Notes on matters deep, curious and whimsical.

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‘Between the Wars’ by Billy Bragg is so relevant (always)

On a playlist for the ‘Age of Austerity’ My friend Beth messaged me ask whether I’d heard of ‘Between the Wars’ by Billy Bragg.  She had it on a partly tongue-in-cheek playlist about being poor, along with Ill Manors.   On… Continue Reading →

My favourite haiku ‘rules’ and their benefits to our lives and well-being

Word therapy? Can writing (and reading) haiku poems be therapeutic?  Can these mini poems help us adopt more positive attitudes and experience greater contentment?  I think they help… Perhaps it’s the ‘rules’ of haiku that do it, though they’re not… Continue Reading →

What is the Japanese concept ‘sabi’?

It’s difficult to say… ‘Sabi’ appeared to me recently in Writing and Enjoying Haiku: a Hands-On Guide.  I’ve just properly read this book, which I scan-read years ago as reference material for a university task.  This time I read every… Continue Reading →

Nature in the City: Flowers in Concrete Jungles

Along Bow Road A woman in a niqab bends down to look at a purple allium growing in a grass verge.  She takes a picture of it with her smartphone camera, pausing to line it up…  This was one vision… Continue Reading →

Running headphone free…

Natural Beats It happens when I’m waiting at a station platform and the robin sings high on the post, when walking slowly through sloping farmland to the beach and now, even when I’m running…  I’m talking about hearing the sounds… Continue Reading →

Songs for Broken Britain Pt. 3: Mick Jagger gets political and quotes Marie-Antoinette?

Then and now… Speed was important for Mick Jagger when he wrote and released these two songs of protest that you’ll read about here…  “I didn’t want to wait until next year when they might lose any impact or meaning.”… Continue Reading →

Songs for Broken Britain Pt 2: Liar Liar by Captain SKA

This broken country… “The fervour of the music matched the energy of the streets, as racism, poverty and violence ran rampant.”…  Wrote Heather Augustyn, author of Ska:  The Rhythm of Liberation.  She was describing Britain in the 1960s when Ska… Continue Reading →

On running

Summer running… My daughter and I have started running together.  It’s free, helps us out of low moods by raising those endorphin and serotonin levels, can be companionable and reconnects us with the earth.  Once you get going, it is… Continue Reading →

Songs for Broken Britain Part 1: Plan B

What is Music for Broken Britain? Music for Broken Britain is music that resonates with how I feel about my country of birth right now.  For me it is part of a grieving process.  It is also an expression of… Continue Reading →

The bluesy words and spell-binding tales of Big Bill Broonzy (Music for Friday)

Found again Blues lyrics haven’t really jumped out at me before, though I’ve loved the raw instrumentals and expressive, soulful tunes. Perhaps this has changed now… We recently watched a documentary on Big Bill Broonzy, not a blues musician that… Continue Reading →

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