Monthly Archives: July 2008

July Books 26-34) The other Sixth Doctor novelisations

My vague ambition to read all the novelisations of Doctor Who stories before my vacation did not come off, but I did at least finish the Sixth Doctor novels on Eurostar on Tuesday. 26) Doctor Who – Vengeance on Varos, … Continue reading

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July Books 25) A History of India

25) A History of India, by John Keay I won’t be finishing this, because I left it behind on the Eurostar last night. I was finding it very tough going, and would welcome suggestions of better reading on the subject.

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July Books 24) A House for Mr Biswas

24) A House for Mr Biswas, by V.S. Naipaul. This was one of the books I bought in order to broaden my acquaintance with the Nobel Prize winners for Literature. It is a rather touching tale of Mohan Biswas, from … Continue reading

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July Books 23) The History of Richard Calmady

23) The History of Richard Calmady, by “Lucas Malet” (Mary St Leger Kingsley Harrison) I got hold of this via Project Gutenberg largely because it is supposed to be based on the life of Arthur MacMorrough Kavanagh; I had no … Continue reading

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Summertime

A rare f-locked entry from me, with notes of my summer movements: 1) tomorrow in London all day. Mostly for work, though I hope to get to the Waterstone’s on Trafalgar Square about lunchtime. 2) Setting off on holidays on … Continue reading

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Recent adventures – wedding and birthday

First off, my gallery of the wedding of and Mrs . The first three pics are from the civil ceremony on 4 July; then the rest from the religious ceremony on 11 July, six from the church, and seven from … Continue reading

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In the sunshine

Ahh, the joys of sitting outside on a beautiful summer day, waiting for my lunch to arrive (and so posting a quick entry from my phone). People complain about the weather in Belgium, but coming from Belfast (unlike most of … Continue reading

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I do not think that word means what you think it means

“I just won’t look!” Peri said, clenching her eyes shut but feeling the stiff vulpine feathers that had now emerged almost fully all over her arms. (Philip Martin, Doctor Who – Vengeance on Varos) Vulpine feathers, eh? With extra irony, … Continue reading

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Reader’s block

Am reading two rather tough books – tough for different reasons – at the moment. First up is John Keay’s India: A History lent me on the long term by a Norwegian colleague in the job before last; as you … Continue reading

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Doctor Who: resolving the unresolved issues

Well, after posting and analysing the Best of Who and Worst of Who polls, the obvious next thing to do is combine them. So, a definitive final judgement by Livejournal: the best of the best, the worst of the worst, … Continue reading

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A 1906 scandal: the dubious death of my great-uncle

In my genealogical surfings I have come across this account of the death of my grandfather’s eldest brother, John Nicholas Whyte (1864-1906), which I knew from family lore had been quite a scandal at the time. Bizarrely enough it comes … Continue reading

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The Dominion of the Ionian Islands

‘s interest in matters counterfactual was piqued by my post about Arthur Kavanagh’s 1860s cruise. He raised the question of what it would have taken to have a Dominion of the Ionian Islands in the British Commonwealth some time in … Continue reading

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July Books 21-22) Two Sixth Doctor novelisations by Eric Saward

21) Doctor Who – The Twin Dilemma, by Eric Saward It’s not a big secret that the TV original of this is by far my least favourite Classic Who story. I am none the less utterly amazed by how much … Continue reading

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Doctor Who: The Best of the Best

There were some surprises here, most of all the surprise that more people voted than in the previous poll. Myself, I find it much easier to decide which story I like least than which I like most; perhaps I am … Continue reading

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Political post #3 of 3: Sarko v the Plain People of Ireland

It may not have been apparent to President Sarkozy just how ill-advised his recent remarks on the Lisbon Treaty were. In Brussels circles, the official orthodoxy remains that the treaty should be ratified by all member states before the end … Continue reading

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Political post #2 of 3: Belgium v Belgium

I was at a breakfast meeting this morning (ugh! Getting up at unaccustomedly early time) and found myself sitting (as Facebook folks will have noticed) next to one of the numerous living former prime ministers of Belgium. Although the meeting … Continue reading

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Political post #1 of 3) Ros v Lembit

Last night I attended the summer party of the Brussels branch of the [UK] Liberal Democrats, where the guest of honour was Ros Scott, the blogging Baroness. She is campaigning for the position of President of the overall party, to … Continue reading

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July Books 16-20) The last Fifth Doctor books; and Fifth Doctor roundup

16) Doctor Who – Warriors of the Deep, by Terrance Dicks Slightly more interesting than the standard Dicks effort, with an attempt to reflect the political agenda that Malcolm Hulke brought to the original Silurians and Sea Devils. Also, of … Continue reading

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Comment spam

I’ve had 19 comment spams in the last 24 hours, all from different dummy LJ accounts. Have the rest of you had more, fewer or about the same?

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July Books 15) The Cruise of the R.Y.S. Eva

15) The Cruise of the R.Y.S. Eva, by Arthur Kavanagh My latest little project is to read up on the fascinating Arthur MacMorrough Kavanagh, whose life story combines my interests in Irish history and disability. I have ordered all three … Continue reading

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In gratitude to

The books came through! Thank you so much!!!!!

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Following on from last week’s question…

For those who felt last week’s poll was too negative:

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Bronisław Geremek, 1932-2008

Very sorry to see that Bronisław Geremek has died in a car crash in his native Poland. He was a tremendously impressive figure; I had the pleasure of dealing with him a bit when I worked for ICG, as he … Continue reading

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July Books 14) Peace

14) PEACE, by Gene Wolfe A very layered narrative, the life story of Alden Dennis Weer and of his small-town mid-western neighbours and family, with frequent excursions into history and fantasy, the boundary being rather blurred. As often with Wolfe, … Continue reading

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July Books 13) The Periodic Table

13) The Periodic Table, by Primo Levi A very neat and thought-provoking series of autobiographical sketches (plus a couple of short fiction pieces), each based around one particular chemical element. Levi uses the metaphor to explore several aspects of his … Continue reading

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Wiki translation fun

Chinese: 異世奇人 Korean: 닥터 후 Japanese: ドクター・フー Hindi: डॉक्टर हू Hebrew: דוקטור הו Farsi: دکتر هو and Russian: Доктор Кто Bulgarian: Доктор Кой Apart from the last two, I have no idea about the pronunciation – open to being enlightened!

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2008 films 3) Der Untergang

I was inspired to watch this account of the last days in Hitler’s bunker by ‘s thought-provoking (but mildly spoilerish) review, and was completely gripped throughout. Berlin has always been a place of fascination for me; I remember when I … Continue reading

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July Books 5-12) Eight Fifth Doctor novelisations

Continuing my project, these are the novelisations of the Season 20 stories, plus one that got away from Season 19 and the anniversary special. A number of these confounded my expectations. 5) Doctor Who and the Visitation, by Eric Saward … Continue reading

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Top tips

I had been puzzling for months over the amount of free space on my ThinkPad laptop – it claimed to have only 5 GB free out of 50, but adding together all the visible files barely got me to 25 … Continue reading

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Squee!

…I have just heard the news about the guest star in the upcoming Sarah Jane Adventures!!!!

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