My father Kenneth (1922-2003) was a builder. By profession he was a quantity surveyor, but he spent most of his actual work life supervising constructions - bridges, roads, a power station, civic buildings, an army encampment… He was justly proud of these achievements.

He was a warrior. During the Second World War he was a bomber pilot and did two tours of operations over Germany, which was exceedingly dangerous. Not many survived. In consequence he ended the war with a heap of medals. A hero. A man of masculine virtues and hidden grief.

He was a handsome man and could be charming, but was also rather solitary by nature. In his spare time he became a skilled carpenter and made many pieces of furniture. He enjoyed the solitude of his workshop and the garden, and was more at ease with plants and timber than with people.

He taught me to play tennis and to play chess. He gave me a philosophy of “grasping the nettle” and being bold. He was a man of action rather than philosophy, had no tight ideological affiliation and had voted for all the major political parties on different occasions.

I draw from him a sense of strength and practicality, that it is as important to know how to lose gracefully as to give everything one has got to a task. “Faint heart never won fair lady,” but “Don’t fight battles you can’t win.”

He was my second great teacher, after my mother. In childhood, I admired him. In adolescence and young adulthood, I fought him. In later years, I respected him. Nowadays I often hear his voice and have repartee with him in my head. Sometimes the words that issue from my mouth are his, and when I notice this I smile.

Last updated by David Brazier Nov 28, 2017.

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Blog Posts

GROUP

Posted by David Brazier on January 11, 2019 at 9:43 2 Comments

I’ve always been interested in groupwork. Recently I’ve been facilitating a rather challenging group. It includes an older man who is enjoying his retirement, an outdoor type who does not say so much but clearly regards the other members as wimps, a writer who has an irritating obsession with etymology, one I think of as the wanderer whose life problem seems to be that of never having learnt to settle down, who tells endless entertaining stories of travels, love affairs and so on, and I was…

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Sense on Brexit

Posted by Geeta Chari on December 16, 2018 at 18:51 0 Comments

https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2018/12/13/full-speech-sir-ivan-rogers-on-brexit/

I found this piece tremendously sensible, well-reasoned, and above all, realistic.

LONG JOURNEY

Posted by David Brazier on December 14, 2018 at 18:52 6 Comments

Carol drove me into Ottawa at midday on Wednesday 12th. I had spent the morning being interviewed and making a short film. In Ottawa we had lunch at the vegetarian restaurant and then went on to the airport where she dropped me off. I was to take a local plane to Montreal then fly to Paris and on to Bilbao in Spain with Air France, due to arrive at nine in the morning local time the following day. F would meet me in Spain and take me back to stay with him in a village near Vittoria.…

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MY REAL LIFE

Posted by David Brazier on December 8, 2018 at 15:00 4 Comments

I'd like to try to say something about real life, which is the only thing that is really interesting.

I have been a bookworm ever since I learnt to read, which was not until I was seven years old. By that time I had already had important spiritual experiences. I was a rather odd child. Many ideas went through my head that tended to set me apart from other children.

Now,…

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