Monthly Archives: May 2008

May Books 38) Cyprus, 39) A Functional Cyprus Settlement

38) Cyprus, by Christopher Hitchens 39) A Functional Cyprus Settlement: the Constitutional Dimension, by Tim Potier Two very different books on the same country, Hitchens writing in 1984 about the events leading to the conflict of ten years previously and … Continue reading

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May Books 37) Contested Lands

37) Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus and Sri Lanka, by Sumantra Bose Sumantra Bose first hit my radar screen when he wrote the best analysis I have read of post-war Bosnia. Here he combines that research with one other … Continue reading

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Samuel Pepys is amazed

Quite a long diary entry from yesterday, but I particularly loved these two bits which appealed in different ways to my appreciation of the history of science: at noon to Sir Philip Warwicke’s to dinner, where abundance of company come … Continue reading

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May Books 34-36) Three Season 12 Novelisations

And so to the glory days of Who, when Hinchcliffe and Holmes oversaw the Best Stories Ever (until recently), and Terrance Dicks turned them into readable and sometimes (as in two of these cases) good novels. 34) Doctor Who and … Continue reading

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letter meme

Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names &/or objects, but nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person you got this from has … Continue reading

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May Books 33) Letter from America, 1946-2004

33) Letter from America, 1946-2004, by Alistair Cooke Part of the Sunday morning routine of my childhood was to listen to the weekly ten or fifteen minute “Letter from America”, one of the world’s longest radio programmes, produced in a … Continue reading

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James Fraser West

Kudos to , who for the first few months of this year was publishing as a blog the daily entries of the diary of her ancestor, mid-nineteenth century Birmingham surgeon James Fraser West, on LJ as . It did not … Continue reading

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Sir Maurice, the Lancastrian

One of the more peculiar entries in our family history is a brief note about Sir Maurice Whyte, who served in France under Henry IV and Henry V where at the siege of Rouen, with the Prior of Kilmainham, he … Continue reading

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Cures

On my morning commute I usually listen to the day’s meditation from this site. I am not an Ignatian practitioner – I don’t think it would work for me – but I find it good to at least have some … Continue reading

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On being a fan, and the first half of Season Four

I make no excuses for being an sf fan, and a Doctor Who fan. My day job requires me to engage with people trying to extricate themselves from long-running conflicts; when I get home and turn on the TV, or … Continue reading

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Eurovision voting

Russia looking pretty good at the moment! (And UK, Romania and Germany still on nul points.) Ah, but Greece doing well from Albania! My own vote appears to have made no difference to the Belgian tally. (My Armenian friends in … Continue reading

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Eurovision liveblogging

As has happened before, I got banished to the computer to watch the live webcast. Thank heavens for technology, eh? Great fun working out the country from the intro dance piece – even the Albanian one surprisingly tasteful. If by … Continue reading

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Answers to the previous quiz

My Thursday quiz was indeed about alphabets, as several of you, including and in particular said. It is interesting, and perhaps a little surprising, how few alphabets or scripts give their letters actual names that mean something rather than just … Continue reading

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May Books 29-32) The first four Sarah Jane novelisations

My apologies to those of you who are not all that interested in Who; I have three posts brewing on different aspects of the canon (of which this is the first) which I plan to write this weekend. There are … Continue reading

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Balkan blogger

Those of you who are interested in the Balkans may like to check out my friend Rita’s new blog at http://ritaaknudsen.wordpress.com/ – mainly on Kosovo, and partly in Norwegian (though the rest in English).

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Almost anniversary

I posted my first entry here five years ago yesterday – good to have got to know you all!

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Today’s Quiz

What comes next in these lists? (When you get one you will probably get them all) First list: the head of an ox a house a camel’s hump, or possibly a boomerang-like throwing stick a door, or possibly a fish … Continue reading

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May Books 28) Gösta Berling’s Saga

28) Gösta Berling’s Saga, by Selma Lagerlöf This seemed to me a fairly painless way of dipping my toe in the lake of great Swedish writing, Lagerlöf having been the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. It … Continue reading

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May Books 19-27) Nine Jo Grant Novelisations

A run of novels from what will probably turn out to be the peak period in terms of consistency of quality in this entire project. None of these is awful; all are decent efforts, though none of them is outstanding. … Continue reading

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Two posts about Dodo

, here. , here.

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May Books 18) Jhereg

18) Jhereg, by Steven Brust Another of my sf reading resolutions for this year. This is the first in a long series of novels featuring assassin Vlad Taltos, in a well-imagined high fantasy setting. The style owes a great deal … Continue reading

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Travel again

Up early to catch my flight to Belfast via Manchester, and discover as I am about to leave the house that I have got the time of departure wrong by an hour. Fortunately, the flight is an hour later than … Continue reading

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Podgorica and Tirana

Spent the last few days travelling in the Balkans for work purposes; Tuesday landing in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro; Wednesday afternoon driving down to Tirana, the capital of Albania; Thursday in Tirana, and driving back up to Podgorica on … Continue reading

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One of Two, and Three of Four

I was pleasantly surprised, on reviewing my Second Doctor lore as I read the novelisations, to realise that I had not seen any of the four surviving episodes of The Ice Warriors, though I had listened to an audio version … Continue reading

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May Books 17) Odd Man Out

17) Odd Man Out, by F.L. Green Literally the only film I have seen this year is Carol Reed’s adaptation of this novel, published in 1944. So my write-up of it is very much based on the differences with the … Continue reading

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Sign of the times

For most of the last twelve years I have been a subscriber to the daily digest of news from Eastern Europe provided by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty from Prague, and before that by the Open Media Research Institute … Continue reading

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Birthday

Happy birthday, my love! Wish I was there with you!

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Tadpoles

F was given some frogspawn to care for from school just before Easter, and the tadpoles graduated from the small plastic container they arrived in, to a bucket in his room. F has been very responsible about feeding them; I … Continue reading

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May Books 16) Contested Island

16) Contested Island: Ireland 1460-1630, by S.J. Connolly I found this a much more interesting and well-structured book than Lennon’s Sixteenth Century Ireland. By the end of it I had a much better idea of the two key narratives – … Continue reading

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Richard Holme

Last week was insanely busy for me, and I’ve only just caught up with the news of the death of Richard Holme eight days ago, aged 71. I first knew of him in my early activist days as a student … Continue reading

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