Otley Spring / Arab Spring

One of the things I enjoy most about this time of year is spotting The Signs Of Spring.   There are the usual brave green shoots and the courageous snowdrops but the grassy hills around Otley are recovering from their bleached winter look to reveal a gentle patina of fresh green.   Nearly all the Wharfedale pasture […]

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Our Little Grandson’s Future

I’ve been speculating recently about what the future may hold for Riley our first grandchild now 18 month:, what dangers lie ahead, and how his lifetime will compare with those of my wife, Anthea, and me.   We were born in the middle of the 2nd World War.   We had blackout curtains so communities would be […]

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India Reflection

( from our one month visit January 2010) There’s plenty for human need, but not for human greed.   (Mahatma Gandhi) In communities of any size I was overwhelmed by the mass of people: an Indian arriving suddenly in Leeds would probably be overwhelmed by the noise and the many visual distractions. Any road attracts shanty […]

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Reasons to be Cheerful

Once upon a time a young lad was out riding his pony deep in the Scottish countryside and, when they came to a lowish wall, the pony baulked and the rider flew out of the saddle and landed in an awkward heap on the other side of the wall.  When he tried to get up, […]

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Good Story

Once upon a time a young lad was out riding his pony deep in the Scottish countryside and, when they came to a lowish wall, the pony baulked and the rider flew out of the saddle and landed in an awkward heap on the other side of the wall.   When he tried to get up, […]

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Guitar Class

Yesterday evening saw the third guitar class.   Right said John (skinny smoker, 40’s, North London) we’re gonna play ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.   The air held sudden stillness. Perhaps I wasn’t the only one in shock.   He wrote the chords on the whiteboard (the photocopies hadn’t arrived) and gave us an excellent demo including vocals.   We spent […]

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Are The Kids Alright?

Yesterday evening I went to my first African drumming class at Prince Henry’s Grammar School.   Mum could hear us as she went to her nearby yoga session.   Three fellers (the other two play in bands), four women, and Alison, the hyperactive teacher.   Two of the women were seriously obese and one of them was with […]

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Death Row Pen-Pal (2)

My death row man, Bill, and I are exchanging letters fast – three waiting when I got back from the south. We’ve exchanged photographs and he looks kind and gentle and, although he doesn’t look all that fit, he’s not much overweight. The food is dreadful apparently. He’s demonstrated his innocence to my satisfaction and […]

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For My Children

Now I’ve ‘mastered’ the technology I’m hoping to send my family a regular newsletter.   I suppose it’s to compensate for my reluctance to make ‘phone calls. In ‘The Roots of Coincidence’ – Arthur Koestler’s last book before he died ten years or so ago, he said that, if we could harness the energy behind coincidence, […]

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