Welcome to the written world of RDN.

RDN is a complicated conservative and a Civilised Right-winger. I am a bit hippy and arty. I am currently working on poems, a memoir, and cultural essays. I nurture hopes of doing a one man show. And I am interested in the spiritual.

Page 8 of all posts

Interstellar (vs Gravity)

There's a lot to like in Interstellar, and much of it has been caught by professional reviewers. I think there are several dimensions (oops) one needs to reckon with. One: is the story a convincing human - personal - drama? Two: is it a good morality tale? Three: is it a good cinematic theme park ride? Four: is its science robust? If you've the patience here's my unpick of some of those, below the fold. Read more...

Published

11 November 2014

Filed in

Mind & body, On movies

War and art on BBC R4’s BH

I had an outing on this Sunday morning show as a paper reviewer (and squibbist on Strictly Come Dancing) and said one thing which may have seemed distasteful. Can I try to put things right here, below the fold? Read more...

Published

02 November 2014

Filed in

Mind & body, On art, RDN's media outings

Stanley North’s glass portrait of Vera Bax

Before he married his second wife HelenKennedy, and adopted her name, my grandfather Stanley married Vera Rawnsley, and they produced my father, Paul. She later married, first, Filson Young, and, second, Clifford Bax. Here is Staney’s stained glass portrait of a young woman, by family tradition, his wife Vera. Read more...

Published

20 October 2014

Filed in

On art

Stanley Kennedy North’s Norwich glass #3

This is the third of three posts on Stanley Kennedy North’s work for the Colman family of Norwich mustard fame. (See #1 here and #2  here.) SKN did three pieces of stained glass for the great Norfolk mustard makers, and this, the third, is a large (I guess… Read more...

Published

20 October 2014

Filed in

On art

Unique 1945 Hamburg book: the 79th and “Hobart’s Funnies”

In around 2013 I was given a unique, beautiful book, The Story of 79th Armoured Division: October 1942 - June 1945, published  by the unit's officers and men in July 1945 in the ruins of Hamburg, which they had just helped liberate. Since then, I have researched a fair bit and here is what I think I know, or can reasonably guess at.... Update: December 2017 brought a new hypothesis that Broschek of Hamburg may have produced the book (see below). Read more...

Published

17 October 2014

Filed in

Military Covenant, Mind & body, On art

Stanley Kennedy North’s Norwich glass #2

This is the second of three posts on Stanley Kennedy North's stained glass commissioned by the Colman family of Norfolk. Here, further to the first SKN glass post, on his Wheel of Life, is another, on his Tree of Life. The third post is a heraldic panel devoted to the Colman's. Here's a gallery on The Tree of Life: And some discussion of the work... Read more...

Published

13 October 2014

Filed in

On art

Stanley Kennedy North’s Norwich glass #1

Stanley Kennedy North did three beautiful large stained glass works for the  Colman mustard family of Norfolk to commemorate their donations to Norwich’s pre-NHS hospitals. The works are now in the care of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Arts Project, managed by Emma Jarvis. This is #1, The Wheel of Life,… Read more...

Published

09 October 2014

Filed in

On art

The Britten-Pears Red House experience

At long last I have visited the Britten-Pears residence, shrine and museum which is the Red House, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. It was indeed up there with the Bloomsberries' Charleston, near Eastbourne,;or with Karen Blixen's Rungstedland, near Copenhagen (or her house by the Ngong Hills, near Nairobi). All are places where creative people surrounded themselves with good taste. Above all, the Red House could be compared with the wonder of Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. Both these East Anglian gems are, after all, pilgrimages for the "Soft-Modernism" which the middle classes adopted from their post-war Bohemian leaders in style. In the event, the Red House excelled, and was almost a disappointment too. Read more...

Published

06 October 2014

Filed in

Mind & body

Jessica Chastain’s “Salomé”

Al Pacino's Salomé efforts are really wonderful and  I want to rattle on about all three: the film of the play; the documentary about the filming of the play; and the Stephen Fry Q&A on Sunday 21 September at the BFI. My main point is that Jessica Chastain was the star of all of them. Read more...

Published

22 September 2014

Filed in

On movies, On theatre

Medea: Revenge and The Avengers at the NT

Helen McRory's Medea was unmatchable, I'd guess. She is superb as the woman close to a complete breakdown but never more magnificent and even sometimes in an eerie sort of control, and not without wit and guile. Not at all without those latter, though at her wits' end. But let's get down to business - the bits she's not accountable for.   Read more...

Published

05 September 2014

Filed in

On theatre
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