Spot on…

This, from Henry Miller via whiskey river, captures my current thinking so accurately.

“To keep the mind empty is a feat, a very healthful feat too. To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself. The book-learning gradually dribbles away; problems melt and dissolve; ties are gently severed; thinking, when you deign to indulge in it, becomes very primitive; the body becomes a new and wonderful instrument; you look at plants or stones or fish with different eyes; you wonder what people are struggling to accomplish by their frenzied activities; you know there is a war on but you haven’t the faintest idea what it’s about or why people should enjoy killing one another (…)

We need peace and solitude and idleness. If we could all go on strike and honestly disavow all interest in what our neighbor is doing we might get a new lease of life. We might learn to do without telephones and radios and newspapers, without machines of any kind, without factories, without mills, without mines, without explosives, without battleships, without politicians, without lawyers, without canned goods, without gadgets, without razor blades even or cellophane or cigarettes or money. This is a pipe dream, I know. People only go on strike for better working conditions, better wages, better opportunities to become something other than they are.”
– Henry Miller
The Colossus of Maroussi


It is easy to find reasons not to write – there’s too much noise, my desk position isn’t right, my keyboard isn’t right. Well, I have finally removed one of those for good.

I have been using my iPad as my main computer for a long time now and really love the writing apps that I use on it (Drafts and Ulysses). But the one issue has been that if I want to write in our van the table wasn’t right and writing on my lap didn’t work with the keyboards that I had. I was beginning to think that I was going to have to buy a laptop (don’t get me wrong buying a new M2 MacBook Air would be no hardship but I don’t need that much computing power).

I decided that the keyboard that was going to do the job was one made by Brydge. They didn’t have any suitable for my now six years old iPad for sale on their site so I did a search in Amazon. Unknown to me the one I found was fulfilled by a third party supplier and they turned out to be the supplier from hell.

My first order didn’t arrive, my second order didn’t arrive and I was on the point of giving up, getting a refund and putting up with my current setup. As a last ditch attempt I emailed support at Brydge and it turns out they offer older keyboards as “open box”, returned keyboards that have hardly been used and work perfectly well.

So, as you can see from the photo above I am now the very happy owner of a Brydge keyboard which is exactly what I wanted and will allow me to write from wherever in the world we manage to get with our little campervan.

Tacit knowledge

I was approached today about getting involved in a conference on tacit knowledge. It took be back to all of those angels dancing on the head of a pin over definitions of knowledge and the nonsense about capturing knowledge and harnessing knowledge.

We know what we know when we take action and even then it is just a passing thought, a fleeting sense of being in control. Until then it is just part of the constant chatter of a mind that likes to think that it is in charge.

Show, don’t tell

The old adage in novel writing that it is better to describe situations and action than it is to tell people what is happening and what they should think about it, applies just as much to blogging.

As I get older I have less and less interest in experts telling me how I should live my life. But hearing other people talk about the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them is fascinating and useful.

I have always maintained that my blog posts are more often memos to self than they are instructions to other people, and I aspire more to describing the world as I see it in ways that might pique your interest than telling anyone else what they should do or think!