This blog is a slight departure from my cycling experiences, though not from my overall concept of ZYCLING . Incidentally I just bought a pair of Bluetooth headphones that I use on some of my long rides listening to Dhamma talks to sweeten the wet,cold and windy winter. I may be breaking one of the precepts, but life is too short.


Last Christmas was spent with my brother in deepest whitest Wales, and we watched loads of movies one of which was the silent classic Birth of a Nation. This film is noted for its treatment of the black slaves at this period of American history. Whatever position you come from I thought I would use a multi-source of ideas to encourage us all to examine our own attitudes to this perennial  subject. 


As a child with my dark skin I remember the remarks I had to face ” where do you come from” .

And I’m also aware of how entrenched I am in BBC Radio four culture as being the voice of the nation. At the end of my local bus route is Bognor Regis , where many Polish emigrants have settled creating all sorts of problems. Incidentally that nation was very unfairly treated after WW2, they weren’t even represented in the Victory Parade , after risking their lives as part of “The Few”.

 In 1956 BR Ambedkar, an Indian politician, converted to Buddism and encouraged the Untouchable caste to convert, to remove them from the stigma of the class system.

When I lived in the States, I spent a summer working as a waiter on the Santa Fe Railroad, as I was mixing with black Americans I became friendly and was invited to a home in Watts, the black segregated part of S Los Angeles. To my shame I didn’t continue the friendship.





 A very insightful overview of a current crisis


This famous clip of some of the cast of The Life of Brian defending the charge of blasphemous , by none other than Malcolm Muggeridge . The doyan of BBC broadcasters after WW2 , during which he served in the secret service, was described as an iconoclast , womaniser and professional cynic, stunned his native England in 1983 by converting to Catholicism . When he was editor of Punch, the urbane humour magazine, he found in most cases institutions were not worth satirising , because they were funnier in reality than any exaggeration could possibly improve upon. Amen

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