Monthly Archives: August 2013

O & L

I am fed up of living with corners – they are either under or over-used – it’s practically impossible to get a corner just right.  Corners encourage the dark and cobwebs and stacks of stuff.   They are places of punishment and hospital beds.  I have plenty of them in my head, I don’t want to be surrounded by them on a daily basis.

The plan is to have yurt and live in a circle.  Circular walls and roof – perfect.

I was going to write about showers today, but somehow it’s turned into a manifesto for living a circular-shaped life.  I am not sure how that happened, but lets go with it.  I’ll try to remember to do showers tomorrow…

Here are some corners and circles in Suffolk, from the last few days.    I feel they begin to illustrate the point.





20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized

The shadow

There is always one – click here for the Jungian psychological explanation of the term.

It’s probably easier to just accept it for what it is – shade on a hot day, gloom on a dark one.

anke chair


I’ve decided life is about pocketing moments.  It’s probably best to work out where, and who, can provide the ones you need to stash away.  I’ve discovered this chair, and it counts as one.   The shadow is part of that – I guess Jung would approve…

Vanishing Point & Wheat

Same walk, different days perhaps.  Hard to say.

I am happiest walking on the edges of fields.  Parks and so forth have too many people.

wheat vanishing point

I wanted to say something about the feeling of being depressed without the accompanying thoughts to drive it along.  It’s a strange sensation but one I’ve learned I can experience physically, in isolation from my thoughts which are directed along a different track.  It might be that it’s actually a vital divergence, and one necessary for survival.  If it can’t be done, perhaps then, it’s the overwhelming combination that takes you over the edge, off the horizon, into the vanishing point.

I have a sense at the moment of saying not enough, but saying too much.  The balance is a tricky one and, like walking a tightrope, not entirely in the realm of the conscious.  Something said for effect falls fallow; holding back entirely leaves a person cold.  Too much and you alienate the whole world.  Knowingness – I don’t like.  Certainties – which I admit I can be gripped by – fall away.   Separating the wheat from the chaff, that’s the trick I suppose.  I am not sure I can always do that, but probably best to try.

Soon the wheat will be gone, the kids will be back at school, an autumnal rhythm will start to play.  We will not hang in the late summer air… waiting.

Green Man

(or Jesus in a tree) depending on your spiritual persuasion.

eye tree2

On a side note (and to remind myself there is still quite a lot of work to do personally on the love and peace front) here is today’s beef.

DRIVERS: Part of your skillset when you passed your test involved making your vehicle go backwards.  Yes, that manoeuvre known as reversing.  Do not set off on your journey determined that all your motion must be of the forward variety.  Do not make me travel backwards all the time, so you don’t have to.  And the next person to point with a finger to indicate their zero intention of utilising the reverse gear in their vehicle is going to meet my full wrath.

You know who you are.  If you can’t reverse – walk.  Or be like my mother who can reverse any car you like, with bells on, and doesn’t mind the odd bit of collateral bollard damage along the way.

Hollyhocks (I think)


I saw them growing outside a garage,  like weeds.   All blowsy and ignorant of the scene they were creating.


No-one can see me in here, right?



Probate Judge John McClellan

I am looking for any information on Judge John McClellan, who lived in Lansing, Michigan and worked for Ingham County Probate Court  for a book I am researching.

He was born in Springport, MI on the 5th March 1877. His parents were, he wrote in a brief biography, ‘from the north of Ireland.’  His father was a farmer called Robert, his mother was Eliza Ann, nee Adams.    They were born around 1840 and 1850 respectively and were reportedly married in Australia.

In all, Robert and Eliza had six children:  John was the youngest of three brothers; there was also Samuel who was four years older and Robert, eight years older and born in Australia .  There were also three girls: Catherine, Eliza and Martha who seems to have died before John was born, certainly before he turned three.


John McClellan went to high school in Springport, a small town about 30 miles south of Lansing, and graduated in 1896.  After spending a year teaching.  He then went to a college, only ten miles from his hometown of  Springport, called Albion College for his Bachelor of Arts degree.  This was a private college endowed by the Methodist church.  McClellan left in 1904 and went on to law school at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1907, by which time he would have been thirty years old.  Still a bachelor, he opened a law practice in Lansing but by 1912 he had moved into work for the city of Lansing as the City Clerk.  This was the start of his public life in Lansing and he held office as an alderman in 1918-19.

By 1921 he was the City Attorney and in 1922, on April 18th, he married a nurse called Mary Jane Maurer who came from the town of Potterville, another small town outside Lansing.  In 1928, until 1930, he entered the judiciary as a Judge of the Municipal Court and in 1937 he became Probate Judge for Ingham County until his retirement in 1957, shortly before his death.  By the time he retired he was nearly eighty years old, but the newspapers reported he was approaching seventy.

His interests were listed as golf and fishing.  He and his wife never had any children.

If anyone has information on John McClellan, was related to him in anyway through his sisters and brothers, or who had dealings with him through his work in Ingham County I would be most grateful.

I also wondered if this man was the same John McClellan who was the first Executive of the Michigan League for Public Policy in 1938.

I can be contacted through the comments below and I will reply in confidence.


Here are some pictured hanging out yesterday.  They  had brought with them what used to be known as a sound system.  I looked over but I couldn’t see what was blasting the beats all over the beach – I strongly suspect it must have involved an iPod.   I suppose it would be easy to be irritated by this audio intrusion, but to be honest I was in favour.  Chalkwell Beach is hardly the place you tip up if you fancy a bit of splendid isolation, after all. I also found out this.  If you lie down on the sand in the sun, close your eyes and listen to the music, well, you could be any age at all.


Dog on the beach

They are banned, of course, round here – well until October anyway when we rush down with veritable packs of big hairy hounds and have big dog-themed party.

Consequently, I don’t venture down there much in the summer.  Daytrippers, sun, sand…  I mean, who wants all that, really?

A friend said to me yesterday, ‘What you need is some fun.’  I said, ‘No, I don’t,  I don’t like fun.’  At this rate I won’t have any friends to say such things to me as I slip further and further into an anti-social, incapable of having fun, misery-guts pit, of my own excavation.  Actually, I raised a smile when I finished the last sentence, so maybe September and a few classes to teach will come along and save me.

I can’t even claim the credit for this find.  I was making two smaller and very nondescript stones have fun on the beach.  If you must know, I was pretending they were in a blue disco and dancing.  My daughter intervened and said my behaviour was age inappropriate.  On the other hand, she had this to show me, and it really was quite something.

The nose is brilliant

The nose is brilliant

We liked it anyway.  And I’m glad to have a kid who gets me, if only a fraction.  We were looking for someone on the beach.  My daughter said, ‘What is she wearing?’  I described the outfit, but I said, ‘I can’t remember the colour of her dress, it’s either pink or blue.’

‘Purple, then,’ the daughter said.

She was only right.