Monthly Archives: June 2020

June 2020 Books

Non-fiction: 6 (YTD 32) The Beiderbecke Affair, by William Gallagher The Queen's Agent: Sir Francis Walsingham and the Rise of Espionage in Elizabethan England, by John Cooper The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, by Stephen Fry Modern China: … Continue reading

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My tweets

Mon, 12:56: Programme for Government #PfG is (not very strangely) silent on this. No real interest from political parties in ex… https://t.co/YYW2RMJr8H Mon, 17:52: RT @LEJ88: The French far-right lost almost half their local representation yesterday, falling from 1,438 seats … Continue reading

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January 2007 books

Momentous times as I started my new job and new office. My first visitor was former Labour MP Dick Leonard, who will turn 90 this December, all being well. I travelled to London in the first week of January to … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sun, 12:56: RT @yawyr_vk: 1/ The peak of Everest is infamously termed ‘Death Zone’. Each breath contains ~ 30% of the oxygen found at the sea level. Bi… Sun, 15:20: From A Clear Blue Sky: Surviving the Mountbatten Bomb, by … Continue reading

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From A Clear Blue Sky: Surviving the Mountbatten Bomb, by Timothy Knatchbull

Second paragraph of third chapter: During my grandmother Edwina's childhood, the family used it primarily as a shooting lodge. It was lit by candles and oil lamps and had just one bath. Water from a well was carried a quarter … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sat, 12:56: RT @greg_jenner: Yes https://t.co/p2LAu8mJj1 Sat, 12:56: RT @LibDemLords: We are so very sad to tell you that our dear friend and colleague Diana Maddock has died. She will be tremendously missed… Sat, 14:42: RT @ClareChoir: With the help … Continue reading

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The Ghost of Lily Painter by Caitlin Davies

Second paragraph of third chapter: The keeping of a journal will also, I trust, provide an opportunity to note down observations relating to my work, although I have no intention of producing anything resembling the sort of police memoir so … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 12:27: Home again, for the first time since early March! https://t.co/KXYY95mGxB Fri, 12:56: RT @jowrotethis: You have now been in quarantine longer than Brock Turner was in jail. Fri, 16:48: RT @aoifegracemoore: Mea culpa. I present to you the … Continue reading

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Modern China: A Very Short Introduction, by Rana Mitter

Second paragraph of third chapter: Decades after the deaths of Mao and Chiang, it is possible not only to look at those two major figures with some perspective, but also to pay more attention to the context around them. There … Continue reading

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My tweets

Thu, 12:56: RT @amandalitman: In NY’s primary, I didn’t vote for Biden. (I believe in voting your ❤️ in primaries, even in long-over races.) But I want… Thu, 16:05: The Republican Choice https://t.co/f4wgWNdHK4 Fascinating on @FiveThirtyEight about how the Republican … Continue reading

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A hundred days after lockdown

Not sure how much longer I will keep up this series of posts every ten days. The numbers of hospitalisations, deaths, etc in Belgium are now back to where they were before lockdown, which basically means that it's barely distinguishable … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current The Complete Secret Army: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Classic TV Drama Series by Andy Priestner Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov The Room Where It Happened: A White House … Continue reading

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My tweets

Wed, 12:07: RT @RossalynWarren: When the most senior BAME and Muslim officer for the Met police found a swastika drawn on the wall of her workplace, sh… Wed, 12:36: RT @caoilfhionnanna: 24 June 1993, 27 years ago: legislation passed finally … Continue reading

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The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, by Stephen Fry

Second paragraph of first chapter: Why not indeed. Here's a list of the most likely possibilities: 1 Beat — Monometer He bangs The drum. 2 Beats — Dimeter His drumming noise Awakes the boys. 3 Beats — Trimeter His drumming … Continue reading

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My tweets

Tue, 12:56: RT @DrewCoffman: This VFX work is absolutely incredible, and it becomes even more amazing when I tell you that it’s made in Blender (which… Tue, 14:09: @mbrajshori Congratulations! Tue, 14:51: RT @jburnmurdoch: The Adria Tour has been a … Continue reading

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December 2006 books and 2006 books roundup

My final Crisis Group publication was a briefing on Kosovo. In my four years and eight months there, I had overseen the publication of 46 reports, 16 briefings and ten op-eds (in the last case, just counting those published under … Continue reading

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My tweets

Mon, 15:41: RT @HelleKettner: In twenty minutes (at 16:00h), this interesting #EU debate takes place with some well-prepared panellists (@carmecolomina… Mon, 16:51: RT @OmniumIntl: @nwbrux (@APCOBXLInsider): ‘The pandemic has actually helped to heal some fractures of the EU’ #DigitalTalk Mon, … Continue reading

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The Queen’s Agent: Francis Walsingham & the Rise of Espionage in Elizabethan England, John Cooper

Second paragraph of third chapter: It had all looked so different earlier that same summer. The signing of the treaty of Blois was commemorated in a group portrait of the English royal family now known as the Allegory of the … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sun, 14:11: RT @alexvtunzelmann: Oh, I love this. To accompany “And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more world… Sun, 14:40: I went to church this morning https://t.co/0bbaCRMZgi Sun, 14:48: RT @molybdomantic: … Continue reading

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Local Hero, by David Benedictus

Second paragraph of third chapter: 'What are you thinking about?' he asked Danny. What the hell did the guy think about? Back in the olden days, there were no DVD players or streaming services, and if you saw a film … Continue reading

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I went to church this morning

I went to church this morning, for the first time in several years; you may remember I reported from the churchyard in the first of my lockdown videos, and now that the lockdown is easing, I wanted to see how … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sat, 12:56: RT @johnnythin: A short thread on this evening’s visit to a rare sight in Surrey: a large standing stone, some 3-4m high. But it’s not qui… Sat, 15:34: The Beiderbecke Affair https://t.co/AYtGObXEkB Sun, 10:45: Man smuggling cocaine in … Continue reading

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The Beiderbecke Affair

The Beiderbecke Affair is the story of two middle-aged teachers in love, in Leeds, at the height of Thatcherism. If you don't know it, just go and get hold of it somehow. It will be five well-spent hours of your time. … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 15:09: B’s 23rd birthday – first time we had seen her since March. Hygienic measures had to be observed of course, but she… https://t.co/80CgPME5GY Fri, 16:05: Incest uncovered at the elite prehistoric Newgrange monument in Ireland https://t.co/kDZcvKTkse Wow. Much … Continue reading

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Who was both oldest former US President and oldest former Vice-President, but not at the same time?

Last week I posed a wee question on social media: Who was both the oldest former President of the United States, and the oldest former Vice-President, but not at the same time? Lots of people scratched their heads over this, … Continue reading

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My tweets

Thu, 12:56: RT @ashleybsumerel: I know masks aren’t exactly comfortable, but neither are bras, and a good portion of the population wears those regular… Thu, 13:08: RT @OmniumIntl: #DigitalTalk next Monday 22nd June at 4pm (CET) ‘Will a fractured EU … Continue reading

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Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist – Goodreads/LibraryThing stats

The Clarke Award shortlist is out. Although (as I well know) it's a juried award, the leader on this table has won the award four years out of the last six. (2019, 2017, 2015 and 2014, but not 2018 or … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current The Complete Secret Army: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Classic TV Drama Series by Andy Priestner Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens The Wicked + The Divine vol 4: Rising Action, by Kieron Gillen etc The Master … Continue reading

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My tweets

Wed, 12:56: Wow. https://t.co/DPfOg1ehpE Wed, 16:05: Glorious. https://t.co/Wke7xYbRbX Wed, 18:10: November 2006 books https://t.co/Vf4JlcEY8P Wed, 19:18: This is bad, Julian. I am agreeing with you more and more often! https://t.co/umoJAjAdBr Wed, 19:51: RT @OxfordDiplomat: There is nothing more joyous then … Continue reading

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November 2006 books

As previously mentioned, we started the month with a half-term break at my sister's in Burgundy. Cluny is a remarkable town with a ruined abbey which dominates the urban landscape. I moved my personal website to http://www.nicholaswhyte.info – I should … Continue reading

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