Welcome to the written world of RDN. I am a complicated conservative, and a bit hippy and arty round the edges. I am currently working on poems, a memoir and a one-man show. Over all that is an increasing interest in the idea of spirituality. More »

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Polite Modernism: Eric Parry & the Other Tradition

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / On art / On books on 28 June 2017. No comments.

What Colin St John Wilson called “The Architecture of Invitation” or “The Other Tradition”, I call “Polite Modernism”. Its finest living exponent is Eric Parry, who is firmly in the CSJW tradition, both academic and creative. And now he has delivered what looks like an excellent successor to CSJW’s British Library, and Denys Lasdun’s Royal College of Physicians. Actually, his headquarters for the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers has a decent claim to be the ultimate in the genre so far.

After the fold, there’s an account of what Polite Modernism is, and how it fits into Brutalism and Modernism, and even post-modernism.

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Bossy Liberals and Fascism: 100 years war

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 11 June 2017. No comments.

This 13,000 word PDF download  BLF Essay 110617 is a four-part study in the history, ideas and current picture of the opposition between Fascism, authoritarianism and their clearest opponents, the Bossy Liberals. It is a beefier and wider account of the issues which lie behind the phenomenon of the Auto-liberal who is so important to modern politics.

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Auto-liberals, Corbynistas and modernity #1

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Politics & campaigns on 8 June 2017. No comments.

I posit that we have mass-produced Auto-liberals who are mostly graduates, or soon will be. They have unthinkingly picked up a variety of  narrow, intolerant, Bossy Liberalism which assumes that only the soft-left Green worldview can be open-minded, inclusive, progressive and fair. They constitute a good deal of the success of the delusionist (old-hat, half-baked) Corbyn tendency within the Labour Party.

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Auto-liberals, Corbynistas and modernity #2

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Politics & campaigns on 5 June 2017. No comments.

This near-2000 word posting is a sort of appendix to Auto-liberals, Corbynistas and modernity #1.

It is designed to colour-in some of the necessary historical and philosophical background to the way modern Auto-liberals and their Bossy Liberalism fit into and cut across long-running assumptions.

1: Some contemporary political history
2: Unpicking J S Mill’s Religion of Humanity
for our time

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Hunston Convent and Chichester Free School

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 22 April 2017. No comments.

Chichester Free School is taking over Hunston Convent, a 19th Century Carmelite monastery to the south of the city, on the threshold of the Manhood Peninsula. It’s a brilliant and exciting adventure, since the school is a mint-fresh sort of institution and the convent building is a Victorian classic, and its community had roots which go centuries deep, and all over the world. The convent’s fabric is being reborn in spectacular fashion – and I hope something of its spirit, too.

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Poem: A Norfolk Spring Trio

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 March 2017. No comments.

These Norfolk Spring Trio poems are:

#1 Blackthorn Winter
#2 Church and Copse
#3 Norfolk, UK, The Universe

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“SS Fawn”, the Bowyer’s, and the nuns, 1870

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 11 December 2016. No comments.

This is a story of a steamship, a Carmelite community of sisters, an extended family of Southampton pilots and a German ship-builder, in late 19th Century Southampton and Sussex, Normandy, Kiel, and the Orkneys. More »

Thérèse of Lisieux: A child of Christ, her time and ours

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 8 December 2016. No comments.

I have been mildly interested in Thérèse of Lisieux for years. Recent encounters with the Carmelite tradition and some Carmelite nuns seemed to make it urgent that I address the rather sneering attitude I fear I had adopted towad “the little white flower”. Here is my best attempt at a reading of interesting work on the saint, some of it old, some very new. (Longform alert: this is a 5,000 word essay.) More »

Poem: Thoughts on a full stop

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 November 2016. No comments.

This isn’t about me, at least not in particular, and it isn’t gloomy, I hope. I fear it offers advice, which – it might be remembered – comes from a man with little courage and no pretensions to wisdom. More »

Poem: Beech Wood near Henley

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 November 2016. No comments.

My wife and I house-, chicken-, and dog-sit near Henley. This part of the Chilterns is far deeper countryside than I had ever expected. More »

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