Contemplative Musicians

Driving back from York with my son this morning, I was listening to Radio 4’s “The Listeners” I found it fascinating and decided to listen again when I returned home. I also listened to the equally fascinating first episode of series 4 which featured Karen Markham (Hermitage of Divine Wisdom) and Pauline Oliveros. The whole notion of contemplative life and spiritual musicianship intrigues me.

Expect me to mention more!


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Wuthering Heights

I’ve recently finished reading Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” – just my second Kindle read and I’m not particularly keen on reading via an electronic device. I’ve never seen or heard an adaptation of the novel and only had the Kate Bush song to go by. I wish somebody had told me how cruel a narrative it was and I’d have saved myself the experience. I’m glad there was a happy ending of sorts for Hareton and Catherine but appalled at the set of mean and dispassionate characters that Emily wrote into existence.

I’m sorry I read it but glad I read it if you understand me. And I do consider it a powerful text and an essential read.

Here’s wikipedia’s take on the book (and I can’t disagree):

“Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarised; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day regarding religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.[3][4][5] The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, although an admirer of the book, referred to it as “A fiend of a book – an incredible monster  […] The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there.”[6]

I’ll stick to Ursula K LeGuin’s heroic and thoughtful characters for a while methinks.


We Heart Libraries … or whatever — calmgrove

People who love books love libraries. That’s a sort of given, isn’t it? Those of a certain age usually see it as a place of hushed reverence, a temple of learning where obeisance is paid to the written word, from where you might even extract some small portion of the hallowed manna to enjoy privately for […]

via We Heart Libraries … or whatever — calmgrove

A random act of kindness idea. — Andy Long Bass Player

Do with this whatever you like, it’s just an idea We often see homeless people in and around the streets of our town, and pretty much anywhere we go in the country. We’re always reluctant to give them money when we don’t know the back story and there isn’t always time to get to know […]

via A random act of kindness idea. — Andy Long Bass Player

A dream of death



He’d never been close to death until then.

Yes, he’d seen dead bodies – his grandma, his father, a body in a road. True, this was death, but death as it had happened to others, deaths already tainted by premonitions of their passing or tinged with the innocent curiosity that characterises the young. This was not imminent death as it might apply to him: a moment of reckoning, a brief interval pointlessly proffered to put his house in order.

For those who’ve lived through it, even if memories have faded, the Cold War was a time of surviving on a precipice. Sometimes its edge visibly crumbled at one’s feet, as it did during the Cuba crisis. Sometimes there was just a feeling of vertiginous malaise watching grainy news footage of CND marchers, whether or not they were really cranks or communist stooges.

But one day death really came knocking at his…

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Take a Break

I’m going to be taking a break for a short while to say goodbye to my father, spend quality time with my family, wind up my teaching job and work on my guitar playing / performing. Take care everybody, see you soon.


Photograph of myself and Nigel Hodge at the Castle jam night. Copyright info to follow.
Photograph of myself and Nigel Hodge at the Castle jam night. Copyright info to follow.