Thomas Mann – The Magic Mountain

 General  Comments Off on Thomas Mann – The Magic Mountain
Sep 172017
 
Thomas Mann – The Magic Mountain

Thomas Mann is an author who deserves to be taken seriously. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 and is one of Germany’s greatest twentieth-century writers. You may know him through the beautiful film of his novel, Death in Venice. However, The Magic Mountain is not an easy read. It’s over 700 pages […]

This Side of Paradise, Scott Fitzgerald.

 Inspirations  Comments Off on This Side of Paradise, Scott Fitzgerald.
Aug 102017
 
This Side of Paradise, Scott Fitzgerald.

American dreams in the mists of time Our hero is Amory Blaine: handsome yet uncertain, desperate to explore life to the full. His life blossoms at Princeton: he loves the beauty of the place, the camaraderie, the magic of staying out all night, singing with “dreaming towers.” But the book plunges on beyond the dream. […]

Getting happy about President Trump

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Jul 062017
 
Getting happy about President Trump

“We’ve got to stop acting out hate” Charles Eisenstein A recent article by the young American writer Charles Eisenstein offers the best insight I’ve found into the upside of the Trump era. For a start, he points out that no one can pretend anymore that the status quo is basically intact. This period of intensifying […]

Football insights: does happiness create success? Learning from Leicester’s unlikely supremacy

 Men's Interest  Comments Off on Football insights: does happiness create success? Learning from Leicester’s unlikely supremacy
Apr 262017
 

Whether happiness and success are linked or opposites has been debated for centuries. In creative arts, misery seems more linked with genius. But football offers us a different view, at least this year. For readers who think football’s a bore, I must say that I find it a rich source of insights and analogies for […]

Perfection on rails: The VSOE British Pullman

 Train Lovers  Comments Off on Perfection on rails: The VSOE British Pullman
Jan 292017
 
Perfection on rails: The VSOE British Pullman

The re-creation of the British Pullman is a classic British story of eccentric, visionary wealth allied to traditional craftsmanship. James Sherwood rescued carriages from weird locations and states of disarray. Bob Dunn, whose grandfather made marquetry for the original cars, was one of a host of dedicated restorers. Now, for a princely sum, you can […]

Donald Trump and the Second Coming

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Jan 102017
 
Donald Trump and the Second Coming

This guest blog was written by Maria Trap, and is reproduced with her permission.               by Matt Wuerker, Politico After more than 2000 years since the birth of his son God felt that it was more than time to stage the second coming. He felt it was actually getting […]

PARIS – MILAN: the slow-fast train

 Train Lovers  Comments Off on PARIS – MILAN: the slow-fast train
Jan 092017
 
PARIS - MILAN: the slow-fast train

I go to Italy by train every couple of years, as one of my best friends lives in Liguria. It’s a great train destination, as there are so many options, most of them scenic. The fastest way by train is with the Paris – Venice Sleeper: this tips you out at Milan about 5am, which […]

Elderwoman: book by Marian van Eyk McCain

 Maturing Happily  Comments Off on Elderwoman: book by Marian van Eyk McCain
Jan 012017
 
Elderwoman: book by Marian van Eyk McCain

Is elderhood different for men and women? Yes and no! The question of gender differences in elderhood has been a big one for me as I approach leading a mixed workshop on this theme for the first time, at Findhorn February 23 – March 1. I’ve discussed the gender question with women and men elders […]

Face-offs with cows, and flying chickens. Lessons in community from Ethiopian roads

 General  Comments Off on Face-offs with cows, and flying chickens. Lessons in community from Ethiopian roads
Jan 012017
 
Face-offs with cows, and flying chickens. Lessons in community from Ethiopian roads

It happens so often, you suspect the animals must enjoy it: why else do they spread the full width of the tarmac, instead of using the broad gravel verges?  The cows are the worst: they glower balefully as if they might charge, and only turn aside from our approaching vehicle at the very last minute.  […]

Why African Fact is Happier Than Fiction

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Jan 012017
 
Why African Fact is Happier Than Fiction

Recently I’ve been reading The Granta Book of the African Short Story.  When I travel, I like to read something connected with my destination, so this book went with me on a recent trip to Kenya to see the work of Farm Africa: a UK Charity who enable peasant farms in East Africa to adapt […]