Month: January 2022

But what is it!?

I took this the other day, on a walk with Tess the Collie. Looking at it, later, I thought ‘What was that?’ I’d forgotten where I’d taken it, and I took me a minute to reconstruct where we’d been. On that basis, I thought, it would make a fine what is it? The kind of photo people used to shoot, deliberately, to be a … Read More But what is it!?

The wings of the bird of reason and emotion

Have you ever watched your own mind racing between thinking and feeling? Usually, just before it triggers something about which you have a long-term feeling of unease? We all do this. Our habitual reactions are based upon pre-formed responses, which, themselves, may be constructed from older building blocks of like and dislike going all the way back to our earliest childhood… These may be … Read More The wings of the bird of reason and emotion

Are we Book-Fat?

I’m not sure there’s ever been a rigorous definition of gluttony, but a series of incidents have made me wonder if we are suffering from its effects, in the form of book-fat. I can hear wincing noises in the seats at the back, there… I certainly winced when I thought about it. I winced a lot more as I tipped boxes full of old … Read More Are we Book-Fat?

Five Spines of Doom

Diana Wallace Peach, over at Myths of the Mirror set a writing challenge prompt for the new year… which I’ve just found out expires today! Here’s my offering, ‘Five Spines of Doom’ for her ‘Tottering TBR pile’ prompt: a nightmare of the ‘to be read’ books we all have – particularly on our Kindles… Five spines of doom, the living pile declares To struggling … Read More Five Spines of Doom

#StillLight : Wood, Tile and Plastic

It’s a morning photograph, taken last week. I wandered into the en-suite bathroom to find this beautiful display of light splayed across the end of the bath, onto the wood of the cabinet and then, fading, on to the white tiles. It was one of the most beautiful and ‘fine’ displays of natural light I’ve ever seen; and I had no idea how it … Read More #StillLight : Wood, Tile and Plastic

The hill with two stations

Our small village, Sedgwick, near Kendal, has a landscape shaped in the classic terminal topography of ancient glaciers. This area of gentle, rounded hills is typical of the final stages of the glacier’s course. The English Lake District, where we live, has them in abundance. ‘Basket of Eggs’ is another term you may remember from those geography text books at school. They are also … Read More The hill with two stations

When the Picture is the Blog

They are a part of living in the country. They’re a lot faster than they used to be, and there are a lot of them… And when you’re stuck behind one, on a narrow Cumbrian lane, there’s little you can do but wait. Often, you find yourself thinking ‘I’m late… could anything be worse than this?’ Plenty… as we found the other day when … Read More When the Picture is the Blog

The rings of a hundred years

A poignant reminded of the effect of the deadly ‘Ash Dieback’ fungus that is devastating the Ash tree population. This lovely tree, possibly a hundred years old, lies in sliced sections at the side of the road to Helm. The effects of the Dieback can be seen in the left side of the photo. We’ve lost three so far in our garden. Our favourite … Read More The rings of a hundred years

Listening – an active magic

We were having dinner at the end of one of our business trips to California. On the next table at the small restaurant were an American couple from Arizona. We struck up a friendly conversation, during which the subject of armed burglary came up. The man expressed surprise that so few of the UK’s homes had guns. He was astonished when I said it … Read More Listening – an active magic

A devil called time

Time is an exceedingly curious thing…and much inner humour is generated in the course of exploring it. We don’t really know what time is. It might even be ‘no-thing’ at all, of course, and simply some kind of movement of consciousness… But let’s not get too high-minded about that. This is a basic post about common sense and the fact that we can’t shake … Read More A devil called time

That early January feeling…

It was the Christmas tree outside the Booths supermarket that triggered the thoughts… Now pale against the bright January sun and the crisp cold, its icy beauty was somehow less than the real thing, a warming image of a Christmas now gone and packed up into the storage boxes under the eaves. Ahead of me, the Kendal district of Fellside climbed up in the … Read More That early January feeling…

Can’t Help Ourselves?

Over the past three years, I’ve been closely following the ever-accelerating development of robots. In an age where the use of military drones for ‘state-backed’ assassinations is not unusual, and artificial intelligence is pervasively present in household devices, it pays to be aware of the various ways in which technology and the humanities are interacting. It is also instructive to see how darkly we … Read More Can’t Help Ourselves?

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