|| Saturday, 21st October 2006
Morning thought: this body is mine for as long as I can pay the rent & upkeep.
A beginning grey day, and then sunshine emerged to shine on Bredonborough. Skyscapes over Bredonborough I…
A view down Bredon Street towards Bredon Hill…
When I arrived home last night, parked and looked into the back of the house, Christmas lights & decorations were sparkling, welcoming me home. The back door was open, inviting me in. Entering the rear sitting room, it was easy to see a Hiding Minx, attempting to conceal herself behind an armchair. This is a familiar strategy: hide, jump out upon an innocent husband while shouting Grrrrr! and give him palpitations. The concealment yesterday evening was, however, pitiful & no unpleasant shock was rendered to the weary returning VL. And the decorations were very welcoming indeed.
Decorated Gothic bookcase (c. 1830)…
… with a painting of Cerne Abbas (c. 1935) in the centre position. Mr. Grumpy is included in the celebrations…
Mr. Grumpy was painted in 1665 & his chuckling visage beams out above a Bishop’s (metamorphic) chair. The chair is probably West Country, perhaps Somerset, c. 1780. The chair converts into a table, for use in a country church. When the Bishop visited, the table was converted back into a chair worthy of the prelate’s dignity, and the mitre can be seen carved into the back of the chair, the underside of the table top.
T’s work, and mine, usually takes us both away from home during Yuletide. So last year T initiated a new strategy for our home: Christmas comes early! This was such a success that the Christmas Minx has come out early for a second year.
18.13 Gently organizing, launderising, packing,
20.13 A walk around the town with Minx and soon, after an e-flurry, an early retiring.
20.22 Sean Hewitt has reviewed The Condensed King Crimson
Mr. Hewitt comments that even with 32 tracks stuffed into two packed CDs, The Condensed Guide can’t quite capture all Crim’s majesty. Agreed, and the reviewer didn’t have the job of picking what should & could fit into the time restraints.
Visiting the site, and the words Essential Guide, the letters EG strike me probably more strongly that any other person I know, or am likely to know in a life of 14,321 years, 11 months, 8 days, 4 hours, 9 minutes and 23 seconds. When the letters EG appear before me, in close proximity, a flow of associations begins. And moving right along…
On the front page of the Weekend FT is the news headline Buffet’s $7 bn Lloyd’s Lifeline.
Buffett in $7bn offer to Names at Lloyd’s Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, offered thousands of Names at Lloyd’s the hope of avoiding future cash calls by striking a deal to take on the insurance market’s pre-1993 claims.
Published: October 20 2006 13:57 | Last updated: October 20 2006 22:37
Warren Buffett has put 28,000 Lloyd’s Names to sleep. They have been waiting for a good night’s kip since 1996 when, in desperation, they grouped their insurance liabilities and some assets into Equitas. This new vehicle was adequately funded only if one trusted the £10bn present value estimate of its mainly asbestos and pollution liabilities. The auditors didn’t: they declined to fully sign off the accounts. Had the liability estimate been just 6 per cent higher, Equitas’s equity cushion would have been wiped out and the Names put back on the rack.
This almost happened: since 1996, liabilities have been revised up by £1.6bn, or 16 per cent. Yet Equitas has kept afloat by beating its investment return hurdles, negotiating down other claims and cutting costs. Hence, equity value – assets less the liability for claims and running costs – has fallen only from £588m to £458m. Meanwhile, the value of outstanding claims has declined to £4bn.
Messrs. Alder & Fenwick, the Good Guys That You Can Trust – What Have They Done? – They have Nothing To Hide!, who instead of paying me for 4 royalty periods (2 years) leant my income back to themselves in another company under their common control (Athol & Co.) to provide themselves large payments, primarily to meet their cash calls on the Marine 475 syndicate. The collapse of the UK property market, and in turn the proposed £21 million development of the (Alder family) Villiers Hotel in the Isle of Man, would have caused them distress. Lloyds’s went beyond distress & was not only painful, but the end of EG.
So, now The Good Guys can have a good night’s kip.
Warren Buffett rescues Lloyd’s Names
Buffett unit ends Lloyd’s Names saga
Robert’s diary, April 19 2005
20.39 assumption of innocence:: Posted by HughShiebler on October 20, 2006
Oh! to understand how, in a practical sense, to be able to listen with the assumption of innocence within a context of experience! The phrase rolls out so beautifully, but what might it really mean to me, sitting Row HH of the Berklee Performance Center, as the lights go down Expectation is a prison, so the question is how to get out of that prison - - or at least a brief furlough for the length of the concert. KC/AB/RF have already provided me with a lifetime wonderment and transcendent experiencing. They could show up and do cow bell - kazoo duets and I would be happy. Similarly, the notion that "cynicism is death to the artist" (or to anyone?) makes me wonder: how do you avoid cynicism? Such thing almost strikes me as trying to avoid one’s feet while walking, or trying o jump over one’s own knees. I asked this question of Robert at the 2005 NYC Ethical Culture concert; maybe it was an unfair question in such a setting. Robert’s answer was: "Simple. I just made a decision not to be cynical". It seems almost like saying, "Simple. I just made a decision not to sweat." To me, these are not abstract issues: they are direct, practical, experiential questions of real importance.
The question was not unfair: it was a good question. It is also, to me, a direct, practical, experiential question of real importance; and has been for many years. Briefly, the question can only be addressed by the cultivation of discipline. It follows that, if the question is on fire for us, then it becomes mandatory for us to develop a practice (however we understand that). It is possible to begin to acquire beginning-freedom from like & dislike after 12-14 years of honourable application; and the more substantial freedom of (for example) deciding not to allow cynicism a purchase on our lives, after 21 years. But, for our concern to be practical & experiential, we need training. For that, we need a trainer, instructor and/or (if we are lucky) a teacher. And then, daily practising. Otherwise, our interest is inevitably more inclined to the abstract.
Advanced practioners of yoga have mastery over their body & breathing. I believe that, for them, the control sweating is possible. Me, I’m sweaty.
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