Is Donald Trump the Antichrist? A quaint sort of question in these days of general Biblical illiteracy. But I am reading Denis de Rougemont’s Talk of the Devil, written in 1945, and I am up to the section called “Is Hitler the Antichrist.”

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Old men

There was a time when it might be said I grew more mellow, more good-natured and tolerant. More than I had been in a turbulent, not to say destructive, youth. Now that I am old I would not say I am no longer mellow.

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The street runs parallel to a sort of harbour, an estuary formed by the confluence of three rivers, the Esk, the Mite and the Irt. Esk is cognate with many other river names in Britain, including the Axe and the Usk, and means a good place to fish.

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A recipe

Butt-ends of celery. And fennel—the stalks as well. Coarse outer leaves of everything lettuce, especially escarole. Radish tops and kohlrabi tops. (The colour of beet tops is off-putting.) Plucked-clean stems of kale, collards, parsley. Also, discarded stems and twigs and woody parts of any herbs.

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You don’t see praying mantises much any more. They’ve disappeared, along with grasshoppers and crickets. I remember them from my childhood in Brooklyn. On hot summer days occupying a place on the sidewalk, indifferent to everything, waiting and still, a little frightening in their composure.

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A Tin Tabernacle, Thorlby


In the aftermath of the British referendum on leaving the European Union, and amidst the oceans of commentary already written and still to be written about what it all means, I find myself thinking about my old friend, the late Lionel Rothkrug, and what he would have made of it. More exactly, what we would […]

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Lewi's Journey 2

Special Meetings

The women were saved to a place of emotional gratification not otherwise on offer in their lives. The men were saved from the filthiness of their natural desires. It was all about sex, really. Their disappointments they kept to themselves. Washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Trusting in the Promises of God.

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John Lockett Leaving the Tyne, by Frank H. Mason


I stumble on a fine sea yarn, a memoir called “The Luck of the John Lockett” by Shalimar, the pen name of F.C.Hendry. The story is in his From the Log-Book of Memory (Blackwood, 1950), one of many volumes of reminiscence and fiction Hendry published from the 1930s until his death in 1955. They are […]

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Mildred and me 1955


It was a common name for girls among Norwegian immigrants. Rutgersen, Börresen, Dahl, Aarstad. And others. All produced Mildreds. The vogue lasted across at least two generations. No one names girls that any more, not since the War. The median age for living Mildreds, I read somewhere, is seventy-eight, older even than the Gertrudes and […]

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I am reading Middlemarch. I am up to the moment in Chapter 5 when Dorothea decides she must tell Celia she is determined to marry Mr. Casaubon. Before she has said anything about it there is the following exchange. Celia begins: “Is any one else coming to dine besides Mr. Casaubon?” “Not that I know […]

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