Not Excused

Opinions differ on what influences people to a particular course (and whether free will even exists in a real sense). I incline strongly toward theories of it being a series of events and experiences—some unnoticed or apparently unconnected—that combine to create critical momentum. However, sometimes I look back and think that if I wanted to … Continue reading Not Excused

Happy Burpday.

The United Kingdom's National Health Service was launched seventy-four years ago tomorrow. Nearly three-quarters of a century of free-at-point-of-service healthcare. Which is something worth celebrating. I have many reasons to be grateful to the NHS. But rather than talk about their excellent endeavours to fix things that had gone wrong, I decided to celebrate them … Continue reading Happy Burpday.

Early Days of a Better Nation

With Boris Johnson PM facing a vote of no confidence, the United Kingdom might move back toward decency and progress; which inspires flickers of joy. However, the decision lies in the hands of Conservative MPs rather than the nation; which inspires flickers of powerlessness. Fortunately—while the greatest power to make a better world lies in … Continue reading Early Days of a Better Nation

Sharp Spear, Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Women’s Lives by Stephanie T. Hoppe

Focused primarily on the specifics of martial arts practice but also showing how those experiences pervade other areas, Hoppe provides female perspectives on what is stereotypically a very male world. Hoppe interviews a broad range of female martial artists, seeking similarities and differences in how martial arts have shaped their lives and how their experiences … Continue reading Sharp Spear, Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Women’s Lives by Stephanie T. Hoppe


My Phacelia Tanacetifolia commenced blooming over the weekend, which is a double joy: once for the purplality itself; and once for the sight of bees enjoying it. In addition to the beauty of the bee, they are a greatly important part of the ecosystem. Some bees bring even deeper joy: this larger one, for example, … Continue reading Abuzz

North Western by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth interweaves the ageless trauma of rebuilding life after loss with a powerful evocation of rural US life in the 1800’s, creating a mystery driven more by emotion than cold logic. This is the sixth volume of Elizabeth's Echoes of New York series. However, while set in the same area, the narrative and characters are … Continue reading North Western by Jordan Elizabeth