Showing posts from November, 2011

USA travels

England to Texas: It all started with a nightmare journey, the plane half an hour late out of Heathrow, leaving 1 hour and 20 minutes to get myconnecting flight at Chicago O'Hare. They kept us waiting in the first immigration queue for an hour, leaving just 20 minutes to get through the next 3 procedures. These were: get baggage from reclaim, get it security checked and then put it back on again. They didn't spare any farting about - the laptop had to come out of baggage, etc etc. Anyway, no time to recheck bag, had to run up to departure gate, where the excellent American Airlines staff sorted it for me. I was the last on board, 2 minutes before it left the ground. Deep joy, to be away from O'Hare's miserable incompetence and hostile security. Staying at my friend's place in Smithville, a hamlet near Bastrop, central Texas, we had a heatwave. 80+F all week, and a plague of biting insects. One morning in the bathroom, I noticed a brown scorpion about 15 in

Raise a glass to the memory of Philip Harper

On Tuesday I learned of the death of my friend Philip Harper. He was a truly extraordinary man, who lived his life in the quest for higher consciousness. Having been born with cysteinosis, he knew his life would not be long, and he packed more into his twenty-something years than most people manage in twice that or more. Right up to the end, he was still struggling: a few months ago, he ordered a very demanding esoteric study package. His final blog entry: 'I have now been told that their are no medical treatments options left to cure my cancer. At this point you reflect on the fact that although they or us may think doctors are gods, they are not. Whats left, all the non-medical options and a will to live.' For those who never had the privelege of knowing him, his blog is still up at  . His website is also still visible at   There is a lot more that I could say about Phil, but I want to get t