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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bridport, Dorset: Clocktower Music; Vinyl Records; Vintage HiFi; Roy Gregory and Mark Dicker.

Over the last forty years, since 1977, I've been a regular visitor and occasional resident in Bridport/West Bay, which has always had a lively blues and music scene. The Saturday market is a great draw, as are the quarterly Vinyl Saturday events.

Roy Gregory has lived in Bridport since 2006; I often visited his market record stall and the quarterly Vinyl Saturday events which Roy founded.

Now he and his colleague Mark Dicker run the excellent Clocktower Music shop at 10a, St Michael's Art and Vintage Quarter/Trading Estate, Bridport.

I hadn't read the "60 Second Interview" in View from Bridport when I told Roy the shop must be one of the best of its kind in the South West:

"Clocktower Music has been described by many of the patrons as one of the most fun record and CD shops in the South West" (View from Bridport).

I heartily agree. Both Roy and Mark are friendly and well-informed about the music and the technologies, old and new, and there is a rehearsal sound recording studio at the back of the shop.

Not only do they buy and sell some great and collectable records, they also buy and sell restored radios and record-players (they call on the expertise of two highly experienced engineers).

If you hurry, you might even find a copy of my own rockabilly blues CD, "On the Memphis Road!", recorded at the Sun Studios, Memphis. Next time I want to rehearse or record, I'll be "On the Bridport Road". I can't wait.

View from Bridport, 30 November 2016

"In Clocktower Music we buy and sell pre-loved vinyl records, hi-fi & guitars.

We also host our own live YouTube stream via our 'Fly On The Wall Sessions'from the heart of deepest, darkest Dorset.

You will also discover our adapted vintage valve and transistor radios to play music from Spotify and iTunes etc; a fantastic way to listen to the warm sounds through great sounding retro radios from the 1950's through to the 1980's.

Clocktower Music in the Art & Vintage Quarter, Bridport, founded the nationally famous 'Vinyl Saturday' (2008). The event was one of the kick-starters of the national revival in vinyl records. The importance of the idea of re-branding 'vinyl' media was recognised by being voted 'Record Fair of the Year' across Europe by international magazine 'Record Collector'.

Clocktower Music premises have a long history related to hi-fi. In the 1980's it was home to the production of some of the finest audiophile pre-amplifiers and equalisers in the world. The sound-boards in the Sydney Opera House were built on these premises".

Britain: Good Winter Walks

From The Telegraph/MSN - "Britain's best winter walks worth braving the cold for" (26 slides)

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Dorset: Twenty Thousand Potholes; 20,000 Potholes

County receives £1million to repair more than 20,000 potholes, Dorset Echo

Dorchester Town Centre Development Potential; Charles Street; West Dorset District Council

A report by G L Hearn (pdf) - "Keeping retailers in Dorchester and making the town a thriving regional shopping centre remains the aim".

"Dorchester is a comparatively affluent area, with population bias to older age groups, high car ownership and high retail expenditure leakage".

"The town should look to attract and retain more expenditure (comparison and convenience), especially from younger age groups but also from the silver pound".

"Given its large catchment, mobile population with high car ownership, safe and accessible car parking will continue to be important to catchment and retail/leisure operators".

"Charles Street would remain a challenging site to develop out based upon former larger scale schemes, but there appears to be a good opportunity to promote a more balanced, smaller and appropriately scaled scheme, which is likely to be viable and favourably received by the occupier and developer/investor market. On this basis we consider there is a reasonable prospect of delivering a retail based scheme".

UK and Poland : workers' rights after Brexit; Expats and the Discrimination Risk

From EUobserver - "The UK has told Poland its nationals can stay after Brexit if British nationals can stay in the EU"

From The Guardian: Huge backlog as EU citizens rush to secure British residency

British expats would be left high and dry by quick EU deal, says Theresa May, The Telegraph

Brexit: 1m EU citizens in Britain 'could be at risk of deportation', The Guardian

EU citizens in Britain post Brexit vote

Donald Tusk blames British voters for expats' EU uncertainty, The Guardian

Post-Brexit discrimination is a greater fear than deportation for Europeans, Wolfgang Münchau, FT:

"Imagine the nearly 1m Polish residents in the UK having to relocate to Poland or more likely to Germany. It is not going to happen....European citizens in the UK are understandably worried about their future. The big concern for many of them is not deportation but discrimination. Once the UK is out of the EU, there will be no European Court of Justice to protect their rights to non-discrimination. EU nationals in the UK may have to apply for residency permits. They may have to join queues for non-UK nationals at airports. They may have to pay the extortionate university fees for non-EU students. For many EU nationals who live in the UK, therefore, the question of whether they are allowed to stay may be less important than whether they can afford to stay — or even whether they would want to stay under those circumstances. UK citizens living in the EU will not be in quite the same situation. They, too, lose rights but as residents of EU member states they will still live under the umbrella of EU law."

The Brexit Case and the Appeal

From Law and Lawyers blog (with thank to Bermuda Legal for the link) - helpful material

You can't have your cake and eat it!

David Davis: UK may pay for access to EU single market, BBC News

The Remainers aim to beat Brexit by playing a long game, New Statesman

Twenty reasons why Brexit will be even trickier than we thought, The Guardian

Brexit, Property and the Pound - Ashoka Mody,

Article 50 Supreme Court Rhetoric

See also: Sir Oliver Letwin - What Brexit Means

Monday, 28 November 2016

Dorset, Primary Medical Care: Drastic Cuts Threat to NHS Doctors GP Surgeries; Consultation!

Primary Care Commissioning Strategy and Plan Draft, 206 -2020/21 (pdf)

Have your say!

As Cllr. Andy Canning writes:

Page 34 concerns Mid Dorset including Dorchester and envisages a reduction in GP locations from 11 at present to between 4-6.

Page 35 concerns North Dorset including Sherborne and envisages a reduction in GP locations from 14 at present to between 3-8.

BBC World Service: Speaking Your Language? Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromo, Plus Eight More New Language Services

From BBC World Service, Over To You

"By the end of next year the BBC World Service will be providing services for 40 different languages across the world. That is as of last week when it announced it will be launching a further 11 in Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba. Programme director of World 2020, Adrian Van-Klaveren, anwers listeners' questions on the move and not everyone is happy."

Providing credible information from reliable sources on the ground, not a projection of 'soft power' approach, or the spreading of British influence abroad; editorial independence and control.  

Some useful Amharic words

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Philip Jackson, Sculptor; History in Bronze

Fascinating and impressive talk, "Making History in Bronze", 
Poundbury, 25 November 2016

Congratulations to Andrew Deacon, Ginny Felton, Pat Ellender and other members of the organising committee.


From euronews – Isabelle Kumar, exclusive interview

"What could be the fatal blow for Europe? Brexit? Populism? The migrant crisis? A difficult economic situation? The EU is, today, in one of the most critical phases since its creation.The outcomes of elections in Austria, Italy, France and Germany also pose a risk to the EU. Who better to talk to about these challenges than the President of the European Commission.Jean-Claude Juncker? "

Referenda as "escapades" or "adventures".

Friday, 25 November 2016

Butlin's Holiday Camps: 80th Anniversary

One of my first holiday jobs after leaving school, before going up to Oxford University in 1963, was at a Butlin's Holiday Camp. I wanted to earn some money to go abroad, although I should have been concentrating on a long reading-list of books (Virgil and Milton, et al). I still haven't fully recovered from the Butlin's experience - and I'm not inclined to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of my brief period of employment at one of the holiday camps.

Alongside Norwegian students hoping to improve their English, as well as a small army of seasonal drifters, I was a washer of dishes, loading and unloading a giant washing-machine's conveyor belt three times a day, as a kitchen porter in a badly understaffed kitchen - as well as doing a second job as a drinks waiter in the music-hall (if we spilled a drink we paid for it). I occasionally have nightmares about the endless stacks of breakfast plates (thirty thousand dishes after every meal), prising the plates apart, as they were usually stuck together by congealed egg-yolks, as if by superglue. The red-hot plates came out at the other end, the loaders' hands roughened by dermatitis because of the effect of the industrial-strength detergents used.

All for five pounds a week.

A good introduction to industrial relations and human behaviour - a temporary insight into the daily realities of thousands of  underpaid seasonal workers labouring most of their lives on the minimum wage - or less - at the bottom end of the catering industry? There was certainly no union to defend their interests. It was alright for me. I could 'escape' after five weeks (the minimum contractual period if you wanted to get paid - if I remember correctly), then be free to hitch-hike on the continent, before going on to read works of English literature in the college gardens or library.

It was also very different for the happy campers:

Butlin's as it was, from Mailonline - A new book celebrating the history of Butlin's has been released - complete with dozens of never-before-seen photos. The first of the park's holiday camps was opened in 1936 by Billy Butlin in Skegness. Today, his legacy lives on as Butlin's celebrates its 80th year as an iconic British institution.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Brexit Negotiations, A View from Der Spiegel - "The prospect of a 'hard Brexit' ever more likely".

Britain's Trump Card - Brexit Negotiations Just Got More Complicated - Donald Trump's election in the US has made negotiations over Britain's departure from the EU even more complicated -- and could create added difficulties for German businesses. The prospect of a "hard Brexit" is becoming ever more likely.

Another view - Tony Blair’s unfinished business, New Statesman - T"ony Blair believes that Brexit can be halted. “It can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up. And that can happen in one of two ways. I’m not saying it will [be stopped], by the way, but it could. I’m just saying: until you see what it means, how do you know?”

Brexit to eat into German GDP: study, Deutsche Welle

Britain’s Autumn Statement hints at how painful Brexit is going to be, The Economist

EU leaders 'not bluffing' over Brexit terms, warns Malta's PM, BBC News

Brexit: Sir John Major says 'perfectly credible' case for second referendum, The Guardian

Iain Duncan Smith accuses Sir John Major over new Brexit vote bid, BBC News

Could Brexit be stopped? The Guardian

A bad time to be cutting Britain’s corporate-tax rate, The Economist

British Beaches (Marine Conservation Society); Co-op Report on Recycling

Marine Conservation Society, 2016 Report

Co-op Report on recycling

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Major Dorset hospital and care changes

From Dorset Echo - 'Major' Dorset hospital and care changes to be unveiled

"Proposals to replace community hospitals with hubs and to make Bournemouth the county's main AandE hospital have already been tabled...In May, it was revealed that Royal Bournemouth Hospital had been earmarked to become the main emergency hospital for Dorset, with Poole set to specialise in planned operations. Changes to the premature baby unit at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester were also included in the plans.The consultation on the five-year transformation plan will continue until 28 February".

Three month consultation on healthcare in Dorset announced, View News

"A list of where copies can be picked up from will be available at from December 1st. An interactive online map will show what the proposals mean for local healthcare along with details of local public events where copies of the consultation document – Improving Dorset’s Healthcare – are available. Anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet can find out where to pick up a copy of the consultation document and questionnaire by calling 01202 541946".

Dorset's Clinical Services Review - Local people are being asked to give their views about proposals that could see major changes to acute hospital and community care services across Dorset.

A three month public consultation on changes proposed in Dorset’s Clinical Services Review (CSR) will start on 1 December 2016 and run until 28 February 2017.

Corfu, Greece: Ikos Resorts buys out hotels in Corfu; Dassia

From Tornos News - Ikos Resorts buys out hotels in Corfu and Kos: €200 million investment in luxury

"Ikos Resorts investment fund have expanded their partnership with the Chandris Group in the field of luxury tourism after buying out two Chandris accommodation units in Kerkyra aiming to create a unified tourist unit of 410 rooms...The two Chandris hotels are Corfu Chandris Hotel & Villas and the Dassia Chandris Hotel & Spa, located in the area of Dasia outside the city of Kerkyra (Corfu) and only 11km from the international airport".

ITCM article

Other news

Home sellers getting paid in banks abroad. eKathimerini

Kardamyli, Greece, Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Painting at Leigh Fermor house

A Ghika rock painting at Kardamyli? from

Jeffrey Cox - "a portrait painted by Paddy’s friend Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika on a rock exposed in the wall just inside Paddy’s front door".

Cyprus Talks Deadlocked

Reuters: Talks on reuniting Cyprus fail to strike deal, U.N. says

 "Despite their best efforts, they have not been able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks. The two sides have decided to return to Cyprus and reflect on the way forward"- United Nations statement.

Kathimerini: Κυπριακό: Ναυάγιο στις συνομιλίες στο Μοντ Πελερέν - απόκλιση στο εδαφικό

Crucial Cyprus peace talks at Swiss resort ‘inconclusive’, eKathimerini

From KTG - Cyprus talks deadlocked over Ankara’s disagreement on territorial delineation

Erdogan advisor suggests annexation of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, eKathimerini

Thomas More’s Utopia

From BBC Arts: William Cook - Did Thomas More’s Utopia really predict the future?

Monday, 21 November 2016

BBC World Service Expansion: Eleven New Languages

"Over To You" broadcast. Listen on  iPlayer

"In 2022 the BBC World Service will be 100 years old, and by that time the aim is to reach 500m people around the world. Last year the UK Government invested £289m to help it meet this target".

On soft power and BBC editorial values. "A richer service".

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Greek Humour: Semiotic Satire and Facebook Self-Mockery; Political Photoshop-Cartoons

I'm not on Facebook, but I have my sources...

I really don't approve of such scurrilous satire,
 but it is hard to suppress a laugh.

The Solemn Toast

"Ideas for the reception of the next Official VIP State Visitor"

Apologies: I am not able to ascertain the creator of theses images for the purposes of listing creative credits.

Sir Roger Moore (former 007, James Bond), in The Sunday Times, Style, 20 November, 2016:

""Prime ministers not wearing ties, to me, is horror time. There's very little respect".

Well. Sir Roger is nearly 90...

Saturday, 19 November 2016

"Fiat justitia ruat caelum“, “Let Justice be Done, Though the Heavens Fall“.

From Bermuda Legal - Let Justice be Done, Though the Heavens Fall: the constitutional independence of the Supreme Court of Bermuda

"By his use of this resonant phrase, Mr. Justice Hellman has sent a clear message to the Government of Bermuda (and the media) that the Supreme Court of Bermuda is constitutionally independent, and that it will treat all parties fairly in accordance with the law, whatever the political consequences.
This is a message that appears to be just as important in Bermuda as in England and Wales, given the occasional forgetfulness of Governments and the media in both jurisdictions as to the proper role and function of the Judiciary".

Related, from The Independent: Theresa May changes legal case for right to start Brexit without parliamentary vote

Drop Brexit case appeal, senior Tories urge May, BBC News

John Minton, Jamaican Village, Rediscovered Painting

From Christie's

NHS England Healthcare Strategy - Essential Hospital Units and Wards to close in NHS overhaul; NHS Cuts

From The Guardian - AandE, cancer and maternity units to close in major NHS overhaul - As detailed healthcare strategy plans emerge and opposition grows, local hospitals face the loss of thousands of beds

From Mailonline - NHS transformation plans could be used to cover £22BILLION in cuts which include closure of hospitals and AandE departments, BMA chief warns

Friday, 18 November 2016

Schaeuble on Greek Debt and Reforms

From Greek Reporter - Schaeuble Strikes Again: Greece Not Living Within Its Means

Athens Concerned About Possible Differences With its Creditors

Thorny issues, "such as changes to labour laws that creditors are pushing for. Among the controversial issues are laws that will make it easier for struggling employers to carry out mass dismissals, something that the IMF believes will make the Greek economy more competitive. Creditors also oppose Greek plans to bring back collective wage bargaining".

Push on talks amid fears creditors will seek more austerity, eKathimerini

"Foreign auditors want to make it easier for struggling employers to carry out mass firings and oppose Greek demands to bring back collective wage bargaining".

«Μητέρα των μαχών» στα εργασιακά το όριο των ομαδικών απολύσεων - Kathimerini

ESM chief to present debt proposals at Eurogroup, eKathimerini - "The Fund (IMF) wants details about debt relief for Greece along with a staff-level agreement before committing. As the IMF has differing budget forecasts from EU officials, it also wants Athens to commit to 4.2 billion euros in extra austerity after 2018, sources say".

SPIEGEL Interview with US President Barack Obama

'We Could See More and More Divisions' - In an exclusive interview with German public broadcaster ARD and DER SPIEGEL, outgoing US President Barack Obama discusses the legacy he has built and his worries about the future of democracy, as well as Donald Trump, the man who will succeed him in office.

Includes embedded video interview

Brexit court case developments, Supreme Court

Scots and Welsh can have say in Brexit court case, BBC News


Europe’s leaders to force Britain into hard Brexit, The Observer

We Get Around! At least the name...USA/The New World

"For so much as the Phisicons place to the Company was now become voyde by reason of the untimely death of Dr. Bohune, slaine in the fight with two Spanish Ships of Warr the 19th of March last, Doctor Gulstone did now take occasion to recommend unto the Company for the said place one Mr Potts, a Mr of Artes, well practised in Chirurgerie and Physique, and expert allso in distillinge of waters. Upon his arrival in Virginia, he soon showed a great fondness for company and distilled waters, if George Sandys is to be credited”

(Minutes of the Virginia Company of July 16, 1621). Virginia Carolorum: The Colony during the Days of Charles the First and Second , Edward D. Neill and Nath. Butler, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Jul., 1885), pages 158-159.

"In 1625 Dr. Pott was commissioned a member of the Council, in which office he continued a number of years. In 1628 he was chosen Governor, and held the position until the early part of 1630, when he was superceded by Sir John Harvey. Dr. Pott is described as an educated physician, careless in business, fond of good living and jovial companions. George Sandys, some time Colonial Treasurer, a scholar and gossipy writer, in a letter to Samuel Wrote, Esq., of London, written April 9, 1623, alluding to Dr. Pott, says : I have given from time to time the best councell I am able, at the first, he kept companie too much with his inferiours, who hung upon him, while his good liquor lasted. After, he consorted with Captaine Whitacres, a man of no good example, with whom he is gone to Kicotan, yet wheresoever he bee, he shall not bee without reach of my care, nor want for any thing that I or my credit can procure him" ("Historical collections relating to the Potts family in Great Britain and America", 1901).

I'm not quite sure when Dr. John Potts's name lost its "s". He was a Master of Arts (MA) from Oxford University, and he came from Cheshire, England. He and his wife Elizabeth arrived in Jamestown, Virginia aboard The George, in May 1619. The rest of his biographical details are no basis for a source of pride in his surname or in his historical contribution (see the Wikipedia entry). Just as well he lost the "s". Bruton Parish Church is another matter; it has associations with Bruton, Somerset, England.

Potts Camp, with a population or around 500 people, is about 60 miles from Memphis
 (around an hour's drive by car), on the way to Tupelo, Mississippi:

Colonel Erasmus Ferdinand Potts doesn't sound particularly endearing either. Kenny Brown, the blues guitarist, lives in Potts Camp.

Kenny on YouTube

Another early immigrant: Anthony Potts, aboard The Paule, 1635 see The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607-1660, Peter Wilson Coldham, p.155

But he was not the first to arrive in the USA with that surname, as is claimed below:

"During the European Migration, which was when European citizens left the country of their birth and traveled abroad to a new land, many people chose to settle in the United States of America, which at that time was referred to as The New World. America provided things that these settlers were looking for, such as freedom from religious persecution, new work, land, and the promise of better living conditions. One of the very first of these settlers was Anthony Potts, who at 27 years of age boarded the “Paule” bound for Virginia in July of the year 1635, making Anthony Potts the first recorded person to carry the surname of Potts over into the New World"

From the same source:
 "The first recorded person with the surname of Potts to arrive in Australia was James Potts, who was an English convict from London who was transported to New South Wales in 1821".

North Americans like to create coats of arms: 


From Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall:

'Who else do you know at Oxford? Do you know Freddy French Wise?'


'Or Tom Obblethwaite or that youngest Castleton boy?'

'No, I'm afraid not. I had a great friend called Potts.'

'Potts!' said Lady Circumference, and left it at that.


And that makes me smile.


So does this:

"How pathetically insular poor Potts was, he thought, for all his talk of internationalism".

Decline and Fall, p. 129 (Everyman's Library edition)

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Greece: ENFIA Property Taxes Illegal in Some Cases

Greek Reporter - Council of State Rules ENFIA Property Taxes Illegal in Four Cases

Property taxes "without taking into consideration the so-called objective values, i.e. the property rates used for tax purposes".

Objective values to be amended in 4 areas following top court decision, eKathimerini

Dorchester: The Kings Arms Hotel; Dorset, UK

Plans to revamp Dorchester's historic Kings Arms Hotel approved by West Dorset District Council. Dorset Echo

MailOnline article

The School of Accents

A Babbel Video

"There are an incredible number of accents spoken across the relatively small island of Great Britain. To celebrate this diversity, we established the "British Society for the Preservation of Regional Accents" in a London pub – well, for one day anyway. 7 speakers of 7 different British accents schooled 7 expats on how to speak their hometown lingo: Cockney, Scottish, Scouse, Welsh, West Country, Yorkshire and Geordie".

Social Mobility in Great Britain: State of the Nation, 2016

From, download pdf copy (212 pages)

"This report assesses the progress that Great Britain has made towards improving social mobility".

From the Foreword:

"Britain has a deep social mobility problem. In this annual report we present compelling new evidence that for this generation of young people in particular, it is getting worse not better. Low levels of social mobility are impeding the progress of not only the poorest in our society. We identify four fundamental barriers that are holding back a whole tranche of low- and middle-income families and communities in England: an unfair education system, a two-tier labour market, an imbalanced economy and an unaffordable housing market. Taking down these barriers will require a new, long-term approach. It will also mean challenging some long-held assumptions that have held sway for too long in public policy. There are no easy fixes when it comes to cracking Britain’s social mobility problem. Change will take time. The next decade should be one of deep-seated social reform. In this, our fourth annual report, we propose an ambitious programme of change which we hope the new government will capture in a ten-year programme of social reform".

Bob Dylan and Homer; Nobel Lecture in Stockholm in April?

Update: Bob Dylan writes speech for Nobel ceremony, BBC

From The Guardian - Bob Dylan tells Nobel prize committee he will not go to Sweden for ceremony

'The Swedish Academy said it “respects Bob Dylan’s decision” but stressed it is “unusual” for a Nobel laureate not to come to Stockholm to accept the award in person'.

Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Academy, "compared Dylan’s work to that of ancient Greek writers Homer and Sappho. Asked about the comparison, Dylan said: “I suppose so, in some way. Some [of my own] songs – Blind Willie, The Ballad of Hollis Brown, Joey, A Hard Rain, Hurricane and some others – definitely are Homeric in value.”

Ian Whitwham has another opinion: "I thought Bob was better than Baudelaire", he writes in SecEd: 

'I was hoping Dylan would turn the Nobel down. “I‘m speechless,” said he cryptically. He’s still touring, still subverting complacency, still writing great songs – try Blind Willie McTell or Ancient Roman Kings. He’s not a poet. He’s a performer. Above all it’s his voice – searing, bitter, cajoling, cracked, slurred, wrecked, terrifying, witty, sneering, sombre all at once – with killer lyrics, a charisma like Moses and that gorgeous, loud racket of guitars and drums. It does you in. Teachers, like Nobel Prize givers, can still kill these enthusiasms and freeze living stuff into a dead culture. It’s a crime. Don’t forget – somewhere someone is having their life changed or saved by the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll."'

I share many of Ian's musical tastes, but I also have huge respect for the Swedish Academy and the importance of  the Nobel Prizes. The award of the Literature Prize has stimulated enthusiasm for many unfamiliar as well as famous writers; it's vital work and creates immense worldwide interest - far from "freezing stuff into a dead culture", it serves an enduring educational purpose, in the widest sense, and the decisions are often subversive, controversial or radical in terms of the expectations of national establishments. All praise to the Literature Committee.

Personally, I think Bob Dylan should have made every effort humanly possible to be there at the ceremony. Maybe he has done, but the initial delay in acknowledging the prize suggests otherwise.

He isn't Homeric - but he has written rather more than Sappho, some things almost as cryptic.

I'm now thinking twice about buying the new double CD of "the real Albert Hall concert, 1966" - and I was there at that "seismic" gig, too. I'll probably succumb: it's not yet completely frozen or dead culture - unlike some of his recent CDs.

The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert

Checking an old diary, I recorded that when he was booed at the Albert Hall concert he shouted back at some members of the audience, in a voice heavy with indifference and weary irony, "If you don't like my music, go home and read a book!" I wonder if that's on the recording.

Update, Svenska Dagbladet: some better news:

Dylan is expected to come to Stockholm in April - Bob Dylan will not participate in the award ceremony on 10 December. However, there is a possibility that he will come to Stockholm for his Nobel Lecture in April.  Dylan kommer inte till Nobelprisutdelningen - Svenska Akademien meddelar att Bob Dylan inte kommer till Stockholm för att motta Nobelpriset - Nya beskedet: Dylan väntas komma till Stockholm i april.


Visions of Johanna

It's All Over Now, Baby

Bob Dylan, The Band and Me, Robbie Robertson, BBC

Tweet from The Nobel Prize (Sara Danius)


"If you look back, far back, 2,500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to, that were meant to be performed, often with instruments -- and it's the same way with Bob Dylan," said Sara Danius, the Nobel academy's permanent secretary in an interview after the announcement. "He can be read and should be read -- he's a great poet in the English tradition."

Click on image below for video

Life at HMP Guys Marsh, Category C jail near Shaftesbury, Dorset (?)

From The Sun

From The Sun, 25 September

From the BBC

From Dorset Echo - Inmates at Guys Marsh in photos online showing steaks, takeaways and drugs inside jail

From 25 March, 2015, The Guardian - "Gangs operated openly in Dorset prison, say inspectors- Official report on Guys Marsh jail finds ‘very high levels of violence’ driven by the supply of drugs, and that managers had all but lost control

Update March 2017:

Guys Marsh Prison: Evacuation after fire is started 'by inmate on roof', BBC News

Prisoners evacuated after roof set on fire by inmate in protest, 17 March 2017, The Guardian

President Obama at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre

Watch the video here

Contrast: The New Nationalism, The Economist

Alan Bennett Live; Britishness; Alan Bennett's Diaries; Tolerance and Arrogance

A full house at the Electric Palace in Bridport, for "Alan Bennett Live".

(Adam Low’s documentary, Alan Bennett’s Diaries, follows the writer around the UK and to New York over the course of a year).

Clip One  -  The Smart State Clip - A Trailer

In the live Q and A with Sue Macgregor after the end of the documentary, Alan Bennett was asked about "Britishness". For him, Britishness, or an important part of being English, is about tolerance and inclusiveness - and about being ready to offer refuge to others. He said that he felt ashamed about Brexit and current attitudes, such as refusing to be a refuge, as Britain and the British have always been.

I have heard less sympathetic people suggest on occasion that another less appealing aspect of Britishness is arrogance.

Could it be - certainly not in the case of Alan Bennett - that there is a kind of arrogance in laying claim to the quality of tolerance?

We can never be sure about the perceptions of others. There was an example of possible arrogance on BBC Radio 4 this morning, on the Today programme at around 7.10am, in the questioning style of the interviewer/presenter. Take a listen on BBC iPlayer, the Today programme  of 17th November.

0710 - "Donald Trump has usually preferred the coverage of Breitbart News – a politically conservative website which is said to espouse the views of the “alt-right”. He’s hired the website’s executive chairman Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Joel Pollak is senior editor at large of the publication"
It wasn't a question of who was right or wrong, the interviewer or the interviewee (Joel B. Pollak), or whether the tough line of questioning could be construed as defamatory, but whether that style of hard talk and questioning has more than a touch of arrogance. Either way, there is a growing risk that the media and journalists are facing a strong counter-attack. Interviewees are ceasing to be intimidated by journalistic slurs and innuendo, legitimate or otherwise.

See also


Daniel Tatarsky tweet: @BBCr4today @joelpollak wipes the floor with another ill-prepared interviewer.

Today Presenters

Another example, from The Guardian - Manfred Weber warns UK not to meddle in bloc’s post-Brexit business as he criticises Boris Johnson’s ‘unbelievable arrogance’

Johnson labelled arrogant and Davis scorned, The Times

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Corfu Cooking School; Nitin Ganatra; Channel 5, Corfu Cookery School

'Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, he said: "I've just come back from Corfu where I've done a thing for channel 5, with, at the moment, the working title is 'Corfu Cooking School'. "They've taken six celebs over to Corfu to learn about Corfu culture and their cuisine and how to cook their cuisine' The List.

More from ATV Today

"Channel 5 has commissioned Corfu Cookery School starring Chris Hollins, Jo Wood, Nitin Ganatra, Sue Johnston, Rory McGrath and Charlie Brooks as they all head to the island of Corfu. The six part travelogue series will air in hour-long slots which sees the programme blend travel, exploration and Greek history along with the highly topical Mediterranean diet, known for its life-long health benefits. Well-known faces experience the unique culture and laid-back lifestyle of one of Europe’s most beautiful islands as they enjoy the Greek cuisine which they have carefully crafted under the tutelage of the Corfu Cookery School.

Corfu is a small Greek island like no other. Its long history and breath-taking landscapes and coastlines have meant those who have come here rarely want to leave. Its cuisine is a unique blend of Greek and Italian making it the true Mediterranean diet. Now six well known faces are journeying there to get a taste of the island for themselves.They will not only learn to cook iconic Mediterranean dishes but experience working the abundant land as they harvest grapes, pick olives or try their hands at fishing for octopus in the beautiful Ionian waters. Showcasing not only food, the group will explore the sights and sounds of this incredible island as they immerse themselves in the Corfiot lifestyle in a genuine journey of discovery for the cast of famous faces".
Corfu Cookery School has already been filmed and will air early in 2017 on Channel 5.

Channel 5 heads to the Corfu Cookery School

"The series has been commissioned by Emma Westcott, Factual Commissioner. The series producer is Amanda Kean and the executive producer is Dan Adamson for Twofour. The series marks Channel 5’s first static travel series. Emma Westcott, Factual Commissioner for Channel 5 said “With a fascinating blend of well-known faces and interesting characters, against a backdrop of beautiful scenery and delicious traditional Greek food, this series will be a stimulating visual and culinary treat for our viewers.” Corfu Cookery School is a co-production between Twofour and GroupM Entertainment".

Dorset: The Threat to Doctors' Surgeries

Potentially "devastating" changes to GP surgeries, Dorset Echo

Patients and staff shut out of NHS transformation plans, says Thinktank - The Guardian

Hanging Baskets: London Road in Bloom

From the film "London Road" - Hanging Baskets

The theatrical version

"It Could be Him"

"Everyone is Very, Very, Nervous"

Seen last night at the local Film Society.

Greece, IMF; The Draft Compromise; "Reduce Pensions, Increase Layoffs"; «Μειώστε τις συντάξεις, αυξήστε τις απολύσεις»

From To Vima - «Μειώστε τις συντάξεις, αυξήστε τις απολύσεις»

International Edition: Creditors insist upon new list of privatizations and timetables

Monday, 14 November 2016

UK: Social Care for Older People Report; The King's Fund; Stay Connected in Older Age Guide; Independent Age

Read the report (pdf)

"Local authorities have sought to protect the most vulnerable older people with the highest needs, while at the same time encouraging others to be independent, drawing on the resources of their families and communities, and to reduce dependence on support from the state. For many people the experience of needing to find and pay for care comes as an unpleasant surprise for which, in general, they are unprepared. Unpaid carers will also be expected to do even more".

"The success story of longer lifespans means there are many more people with care and support needs arising from a mixture of physical health and mental health conditions including dementia and frailty in old age. But the system is in trouble. Even before austerity gripped public spending in 2010, the state was able to meet only a proportion of older people’s care needs; the remainder had to use their own resources, financial and family, to support themselves".

How to stay connected in older age (Independent Age Advice Guide, pdf)

"Loneliness just creeps up on you. None of us think it will happen to us, but suddenly it’s there – you’re on your own".

President-elect Donald Trump, TV Interview

President-elect Trump speaks to a divided country on 60 Minutes - "What can we expect from a Trump presidency? 60 Minutes' Lesley Stahl finds some of his campaign issues were not meant to be taken literally, but as opening bids for negotiation". CBS, 60 Minutes, 13th November.

Donald Trump:" I think it’s a moment in time where politicians for a long period of time have let people down. They’ve let ‘em down on the job front. They’ve even let ‘em down in terms of the war front. You know, we’ve been fighting this war for 15 years--"

Lesley Stahl: "This was the message of your campaign".

Donald Trump: "We’ve spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, $6 trillion, we could have rebuilt our country twice. And you look at our roads and our bridges and our tunnels and all of the-- and our airports are, like, obsolete. And I think it was just a repudiation of what’s been taking place over a longer period of time than that".

William Barnes: Preferred Words, "Englished" Vocabulary

An Outline of English Speech-Craft (pdf) - see pages 47-83

From Barnes' Fore-Say: "I have tried to teach English by English, and so have given English words for most of the lore-words (scientific terms), as I believe they would be more readily and more clearly understood, and, since we can better keep in mind what we do than what we do not understand, they would be better remembered... there are tokens that, ere long, the English youth will want an outline of the Greek and Latin tongues ere he can well understand his own speech".

Random Examples:

Absist. Forbear.

Acephalous. Headless.

Alienate. To unfrienden.

Amicable. Friendly

Posterity. Afterkin.

Salubrious. Healthy, halesome.

Septuple. Sevenfold.

Sophistry. Rede-guile, rede-cunning.

See also:

Britain: Footpaths blocked for walkers; The State of Our Paths Report; The Big Pathwatch; The Ramblers; England and Wales

England and Wales

Thousands of miles of Britain's footpaths blocked for walkers, survey finds, The Telegraph

"Almost a tenth of footpaths in England and Wales are difficult or impossible to use, according to a survey by walking organisation the Ramblers".

Read The Ramblers' Big Pathwatch report, The State of Our Paths

"The South West and the West Midlands contain a higher proportion of grid squares where the rights of way are poorly kept".

"In the South West of England, our citizen surveyors found the highest proportion of attractive views, over one-quarter of which are coastal views".

"Percentage of man-made vs natural obstructions in the South West, by local authority" - Dorset, about 47%-48% , see report page 22 for further analysis of types of path obstruction :

Fallen tree or hanging tree
Overhanging vegetation
Electric fence (across path)
Electric fence (close to path)
Barbed wire (across path)
Barbed wire (close to path)

"In Dorset and Gloucestershire, undergrowth alone accounts for around half of all reported obstructions".

Sunday, 13 November 2016

President Obama: Interview about Greece, the EU and European Integration; Athens Speech

Obama: Greeks 'need hope', eKathimerin (in English)

"Speaking ahead of his two-day visit starting on Tuesday, the outgoing US president said that Greece must continue on the path of necessary reforms, which he said can only be sustainable if people are given hope".

Obana: "I believe that European integration is one of the greatest political and economic achievements of modern times, with benefits for EU members, the United States and the entire world. Europe is our largest economic partner and we have a profound economic interest in a Europe that is stable and growing".

Obama insists on need for reforms and ‘meaningful’ debt relief

Oμπάμα: «Δίνουμε τεράστια σημασία στη συμμαχία με την Ελλάδα» Kathimerini

Obama in Athens:

Obama: The US will stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with crisis-hit Greece

Obama Spreads Message of Calm, Euronews

Ομπάμα: Η λιτότητα μόνη της δεν φέρνει ευημερία, Kathimerini

Obama declares support for Greece on crucial issues, eKathimerini

"According to sources, in his talks with Obama, Tsipras asked him to press Greece’s creditors to ensure that no “unnecessary obstacles” transpire in the bailout review that is currently under way and which must be completed for talks on debt relief to begin. Obama also referred to United Nations-backed Cyprus peace talks, saying that even though “success is not guaranteed,” there is a “real prospect for resolving” the decades-old dispute, in fact “the best they have seen for some time” as both leaders, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, appear committed to a solution. If they reach an agreement, he said, everyone will support it".

Obama Urges Europe to Address Its Debt Crisis, Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama’s Full Speech in Athens November 16, 2016, Pappas Post

Anarchists clash with Athens police over Obama visit, John Psaropoulos

President Obama Delivers Final Remarks From Greece, Greek Reporter

The U.S. President Visit to Greece Leaves Everybody Happy - Greek Reporter

Remarks by President Obama at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, Greece,White House website

Video of speech, YouTube

There are some amusing postings and photo-cartoons here, by  Greek teachers of foreign languages in Greece: - Καθηγητές Ξένων Γλωσσών _ Facebook

Some of them make fun of PM Tsipras's idiosynchratic use of English and his accent, hardly fair. If you're on Facebook, you can find more here  -to see more from Καθηγητές Ξένων Γλωσσών on Facebook, log in or create an account.

Best to go to this page:

If you know the Greek sayings and idioms which have been translated literally into very broken English:

"Take me with you"..."Do you have the Lower (Certificate)?"

"Make mine with ham and double cheese"

Just remember - if someone knows even one foreign language reasonably well, 
he or she might well know one more language than you do!

Long-haul flights (in economy class) - Telegraph Travel Advice

Might be useful:

The secret to enjoying a long-haul flight (in economy class), Nick Trend

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Paul Kingston Photographs, Ullswater, Cumbria

Fine photographs by Paul Kingston, like Chinese landscape art, at -

More photos

I, Daniel Blake; Ken Loach Film

Just seen, a film which made a great impact - Consciousness-raising and attitude-changing Ken Loach/ Paul Laverty film.


Review (The Guardian)

"Are you Daniel Blake? Here’s a guide to using our nightmarish benefits system", The Guardian, Matthew Ahluwalia opinion piece

Update, Opinion Piece, The Guardian 28 February, 2017, "Don’t blame Corbyn for the sins of Blair, Brown and New Labour", Ken Loach

Land Art Biennale, Mongolia

The Landscape is Staring at Us, from Plinius, some LANDSCAPES blog

Lewis Biggs article, LRB

Devon: Ottery St Mary Astronomical Clock

Philip Strange, in The Marshwood Magazine - "St Mary’s Church, a magnificent building, a mini-cathedral. There is much to see within the church but one of its more unusual features is the ancient astronomical clock. As well as telling the time, it also shows the age and phase of the moon, and it has done so for more than five centuries. This beautiful clock is a rare example of medieval craftsmanship and gives us a unique insight into life many centuries ago".

See also, Philip Strange on Golden Cap, Dorset

Friday, 11 November 2016

GP surgeries could close - Weymouth and West Dorset

GP surgeries could close and practices to merge in major healthcare shake-up in Weymouth and west Dorset - Dorset Echo

Leonard Cohen's "Democracy"; Life on Hydra, Greece

"From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A....

From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray...
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A....

It's here they got the range
And the machinery for change..."

From Leonard Cohen, "Democracy"

Leonard Cohen, Twenty Essential Songs (Rolling Stone)

Leonard Cohen dead at 82: tributes paid to legendary singer-songwriter, The Guardian

Obituary, The Guardian

John Burnside on the heart and artistry of Leonard Cohen, New Statesman

Leonard Cohen's Theories on Life, Democracy and The Future | MTV Full 1993 Interview

Cohencentric: Leonard Cohen Considered, website

Hydra-related postings on Cohencentric

In Memory of Leonard Cohen, 

In his Hydra House, 1988, YouTube

Leonard Cohen on Hydra

Leonard Cohen meets his muse in Greece - In 1960, the poet/singer decamped to the romantic Greek island of Hydra, in search of inspiration. He found it in the form of Marianne Ihlen, the woman who transformed his life and career. James Burke’s camera recorded it all, Sunday Times

More James Burke photos

Leonard Cohen's Muse Suzanne Verdal
Leonard Cohen's Greek island haven bids balladeer farewell. eKathimerini

LEONARD COHEN MAKES IT DARKER, David Remnick, The New Yorker

You Want it Darker (video)

Travelin' Light (video)

Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye

Go no more a-roving

A Swedish Reaction - Svenska Dagbladet

More from Sweden

"Hallelujah" caught a corporeal spirituality

LEONARD COHEN - The Last Interview (September 2016); David Remnick from The New Yorker

The Legend of Leonard Cohen will ‘Live Forever’ on Hydra (Video), Grek Reporter