When I Heard the Learned Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman, 1819 – 1892

Integrative Arts Psychotherapy

I was thinking that I should make use of two of my greatest attributes; a flaring artistic temperament and an empathetic, emotional intelligence in order to equip myself with an MA degree in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy.

The synopsis seems encouraging:
“Students will explore the fundamental interconnection between the artistic process and psychotherapy, in terms of their mutual concern with in-depth communication of emotional experience, and with transformation and change. The course focuses on the three-way process of psychotherapist, client and art object. Students therefore will be schooled in facilitating the richest possible relational and imaginal discourse between therapist and client.”

Sadly this demanding course is only available at the University of East London, formerly the Polytechnic of East London and before that the West Ham Technical Institute. Having spent many years in the East End, I do not relish having to live there once again.

However it, might just be worth it – to see the bright, happy faces of previously disturbed children as we resolve their issues re-enacting such calming works as Apocalypse Now, Blackhawk Down and King Lear. I could make a difference!

Mottos

At work, the departmental motto has been for many years, born out of bitter experience; “Trust nobody. Assume nothing.” It sounds cruel, unforgiving and entirely cynical. It is. But it stand us IT chaps in good steed, preventing ourselves and our clients more work, time and potential damage when attempting to determine the true nature of and resolve problems. Incomplete information usually leads to erroneous conclusions.

While one could adopt that as a personal motto, for day to day living, it may be a touch sardonic. In a generous concession to my inclusive humanitarianism, I have decided to appropriate this from Jim Hacker’s (un-named PM) in Yes Minister; “In defeat malice, in victory revenge.”

Brexit?

I’m an undecided, wavering towards staying in. In times like these I ask myself, what would Sir Humphrey advise?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it’s worked so well?

James Hacker: That’s all ancient history, surely.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn’t work. Now that we’re inside we can make a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased; it’s just like old times.

James Hacker: Surely we’re all committed to the European ideal.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Really, Minister. [laughs]

James Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, for the same reason. It’s just like the United Nations, in fact. The more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up. The more futile and impotent it becomes.

James Hacker: What appalling cynicism.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes. We call it diplomacy, Minister.

Death List – Frank Kelly

Feck!

Father_Jack

Father Jim Sutton: Why is it always the good ones? You BASTARD! (shakes fist to Heaven) He could’ve been Pope! No no no, he’s dead Ted awww we’ll never see him again!
Father Ted: We’ll see him in the next world.
Father Jim Sutton: Oh yeah, sure!!

I had marked Frank out as the one most likely to win my Death List by being the last man standing, and as the second youngest on that list at 77 I had hoped he would make it. But sadly no. 38 down and 12 remaining.