Sex You All
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   October 29, 2020

You’ve all, no doubt, been eagerly waiting for me to write something about Sex – so, here it is: Has it ever occurred to you that “sex” spelled backwards is “xes,” which might be pronounced as “excess,” which, of course, means “too much.” Such considerations make me hesitate to go any further into this subject, […]

Bored of Education
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 24, 2020

You may find this hard to believe, but it wasn’t until after I had gone all the way through the British school and college system, and emigrated to the U.S., with a bachelor of arts degree in history, that I became aware of the fact that “education” is a subject which can itself be studied […]

 

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Tea for You
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 17, 2020

Having been brought up English, I was a tea drinker from an early age. But I didn’t realize that I was actually an addict, until my doctor told me to cut out all caffeine from my diet. Only then did I learn what is meant by “withdrawal symptoms” – which in my case were very […]

Hear and Now
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 10, 2020

The 1964 Simon & Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence” must seem redolent of an ancient era to many of my younger readers – but the haunting melody, combined with its poetically poignant words, resonates as powerfully today as when the song was born. To me, the part which has always been most meaningful proclaims […]

I Think Knot
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   September 3, 2020

As a child, I took great delight in string. My mother, who patiently taught me how to tie bows, used to tell people, “Give him a piece of string, and he’ll be happy.” True enough, I could spend hours just tying and untying knots. I was never a Boy Scout, and never “learned the ropes” […]

Name Dropping
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 27, 2020

The first question I am usually asked: “Is Ashleigh Brilliant your real name?” Yes, it is. My father was Victor Brilliant, and he came from a whole family of Brilliants. The origins are Russian and Jewish. Around the time of Napoleon, Jews were allowed to choose their own surnames. Many chose pleasant-sounding names, such as […]

What If
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 20, 2020

SUPPOSEAll my life I’ll cherishSo much I can’t forget –The things that didn’t happen,And the girls I never met. I wrote those lines a long time ago. But for most of us, the sentiment, no doubt, remains true, no matter where we are in life. The great question of how different things might be now, […]

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Licked by a Stamp
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 13, 2020

I have never been much of a hobbyist – but for a few years in my teens, I was very keen on postage stamps. This fizzled at about the same time I got interested in girls – but to this day, whenever I receive a letter with a stamp I haven’t seen before, I tear […]

I The Hero
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 16, 2020

People sometimes flatter me by saying that I am their hero – because I have managed to make a living by the unconventional means of marketing my own thoughts. There may be some merit in inventing – so to speak – a new profession. But, in general terms, I don’t consider myself a heroic character. […]

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Seek and Ye Shall Find
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 9, 2020

One of the most famous lines of all poetry (originally written in Persian a millennium ago, but first translated into English in 1859) comes from a book called the Rubaiyat, and is about a “moving finger,” which “writes, and, having writ, moves on” – and nothing we can do can bring that finger back, to […]

Worriers and Warriors
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   July 2, 2020

It isn’t often that I make my Psychiatrist laugh – but he did, when, telling him about the events of a recent day, I said, “I was so busy, I forgot to take my anxiety pill.” Yes, I do actually take (in small doses) a pill that is supposed to have a calming effect, and […]

Good Brief
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 25, 2020

When General Sir Charles Napier captured, for the British Empire, the Indian province of Sindh (now a part of Pakistan) in 1844, he reportedly announced this achievement in a one-word telegram. That single word was not English, but, in those days, when every upper-class Englishman received a classical education, the message would have been intelligible […]

On the Road
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 18, 2020

Don’t let them fool you. All roads do not lead to Rome – at least, not anymore. But: there is always a close connection between any road and whatever travels on it. Most of our roads today began as animal tracks. Animals didn’t need motels, or scenic views. They bought no souvenirs, and never wrote […]

Watch My Line
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 11, 2020

“The square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.” – Pythagoras At the equivalent of High School which I attended in London, we all had to take basic Mathematics, consisting of Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry. I could do them all, and more […]

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