Monday, 8 February 2010

Ruth Rikowski's 36th News Update

There are a variety of different items in this newsletter. This includes some more information about the band, ‘Cold Hands & Quarter Moon’ that our middle son, Victor Rikowski recently formed and some more entries up on my ‘Serendipitous Moments’ blog. Also, a couple of items about the library and information profession; including a Chandos Publishing book launch that I attended in 2009 and a CILIP in London meeting that I attended recently. That and more besides, is in this latest newsletter.

Here is the latest in regard to our son, Victor Rikowski’s band, ‘Cold Hands & Quarter Moon’, which he formed last year (2009) (leading on from the original posting in News Update No. 35, item 2)

First of all, two more of their songs (both of which were composed by Victor Rikowski) are now up on YouTube. These are:

Also, we decided to ‘brave it’ and insert a video of Victor and I singing! The song is called ‘Infinite Expansion’ and is a song that Victor composed last summer (2009) and we (Gregory Rikowski, Victor and I) sang it at our summer garden party. The hope and intention is that we will also sing it at my next book launch, when my digitisation book is published a little later this year.

Anyway, Victor then took this song back to Bangor in the autumn (2009) and one of the band members, Aaron Ledbury really liked it and basically from there, the band, ‘Cold Hands & Quarter Moon’ was formed (all explained in detail in my last newsletter, No 35, item 2). The band then renamed the song and called it ‘Human Herbs’ and the band playing this is now on YouTube – see

In the video of Victor and I singing, we also sing Ralph McTell’s famous ‘Streets of London’, from the album ‘Streets of London’. The video for both ‘Infinite Expansion’ and ‘Streets of London’ sung by Ruth Rikowski and Victor Rikowski can be found at: (bear in mind, of course, that we were only having a bit of fun!)

I also received some very lovely, positive feedback following on from the news item about the band.

Chris Keene, from the Green Party emailed me very shortly afterwards, asking if Victor’s band would like to be involved in a project that he is starting - a zero carbon world concert to demand a zero carbon world. The idea is that bands do concerts without using any fossil fuels. This involves using green electricity, which can be bought from a green electricity company such as Good Energy, he informed me. Also, though, the band would have to find some means of getting both themselves and their equipment to the gigs which does not use oil (or any other fossil fuels). He noted that this could be a problem as electric vehicles are not in common usage yet. In addition, they would upload the gig onto the internet using green electricity and that he understands that there are internet service providers who only use renewable energy. Chris Keens also made the point to me that he goes to Copenhagen without using fossil fuels – see:

It will be a truly world concert apparently, with lots of concerts taking place at various locations all over the world at roughly the same time; these will, simultaneously, be on the internet. The concert, which currently is very much a project in progress, will take place in autumn 2010.

This all sounds like a very exciting and innovative venture, does it not?

Readers might well be interested to know that Chris Keene and I first got to know each other in 2002, when we collaborated quite closely for a while on political work and campaigning against the GATS (the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services). This followed on from me appearing on the ‘You and Yours’ programme on BBC Radio 4, talking about the GATS in the same year. At that time, I was also working on the special issue on ‘Globalisation and Information’ for the ejournal, Information for Social Change – see I was editing the issue and so was working and liaising with both writers and activists on the topic, and through all this I connected up with Chris Keene. The UK GATS Network was subsequently set up and Chris and I worked quite closely together on this for a while, aiming to inform more people about it all etc. Tom Lines, Linda Kaucher and myself (we were all in the UK GATS Network) also later gave talks on the topic at various venues throughout the country.

Following on from Chris’s email I emailed Councillor Philip Booth, the Stroud Green District councillor for the Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe ward in Gloucestershire. I first connected with Philip Booth after reading his blog entry about my globalisation book in 2006. He related my book to cuts that were taking place at the time at Painswick Library in Gloucestershire i.e. bringing the global and the local together. I was very excited about this, as that essentially what my book was all about – trying to bring the global and the local together in this way and warning people that global agreements that were being made far from home by rich and powerful people were detrimentally affecting people’s everyday lives. Following on from this, Graham Coult, the editor of ‘Managing Information’ then went to Stroud to interview Philip Booth about it all and wrote a piece for ‘Managing Information’.

Anyway, I emailed Philip about Chris Keene’s proposed concert, as I was interested to gather his thoughts (given that they are both very active in the Green Party). Philip said that there are, indeed, many developments in regard to green electricity, which involves buying energy from suppliers such as Good Energy or Ecotricity and that it is fairly easy to switch over to it. However, he thought that there were also real problems with quite a lot of the area, and some damaging schemes. However, he also said that locally to him (in Stroud) there are a group who are in the process of setting up a carbon neutral studio and stage using cycle power! Furthermore, that they already have done several live concerts on small stages! So, that seems very interesting and innovative.
Philip Booth’s Ruscombe Green blog is at:

However, whilst Victor and I thought this was all very interesting, indeed, exciting, and we were honoured that Chris Keene thought of the band in regard to this world concert, on further reflection, it is probably too ambitious for the band at this particular point in time. After all, ‘Cold Hands & Quarter Moon’ only recently formed, and all the members of the band still have their degrees to do of course! And given that the fossil fuel free ideas are all quite new and innovative it would take some research and indeed, money, to be able to achieve the necessary aims for the concert, we think (such as getting hold of an electric car!). Having discussed this further with Chris, we then came up with another idea – about the band composing some songs around green issues. Chris said that he would be particularly interested in songs composed around the topic of climate change. So, perhaps, watch this space!

Meanwhile, Bob Bater (one of my ex-book reviewers for Managing Information, and a contributor to my edited book ‘Knowledge Management: social, cultural and theoretical perspectives’, published with Chandos, Oxford, 2005) sent me a lovely email which he said that he was quite happy to have quoted in full in my newsletter. So, here is what he says:

Keep ‘em coming. I really enjoy your newsletters. They illustrate, among other things, how functional (as against dysfunctional) families can produce creative offspring. I particularly like Victor’s first efforts with Cold Hands and Quarter Moon, especially ‘Brown Shoes’. Watching a group of young people explore their creative talents collectively, is a great reminder of when I did the same (many years ago!). It’s just a shame that we all seem to lose that capability when we become enslaved in the world of work.


Best regards,


Thanks so much for this Bob!

Martin Hodges another of my ex-book reviewers for Managing Information also emailed me, saying that he liked the band and that he was happy to be quoted in my newsletter. So, here is some of what he said:

“I had another listen to Victor’s songs on You Tube…I liked both ‘Traitor’ and ‘Human Herbs’. Both compositions have a freshness about them that extends beyond the fact that it’s a group of young guys playing music in an informal setting. These songs have been created with some thought. They have nice melodic qualities and the fiddle playing brings a jazz/folk element into play. I found myself drifting somewhere between Django Reinhardt and Curved Air, at times. I’d be interested to know if Victor and his friends are into Fleet Foxes and/or Mumford & Sons. With some polish and perseverance, they could be really on to something in my opinion. The fact that they are getting gigs in pubs and clubs in and around Bangor is confirmation that they are decent ‘live’ performers. I hope they manage to go from strength to strength. My best wishes for the future success of 'Cold Hands & Quarter Moon'.”

Thanks very much for this as well Martin.

And yes, I am confident and optimistic about the band. At the very least, it is very good to be able to find an outlet for ones creativity in this way, is it not?

There are no less than 8 new entries up on my ‘Serendipitous Moments’ blog (yes, I’ve been busy here!). The first is about Julie Walters autobiography, which is entitled ‘That’s Another Story’ (published by Orion in 2008). As I say on the blog entry, Julie Walters is an actress that I have always admired (and it was ‘Educating Rita’ that did it for me), so I was interested to read about her life. However, it has to be said that I did not think that the book was written in a very gripping way, and that just because one can act, it does not mean that one can necessarily write! The second is about the book ‘Before I Forget’ by Melissa Hill. This was another book that I spotted in my local library that I was drawn to by the book cover, the blurb on the back and the whole look and feel of the book. And once again, I found it to be a winner! So, I am finding all this to be a very interesting avenue to explore and on one level am quite surprised at my level of success here (in regard to finding interesting reads this way), although on another level I am not all that surprised. The story is about a lady called Abby that has an accident and loses her memory. The third is about the film ‘It’s Complicated’ with Meryl Streep, which I saw at my local cinema. Meryl Streep is one of my all-time favourite actresses; she is just so talented, plays some very interesting parts, and also has a wonderful disposition, I think. It is a comedy, and I laughed just so much. Yet, at the same time, it deals with issues around relationships and the complexities involved judging if and when a relationship has come to the end of its course and if so, how to best deal with it, and move on.

The fourth is an entry about another Melissa Hill book entitled ‘The Last to Know’ that I read recently. This was a truly amazing book, with an ingenious plot, I thought – it twisted and turned and went to places that I never, ever imagined it would, or indeed, could, go to. It was a novel within a novel, about a novelist, which brings out the power of the novel in itself, apart from anything else, as a vehicle for self-discovery and self-expression. Melissa Hill (who is Irish) writes incredibly gripping and interesting plots, I think; I also personally like her clearly very feminine style. Fifth, is an entry about the film ‘Sherlock Holmes’, directed by Guy Ritchie, which I also saw at our local cinema. I read and enjoyed the whole compendium of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ Sherlock Holmes stories at one time, so was quite interested in seeing this film. I thought the film was OK; the plot was interesting, about a serial killer supposedly doing it all through black magic (but of course Sherlock Holmes gets to the bottom of it – it is magic tricks not black magic) but there was rather too much action in it for my liking. In general, I prefer films that are more thoughtful, develop the characters more etc. and go at a slower pace. Obviously, though, everyone knows the Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson characters, so that helped.

The sixth entry is about ‘Avator 3-D’, a science fiction film that I went to see with Glenn, which symbolised what can happen when power and greed take over and how beauty, civilisations and ways of life can be so damaged and even destroyed as a result of it all. There were some beautiful shots in it, but again, I thought there was rather too much action, and not enough time spent developing the characters. Seventh, is an entry about a political play that I saw at the National Theatre London, with some friends, on the topic of the current financial crisis. The play is entitled ‘The Power of Yes’ and it is by David Hare. I thought the script was very clever as well as being very witty. And finally, there is an item entitled ‘King’s College London and Education Cuts’. This talks about some of the latest proposed cuts at King’s (including the redundancy of 3 philosophy professors) and a forthcoming teach-in that is taking place at King’s on Saturday, 27th February 2010, against the education cuts in general.

I am pleased to say that I have been able to offer a breakthrough to another new writer. A colleague of mine, John Opute, a lecturer at London South Bank University, who is currently also studying for a PhD at South Bank asked me some while ago if I could help him to get an article of his published (a very small part of his PhD). I read it through and thought it looked good enough and worthy of publication, so I sent it through to the Chief Editor of Policy Futures in Education, Michael Peters. Michael Peters liked it and it is now to be published in the next issue of Policy Futures...

Many congratulations to John on his first publication and hopefully this will be the start of more! Hopefully, in time, there will also be some more thanks and appreciation for my help from certain other quarters in this regard.

However, it has to be said that I am increasingly bemused and perturbed by the policy of the university. Those that write and publish and can help to inspire and get other fellow academics published should be highly cherished, one would have thought. Surely, this can only be to the good of the university and the organisation in general, to both the staff and the students – i.e. winners all round. However, again it seems that the competitive spirit wins over the co-operative approach, which is sadly to the ultimate detriment of all. This is all very strange; indeed very concerning, particularly given the mountain that has to be climbed (that I have now climbed) to break into this writing and publishing world. So be it. We will have to see what transpires.

We were very delighted to receive in the post recently a copy of the book ‘The Labour Debate’, edited by Ana C. Dinerstein and Michael Neary in Spanish. Glenn Rikowski has a chapter in the book about Labour-Power. Here are the full bibliographic details

‘The Labour Debate’ – in Spanish

‘El Trabajo en Debate: una investigación sobre la teoría y la realidad del trabajo capitalista’ – compiladores Ana C. Dinerstein and Y. Michael Neary – Published by Ediciones Herrameinta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2009, ISBN 978 987 1505 09 8

Glenn Rikowski’s chapter is entitled: ‘Combustible para el fuego vivo: la fuerza de trabajo!, pp. 215-241

‘The Labour Debate’ – in English

‘The Labour Debate: an investigation into the theory and reality of capitalist work’ by Ana C. Dinerstein and Michael Neary, Published by Ashgate, Hampshire, 2002, ISBN 0 7546 1779 3

Glenn Rikowski’s chapter is entitled: ‘Fuel for the Living-Fire: Labour-Power!’, pp. 179-202

Glenn Rikowski’s chapter focuses on labour-power: “…the capacity to labour. Labour-power provides the social energy that generates value and surplus-value.” (p. 179). Whilst “…value is a social energy field whose effects as a social force are mediated by the movements of capital (in its various forms) and the social relations between labour and capital.” (p. 183) Furthermore, labour-power “…is the only commodity that has the capacity to generate value over-and-above its own value (the value for its reproduction), to create new, surplus-value (as first form of capital).” (p. 186)

In the final pages of his chapter, Glenn says that “…a repositioning of Marxist educational theory onto the ground of labour-power theory is to be advocated. For a Marxism that is against society, rather than a Marxism that seeks to establish itself as just another theory of society, this move is necessary…The shift from conventional Marxist educational theory to exploring the essentially capitalist nature of today’s education and training means that the social production of labour-power becomes a key focus: for theory, for research and for educational politics.” (p. 195) Finally, Glenn advocates revitalising ‘critical’ pedagogy so that it becomes truly revolutionary, whilst always keeping clearly in mind that this is only an aspect of the bigger, more intrinsically, all-important bigger picture. As Glenn says: “…always keeping in view that revolutionary pedagogy is an aspect of the struggle against capital in its entirety, a struggle against its social relations and its value-form of labour.” (p. 198)

So, the main ‘name of the game’, as Glenn makes clear, is to reposition Marxist educational theory whereby labour-power theory becomes centre stage. Not an easy message to grasp and to take on board, but a very necessary one, if meaningful and lasting progress in this whole area, is ever really to be made. But I must say that my experience in this non-fiction world is that such meaningful progress can be slow; in fact, sometimes things even go backwards! Rather, sometimes, it can simply be very competitive with many people just trying to outdo each other, and/or put each other down, just for the sake of it, and/or trying to further their own careers, and/or their standing in the writing/research/academic world and/or in the left political scene. There are times when this can perhaps work – but many times when it clearly does not work! There is also much re-inventing of the wheel of course. But the worst, for me, is where it is a clear case of empire building. Anyway, all this is sadly really hampering real growth and development of ideas and worthwhile theoretical analysis; it also means, of course, that the horrors of the world continue, and that capitalism continues on its merry way, often unchallenged at a deep level.

Of course, none of this underestimates the intrinsically important value of theory in general and Glenn’s work on labour-power in particular (the opposite in fact). But it does help to explain why progress can be seen to be so slow sometimes, and why capitalism is still so powerful, even though Marx started to get to the heart of the whole matter some 150 years ago.

But, anyway, also now that the whole book is in Spanish it will be getting out to a much wider audience, which is obviously great!


ISBN 10: 0415997909; ISBN 13: 978-0415997904



Peter McLaren, a writing colleague of Glenn’s, has a new book out (well, he always has lots of new books coming out), but anyway…

Here is the link to his latest edited work, with Jennifer A. Sandlin

It says on the product description on Amazon:

“Distinguished international scholars from a wide range of disciplines explore consumption and its relation to learning, identity development, and education. This volume is unique within the literature of education in its examination of educational sites – both formal and informal – where learners and teachers are resisting consumerism and enacting a critical pedagogy of consumption.”

Then, Mustafa Yunus Eryaman has edited a book about Peter McLaren’s work, which is entitled ‘Peter McLaren, Education and the struggle for liberation’ See:

It says on the product description on Amazon:

“This is a new edited volume about the teachings and activism of one of the world's most respected critical educators and activists. It offers a contemporary look at the recent debates within critical pedagogy and serves as an excellent resource for students in educational foundations, social studies education, contemporary issues in education, comparative education, and the philosophy and sociology of education.”

Peter McLaren has now turned 60 years, and Richard Kahn who has reviewed Eryaman’s book for Power and Education, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2009, pp. 356-358 suggests that this book perhaps represents something of a wave in celebration of Peter’s 60th birthday. So far, it is the second such book of its kind; the first being ‘Teaching Peter McLaren: paths of dissent’, edited by Marc Pruyn, Luis Herta-Charles, Shirley R. Steinberg and Joe L. Kincheloe (2005), and published by Peter Lang. Eryaman’s book includes some of McLaren’s latest ideas about revolution and education, his internationalist activities in Venezuela and elsewhere, and some of the recent attacks on him, such as McLaren being included on the ‘Dirty Thirty List of radical UCLA professors’.

McLaren has now become something of an icon of course. Khan draws our attention to the work of the critical theorist Tyson Lewis in this regard who:

“…voices his worry that McLaren’s students may become mere hypnotic lovers of his image…” (p.357)

However, in the final paragraph, Kahn says that:

“…McLaren is probably too harsh a self-critic, but even if revolutionary critical pedagogy of his variety symbolizes little more today than the guerillero raging against the dying of the light of freedom, this is a primal scream worth listening to and, if so inclined, joining in voice.” (p.358)

On 14th May 2009 I attended the book launch of the book ‘Digital Library Economics: an academic perspective’, edited by David Baker and Wendy Evans, published by Chandos, Oxford, 2009. At the time, I was still working quite intently on my own book on digitisation, which made it a particularly interesting event for me to attend. The book launch was held at the London School of Economics. It also gave me the opportunity to meet up with some representatives from Woodhead Publishing Ltd (which Chandos sold its imprint to a while ago).

All in all, I met up with and spoke to some interesting people there, including various contributors to the book. This included the editors David Baker and Wendy Evans themselves (and Wendy was just so enthusiastic – reminded me of how I felt when I got my first book published!), Claire Stevens (who assisted David and Wendy with the production of the book, including the writing of the index), Reg Carr, Biddy Fisher (who has just become CILIP’s new President) and Jean Sykes. Simon Tanner, the Director of King’s Digital Consultancy Services, at King’s College London, who has written the Foreword for my forthcoming digitisation book, was also one of the contributors, but unfortunately, he was not able to attend.

I particularly enjoyed meeting up with and talking to Reg Carr, who was the Head of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, from 1997–2006. He has now retired, but of course still leads an extremely full and interesting life (but now can break out from it as and when he wants to!). So, he told me a little something about his life pre and post retirement. Really fascinating, and certainly very different to the life that I have led!

I also spoke to an interesting jazz musician there – and the way in which she spoke made it seem that breaking through into the music network/scene, is a bit like breaking through into the writing/publishing scene. A combination of hard work and lucky breaks, but once one has broken through, ones life is transformed!

I was also given a free copy of the book, which I appreciated. The book covers a wide variety of aspects of the management and development of the digital library from an economic viewpoint, with contributions from leading authorities in the field. The book outlines past developments, current good practice, and likely future trends in the whole field.

I went to a CILIP in London meeting at the Sekforde Arms on 12th January 2010. The talk was given by Tim Fendley, from the Applied Information Group and was entitled ‘Legible London: a wayfinding system for London’. It was an interesting talk, focusing on the complexities of getting around London. Also, how it is often quicker and easier to walk than to go by tube (certainly if one is only covering the distance of one or two tube stops), but that a lot of us do not know our way round enough, are not prepared to study a map of London and/or to take a map of London out and about with us. He asked the audience at the talk, for example, how many of us had an A-Z of London on us – and not many of us did – and the room was packed as well! Statistically, only about 10% of people go around London with an A-Z apparently. Many visitors also apparently try to use the tube map to find their map around London, which is pretty hopeless, is it not. Google maps aren’t much good either, Tim said. He thinks it would be good if we had maps at the top of every underground station – but there would be the work and logistics of it all to deal with, of course.

The Mayor of London, apparently, wants everyone to walk more! The point was also made that if one walks more, then there is probably more chance that one will drop into a library! Tim differentiated between ‘striders’ and ‘strollers’ which I thought was rather interesting and amusing.

Tim Fendley founded the Application Information Group in order to push forward the boundaries of information design and he is leading the system design for Legible London. When it is completed it is claimed that it will be the most extensive information service of its kind in the world. Transport for London (TFL) has been undertaking research on all of this; they conducted 2,600 interviews with members of the public; 600 behavioural observations and some low functional tests. The research can achieve many things, such as helping us to agree on the names of various locations – e.g. ‘South Bank’ and ‘Bank Side’.

Anyway, all in all, it was an interesting and enjoyable evening, as indeed, are nearly all of the CILIP in London meetings. I also met up with someone that I had not seen for about 5 years, so that was also very nice. However, too much food was ordered by mistake, which was unfortunate, particularly given the fact that CILIP in London are currently in the business of having to make financial cutbacks. It would certainly be very sad if these interesting, useful and enjoyable evenings were not able to continue – not that I want to end on a bleak note. So meanwhile, I look forward to going to the next one – which is on the topic of ‘International Development and You’ and the speaker is Shane Godbolt on 9th February 2010. CILIP in London meetings are open to all CILIP members and their friends and associates. The meetings are free, but places are limited, so please book in advance – email

Meanwhile, John Lindsay contacted me about the Mayor for London’s consultation on an Integrated Transport Network for London. He wrote to the Mayor, making his thoughts clearly known. I thought this fitted in well with the CILIP in London talk on ‘Legible London’ (previous news item). John said that he was more than happy for me to include some of his letter in my newsletter.So, here are some extracts. He said that he:

“…was completely flabbergasted to see a poster outside Waterloo announcing you [i.e. the Mayor] were consulting on the concept of an integrated transport network and the future of London.

Confused, for I wondered in what sense anyone in the general open public would have any ideas about the matter at all; confused about why the professionals couldn’t simply implement one?

Then I found out that you were required to consult, and that you were consulting on a transport strategy. In other words…a box to tick.

But nevertheless, the idea of an integrated transport network must have come from somewhere. It is 25 years since I first wrote … showing the 73 nodes which I considered to be interchanges…

I have been advising the European Commission on Future Transport 2050 and I think succeeded in getting the core concepts into the report which was launched at a meeting addressed by among others, Peter Hendry, and chaired by the Vice President of the Commission. Since then there has been another large stakeholder meeting, but I don’t think anything has been learnt.

There seems to me, in comparison with the consultation by North Surrey, a huge opportunity to demonstrate an integrated transport network, in particular its contribution to the area surrounding what is currently London, in the same way as Paris is to invent Greater Paris.

There are three elements, the informate, the interchange, and the integrate. In order to build these, you need an action network. There are bits of it which I can do on my own, and will continue to do….

But there is no doubt that winning an understanding would provide London with an opportunity to express thought leadership in a domain in which it appears to be severely lacking, which we might call IMKS, information management and knowledge sharing?...

Yours sincerely,

John Lindsay

Green and”

I received an interesting email from a Maria Eklund Bergendorf from Stockholm some while ago.

Maria said that she had read my presentations about outsourcing with examples from the UK, and found it very interesting. At the time she was then seeking for more European examples (non-UK) of outsourcing of public libraries, particularly with examples where the whole library service has been outsourced, rather than just a part of it (such as acquisitions). She spoke of the financing of two libraries in Germany - in Siegburg and Schriesheim.

However, I was very busy at the time (and falling behind with emails), so by the time I got back to Maria she had obtained some of the information that she was seeking, from Scandinavia and Europe. She found that there were some examples of outsourcing, but not a great number.

Anyway, I thought it was worth including as a news item because outsourcing, commercialisation and privatisation in general is still rapidly going on of course (whether we follow it and take an interest in it or not!).

When I went to see the play ‘The Power of Yes’ at the National Theatre (further information on my ‘Serendipitous Moments’ blog) and came home talking to Glenn about it, he said that, “See – you know what is going on out there in the economy without having to follow it all closely in the newspapers etc.” I replied saying that “Yes, of course I know what is going on, that’s precisely why I don’t want to follow it too closely. It is all too awful!” Not that one can escape from it all of course; but have to, somehow, manage it!

Having said all that, if anyone wants to contact me in regard to this, I would of course be interested to hear from them.

Carol Williams
, a friend of mine from Liverpool Library School days, who is a Schools Librarian asked me to sign a Schools Library Petition last year, which of course, I happily did – I also inserted information about it in my newsletter.

Anyway, I recently received an email in response to this petition, which I thought it might well be useful to share with you, so here is what it said:

“You signed a petition asking the Prime Minister to ‘make school librariesstatutory.’ The Prime Minister's Office has responded to that petition and you can view it here:
Prime Minister's OfficePetition information -

I recently discovered that a neighbour of ours is a musician – he composes music and sings.
He became blind a while ago, so now puts his energy into all this music. He calls himself ‘Arthur Dust’ and his music can be found on MySpace at:

Prior to this, he played with his partner; she is the guitarist. They called themselves ‘Plastic Flower Productions’ - see

He is also now in another band called '3rd Eye'.

Glenn and I think they are really good, and we feel honoured that they are our neighbours!
The wonder and beauty of music eh – it can, indeed, transform peoples’ lives in so many different ways. As I often say, I couldn’t live without music or books!

Best wishes as ever


N.B. Many thanks to John Lindsay for providing information for item 10.

8th February 2010