PS. Yes, Melvyn's guests did a great job of reminding us about Voltaire's iconoclasm, and offered various insights into Candide. It's one of those that I may have to re-play later to get a bit more out of it. All the episodes of his series, In Our Time, are available to download from the BBC iPlayer - and I believe they go back to 1998, which is much longer ago than it sounds. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01gvthf) I have a sinking feeling, however, that it's not available outside of the UK. But it may be through the BBC World Service.
After the stimulus of that I became distracted. An old friend, Andrew Wille, emailed me a link to an hour-long film made by one of the students he knew when he did his MFA at the Naropa Insititute (aka The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied poetics). I found it very interesting and was - as ever when looking at the Beats and their followers - torn between admiration for their finer ideals and irritation with the excessive egotism, the arrogance, the smugness often on display. From that film, Naropa seems to contain the best and worst of hippiedom. But see for yourselves: http://vimeo.com/6822663.
That took me to lunchtime, which reminded me that it was time to place an online grocery order; and after that I'm afraid lethargy overcame me. That and You Tube. I finally got started on the day's endeavours at about 3.30. But look: here we are, just turned six and I've somehow produced 800 of my daily thousand words. Mike P is in police college; he's about to board a London bus and play the part of a copper persuading an awkward customer (acted by his instructor) to alight - now. (I think I'm going to have fun with this bit... but I'd better be quick: it's soon time to make a fish pie.)