a lone yachtswoman, as she cruises southwards down the Atlantic from Gibraltar toward Ascension Island, were a startling blend of the meditative and the thrilling. I was engrossed by the film throughout and only bothered to be properly sceptical about it when I got home. Read more...

Published

19 May 2019

Cribsheet: tipping points and margins, etc

This note is intended as a handy guide or cribsheet or starting point for people unfamiliar with tipping points, margins, critical mass, paradigm shifts. (It is a little in the manner of my Right-wing Guide To Nearly Everything - RWG2NE - which I fear never did really reach a critical mass, or a…. etc, etc)
Read more...

Published

11 May 2019

Collaborative theatre, self-writing and showing-off

What kind of public performance should I try to deliver? I used to do quite big presentations for industry, schools, universities and NGOs. I appeared once at the Hay Literary Festival and once at Glastonbury (until I was run out of the latter by grunge eco-freaks). These events were highly argumentative, and entertaining for at least some in the audience, which I very seldom appeased.

Now, I want to face different challenges in a quite different spirit. Read more...

Published

10 March 2019

Edith Stein: A first look & some leads

This is a premature account of my attempts to discover and understand Edith Stein. It includes (listed below) what I hope are fruitful leads (those I intend to follow-up myself). It is impertinent of me to write this without (at the very least) having bought and read the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre's short intellectual biography of the saint and philosopher, not least because his journey to and within Catholicism parallels Stein's. What's more, I have only glanced at her most obviously pertinent philosophical book, The Problem of Empathy, and know even less of her spiritual and theological writing. However, writing these preparatory words cleared my head, and they may be useful to other newcomers to this martyr, hero and thinker - and the culture of her world. Read more...

Published

01 March 2018
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