Quantum mechanics, life’s motive force?

Nature isn’t classical ‘Nature isn’t classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you’d better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly, it’s a wonderful problem, because it doesn’t look so easy.’ ~ Richard P. Feynman Well, all right, Professor Feynman. Quantum it shall be. As you say, that’s not easy. Many… Read More

The Red Shoes, Catharsis or Trauma?

  It’s the summer of 1949. I’m approaching my sixth birthday. Mother and I are watching a movie, The Red Shoes, in the cinema on the Queen Elizabeth. This is my second trip to Mother’s family in New York. (I say ‘Mother’. I should explain that Hazel Lisle Batson Fripp became my stepmother at war’s… Read More

Of Potter’s Clay and DNA

  ¶   “A POTTER CREATES his or her most original work using virgin clay. A creator does so using virgin DNA. No! That’s true for the potter—It’s not true for the Creator. ‘Old’ DNA is as good as new “Life-plans use genes over and over again, assigning them secondary tasks within a species even while… Read More

Long Purples

  Stumbling through the Internet, as one does, I found ‘John Grimshaw’s Garden Diary’. I was surprised to discover John’s comment, with his photos of Long Purples (Orchis mascula). I recently mentioned long purples in a story, ‘Ten Years, Six Miles, and One Canoe‘. The story describes my ten years of school holidays in a… Read More

Ten Years, Six Miles, and One Canoe

This excerpt comes from one of the 40 short stories in my books, “Wessex Tales”, Vols. 1+2 (with 20 stories per book). This clip is from: “Ten years, six miles, and one canoe” (Volume 2). The story condenses incidents from my extensive time on the river during a ten-year period, from 1955 to 1965, my… Read More

We have not come far since Gilgamesh

  We have not come far since Gilgamesh. 4,700 years ago, Gilgamesh may have been a mortal king in the Sumerian world. Or, he may have been “a demigod of superhuman strength who built the city walls of Uruk”. Never mind which. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the earliest great work of literature. Gilgamesh… Read More

Ash Tree Seeds and ‘Schelin’s Daughter’

  This clip comes from one of my new “Wessex Tales” stories (Volume 2), the tale of “Schelin’s Daughter”, set in the year 1081. King William (the Conqueror) had recently awarded a Norman knight, Schelin, a village on the River Stour, in Dorset. The village promptly acquired the name Schelin’s Okeford. (The name of my… Read More

Cod Almighty

Cod Almighty! Let’s hear tales of ventures, adventures, mysteries and yarns from the 500-year-old trans-Atlantic cod trade between Newfoundland and England’s southwestern counties. “It is the fish that bring them first. / Cod in such numbers as to seem endless. / Cod to fill the nets and bellies / of hungry Europeans / with the… Read More

“Man’s Search for Meaning”

  “Striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man.” This is man’s absolute motivational force, according to Viktor E. Frankl. He goes on, “That is why I speak of a will to meaning.” Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl became a psychiatrist before he became a death camp inmate… Read More

“If a tree is man’s life …”

  “If a tree is man’s life (Deuteronomy 20.19) what is the nature of a tree? Not in and of itself, but from the human perspective. “Through history and the changing imperatives of human societies, there have been many modes of viewing trees. ‘Hence, If a tree is man’s life …’ The perspective of time… Read More