Friday 29 January 2021


When nobody wakes you up in the morning, 
When nobody waits for you at night,
When you can do whatever you want.
What do you call it,
Freedom or Loneliness?

Charles Bukowski

“We must put an end once and for all to the papist-Quaker babble about the sanctity of human life.” 


Christianity, which has been ludicrously accused of being gloomy and the enemy of life, has distinguished itself among the creeds of the world by its quite peculiar insistence on the fact that life is sacred, even when it is sad; that a man is sacred, even when he is oneself.

G. K. Chesterton

I dreamt that by a steep and winding stair
I climbed some tower, from the top of which
All Moscow seemed an antheap to my eyes;
Below me, on the square, the people seethed,
All pointing up at me with mocking laughter;
And I became ashamed and full of dread,
And, falling in a headlong plunge... I woke.

Gregory Otrepyev, the first false Tsar Dimitri, in Alexander Pushkin's play Boris Gudonov.

The fog of the Trump wars is lifting, the road from COVID-19 rising before us, the outlines of the 21st-century American system emerging. Like the bankruptcy in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, the change has happened ‘Gradually, then suddenly.’ The age of the democratic republic is over, the age of the American oligarchy beginning.

Dominic Green in the US edition of the Spectator


  1. Charity virtual sleep-out

    A virtual sleep-out is seeking to raise money for Wintercomfort and Cambridge United Community Trust.

    With restrictions caused by the pandemic, this year's event on Friday, March 26 invites the community to create their own sleep-out experience at home.

    It could be a garden, terrace, garage or kitchen floor, as long as it is safe and legal, and a virtual quiz, bedtime story broadcast, competitions and live link-ups with special guests will be held.

    Simon Wall, the community trust’s communities manager, said: "Despite the fact we’re sleeping apart, this event is all about Uniting people with a common cause. It’s time to tackle homelessness and this event is a fun, unique and crafty way to do this.

  2. When nobody wakes you up in the morning,
    When nobody waits for you at night,
    When you can do whatever you want.
    What do you call it,
    Freedom or Loneliness?

    Charles Bukowski

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." - Kris Kristofferson

    1. “For some reason, I thought of La Strada, this Fellini film, and a scene where Anthony Quinn is going around on this motorcycle and Giulietta Masina is the feeble-minded girl with him, playing the trombone. He got to the point where he couldn’t put up with her anymore and left her by the side of the road while she was sleeping. Later in the film, he sees this woman hanging out the wash and singing the melody that the girl used to play on the trombone. He asks, ‘Where did you hear that song?’ And she tells him it was this little girl who had showed up in town and nobody knew where she was from, and later she died. That night, Quinn goes to a bar and gets in a fight. He’s drunk and ends up howling at the stars on the beach. To me, that was the feeling at the end of ‘Bobby McGee.’ The two-edged sword that freedom is. He was free when he left the girl, but it destroyed him. That’s where the line ‘Freedom’s just another name for nothing left to lose’ came from.