Don’t Give Up

Here's a track from Peter Gabriel’s album So; In this proud land we grew up strongWe were wanted all alongI was taught to fight, taught to winI never thought I could fail No fight left or so it seemsI am a man whose dreams have all desertedI’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my nameBut no… Continue reading Don’t Give Up


Planning One’s Endgame

When I set my mind to it, this head is crowded with enough memories to spend the rest of my life writing it all down, supposing I aim for two hours a day. But how do I know which bits will be of interest to future generations?. Modesty, probably false, wants to add "if any".… Continue reading Planning One’s Endgame

Don’t Be Abashed

Originally published on August 18th, 2010 I’ve agreed to help publicize DBA Lehane’s competition, which is to help publicize his website. I don’t normally do much to publicize anything. Perhaps I just want to show you my own entry. I’ve never written a short story before, never mind a short short one. It is exactly… Continue reading Don’t Be Abashed

Bel and the Dragon

We had planned a day out walking in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe, but the next bus wasn't due for an hour. Another bus was waiting for passengers to Maidenhead, so we got on that. We decided to get off at Cookham, where I knew a nice pub that I hadn't been in since 1965,… Continue reading Bel and the Dragon

Mr Lehane is Back

Years ago, DBA Lehane had a website of Short Short Stories, now defunct. I'm delighted to see it's back at Mr Lehane often visited Wayfarer's and over the years our exchange of comments is worthy of being disinterred from the sands of time, like this fellow: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look… Continue reading Mr Lehane is Back

Sailing into WebSpace

A while ago I created this website. It was before the days of blogs. I used some free kind of web design software. It was harder to use than blogger or WordPress, or so it seemed at the time, but provided some lovely backgrounds. The site is You can view it from any browser,… Continue reading Sailing into WebSpace

What’s Wrong with the World?

first published on August 2nd, 2006, restored from a backup Today I am following on from my previous post and the comments made by Darius and Rama. They felt that it did not really matter what someone believes. Perhaps they take the view that there is some inner Truth ready to be found which will… Continue reading What’s Wrong with the World?


Got out of bed this morning telling myself there's a close connection between sex and God. On reflection, love has to be in the equation: Love + sex = God This is surely why religion smiles on marriage but not one-night stands. As for homosexual relations, every religion so far as I know has frowned… Continue reading Revelations

A call from “Alma Mater”

Lat night I got a call from a bright young woman in the Alumni department, clearly a student volunteer. They ring from time to time to see if you can donate to their charity in aid of  disadvantaged students from overseas. this is from their website : Birmingham is a truly global university producing… Continue reading A call from “Alma Mater”

A Brief History of Politics?

inspired by a new blog:  A Platform for Politics and Culture Speech evolved from homo erectus's point and grunt for catching game in a team. It's presented as a series of steps explained in a talk by Wittgenstein, transcribed in The Brown Book, appended here. Thus creatures and things could be given names. Then speech… Continue reading A Brief History of Politics?

The Origins of Speech, according to Wittgenstein

THE BROWN BOOKI Augustine, in describing his learning of language, says that he was taught to speak by learning the names of things. It is clear that who-ever says this has in mind the way in which a child learns such words as "man", "sugar", "table", etc. He does not primarily think of such words… Continue reading The Origins of Speech, according to Wittgenstein

Visit to Dalkey in 2018

(Drafted September 9th 2022) I've been reading Joyce's Ulysses in odd moments. Its 265,000 words cover a single day in and around Dublin. It never loses a keen reader's interest but the action moves slowly. In fact so far as I've reached, the action is mostly implied rather than described. It starts at six in… Continue reading Visit to Dalkey in 2018

A trip back

originally published on July 15th, 2015, in When I was 12 I lived in East Cowes, shown above on the left of the creek they call the River Medina. The next year we moved across to West Cowes. The two sides of Cowes are joined by a chain ferry. The constant to-and-fro of yachts… Continue reading A trip back

God, Love, Marriage, Sex

In my view, God is not  the Transcendent Being delineated in Scriptures, the one that intervenes in the workings of Man and the rest of Nature. My God is not nullified by Evolution theory. She is the the Whole SheBang: not just the Big Bang of said theory, but the ongoing Carer that never deserts… Continue reading God, Love, Marriage, Sex

How this blog got its URL

When this blog started in 2015, taking over from my former blogspot address, I used the name of singer Tabu Ley Rochereau, who often performed with Franco Luambo's TPOK Jazz Band. This had been a favourite of mine since I first discovered African music through some tracks copied on to a cassette by a local… Continue reading How this blog got its URL

Mary, Martha and Jesus

They had by this time arrived at the large well outside Magdala. Clouds had covered the sun: a pale darkness fell over the face of the earth. Black threads of rain hung down, joining sky and soil. . . . Magdalene lifted her eyes to her skylight and saw the heavens blacken. "Winter is upon… Continue reading Mary, Martha and Jesus

Etty Hillesum’s Diary – 2

8.00 p.m. 8 uur, 's avonds. We are always in search of the redeeming formula, the crystallizing thought. As I was cycling about in the cold, I suddenly thought: perhaps I am making everything much too complicated because I don't want to face the sober facts. Een mens zoekt altijd naar de verlossende formule, naar… Continue reading Etty Hillesum’s Diary – 2

Etty Hillesum’s Diary – 1

MONDAY, 4 AUGUST 1941, 2.30 P.M. He said that love of mankind is greater than love of one man. For when you love one person you are merely loving yourself. He is a mature 55-year-old and has reached the stage where he can love all mankind, having loved many individuals in the past. I am… Continue reading Etty Hillesum’s Diary – 1

Neighbours: live podcast

Turned on voice recorder as I left the house yesterday, on my way to town. Intended to comment upon things of interest as I passed them. Didn't expect this encounter with an African neighbour at no. 13, three doors down. We'd not spoken before, other than a friendly greeting. This is what I captured, unknown… Continue reading Neighbours: live podcast

Homage to Clichés

With all this clamour for progressThis hammering out of new phases and gadgets, new trinkets and phrasesI prefer the automatic, the reflex, the cliche of velvet.The foreseen smile, sexual, maternal, or hail-fellow-met,The cat's fur sparking under your handAnd the indolent delicacy of your handThese fish coming in to the netI can see them coming for… Continue reading Homage to Clichés

Good Vibrations, good migration

 Revised on October 3rd Things have changed in my body & psyche. One is the worse for wear, the other has recovered after 6 weeks of insanity, diagnosed as an infection of the brain which like the common cold has cleared up by itself. During those 6 weeks my head ran wild ("Freak Out!") scaring… Continue reading Good Vibrations, good migration

High Wycombe has a Monopoly

from our local newspaper, the Bucks Free Press. I've corrected its numerous typos, excused by the fact that today is its publishing day, and Isabella Perrin was clearly rushed to get the copy ready in time High Wycombe MONOPOLY board release date and locations announced 15th August by Isabella Perrin , @IsabellaHPerrin Senior Digital Journalist… Continue reading High Wycombe has a Monopoly

(Not) Closing Down Soon

I've just transcribed Shaving Through the Blitz  from scribbled notes and posted it here. I'd written these words: This WordPress site, already much pruned, is returning to Blogger, the land of its birth. A few hundred posts from here will be transferred there asap. See you there already!Now I'm asking myself "Why? Are you crazy?… Continue reading (Not) Closing Down Soon

Shaving Through the Blitz

Here follow verbatim the notes I scribbled on Thursday 7th October 2021 Life can get very awkward at times. I've not asked for this cup to be taken from me, nor am I comparing my succession of predicaments with anything as violent as crucifixion like those martyrs who emulated Him in the surrendered cruelty of… Continue reading Shaving Through the Blitz

“Thank You NHS”

I went up to the hospital for a blood test and took these snaps of the approach road. They've been painted here for more than a year, and reflect a massive manifestation of affection for our National Health Service since the pandemic hit us. At various points it has drastically overloaded its workers at all… Continue reading “Thank You NHS”


HOUSEWIFERY is the efficient running of a house, and embraces problems of widely different natures. It includes the problem of running the house economically, seeing that the money available is spent to the best purpose. It includes keeping the house clean, for cleanliness and hygiene are the basis of healthy living. It includes a knowledge… Continue reading Housewifery

Being human with what we’ve got

Dear Vincent A long gap between communications tends to blur thoughts that were sharp when originally conceived - ie: when I first read your excellent last post. Maybe that’s a salutary reminder of how ephemeral our thoughts are anyway! Now that there’s a quiet moment I want to try to sum up what I wanted… Continue reading Being human with what we’ve got

Theories of Everything

First there was nothing. Then there was something: the Creation, as engineered by the Big Bang and ongoing evolution to this day.Whatever you call it, it's never stopped. Creation continues, evolution is not complete. Here we are: creativeness builds on the legacy of yesterday to bring something new today, unaffected by the future. Such is… Continue reading Theories of Everything

The Tree of Life

“If I can prevent just one person from watching this, it’ll have been worth suffering through it.” Thus begins a review of The Tree of Life by Kevin A Ranson, alias Grim D Reaper; unfortunately one which I didn’t read in time. Published on Blogger, Saturday March 17th,  2012 “If I can prevent just one… Continue reading The Tree of Life

Holy Family

Ascension of Yemaya into the Waters ,2019 I guess like other educated white males I haven’t understood the the accusation that came out so often last year in the Black Lives Matter campaigns, that people like me are “privileged”. Especially in the sense that there are things we may never be able to understand, such… Continue reading Holy Family

Joy without a cause

I tell you naught for your comfort, Yea, naught for your desire, Save that the sky grows darker yet And the sea rises higher. Night shall be thrice night over you, And heaven an iron cope. Do you have joy without a cause, Yea, faith without a hopeInspired by G.K. Chesterton's Ballad of the White… Continue reading Joy without a cause

Where We Stand

Politics has never been more rotten, more destructive of the people’s wellbeing. From an impartial distance, this is surely unarguable. But who keeps this distance? From where I stand, democracy (reflecting the people’s choice), and freedom (of the powerful to enrich themselves and do what they like), have become especially poisonous. To the biosphere as… Continue reading Where We Stand

Aylesbury Walkabout

I’m on a section of the “Round Aylesbury Walk”. If you go clockwise, the town is on your right and level countryside is on your left. I talk to myself as I go, into this digital recorder (edited below). ‘Suppose everything is just as it should be, already? Suppose everything goes on being just right,… Continue reading Aylesbury Walkabout


I have a special relationship to Holland because Mulder is my surname and I  spent four months near Arnhem in 1947 staying with my supposed father's sister, Auntie Non. I've described that sojourn here In 2012 we took a break to Holland to celebrate our anniversary and her birthday. The other day I looked for… Continue reading Amsterdam

From Etty, to God

". . . there is a remarkable woman who can give us vision and stability, who can help us to do good despite all the terror due to the Covid-19 virus. She speaks from another time of dread, the Holocaust." From her journal: "You cannot help us, but we must help You and defend Your… Continue reading From Etty, to God

Guided Randomness

I've often asked myself "Do you believe in God?" but never got an answer, only that it's an unanswerable question. A better one would be "What do you believe in?" One has to search within oneself, but not for some borrowed ideas and expressions, some flag of convenience to sail under and dodge the challenge.… Continue reading Guided Randomness


The ghost of Christine Keeler is returning to public view, in the form of a TV series now on BBC, and a forthcoming exhibition in London, which I heard about through Natalie D'Arbeloff's blog, in which she says Christine Keeler was, in that story, simultaneously absolutely powerless and absolutely powerful. She was neither victim nor… Continue reading Face-to-Face

While Unsleeping

A kind of liberation ensues when you accept the situation, displeasing as it may be, that you find yourself in at this moment. For example insomnia & remembrance of past mistakes—to name but one. For me, they are synonymous. Liberation is an art, the act of turning something round the other way.To embrace the negative… Continue reading While Unsleeping


As I lay awake this morning before getting up, a great procession of thoughts came to visit me. Thoughts? I'm not sure what a thought is. They were dwelling-places of the imagination, like images from a waking dream. I guess they were prompted by my last post, which suggested I’d work on my life-story; and… Continue reading Shapes

Dancing on the Bar

I'm finding that life is full of pointers from a friendly universe, to guide us on our way, if we are open to the moment like a small child seeing everything for the first time. These words from author Earl Mckenzie spoke to me this morning, and helped crystallize my resolve: Retirement gave me a… Continue reading Dancing on the Bar

Love Affairs

Farzaneh has an imagination, which directs his hero towards a variety of young women encountered during a year in downtown Vancouver, where “all types of girls can be found on the street”. At the end of the novel, in conversation with a waitress, he confesses “I like insecure, moody, promiscuous ice princesses who like to… Continue reading Love Affairs

Brexit dream 4

I was going to call this “The Vision of Perfection”, I’ll try and explain later. But then I jotted down the outline of a confused dream I’d just woken from. An interpretation slowly took form. To dream it at all seemed exhausting. There was a great deal of fruitless effort was being made, seven nights… Continue reading Brexit Dream 4

The unfairness started with Adam & Eve

Before that apple business, Adam and Eve were buddies, gambolling around the Garden with the other animals like a couple of kids and if they had sex at all, it was innocent sex. Then sly old Satan, dressed up as a snake, wriggled up to Eve, handed her the apple and aroused her curiosity with… Continue reading The unfairness started with Adam & Eve

The writing on the wall

Yesterday I was accosted by a big black woman of mature years on a corner of the Ledborough Road—that village pump, that microcosm of this glorious world, a few stones'-throws away.  She was not unbeautiful, the sidewalk was not wide, she only needed to stand there to slow my pace. She beamed as though I… Continue reading The writing on the wall

The Bitter Taste

From Bryan White Occasionally, I like to revisit ideas that I disagree with, to see if I can find a reason to reconsider my position. It's a wonderful thing when something compels you to change your mind. It's like a whole new area of the game board opens up. Suddenly there are all these fresh… Continue reading The Bitter Taste

“Cancer, I Love You”

I’ve been following Arash’s World for years, always enjoying his essays and book reviews. I found his latest review of particular interest, and bought a copy of the book, very reasonably priced on Kindle. It’s inspired me to submit a review of my own, not in rivalry to Arash’s, but because I was given a… Continue reading “Cancer, I Love You”

The Free Soul

I've written several times about spiritual writings from the thirteenth century: Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe. Each risked being fingered by the Inquisition as a heretic, and took steps to demonstrate orthodox obedience to the powerful Catholic Church. Marguerite Porete stands out from the others and is the most interesting by far. Almost… Continue reading The Free Soul

The Steps

From Bryan White So how did I get here? And what do I do now? There's a point when your kids are still little. They're little, but they're not babies anymore. They're starting to need their space. You're not just a young couple with a baby; you've officially reached that turning point where you're a… Continue reading The Steps


From Bryan White From time to time, I come across these women online complaining that "Men are intimidated by smart women", and I can only presume that they're talking primarily about themselves, prompted by some personal experience that they found exasperating. The thing is, I'm not sure if this is something that's actually happening, or… Continue reading Smarts

The Fraud

(writing from Mumbai) As he sat in his armchair thinking about how useless his life had been, he couldn’t help contemplating his own mortality. Had he fallen from his motorbike a few inches further to the right, the van's tyre would have run over his head. Not that he was afraid of that possibility at… Continue reading The Fraud

An open letter to the person complaining . . .

Dear sir (or madame, or however you're supposed to formally address the fragile star children from the planet Zir who have recently come to walk among us), I saw a comment you left somewhere the other day, saying that you "can't stand" when people start sentences (or maybe it was paragraphs) with the word "and."… Continue reading An open letter to the person complaining . . .

The Book of Margery Kempe

Margery Kempe was a bloody-minded woman, living in a time when England was still Catholic. Bishops, priests and friars held worldly and spiritual power. bloody-minded: Chiefly Brit. Perverse, contrary; cantankerous; stubbornly intransigent or obstructive. Cf. bloody adj. OED She came from the provinces, had no education and bore 14 children to a husband socially beneath… Continue reading The Book of Margery Kempe

The Coffee House: a brief history . . .

. . . from De Quincey to Starbucks Coleridge had published Kubla Khan in 1816. The first English translations of the Arabian Nights in the early 18th century had provided an aura of magic and violent intrigue. And The Travels of Marco Polo had been widely available since the Middle Ages. As a result, the… Continue reading The Coffee House: a brief history . . .

Angels, Chaos, Truth

The last two pieces posted here have left important questions unanswered: What can we really know? What kind of consequences may follow inaccurate assumptions? Do we have any chance of explaining the unexplained, and should we even bother? Is there a wisdom we can call upon, or allow to reach us, which we can use… Continue reading Angels, Chaos, Truth

Kant’s Trick

From Bryan White “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.” “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.” George Orwell, 1984 Out of some… Continue reading Kant’s Trick

What looks after us

Posted on Jan 4th , ’21 by Vincent I’ve been wanting to write about the role of angels in my life. Like most words in any language, it’s loaded with baggage going back millennia. Let’s strip off that heavy weight of meanings, leave it in a heap and walk lightly away. I want to go… Continue reading What looks after us

Girl with a Pearl Earring

From Bryan White I just finished reading Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. A few posts back, when Vincent said that he was "inspired" by books that he was waiting to get in the mail, I was in a similar situation at the time with this book. It was sitting on my bookshelf,… Continue reading Girl with a Pearl Earring

Art as Generosity

Art is a way of giving to the world what one holds most precious John Sebastian Bach had good reason to be grumpy. There was scant appreciation for his enormous efforts. He didn't get paid for writing music. In those days there was a system of patronage. He'd be engaged by a city council or… Continue reading Art as Generosity

Under the surface

From In Defence of Sensuality, by John Cowper Powys, 1930: . . . To return to the lonely ichthyosaurus-ego. This ichthyosaurus-ego exists in every man, woman, and child. It is the feeling of the soul in relation to its body and in relation to what surrounds its body. It is profoundly susceptible to moods of… Continue reading Under the surface

Carbon Footprint

From Bryan White In my last post, I gave a few examples of song lyrics that I claimed "created a piece of common ground." For the sake of giving a more complete picture, I figured that I should also try to give an example of poetry or lyrics that, in my opinion, fail in this… Continue reading Carbon Footprint

A Way with Words

From Bryan White My daughter writes poetry sometimes, and a few weeks ago, as I was drifting off to sleep, I was thinking about some advice that I gave her years back regarding poetry writing, and I was expanding on it in my head. I find that my thoughts are often addressed to someone I… Continue reading A Way with Words

Sittism or Maybe Whateverism

From Bryan White The other day I was telling Vincent that I almost wish the Buddha story ended with him just literally sitting under a tree, and that was it. The more I think about it, the more I kind of like it. That might be the one sort of religion I could get behind.… Continue reading Sittism or Maybe Whateverism

Wittgenstein on imagination

And if that thing itself ends up being disappointing? All the more reason to try to return to the thing as you were imaging it beforehand. Obviously a space exists for it, the space that the thing you wanted to find defaulted on occupying. From PI: “If I say I did not dream last night,… Continue reading Wittgenstein on imagination

Jordan Peterson & Susan Blackmore

following on and in response to Bryan's piece "Something Meaningful". Here are some notes I wrote while watching this debate. “Peterson is a hard man to categorize” – he frowns at the very idea! “The new atheists have a problem with establishing an ethic” “Measuring well-being” – right Harris & meditation (Blackmore does it… Continue reading Jordan Peterson & Susan Blackmore

Something Meaningful

From Bryan White On YouTube, I've been watching a number of different debates (more conversations, really) between Dr. Jordan Peterson and various prominent atheists and secular scholars. I'm not sure at this point who does or doesn't know who Jordan Peterson is. I've followed his ascent with interest though a few different waves of noteriety,… Continue reading Something Meaningful

Here in October

From Bryan White Greetings! Summer has ended here in Phoenix, and I have to say, the weather has been beautiful. It's been cool and pleasant enough to open the windows -- and it's always the sweetest air that comes through open windows. We had a genuine rainy day (a couple of them actually) last week,… Continue reading Here in October

The Poetic

From Bryan White For a long time, I was divided between two possible directions that I wanted go with my writing. On the one hand, I felt like I wanted to write something "intellectual" for lack of a better word, something that was like a complicated machine with all kinds of ideas and moving parts,… Continue reading The Poetic

What makes you happy

This post refers to a blog called "Soviet Men"  by "Nikolai Vladivostok". It's been defunct for several years. I've been following for a while is currently working in an African country. He's done contract work for years and hopes that his current assignment will be the last. For reasons of security I guess, he only… Continue reading What makes you happy

The late V S Naipaul

The other day I briefly published a piece on the late V S Naipaul. It was a synopsis of a lecture he gave in 1990, which he called “Our Universal Civilization”(1). After 24 hours, with vague misgivings, I took it down again.(2) It was fun to revive an old skill, the one they used to… Continue reading The late V S Naipaul

The Way to the Land of Freeness

I once wrote a post concluding that all we ever need to know is what to do*. These days, what to do is a important question as how to be. For example this, from the ancient Chinese oracle: Be content with what you have;rejoice in the way things are.When you realize there is nothing lacking,the… Continue reading The Way to the Land of Freeness

Life-story part 2

I looked again at this post today, it's not good enough, nobody will follow its intricacies, & nobody but I will care. Will try to make it more readable. Consider it as under refurbishment. "My father died in the war," I used to say, "so I never met him." It wasn't true but I wasn't… Continue reading Life-story part 2

Life-story, part 1

I want to tell the story of my entire life up to the present: the bare-bones series of events, with no fanciful embroidery. Let it be like a series of chess moves without the expert commentary. Let it be like a dispassionate ship's log. Let the facts tell their own story. As far as possible,… Continue reading Life-story, part 1