Category Archives: Lessons for life

A really nasty woman, that Corelli

I never married because there was no need.  I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose. I have a dog which growls all morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon and a cat which comes home late at night.  (Marie Corelli) Continue reading A really nasty woman, that Corelli


Svend Brinkmann: Stand Firm – Resisting The Self-Improvement Craze


I haven’t been able to get hold of Barbara Held’s “self-help book for curmudgeons”  Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching, but I enjoyed Svend Brinkman’s description of it in his own anti self-help book  Stand Firm – Resisting The Self-Improvement Craze.   This is from a chapter that starts, “It’s much more fun to be a sourpuss than a happy-clappy type”:

Continue reading Svend Brinkmann: Stand Firm – Resisting The Self-Improvement Craze

Irvin Yalom: Love’s Executioner

Irvin Yalom, one of the pioneers of Existential Therapy is in his eighties now but his zest for writing about his life and his encounters with patients continues unabated. In 2015 he wrote Creatures of a Day his title taken from the writings of Marcus Aurelius, ‘All of us are creatures of a day: the rememberer and the remembered alike. All is ephemeral-both memory and the object of memory.’. This book offers ten case studies of clients who came to him with particular problems, but ultimately Yalom sees their presenting fears and anxieties as an unavoidable part of the human condition. It is by accepting four hard truths about the nature of human life his patients come to terms with their pain. Continue reading Irvin Yalom: Love’s Executioner

Fool presumptuousness

The prime fact is that all humans are puffed-up by their extreme self-satisfaction with their own brute power. Unless some creature more powerful than people arrives on earth to bully, them, there’s just no knowing to what dire lengths their fool presumptuousness will eventually carry them.

I am a cat Soseki Natsume, Book 1 p 33. (Charles E. Tuttle Co 1972)