Category: Country Life / City Lights

Padua – Part 2: Academia

That night was yet more confirming: I went to dinner with both of them, plus the director of Carla’s department, a garrulous professor / politician who is always glad-handing you – men in Italy are more physically affectionate than the women anyway – and ready to interrupt you with a funny story.  Serious people from… Read more

Padua – Part 1: Carla’s Dissection

  Padua – setting for The Taming of the Shrewˆ – is also the crown jewel of universities, the oldest continuous institution of learning in the world, older even than Oxford. Padua’s population is one-quarter students. I was permitted to take only a few few photos inside the University of Padua and none in the… Read more

Aleph Kamal, 1949 – 2017

It’s a rare friend who is usefully difficult. Some people are just difficult, and long friendships can have difficult times, but a usefully difficult friend is a treasure. One of mine just passed over last night. Aleph Kamal – born the same year as myself, but in Egypt of an Indian mother and a strict… Read more


Animals – especially mammals – are constructed similarly to us, and thus suffer from a host of ills as we do. I’ve seen dogs that were neurotic, depressed, angry, scared – every emotion we have, they also seem to have. What do we have that they don’t? The thin bark of cortex around our brain… Read more


New York Harbour

Usually my restlessness moves me on from anywhere as soon as I am able, and I am eager to get home – but today was a Monday sabbath for this guy who often works weekends. Sunday night after a challenging workshop, I was psychologically checked (in the hockey sense) by a close friend – I… Read more


’Sign’ has many meanings, among them a mark or a signal. In this case, a literal sign on the wall marks and inward and spiritual change. These days, I am back living in the house where I grew up. When my family moved here in 1952, my father named the house ‘Serendipity’, which if you… Read more

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