a life of cheerful simplicity

Category Archives: culture

LAU: an unusual Scottish anarcho-folk band I was in Fopp this morning and heard this band, Lau. Two Scottish guys and an hon. Scot (from Cambridge), they play a mix of trad tunes and jazz … Continue reading

9 May, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Unquiet Grave

I love the absolute clarity of this description by Cyril Connolly of life (or at least his life) in the Med in the late 30s: ‘Early morning on the Mediterranean: … Continue reading

26 April, 2015 · Leave a comment

A poem on reaching 40

I stumbled on this poem I wrote when I turned 40. First day at forty Looking out and looking back A big sky – high with spackled clouds Evening rooftop … Continue reading

25 April, 2015 · Leave a comment

Scottish haiku

From Alan Spence’s Glasgow Zen, versions of haiku by Issa: wid ye lookit the state ae it – me in ma new jaicket! fling doon crumbs the sparras start fightin … Continue reading

25 April, 2015 · Leave a comment

Towards an understanding of art

[…] I again spent two hours in front of a few pictures today; I sense this is somehow useful for me. Would it be instructive for you? I can’t really … Continue reading

25 April, 2015 · Leave a comment

Islamic Spain (potted)

Rough, on the fly notes from Andrew Graham-Dixon’s BBC series. — Andrew Graham Dixon on the Art of Spain 31 Jan 2008 Starts with Al-Andalus — often forgotten (not by … Continue reading

4 April, 2015 · Leave a comment

Haiku: British Museum astrolabe

On seeing the astrolabe of the muwaqqit (timekeeper) of the Ummayad mosque in Damascus (c. 1334 CE):   Spring morning, workbound In  the eastern galleries Time lies etched in bronze … Continue reading

21 March, 2015 · Leave a comment


From November 2011 Last Tuesday, La Belle Femme and I went to the Tate to see the absolutely wonderful Holbein show. This being midweek, the place was jam-packed with Saga … Continue reading

18 March, 2015 · Leave a comment

Phillip Glass etudes

I’m listening to Phillip Glass’s Six Etudes for Piano. It’s beautiful.

18 March, 2015 · Leave a comment

Tranströmer, musically

Tomas Tranströmer: Allegro After a black day, I play Haydn, and feel a little warmth in my hands. The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall. The sound is spirited, green, … Continue reading

12 October, 2014 · Leave a comment