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.

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Nina Conti: a great show

Nina Conti is on the road this autumn and the sell-out show is really marvellous. It is clever, sharp and charming - rather as the on-stage presence of its star. Read more...

Published

04 October 2013

The “lesser” Riviera: the Camargue to Le Lavandou

This is a longish-form piece (3,500 words) of old-style travel writing (personal and information stuff intermingled) about a fortnight's tour and stay on the French Riviera from the Camargue to Le Lavandou (via Arles, Marseilles, Cassis, and Aix-en-Provence, etc). Read more...

Published

03 October 2013

Bob Marley enigmas & two new movies

Kevin MacDonald's  Marley (2012) and Esther Anderson & Gian Godoy's Bob Marley: The making of a legend (2011) don't really add a lot of new material to the Marley story, I imagine (speaking as an observant fan rather than an informed Marley-sleuth). But the passage of time and advances in two debates - about race and about globalisation - make it easier to discuss the sorts of things which have always lain a little beneath the surface in discussing the man. They would also have forced or encouraged change in Bob Marley himself. Read more...

Published

27 August 2013

Conrad Shawcross, The Roundhouse, Greenwich, time, The Warp…

I admire all things Shawcross (William, his works, wives and offspring) and I went to see his son Conrad Shawcross's new time piece at the Roundhouse full of hope. With 24 iron pillars in a circular brick masterpiece, what could go wrong when a talented sculptor applied himself to making a clock in that splendid gloom? Read more...

Published

11 August 2013

A summer of Neo-romantic “modern” art

London and the south (allowing Pembrokeshire as southern) have been putting on a fabulous array of shows which specially make you glad to be British, and to have inherited a tradition which runs back to Samuel Palmer and John Constable (watercolours, not oils, for my taste) but has left us with very feeling and talented work, especially from the mid-20th Century.... Read more...

Published

11 August 2013

RDN in BBC Wildlife on trust and science

It was fun to be interviewed by Stuart Blackman for his piece, "You Can Trust Me, I'm a scientist..." in the Agenda/Analysis pages of the August edition of the BBC's Wildlife magazine. Mr Blackman did good work dissecting a horribly intransigent issue, but I'd just add this... Read more...

Published

11 August 2013

Reading: serendipity, synchronicity, and the secondhand

This summer, I have felt a strong need to change gear: especially to read fewer new books of argument which the books pages promote. So: more of the books in my late parents' shelves; or found in charity shops; or in a holiday cottage... It's gone exceptionally well so far. Read more...

Published

10 August 2013

Mrs Thatcher, Ayn Rand and Bishop Chartres

It's a bit soon to make a proper judgement, but Bishop Chartres seems to have delivered a blinder of a sermon at Mrs thatcher's funeral service. Saying he wasn't going to be political, he was very highly political in an important way. I mean that he laid what looks like a trail between Ayn Rand and Margaret Thatcher. Here's the key sentence (culled from the Daily Mirror's website). It's on spiritual development : First there is the struggle for freedom and independence and then the self-giving and the acceptance of inter-dependence. Read more...

Published

17 April 2013

Inequality? Mind the culture gap

The income and wealth inequality gap between the top 1 per cent and the remaining 99 per cent has featured a good deal recently. It's getting wider. But it matters very little. What matters is an emerging cultural gap. Read more...

Published

16 February 2013
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