Outside in the already darkened dusk, the din of traffic attacks your senses as does the unairconditioned air and there’s too the odour of tropical humid Africa, that aromatic fragrance of soil and vegetation.
Distress Signals from Wilderness
We walked up Hampsfell, on a bright sunny day and could see across Morecambe Bay and to the north the Lakeland fells. It was the season for fungi and there they were in their myriad forms and colours. Sometimes we walked through swarms of wasps.
Houses and Their Noises
All houses or should I say, each house has a particular noise, a kind of signature that is like a finger print identifying and memorialising it. I remember our first night at the Moskva, a modern hotel, in the Soviet style in Moscow, in 1984. Remarkably, it groaned and spluttered at night more or less…
Reading Thomas Hardy in Dorset
I am preoccupied with the nature of oaths and vows. How is it that we come to find promises binding? What is about words, about language, that utterances take on the status of fiat. There is the associated magic of the written word, the manner in which suddenly the affixed sign turns a dull document from insignificance, from an inert object to a living document that has power and authority.
The Forest of Cedar
The Epic of Gilgamesh was written over 5,000 years ago. It is regarded as the first great work of literature. My interest today is not in the usual emphasis, that is placed, on the examination of the nature of friendship, the treatment of the duties of kings foreshadowing ‘mirrors for princes’ in the Epic. Today, I am preoccupied with the motif of journeys in literature. This theme is most explicit in Homer’s Odyssey and in Aeneas’ Aeneid.
Idu to Rigasa by train
Martin Esslin in The Theatre of the Absurd said of the absurd If a good play must have cleverly constructed story, these have no story or plot to speak of; if a good play is judged by subtlety of characterization and motivation, these are often without recognizable characters and present the audience with almost mechanical…
I had not previously heard the account that put St James as Jesus’ cousin. In the tradition in Santiago de Compostela, his mother Salome, was the Virgin Mary’s sister. This tradition makes Jesus more human, less divine and therefore, also just more believable. Santiago de Compostela is the third most important sacred site in Christendom,…
Fado at A Severa
Fado at A Severa. It’s all in the shoulders. Where operatic singers, clasp their hands together in prayer, the Fado singer, at least, at A Severa carries the shoulders slightly askew, one scarcely tilted downwards. It is as if all the pushing at empty air or the wagging of the outstretched forefinger in pop music…
How do you think a whistled note travels through time? Does it streak, a flash of lightning, rending the invisible fabric of time? Or, is it more like breathing, a hollowed-out flute, a shadow-like mirrored gesture of the self? When she whistles, I am surprised at the waveforms, a river that meanders and wraps itself…
I had not expected to be particularly moved. But walking along the gravestones, carefully laid out in the well manicured garden at Taukkyan War Cemetery I was moved almost to tears. I certainly had a lump in my throat and the pit of my stomach felt as if it was plumbless. It was coming across…