Welcome to the written world of RDN. I am a complicated conservative, and a bit hippy and arty round the edges. I am currently working on poems, a memoir and a one-man show. Over all that is an increasing interest in the idea of spirituality. More »

Latest posts

Hunston Convent and Chichester Free School

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 22 April 2017. No comments.

Chichester Free School is taking over Hunston Convent, a 19th Century Carmelite monastery to the south of the city, on the threshold of the Manhood Peninsula. It’s a brilliant and exciting adventure, since the school is a mint-fresh sort of institution and the convent building is a Victorian classic, and its community had roots which go centuries deep, and all over the world. The convent’s fabric is being reborn in spectacular fashion – and I hope something of its spirit, too.

More »

Poem: A Norfolk Spring Trio #1

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 March 2017. No comments.

These Norfolk Spring Trio poems are:

#1 Blackthorn Winter
#2 Church and Copse
#3 Norfolk, UK, The Universe

This is: #1 Blackthorn Winter

More »

Poem: A Norfolk Spring Trio #2

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 March 2017. No comments.

These Norfolk Spring Trio poems are:

#1 Blackthorn Winter
#2 Church and Copse
#3 Norfolk, UK, The Universe

This is: #2 Church and Copse

More »

Poem: A Norfolk Spring Trio #3

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 March 2017. No comments.

These Norfolk Spring Trio poems are:

#1 Blackthorn Winter
#2 Church and Copse
#3 Norfolk, UK, The Universe

This is #3 Norfolk, UK, Universe

More »

Rural idylls: The cultivation of decline

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / On art / On books / Politics & campaigns on 22 December 2016. No comments.

Much – probably most – modern creative work deploys the rural  as emblematic of the fragile world which man has wounded. I want to map some of this rural declinism, and counter it. In this it follows traits and tropes which have dominated countryside writing for millenia. More »

Rural idylls: RDN’s take on Arcadia

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / On art / On books on 22 December 2016. No comments.

The countryside is the repository of people’s dreams. It is the canvas on which they paint their fantasies. In this piece, I look at the way I do it. More »

“SS Fawn”, the Bowyer’s, and the nuns, 1870

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 11 December 2016. No comments.

This is a story of a steamship, a Carmelite community of sisters, an extended family of Southampton pilots and a German ship-builder, in late 19th Century Southampton and Sussex, Normandy, Kiel, and the Orkneys. More »

Thérèse of Lisieux: A child of Christ, her time and ours

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 8 December 2016. No comments.

I have been mildly interested in Thérèse of Lisieux for years. Recent encounters with the Carmelite tradition and some Carmelite nuns seemed to make it urgent that I address the rather sneering attitude I fear I had adopted towad “the little white flower”. Here is my best attempt at a reading of interesting work on the saint, some of it old, some very new. (Longform alert: this is a 5,000 word essay.) More »

Poem: Thoughts on a full stop

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 November 2016. No comments.

This isn’t about me, at least not in particular, and it isn’t gloomy, I hope. I fear it offers advice, which – it might be remembered – comes from a man with little courage and no pretensions to wisdom. More »

Poem: Beech Wood near Henley

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 15 November 2016. No comments.

My wife and I house-, chicken-, and dog-sit near Henley. This part of the Chilterns is far deeper countryside than I had ever expected. More »

Share this

Keep track

RDN on Twitter

See also

RDN books on Amazon