Monthly Archives: January 2024

On the Freedom of Misunderstanding of Speech

“The Ruffian” is great title for Ian Leslie’s Substack given his predilection for roughing up lazy thinking. I first came across him as the author of “Conflicted”, an excellent book about how to disagree constructively, a practice he frequently deploys … Continue reading Continue reading

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What I Read In January

Geddy Lee: My Effin’ Life Frank Zappa once quipped (and I am working from memory here) that rock journalists are people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for the benefit of people who can’t read. I am mostly … Continue reading Continue reading

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Bookshelf

Recovery You’re reading again. my brother remarked, last fall. You said you couldn’t read before. I jolted. It was true. When I am depressed I lose the ability to read books. This is one of the worst symptoms. Staring at … Continue reading Continue reading

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Filming

I met this small grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) on the beach at Cromer last week. Although grey seals are fairly active at this time of year — you see their heads bobbing up just offshore now and again — in … Continue reading Continue reading

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Distant Sun

Solar is never going to meet all our energy needs, especially not at these latitudes. But even though the one aspect of our roof that is completely covered in solar panels faces west, we still generate significant amounts of electricity. … Continue reading Continue reading

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Shelter from the storm

There’s another storm blowing in, the milder weather pushed before it melting the ice that has gripped Gravesend for the last 4 or 5 days. Rhea has joined the new girls inside the coop for the night, but Arty and … Continue reading Continue reading

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Perfect love casts out bitterness

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. — 1 John 4:18, NRSVA That escalated quickly. How was morning … Continue reading Continue reading

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Don’t let me be misunderstood

Watling Street services, just off the A2, is my local petrol station. You might stop there as you head east from the M25 towards the North Kent coast. It’s cheaper than any of the places further out, and has a … Continue reading Continue reading

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New Year, New You

We all know New Year’s resolutions tend to last no longer than the first week or two, but it does no harm to reflect at this time of year what might improve body and soul as well as output and … Continue reading Continue reading

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Waiting for the miracle

The thermometer has been stuck between 1ºC and 4ºC for about three days. The hens are huddling together in the coop, rather than sleep alfresco on their favourite perch. Only one of them has been laying since the solstice, and … Continue reading Continue reading

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Milestones and Morning Prayer

2023 Morning Prayer is said each weekday at St Mary’s. Last year I took to going semi-regularly, on Tuesdays. Because it gets me out of the house, I explain. I go to the gym on Tuesdays, in the morning, I … Continue reading Continue reading

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One piece at a time

While we’re on the subject of failure, there were a lot of bits of broken tree around the neighbourhood today. And Jenny was greeted by this somewhat alarming sight on the school run this morning. No, not the still-small-but-rapidly-growing boy, … Continue reading Continue reading

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Being Exceptional

One of the books I read over Christmas was the 2023 book by Kate Zernike, The Exceptions. It is a story about that committed band of sixteen female scientists at MIT, led by Nancy Hopkins, who built up the evidence … Continue reading Continue reading

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English Trees

It was a lovely morning, for 1 January. The sun made a valiant effort to warm our faces, or at least blind us as we turned up Bean Lane, and we parked our new, Green (and green) Mini in the … Continue reading Continue reading

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Books of 2023

A combination of life’s distractions, ill discipline and slow reading mean that I have only managed to finish 11 books this year. I am almost embarrassed to admit to such a paltry tally. There are people who can rip through … Continue reading Continue reading

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