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Only a Blockhead
Chigasaki and Beverly
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."
Interests: books, art, photography, beauty, pleasure, the world, politics, everything, poetry
Recent Activity
Red wine in a warm room on a winter evening Assailed by a sense of wellbeing, I stare at its cause with profound gratitude, then grab a pencil and write down the essence of the experience, amazed at the insight the grape makes possible. The next morning, I find a... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Only a Blockhead
On the Yugawara to Hakone road, I passed signs to the Shitodo no Iwaya cave, and decided to bite. I parked the bicycle and hiked down a long trail lined with stone lanterns and dozens of identical statues of monks. Each monk was housed in a stone shelter, but when... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
I found this sign outside the back door of a bar in Yugawara, where I had taken my folding bicycle to explore the road that climbs from the coast to Hakone. These days, with a good, cheap cup just a convenience store away, anything is possible, anywhere, anytime. I parted... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
(clockwise from top left: plum; camellia; narcissus) --Julian Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
The 11 o’clock siren. (I look up from my work and think, “Ah, it’s 11 o’clock.) After making a ruckus in the tree over the road, a crow flies elegantly, soundlessly over the house and takes up its grumbling in the trees behind. Loudspeaker chimes. An elderly resident somewhere in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
Posted Feb 17, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
3 a.m. The newspaper delivery scooter buzzes from house to house, mailbox to mailbox. Sometime before dawn, an owl hoots. 6:30 a.m. The bell of the nearby temple is rung three times, resonating across the fields and down the centuries. The sun’s up, and the neighbor’s cat seems out of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
Cold; In the orchard plum blossom multiplied by dry, fat flakes of snow --Julian Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
Just got mail from a nephew (Sunday midnight UK time). Describing a triathlon, he said, “The swim was a poo.” I thought he was criticizing in vivid slang, until I realized he’d left the last letter off the sentence and was saying where they swam. But I like it as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
I’m passing on a Thought of the Day that I came across. This is the start of something big… Inequality eats away at the heart of a society, breeding disdain, resentment, envy, suspicion, bullying, arrogance and callousness. If we want a decent future we have to push away from that,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
These are the chilliest days, and they offer some of life’s greatest pleasures. First, visit the public bath. Time spent immersed in pools of hot water after washing well warms the body to the core. That’s pleasure enough, but there’s a greater one: walking outside in the cold afterward. The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
Mount Fuji with Enoshima island in the foreground. (And paddle boarders in the ffground.) The camera tilt betrays the Chigasaki-brewed One on One (by Barbaric Works, their best IPA yet) consumed at yesterday’s vegetarian chili cook-off at nearby Beach Muffin. --Julian Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
As 2016 drew to a close, The Guardian had a counter-intuitive article about positive trends in the world. At the same time as the media reports of war, as we continue to do too little to stop climate change, as inequality widens, it seems important to also know that… War:... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
Do you mean I should continue with my current practice of bloviating on and on (see the side bar) or that I should go back to my never acted upon original resolution?
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2017 on Once upon a time . . . at Only a Blockhead
I planned to write one-sentence reviews of each of the books I read. —David Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
Instead of a Best of 2016 list, I’ll express my gratitude to The School of Life for its ongoing helpful guidance in the form of a weekly email that I subscribe to. Coincidentally, one recent entry was a list of 50+ things we can be grateful for, if we just... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
A few experiences on a short visit (the first in a long time) to the home country over the holidays Some people still talk loudly on their phones, and others still put their shoes on the seats, but every train I took was on time. More dogs than ever, but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
As tourist sites explain, "Years are traditionally viewed as completely separate, with each new year providing a fresh start." "January 1 is a very auspicious day, best started by viewing the new year's first sunrise (hatsu-hinode)." "Crowds gather on mountaintops or beaches with good views of the sunrise to pray... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2017 at Only a Blockhead
Wishing a very happy New Year to all Blockheads and their readers, in this our 10th anniversary year. --Julian Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at Only a Blockhead
Posted Dec 25, 2016 at Only a Blockhead
My sister-in-law Liz watched Lost in Translation again, knowing it’s a favorite of mine, and having been underwhelmed the first time. She was underwhelmed the second time, and asked me why I liked it. (The following comments include spoilers.) Apart from the comedy set-pieces (lip my stocking; “Suntory time” photo... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2016 at Only a Blockhead
Mail from my brother Chas after a recent visit: “Since returning, I have been adjusting to the cool greeting of the unheated loo seats here in the UK. l became quite spoiled in Japan. I have even been known to wonder (as I sit musing on the cold plastic) what... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2016 at Only a Blockhead
(Yuya Tamai, Wikimedia Commons) It was the 3/11 Tohoku earthquake that opened my eyes to the wonder of the supermarket. Whatever we need in the way of sustenance is reliably there, fresh, with choice, and immediately available in return for money. But life is fragile, a delicate balance. We are... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at Only a Blockhead
Sunshine brings the thaw Snow crashes down from the eaves with a sudden WHUMP! --Julian Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2016 at Only a Blockhead
Across the frozen fields Fuji in winter garb under a blue sky --Julian Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2016 at Only a Blockhead