Monthly Archives: April 2016

Anchorites: The Search for Perfection

St. Benedict’s Rules (530 AD) were the first to be widely adopted by monasteries . These governed every aspect of a monk’s life. Intensely religious people, both men and women, wanted a purer religious experience without distractions. These people wanted … Continue reading

Posted in History, Religion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sir Malcolm Sargent on Stockhausen

When Sir Malcolm Sargent, chief conductor of London’s ‘Proms’ festival was asked whether he had ever conducted any Stockhausen, he was briefly silent before replying, “I think I once trod in some.” I take it, the great man didn’t care … Continue reading

Posted in Humour | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Governor

Mr G, or the “Guv” as I called him some nearly fifty years ago was a formidable Hackney “project manager” but that was well before such a title came into popular use. I had of course heard the stories of … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, housing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Nervous Bridegroom Conversation

Larry Fortensky* I’m very nervous Elizabeth. Elizabeth Taylor Why’s that my dear? Larry Fortensky Well I know what to do but I’m not sure that I can make it interesting. *Elizabeth Taylor’s sixth husband (Chris)

Posted in Humour, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

In awe of nature

Who is it that sets the silent sound When Sycamore trees fed from the ground? Must burst forth their green leaves Each April when spring comes around. Do Sycamore’s tell the Bluebells bulbs “Your time is right to give delight … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact 1939: Bismarck’s Final Triumph

The most audacious diplomatic pact of the twentieth century was between Nazi Germany and the USSR: the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (23rd Aug 1939). It was audacious but stood in the tradition of German foreign policy established by Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck’s … Continue reading

Posted in History, War | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments


Passions stirred violently in Acacia Avenue Years of easy unthinking living disappeared in a moment Careful budgeting, penny pinching, and rising house prices Meant security, a comfort blanket, unchallenged living Nice living. Then passions came into their lives. They didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

How restaurants manipulate their customers

High-priced entrees on the menu boost revenue for the restaurant – even if no one buys them. Why? Because even though people generally won’t buy the most expensive dish on the menu, they will order the second most expensive dish. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Different Times

When I was a boy, my two older brothers and Mum & Dad lived in the basement rooms of a large ten roomed Regency terraced house in Gibson Square in Islington. Like hundreds of other families we rented our home, … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, housing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lyndon Johnson’s driver and the actuality of racism*

“Well Senator …. we drive for hours and hours. We get hungry. But there’s no place on the road we can stop and go in and eat. We drive some more. It gets pretty hot. We want to wash up. … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment