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The Jeans of Slave Traders

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Some of you may remember a post I wrote a couple of years ago about my disillusionment with Richard Dawkins. A copy of that post is here. Yesterday I was reading one of our local papers and I came across this rather dodgy article here, which took me to the original, but equally dodgy article in the Daily Telegraph here. Read more…

A War Monkey Called Sue! (Further adventures on the Internet.)

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday I read Charles Moore’s review of Stephen Spielberg’s latest film, War Horse. Having seen and thoroughly enjoyed the play, which I saw inLondon, 18 months ago, I read the review with some interest. Without going into details,Moore was less than enthusiastic, criticising Spielberg for the gratuitous sentimentality. What was perhaps more interesting, was the comment section, some of which dealt with aspects of the Great War and the vast tragedy attached to it. Read more…

I Am Fed Up!

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I have had just about enough of theses endless cries of ‘racism’ that are being bandied around at every opportunity, not just in Britain, but around the world. While some are legitimate and provide cause for concern, others are trivial in the extreme. What they all share in common, however, is that they are white on black attacks, whether verbal or physical and that they are being pursued with unmitigated vigour by the law and the press. The reason I am so angry is that many cases are as I said, trivial in the extreme while at the same time similar examples of black on white attacks are ignored. Read more…

All the way from Syria, please welcome Bobby Darin!

August 3, 2011 13 comments

I am in England at the moment, having attended a family wedding.

During my ongoing and rather listless research of my family tree, I sometimes come across some interesting little vignettes. One of them concerns the story of an artifact that once belonged to ancestors of mine.  The “Luck of Edenhall” is a glass beaker that is thought to have been made in Syria in the 13th century, elegantly decorated in blue, green, red and white enamel with gilding.

“If this cup should break or fall
Farewell the Luck of Edenhall!”

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luck_of_Edenhall. The vessel was donated to the V&A Museum in the 1920s. As I was going to be in London, I thought it might be interesting to go and have a look.

Having tracked down and gazed upon the rather beautiful, heirless heirloom, described as being one of the most important exhibits in the V&A, I went on a wander around the museum. Eventually, I stumbled across a gallery that displayed some of the collections of Horace Walpole from his home at Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. His name had come up in conversation, a few days ago, in relation to a quiz or crossword or some such. I think the reference was to his Gothic novel, Castle of Otranto. (Walpole is thought to have coined the word, ‘serendipity’.) Anyway, I confess that I did not know much about Horace Walpole, so when I got home I googled him. Inevitably, perhaps, that took me to his father Robert Walpole.

Earlier in my visit, I had been staying with my sister and had discovered in  my room a copy of John Gay’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera’. Of course I had heard of Gay and his satirical work and I even knew that he invented the character Macheath, about whom Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill wrote the song,  “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer”. What I did not know was that the highwayman Macheath was based upon Robert Walpole. Had he been alive today, John Gay would surely have been writing for Private Eye.

Anyway, here is Bobby Darrin singing about Britain’s first and longest serving Prime Minister.

Lest We Forget

November 10, 2010 10 comments

Rhodesia

Unilateral Declaration of Independence

11th November 1965

Whereas in the course of human affairs history has shown that it may become necessary for a people to resolve the political affiliations which have connected them with another people and to assume amongst other nations the separate and equal status to which they are entitled:

And whereas in such event a respect for the opinions of mankind requires them to declare to other nations the causes which impel them to assume full responsibility for their own affairs:

Now therefore, we, the Government of Rhodesia, do hereby declare: Read more…

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