Beris Gwynne

A chinese lion statue

Personal web-sites are an indulgence, but after 40 years 'living' international relations and international development, there is so much to say about the state of our planet and relationships between its inhabitants, that a web-site seemed the only way to go. With networks that span continents, I hope this site will help to focus attention on some of the 'big issues' facing the world today and prompt action at all levels. For family and friends, I hope it will be a vehicle to share wonderful experiences and magnificent sights along the way. The world truly is an amazing place. . and all of us have a duty of care.

Beris Gwynne
(currently living in Geneva)


Is that all there is?

September 2nd, 2007

That such an important question is the title of a song isn’t surprising.  What is surprising is that, two lines on, the response to the question is “Then let’s keep dancing”! The vast majority of the world’s inhabitants spend at least part of their lives, answering this, or the other musically-accompanied question “What’s it all about, (Alfie)”, trying to work out how we fit ‘in the scheme of things’.   Many, indeed, the majority, find comfort and reassurance in beliefs which reflect the experience of millennia in the evolution of human behaviour and social organisation.  Some of us realise that we don’t get to select the family or circumstances, or even the country into which we are born.  Some of us realise that, as conscient beings and to greater or lesser degree, we have a part to play in deciding what to do with the opportunities and challenges that are presented.  We learn from an early age that some things are ‘bad’ and to be avoided and some things are ‘good’ and to be sought and cherished. Whether we like it or not, we accrue ‘values’ and ‘vices’ and develop points of reference that help us to decide how to ‘be’ and ‘have’ (behave).  But, before long, we learn that bad things happen to good people and vice versa. .  .and that right isn’t always ‘might’ at least in our understanding of time-frames and timing. For me, this is where the human spirit struggles to break free of daily reality to recognise and aspire to something bigger than ourselves.  Something true, just, loving, all-knowing, all-mighty, unalterable and eternal. But the door to that place requires a willingness to concede that, for all of human progress, we don’t have all the answers.  It requires a step of faith.  What is truly surprising is that that step of faith, so child-like in its simplicity, is invariably rewarded, giving meaning, providing direction, bringing comfort and allowing healing, when everything seems to be going wrong.  Foolishness?  Perhaps.  But not in my experience. 

Travels abroad

August 9th, 2007

Over time, it is my goal to re-visit the collection of photographs gathered over the years. They tell the story of one life. . in remarkable times, if not a remarkable life. . .of adventures, disappointments, triumphs.   But the memories that count are of loved ones, family and friends,  and people whose lives may have touched my own only momentarily, but with kindness and inspiration.   I hope I might be remembered in this way.

Sights in Sweden

August 6th, 2007

Over the coming weeks, I hope to take you with me on walking tours of various parts of Stockholm and occasional trips to other provinces or ‘lan’ by adding some of the better photographs to the gallery.

Having previously lived in Canada and Poland (as winters go, Canberra doesn’t compare), I was looking forward to winter in Stockholm.  The locals observed that the 2006/7 winter was pretty mild. . just as they had warned that the summer of 2006 was exceptionally long and warm.

 The 2007 summer lends credence to their warnings. . .so I can’t help wondering what the winter will be like!

Watch our for uploads to the gallery!


Hello world!

May 18th, 2007

It must be a sign of advancing age. . . that so much of what I see around me reflects an absence of experience or at least a failure in genuine (ie information sharing) communication.   In this information age, how is it possible that the saying ”those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it’ has such currency.

In foreign policy, development thinking and modern management practice, so many of the lessons learned so painfully in the 60s and 70s, so much of what was new and exciting twenty years ago seems to have been ‘un-learned’. 

Is it just the pendulum’s swing?  or do we need to look for deeper causes of human distraction and demotivation.  What will we need this time to shake us out of our info-entertainment induced torpor as recycled baby-boomer indignation loses its edge?