In early 2023, its finances wrecked by the Covid pandemic, BNHC closed the doors of its centre in the heart of Brighton and was reborn as the Brighton Natural Health Foundation (bnhf.org). Freed from the burden of maintaining an expensive building, it is now able to focus all its energy on taking transformative body-mind practices out to all parts of the City, especially to areas with limited access to these precious resources.
Sitting by the fire in my shangri-la
I confess it’s hard work loading the poles and canvas on top of a car, stuffing the boot with wood stove, chimney, tables, cooking stove and enough bits and pieces to furnish a small house, and then unloading it all and erecting the yurt. But when it’s done – as I think these pictures testify – it’s the source of profound comfort and deep joy.
Bad karma chameleon
"When I was twenty-one, David Bowie (on the cusp of fame) and his girlfriend Mary Finnigan opened the Beckenham Arts Lab in the Three Tuns pub. It was the nearest thing to my local since I’d spent many hours there, mingling with my anarchist and CND friends. And somehow, Mick (guitar), Bob (drums), my brother Alan (harmonica) and I became the Art Club’s house band (going under the dreadful name of Oswald K. Aldehyde). Lacking a trace of self-doubt, we’d launch into blues or jazz covers – Miles Davis’s So What was a favourite – which rapidly degenerated into long and self-indulgent noodlings.
I didn’t take to David Bowie in those early days. Always a chameleon, this particular incarnation was full of a luvvie campness that couldn’t have been further from the worthy authenticity of my black and white politics. As soon as he’d announced us he would disappear into a back room. I had no complaints there – I wouldn’t have stayed to listen to us either – but when he swanned back at the end of our set saying how ‘absolutely faaaabulous’ we were darlings, I choked on the insincerity.