Friday, 28 October 2011

Catching Up

Time to catch up somewhat. Short holiday.

Yesterday at 12.30 I was standing on top of Mount Snowdon. We had to take the (very expensive) train as it would have been a difficult walk with my three-year-old son.

Also paid a visit to Porthmeirion - costs £9.00 if you go before 15.30 - we went later when it's half price. I'd never been before. The money has probably gone towards sprucing it up - my wife said it was looking shabby when she was last there 20 years ago. Memories of The Prisoner were unavoidable - I'd like to see the early episodes again, but I think it became unwatchable towards the end.

The National Slate Museum at Llanberis is more interesting than it may sound. A short stay in Manchester to see the Ford Madox Brown exhibition and the murals in the incredible Town Hall, designed by Waterhouse.

In Liverpool I visited some old haunts, the magnificent Philharmonic and atmospheric Ye Cracke pubs and for the first time went to the Ship and Mitre, nearest equivalent to a comprehensive Belgian pub I have found in England - massive selection of beers.

The Philosophy Town talk the previous week went well - a thoroughly worthwhile venture I think. I particularly enjoyed 'How to be an Existentialist' by Gary Cox, a talk that briefly explained a philosophy I had been wrestling with in a very difficult book earlier this year.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Rogue Male

One of the strangest news stories to catch my eye this week concerns the Queen obsessive who constructed a hide on an island in St James's Park so as to constantly have Buckingham Palace in his sights; his desiccated bones have only just been discovered. Coincidentally I have been reading some old obituaries of John Symonds, one of the literary executors of Aleister Crowley. In 1966 he wrote the novel 'With a View of the Palace' 'about a man obsessed with the Royal Family who spies on King George V from the lavatory of his flat overlooking Buckingham Palace.'