Tuesday, July 28, 2009


200px-Moonposter Scant days after the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing, I'm in the Duke Of York's cinema with sons Alex and Louis watching 'Moon', the first feature by David Bowie's son  Duncan Jones. Ground control to first-born son.

Its is rare these days to see a space movie of substance. Set on the dark side of the moon, at a remote mining camp operated by just one man, this is a film with a lot of psychological edge, drenched in the feel and resonance of many previous space epics (principally 2001, Solaris and Alien) but which manages the difficult feat of being original, creating its own ground.

Co-scripted by Jones and Nathan Parker, the action centres on actor Sam Rockwell who dominates the entire film. This is his greatest role since 'Confessions of A Dangerous Man'. Its also got a great score by Clint Mansell.

One of the things that is most interesting in the film is the blend of retro modelling techniques and digital effects. This strikes just the right blend; 40 years on from the excitement of Apollo, this is space with a used look, with a cynical air.

00 When watching the film I was constantly reminded of an exhibition in 1999 with my sons called 'Full Moon: Apollo Mission Photographs of the Lunar Landscape'', put together by the aptly named Michael Light. We had just been to see the first of the new Star Wars trilogy, which was a huge disappointment, and then there we were in the Hayward Gallery getting excited over a photo exhibition.

Most stunning were the rooms containing huge panoramic photos, which are still the best sense of the lunar landscape I have ever experienced. The moon is a black and white world, and in this landscape, there is a tiny bit of colour - the astronaut and his craft.

Light had spent four years delving into the NASA archive of 30,000 images from the Apollo moon flights. He digitally scanned originals to film-grain resolution and created the panoramas by combining individual Hasseblad medium-format images.

In the Hayward exhibition programme notes, Suzanne Cotter 600px-Full_moon writes: 'Before the Apollo astronauts landed on the moon, the lunar surface had been pristine for over four billion years, still and silent, marked only by the impact of countless meteorites and blown only by the solar wind. Yet several of the astronauts have talked about how, at times, the moonscapes seem strangely familiar...This is the 'patient moon' of timeless proportions, of sweeping relief and smooth hills.'

Jones acknowledges the book's impact on the visual look of' 'Moon'. The idea of creating a shake-and-bake Helium-3 mining facility on the moon to extract fuel for fusion-powered generators on the earth came from 'Entering Space' by the astronautical engineer Robert Zubrin.

In the film's press notes, Jones says the film is about 'the paranoia that strikes you when you are in a long distance relationship; and it’s about learning to accept yourself.  A lot to take on for a little indie film, but maybe that was the best place to try.'

Check it out.

Monday, July 20, 2009


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"What is sought and achieved here is the Total Novel, placing the author of 2666 on the same team as Cervantes, Sterne, Melville, Proust, Musil, and Pynchon." - Rodrigo Fresa

This is my second post about Roberto Bolaño , having finished his mighty and extensive saga '2666' which is a true literary experience.

Composed of five parts which Bolaño intended to be published in five separate volumes, his wishes were overridden by his executors after his death in 2003 at the age of 50, and was produced in this giant 900pp form, first in Spain in 2004 and then, in translation, in the US in 2008 and the UK in 2009.

The book's central focus is the pseudonymous Mexican border town of Santa Teresa (based on  the real town of Cuidad Juarez) and the mysterious and ongoing real-life series of brutal murders of women that continue to this day. More than 400 women have been killed or 'disappeared' since 1993.

The book's five sections are as follows:

1) 'The Part about The Critics', in which four literary critics join forces to try and discover the mysteries and whereabouts of a famous German writer named  Benno von Archimboldi, which leads them on a twisting trail to Mexico.  

2) 'The Part About Amalfitano' takes us deeper into the lives of the people of Santa Teresa through the experiences of a philosophy professor who is having a mental breakdown.

3) 'The Part About Fate' concerns a black American literary journalist named Oscar Fate who is, by chance, assigned to cover a boxing match in Santa Teresa and ends up getting drawn into the mystery of the killings.

3 'The Part About The Crimes' is the largest section which documents in extensive detail the many murders and the attempts made by various detectives and policemen to discover who is responsible.

4) 'The Part About Archimboldi'  tells the author's  lifestory in Europe during world War II and beyond, and links us back to the book's beginning.

As in his earlier novel 'The Savage Detectives' (see Previous Post: ROBERTO BOLAÑO), which I would heartily recommend reading first, the narrative structure is unorthodox, containing a cast of hundreds of characters whose interlocking stories constantly overlap and intersect in unexpected ways.

Bolaño's unique writing style blends the magical and the realistic, the humorous and the grotesque. He spares us nothing of the gruesome details of the murders and delights in talking graphically about sexual matters. Death hangs over the whole book and this is definitely not a work for the squeamish. Bolano was dying while he wrote it and the smell of the grave lies heavily upon it.

It is rightly considered one of the great works of literature of the 21st century, which also serves the purpose of drawing world attention to the mass murder of the Mexican women. It is a remarkable feat of imagination which envelops you in its grasp and will permeate your thoughts and dreams. Its countless stories within stories take us to the depths of humanity and the heights of poetry. Its a true wonder.

There is a great deal about Bolaño and this book on the net, from which I have selected the following links:

'Latin America's Literary Outlaw' By William Skidelsky [The Observer 11 Jan 2009]

'2006' Review by Richard Gwyn [The Independent 9 Jan 2009]

'The Many Deaths of Roberto Bolano' by Michael Saler [Times Literary Supplement 7 Jan 2009]

'Bolaño's 2666: The Best Book of 2008' by Lev Grossman [Time 10 Nov 2008]

'Bolaño  in Mexico' by Carmen Boullosa [The Nation 5 April 2007]

'Vagabonds: Roberto Bolaño and his fractured masterpiece' by Danie Zalewski [New Yorker 26 March 2007]

'A Writer Whose Posthumous Novel Crowns an Illustrious Career' by Larry Rohter [New York Times 9 Aug 2005]

'2666' Review by Scott Esposito  [The Quarterly Conversation. Issue 14]

2666: A Novel

Robert Bolano

Female homicides in Ciudad Juárez

Wednesday, July 15, 2009





The Generalist has joined and has been enjoying his first day on Spotify - a free music site (with some ads/ premium service without ads £9 a month). You have to register. The rest is pure fun. You can't download but you can listen not only to a massive amount of fresh music on Radio mode but also a mammoth number of previously released albums.

Read interview with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

Here are some of the great tracks and artists I discovered, to suit a wide variety of tastes:

John Butler Trio

New World Son

Burton Greene

Nicola Conte: The Dharma Bums

Maserati: Kalinchta

The Cranberies: Waltzing Back

The Raconteurs: Level

Bonnie Leigh: Forked Deer

Arid Anderson: Electra Song

Donald Byrd: Wind Parade

Sia: I Go To Sleep

Moscow Composer's Orchestra: Brief Meditation

The Waifs: Up all Night

At this point Spotify crashed and I lost all my History links. No worries. There's always tomorrow. Enjoy.





Sources: www.trec-uk.org.uk/                                             http://www.vai-risparmio.it/nasce-desertec-un-nuovo-progetto-fotovoltaico_24.html                         www.ilpannellofotovoltaico.com/.../

Things are getting futuristic. Today was the official launch in Munich of the Desertec Industrial Intiative (DII):

The twelve Desertec Industrial Initiative founding members are ABB, Abengoa Solar, Cevital, Deutsche Bank, EON, HSH Nordbank, Muenchener Rueca, M+W Zander, RWE, Schott Solar, Siemens and Solar Millennium/MSM.

The estimated cost of the project, according to William Ickes of AFP is estimated at 400 billion Euros (560 billion Dollars) and is scheduled for completion in 2050. 'The massive project would cover 6,000 square kilometres (2,300 square miles), including 2,500 for power plants and 3,500 for the distribution grid.' He reports that the project has 'won support from firms in Algeria and Spain and from officials in Egypt and Jordan.'

'A study by Desertec, Greenpeace and the Wuppertal environmental research institute said the project could create two million jobs. Desertec spokesman Tim Hufermann said 80 percent of the electricity would power producer countries.  The remainder should satisfy 15 percent of Europe's needs, he added.'

According to Energy Current: 'The initiative will analyze and develop the technical, economic, political, social and ecological framework for carbon-free power generation in the deserts of North Africa.

'The Desertec concept, developed by think tank the Club of Rome, envisions a sustainable power supply for all regions of the world with access to the energy potential of deserts. It aims to provide 15 percent of Europe's energy needs, along with part of the energy demand in North Africa and the Middle East by 2050, by developing renewable energy projects in the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East.'

According to The Economist: 'The Start of Something Big'

'The power stations in question will be “solar thermal”,  rather than the better known sort relying on photovoltaic solar cells. In other words, instead of converting the sun’s rays directly into electricity using expensive semiconductor-grade silicon, they will use cheap metal mirrors to focus those rays either onto boilers that make steam to drive turbines, or onto containers of special low-melting-point salts that will store heat overnight, so that it is available to drive turbines during the hours of darkness.'

Sunday, July 12, 2009




On July 8th, this crew of Greenpeace activists climbed Mt Rushmore and unfurled their banner calling for the G8 to act on climate change. See full report, videos, photos on Greenpeace USA site.

Were you aware the biggest environmental movement in the US at present is the campaign against the coal industry and the financial institutions that bankroll them? This is certainly a story that is under-reported in the UK and maybe in your country too. Here, in a brief summary form, is some of what is going on.

This week the Sierra Club, a leading US conservation group, made an astonishing announcement: that since they started their 'Beyond Coal Campaign' six years ago, they and their allies have defeated plans to build 100 new coal-fired power stations in the US - the 100th being the coal plant proposed by Intermountain Power in Delta, Utah.


The coal rush began in 2001 when plans were set in train to build 150 new coal-fired plants in the US. The extraordinary effectiveness of the campaigners have had a devastating impact on these plans.

According to a piece by Ruedigar Matthes on Planetsave: 'The Sierra Club doesn’t just want to stop the coal kingdom from expanding, but wants to ignite a renewable energy revolution, helping states fill the void left by abandoned or prevented coal plants. In place of coal, the Sierra Club is pushing for the development of wind, solar and geothermal plants as well as promoting energy efficiency.'


Another important focus for the anti-coal movement is Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining which is devastating the natural environment of Appalachia. According to Mountain Action:

'Mining companies literally explode the tops off of mountains with ammonium nitrate oil fuel to expose seams of coal, which they then scrape out with giant machines. While the environmental devastation caused by this practice is obvious, families and communities near these mining sites are forced to contend with continual blasting from mining operations that can take place up to 300 feet from their homes and operate 24 hours a day. Families and communities near mining sites also suffer from airborne dust and debris, floods that have left hundreds dead and thousands homeless, and contamination of their drinking water supplies. Furthermore, mountaintop removal is a mining technique designed, from the very start, to take the labor force out of the mining operation. Once a power base for the U.S. labor movement, unions in Appalachia have been devastated by the transition from deep ground mining to surface mining techniques like mountaintop removal. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, in the early 1950’s there were between 125,000 and 145,000 miners employed in West Virginia; in 2004 there were just over 16,000. During that time, coal production has increased!


Source: The Alleghenny Front

In a passionate article published in the Washington Post (July 3rd), entitled 'A President Breaks Hearts in Appalachia', Robert F. Kennedy Jr calls upon Obama to stop what he calls an 'Appalachian apocalypse.' With good reason.

According to RFK Jr, who works as a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council: 'Mining syndicates are detonating 2,500 tons of explosives each day -- the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb weekly -- to blow up Appalachia's mountains and extract sub-surface coal seams. They have demolished 500 mountains -- encompassing about a million acres -- buried hundreds of valley streams under tons of rubble, poisoned and uprooted countless communities, and caused widespread contamination to the region's air and water.'

One month ago:17 Arrests In Mountain Top Removal actions

Mountaintop Removal Video from iLoveMountains

Mining Mountains graphic from the New York Times

UPDATE: The Guardian picks up the story:

Obama's green credentials tested by battle against mountaintop mining by Suzanne Goldenberg, which profiles Larry Gibson's 25-year battle against mountaintop mining. The article concludes:

'Like other opponents of mountaintop removal, Gibson had been counting on Obama, with his election promises of a clean energy economy, to shift the power balance away from coal.

But those hopes evaporated in May when the EPA signed 42 permits for mountaintop removal while turning down only six — a higher ratio even than during the latter part of the George Bush presidency. Some 170 more permits are pending, according to the Sierra Club.

In June, the White House announced it would strengthen oversight of mining operations, but it refused to endorse a ban on the dumping of debris into mountain streams.

That stand has infuriated Obama's natural allies. Gibson sees it as pure betrayal. "I think Obama's going to fall into line like the last president we had," he said. "He has developed into a coccoon that is going to end up not being a butterfly but a corporate president."


ProPaine-SND Lewes High Street was blocked off to traffic this afternoon for four performances of a dance extravaganza. Entitled 'The Shoe Nail Dance' it was inspired as follows:

'In 1793, Thomas Paine was tried in absentia for sedition, before a government-selected jury at London’s Guildhall. The sentence was exile, or, if he choose to set foot on English soil again, immediate imprisonment and death by hanging. Following the trial, commemorative medallions were sold in the streets celebrating the “End of Pain”, and aristocrats wore custom-designed shoe nails inscribed with “TP", allowing them to literally trample on Paine and his revolutionary ideas. '

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painedance 100One of the most interesting aspects of Lewes' Tom Paine Festival has been to see Peter Chasseaud's Tom Paine Press - a beautiful specially-built replica of an original press from Paine's time, which would have been used to produce Paine's original pamphlets. The history of the whole project is documented in Peter's own site, which shows the press being made.

Here we see Peter printing two pages of the pamphlet that Paine wrote when he was in Lewes, arguing the case for a wage rise for the Excise Men.  Peter is shown here inking the metal type.

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Here he is attaching a dampened piece of paper which is then brought over to make contact with the type.



painedance 104Peter then explains that he is going to print the left hand page first.




painedance 106It slides under the press and a good pull makes the print.



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Similar procedure for the second page.


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Here is the finished page, fresh off the press.

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Peter is printing a larger size for demonstration purposes. Here he shows the original size that such a pamphlet would be.


Copy of new2 018Peter's partner Carolyn Trant has produced an excellent bound book of prints, produced in the town by a group called the Paddock Printmakers,  showing the places in Lewes with which Tom Paine is TPILpvinvite revC associated.  

Below is one of her own beautiful prints from the book which shows the ante-room off Westgate Chapel, next door to Bull House where Tom Paine lived. Carolyn says: "Paine would have probably used the chapel - in fact he and Elizabeth Ollive took their wedding vows there before going through the legal ceremony in St Michaels church over the road. I think this little room is one of the nicest in Lewes, still smelling of the dust of the eighteenth century.'


As chance would have it, I came across a 1989 review by Richard Bernstein in the New York Times of 'Revolution in Print: The Press in France 1775-1800', edited by Robert Darnton and Daniel Roche., which read in part:

'Mr. Darnton and Mr. Roche open the curtain with chapters on the world of publishing and censorship in the last years of the ancien regime, showing how the system of control, built on a proto-totalitarian thought police, was already teetering on the brink of collapse. In the 1750's, 40 percent of those sentenced to the Bastille (136 of 339 prisoners) were connected with the book trade. Smugglers of illicit publications often concluded their lives as galley slaves. And yet censorship failed to strangle the circulation of what the entire publishing industry called ''philosophical'' books, a code word for all materials, whether political or pornographic, that were banned by the thought police. These ''philosophical'' works were printed in Switzerland and brought into France by a host of clandestine methods. A market existed for both ideas and illicit entertainment, and risk-taking entrepreneurs found ways to satisfy it.'

This bears interesting comparison with the current situation in Iran. See recent story by Brian Stelter in the New York Times     See also Previous Post: IRAN: TECHNOLOGICAL DEJA VU

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Roberto Bolano1562

This is one of the great books. It centres on a group of young poets - the 'visceral realists' of Mexico City in the 70s and is clearly based on the writer's own experiences. It is a book saturated with poetry and poets, all of whom are obsessed by every aspect of the poetic world. They consume poetry like water, like wine. They write feverishly.

The narrator, a young man yet to lose his cherry, discovers this world and becomes a part of it. He has adventures and sexual experiences which are described in amusing and intense detail. We meet the myriad characters and bathe in the atmosphere of the vast city at night, so vividly portrayed.

Some 200 pages in, the book takes a turn. In place of the single narrator, we have numerous characters telling stories relating to the main narrative we have just read but of course they view it from a different angle. Each interlocks and expands our understanding of the many levels of this meta story, the focus of which are two perfectly named central characters - Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima. The books final section, returns to our original narrator and a final road trip. More than that I don't wish to tell you.


Dia de los Muertos image by Thaneeya McArdle. Check out her beautiful artwork

When I first started reading the book I devoured some 40 pages straight and then could stand it no more. I put the book down and wrote eight poems. I determined there and then to take my poetry more seriously, made silent vows to sit down every day and find the passion that was driving these characters to write as if life itself depended on it. I read some more. I wrote some more.

This a truly great novel that envelopes you in its warm, sensuous embrace. Not since 'Under the Volcano' have I felt so immersed in the dream-world that is Mexico to me. Nor is that all. The characters travel to Barcelona, Israel, Africa, Paris, London. In each the smell of the street rises from the pages. And such characters, so beautifully realised they live like vivid creatures in one's mind with a beautiful balance between male and female sensibilities.

Then there is the sheet poetry of Bolaño's prose, which flows so mysteriously and unexpectedly at every turn, with a lightness and a humanity that tickles the senses, warms the heart, challenges prejudice, makes fun one minute, skewers pretensions at the next. Always so human. So knowing.

Justly celebrated as the greatest Latin American novel since 'One Hundred Years of Solitude, it also bears comparison with the best of the Beat novels. This is a work that will endure. It has already enthralled and inspired readers of many cultures. Furthermore, it will subtly change the way you think about the world - about life. Bolaño has found a way of telling new stories in new ways. His important place in world literature is secure.


Source: Full Moon Fever

More on Balaño to follow, about his life and times, including a reaction to his last giant novel 2666, which was published posthumously at the end of 2008, and which I am currently reading. It may take some time.

The Society for the Propogation of Visceral Realism proclaim they are 'Subverting Mystification in Art, Memory and Consciousness Intentionally.'

Monday, July 06, 2009



Sexy light bulbs available from www.unitedmaskandparty.com/Props/props.htm

'I know light bulbs may not seem sexy'


(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

'First, the President announced changes to energy conservation standards for the manufacturing of household and commercial lamps and lighting equipment -- to make light bulbs more energy efficient.

"Now, I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses," Obama said, "And, by the way, we're going to start here at the White House. Secretary Chu has already started to take a look at our light bulbs, and we're going to see what we need to replace them with energy- efficient light bulbs."

The President estimated that between 2012 (when the standards take effect) and 2042, the new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year.'



Workers installing LED’s on the George Washington Bridge

The George Washington Bridge has become the first bridge in the New York metropolitan region to convert its light necklace to LEDs — light emitting diodes — a move that officials say will save an average of $5,000 a month in lighting and maintenance costs.

Back in 2008, I briefly became a 'virtual expert' on the subject of energy-efficient lighting.

First, I was hired by the Professional Lighting Designers Association (PLDA) to work on a campaign to question plans by the EU to ban incandescent light bulbs from sale and to help create a very strong public argument against such a move, on a wide variety of grounds. When it came to it, the PLDA decided not to proceed, though they pursued the issue vigorously in other ways, up and until the ban was passed earlier this year.

Following the decision not to pursue the campaign, I managed to place a good piece in Business Green, an efficient and well-informed website, which they published on 20th January 2009. The full original text can be read here.

Why it's time to throw some light on the energy efficient lighting row

With the Daily Mail attempting to whip up opposition to energy saving light bulbs, many businesses would be forgiven for asking if green bulbs really are such a good idea. BusinessGreen.com trains its spotlight on a surprisingly complex debate

The piece does a good basic job of presenting the key arguments for and against the ban. How this global shift originated with the International Energy Agency with report entitled 'the Big Switch Off.' How the global corporate lighting industry is organised and the dominant role of China in bulb manufacturing. The shortcomings and risks of CFLs (mercury), set against their claimed advantages. [Balancing arguments in the piece were added by the site's editor, which I had no problem with.]

It is a complex issue and an incredibly interesting one. I accumulated more than 3ft of files, reports, papers and clippings on the subject (plus of course a massive amount of links and data on the computer).


Whippy (2006) made by artists Alex Garnett and Nahoko Koyama of Mixko:

Now one of the key arguments against CFLs is that they are expensive transitional technology between incandescents and LEDs - and other more futuristic lighting concepts that would deliver even greater energy efficiencies, making CFLs obsolete.

At the time I wrote the piece, engineering giant General Electric had:

recently canned a project to develop high-efficiency incandescent lamps (HEI) in order to place greater focus and investment on LEDs and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

Now to the reason for this post - a news story from the International Herald Tribune

Incandescent Bulbs Return to the Cutting Edge

It seems that the obituaries for the death of incandescent bulb were premature, writes Leora Broydo Vestel. Instead the bulbs are being re-engineered to meet mandatory efficiency levels.

'Indeed, the incandescent bulb is turning into a case study of the way government mandates can spur innovation.

“There’s a massive misperception that incandescents are going away quickly,” said Chris Calwell, a researcher with Ecos Consulting who studies the bulb market. “There have been more incandescent innovations in the last three years than in the last two decades.”

51MlMhxo20L._SL500_AA280_ Philips Lighting’s Halogena Energy Savers are already on the market in the US - exclusively available through Home Depot and Amazon.com. Philips says that a 70-watt Halogena Energy Saver gives off the same amount of light as a traditional 100-watt bulb and lasts about three times as long, eventually paying for itself.'

What is making this possible is the development of specialised reflective coatings for incandescents which 'act as a sort of heat mirror that bounces heat back to the filament, where it is transformed to light.' One of the key companies in the field is Deposition Sciences Inc.

The big three lighting companies — General Electric, Osram Sylvania and Philips — are all working on the technology, as is Auer Lighting of Germany and Toshiba of Japan.

Other techniques include pitting the filament with lasers (makes it twice as bright with the same power consumption) or using a 'high-tech, iridium-coated filament that recycles wasted heat.'

bulbsThe article argues that LEDs may not make it to the household environment anytime soon but says look out for a wide range of new energy-efficient incandescents instead.

Source: Painted light bulbs


The Revenge of the Bulb -- and the Tube by Edward Tenner in The Atlantic

Welcome to the homepage devoted to the Longest burning Light Bulb in history. Now in its 108th year of illumination.

Funny, cool and amazing light bulb pictures

Friday, July 03, 2009


   John Michell3560  John Michell1557                                                                                                  What must have been more than 400 of the great and the good - family, friends, colleagues, admirers - gathered in the unrelenting desert heat of Ladbroke Grove to celebrate the life new2 013and times of John  Michell - a remarkable and lovely man, to whom many speakers paid glowing praise. [See also: JOHN MICHELL: A TRIBUTE]

Prince Charles had sent a representative. Jools Holland played a New Orleans-inspired composition he had worked on in John's presence. 

Michael Horowitz spoke movingly:'When  questioned and talking about John both Copy of Copy of new2 058 before and since his death, I've found that whenever a single word is required to characterise him, it is Visionary that springs most immediately to my mind and lips. He was forever viewing and reviewing, uncovering and discovering, tracing and replenishing the old/new continuum ­ ley lines, directions, architectures, maps and sketch-plans, ancient texts and futuristic blueprints. He was at once as quintessentially English as Blake and Hughes and that other visionary friend, Kathleen Raine ­ yet supranationalist, heart in heart and hand in hand with Tom Paine, Whitman and Ginsberg.' He also sang a William Blake song in an experimental manner.

Christopher Logue (one of our greatest  English poets, scandalously unsung) was helped to the lectern, where he delivered a short poem in a voice that resonated like thunder.


Keith Critchlow delivered the Eulogy. I took some pencil notes: He will find his place next to Goethe....birth of the Research Into Lost Knowledge (RILKO) organisation: Frederick Wybourne, Glastonbury cathedral, 'The Canon' by William Stirling....he had an aim 'to redirect the way people see the world, to effect a change in public consciousness, to change the premise of our age....Cosmology as a sacred science; the precious and sacred nature of Britain; the dimensions of Paradise.'

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His son and brother both spoke in praise of him and made us laugh. Their comments are mixed-up in my notes but I think it was his son who said that John had encouraged him to accept the world as it is and not to interfere with the inscrutable, and his brother who described John as a 'conservative-anarchist' and said he trod lightly on the ground, he made you laugh and think, he saw the beauty of the world so clearly, he enjoyed the enigma of our short lives, and was quite beyond time.

new2 089 It was thanks to Richard Adams, who had been John's friend and creative collaborator for some 35 years,  that the whole event happened (thanks!); he read John's great poem 'How Lord Montague Gave Stonehenge to the Freemasons'.

Candida Lycett Green said John had compiled a list of 'Good Things' which included: people who say "Hello John. How's John". She described him a kind and noble man, fearless and innocent.new2 024

We left the church to the strains of  Chris Jagger's 'Stand Up for the Foot!', thus celebrating John's Anti-Metric campaign. The chorus goes: 'Stand up for the foot/ Its feeling the pinch/Stand up for the foot/And don't give an inch.'

The Scots piper led us down the road to the  new2 035Tabernacle where hours of conversation ensued, fuelled by Red Stripe lager. Old friendships were rekindled. Tenpole Tudor played. Stories were told.  New schemes were hatched. A classic and beautiful Grove moment.new2 039

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