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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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

More »

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 #1

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

This is: #1 Blackthorn Winter

More »

Poem: A Norfolk Spring Trio #2

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

This is: #2 Church and Copse

More »

Poem: A Norfolk Spring Trio #3

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

This is #3 Norfolk, UK, Universe

More »

Rural idylls: Sanctuary and decline

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / On art / On books / Politics & campaigns on 22 December 2016. No comments.

Much – probably most – modern creative work deploys the rural  as emblematic of a glorious, simpler, greener world which man has wounded. In this it seems to follow traits and tropes which have dominated countryside writing for millenia. I argue that  actually, views of the rural scene have changed dramatically over the centuries, and in some case views have reversed their valency. (The wild used to be reviled, now it is revrred.)
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Rural idylls: RDN’s take on Arcadia

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / On art / On books on 22 December 2016. No comments.

The countryside is the repository of people’s dreams. It is the canvas on which they paint their fantasies. In this piece, I look at the way I do it. More »

“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 »

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