Wednesday 29th April

Got my run in just before the heavens opened for another cold, wet day.  Completed article on Thea Dupays for Bruton Art Soc. Bulletin and website.  Thea and Dorrie the editor both happy..

Tues 28th April

Cold, windy and quite a bit of rain as I prepared for the afternoon Zoom session of The Buddha Way.  This took place after lunch and got off to a slow start as contributors got on line in dribs and drabs and kept pressing the wrong buttons.  What was nice was that five ANVIL members including our new rector Alison Way took part.  I spoke for 20 minutes followed by questions and answers.  These showed no sign of having read the suggested paper of mine on the Buddhist world view.  Alison asked the best question. How do you rate levels of suffering.  Subsequently comments I have had have been pleasantly positive.  It went on with a second session and I made an audio recording.  We shall see if I get any follow-up emails from the U3A group.

Monday 27th April

Colder and cloudy with rain forecast. Bruton Art Soc committee practice Zoom meeting went very well. Followed by inviting SP, FR, and GC to join Zoom for my session on Buddhism tomorrow.

TV Watched ch 6 of DEVS on I player to hear again the most clear and convincing exposition of why free will is an illusion and everything has a cause.  Very Buddhist. The three certainties, death, change and cause and effect. But the “illusion”? of free will.

Sunday 27th April

Another beautiful balmy day with the garden bursting.  See the lilac tree.

Andrew Marr for the pick of the political week.  Announcement that more than 20,000 have died in English and N Ireland hospitals taking an estimated real total including home and care home deaths to “over 40.000.”
Very impressive new Labour front-bencher Rachel Reeves set out what has gone wrong in a carefully “non-partisan” way and Dominic Raab exhibited his impressive grasp of his very tough overall brief while Boris prepares to return tomorrow.
Cooked roast breast of lamb ribs with roast potatoes, greens and marrow eaten sitting in the sun with glasses of Bordeaux.  Beautiful.  Inevitably the preparation and enjoyment of food rates high for both of us and we really enjoy cooking for each other in about equal measures.  We take care not to overeat and I watch my weight like a hawk. (12 stone)
Spent the afternoon trying out video recording in preparation for Tuesday when I am giving my talk on Zoom and we went for another beautiful walk on the Stourhead Estate, spoke on Skype to Paul and Jo in Oxford and received movies and a lovely phone call of the grandchildren performing, reading and enjoying their London penthouse garden in the sun.  those that have will  those w

How long can they keep on with a lock-down which preserves the old and sickly at the cost of the jobs and future of the young and less susceptible who will be left with a mountain of debt? Will it be as usual that  those who have capital and property will end op even better off than those who are younger and do not.  Also we elderly cannot be locked down with crude rules which we now understand when using intelligence and common sense we should be allowed to act with considerably more freedom.



Saturday 25th April

Sent the following email to ANVIL members and friends: If you have not received a copy feel free to click below to take part if you have registered with ZOOM.

Dear ANVIL Associate and other friends

Regular ANVIL member Greg Atkins who is an emeritus professor of virology is on our programme to speak about “The Danger Posed by Emerging Virus infections ” which we planned before Covid -19 broke upon us.  We now would like him to speak on Wednesday 10th June at 3 p.m. on what will need to be a Zoom session.  Greg also runs a U3A group in Martock and has been running it using ZOOM since the lock-down.

He has now kindly invited me to speak and introduce Buddhism to that group and you are all invited to sign up for Zoom which is free if you have not done so already and log on to the session next Tuesday 28th April at 3 p.m.  This should then work as a good trial run for future ANVIL sessions which we could have on ZOOM.  Below is Greg’s invitation.

Gregory Atkins is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: U3A Buddhism
Time: Apr 28, 2020 03:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 708 384 1537
Password: 049357

Topic: U3A continued

Time: Apr 28, 2020 04:00 PM London


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 708 384 1537

Password: 049357

You will notice there are two sessions, one at 3pm, one at 4pm.  This is because ZOOM runs free for 45minutes.  Longer sessions are quite expensive,  so Greg has a break with a second session starting at 4 pm.

I do hope you will give it a try.  All that should be needed is a single click on the long meeting code above.  Zoom then comes up on your screen and you follow a few hopefully simple instructions (I have found they are simple so far.)  Do not click earlier than one minute before the scheduled start please.

If Buddhism is new to you you might like to visit and on World Views read The Buddha Way.  Its not long.  Always happy to chat on the phone. 01963 34537 or mo 07403616145.

Best wishes,


Also had a good catch-up call with RH

Friday 24th April

And so the balmy sunny weather continues with meals in the garden, finishing paint jobs and two long phone conversations with friends and planning a Zoom meeting with Greg Atkins.  Watched two hours of Messiah on Netflix with Elizabeth.  Recommend it highly on this second viewing.  Explores the emergence from Syria of a mysterious Jesus like figure. Very sharp and gripping and the most plausible Jesus ever to hit the screen.

For Bruton Art Society interviewed Thea Dupays for a profile .  Along-standing member and a destinguished artist , she has had a very varied and interesting life starting off with five years in Northern Nigeria before independence. Of course I cannot photograph her and await receiving a pack of photos of her pictures by post.

Wednesday 22nd April

Sit, run and workout after staying up too late watching rubbish.  Must not do that again.  A really beautiful sunny day and our garden at it best so we both just got stuck into our books.  Determined to finish Dominian which continues to enlighten , surprise and inform with his clever ply of showing unusual connections across time and historical events and players.  The cardinal who interrogated Luther was also against slavery and that the first real abolitionists were a couple of Quaker hunchbacks. Rubbish tv.

It appears the shortage of PPE is partly the result of a stiff-necked Brexit policy not to take part in an EU mass order of equipment.  Instead they claim the EU used out of date emails to tell the government about it.  If this is true the govenrment is responsible for many covid deaths.

Tuesday 21st April

After a morning start completing work painting doors and windowsills I settled down to binge-watch the rest of DEVS which is Deus in disguise. It really is remarkable in the way it integrates real philosophical/ moral and yes religious issues and our fears about where Google, Microsoft and Amazon may be taking us into a highly charged thriller with some of the most convincing dialogue I have heard for some time and excellent acting.  Kept me going until 6.30 pm before Elizabeth and I, taking advantage of the perfect sunny weather, set off for a walk on the edges of the Stourhead Estate.  Enjoy the pix.

Our Spring Garden

Monday 20th April

Stared early with sitting, a run and a workout.  Clear sunny day with biting cold wind. Also our 52nd WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. Both spent much of the day reading.  Still on Dominian  which continues to amaze as he retells church history.  I need to read Spinoza.
Spent much of the day preparing and painting back and front door and windowsills.  First occasion I have done this for many months.

Panorama TV showed Richard’s Warwick Hospital and how they are dealing with Covid-19.  He was not on.

Saw a sad thriller with Elizabeth about a teenage murderer after a fine dinner, but was enthralled on the I player 9on my own of course!) with DEVS, an 8 session drama exploring in very dramatic thriller form Quantum mechanics, cause and effect and free will.  Behind it is writer director Alex Garland whose sci fi AI film Ex Machina is also a must.