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Tag Archives: Afghanistan

The Gentleman’s Marathon

On my attempt to run 26.2 miles, in Pheidippides’ footsteps. – For The Critic

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. An architect named Firth was found at a Weymouth inquest to have shot himself in the side with a toy cannon while temporarily insane. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Tuesday, December 22 1908 . The SAS have killed some people in Afghanistan. The Veneziana pizza was invented in the 1970s by Pizza Express. In [...]

Two thoughts – for Robert Twigger

. ‘A man on a straight path never got lost.’ — Idries Shah . ‘The trouble with the straight and the narrow ..Is it’s so thin, I keep sliding off to the side.’ — Jason Spaceman .

Did The English Patient send me to Afghanistan?

Two nights from now, by way of (ahem) a birthday present, I will be attending a live-orchestra screening of The English Patient at the Albert Hall. I had invited an old friend, a raven-haired young lady (named in Debrett’s) of impossibly romantic tendency, who first exposed me to the film in, I’d say, about 1998 [...]

Intelligence review

‘For centuries before the Second World War, educated British people knew far more about intelligence operations recorded in the Bible than they did about the role of intelligence at any moment in their own history.’ Nowadays, one might think, few would even know that. But that’s where Christopher Andrew – Emeritus Professor of Modern and [...]

I ink, therefore I am

On the choice and acquisition of my one and only tattoo. – For The Oldie

An Oxford squaddie

From deer park to gun park… . Sixteen years ago, American and British forces hurled themselves into Afghanistan the same week I arrived at Magdalen College, Oxford. I didn’t give them much thought – although the ‘War on Terror’ was immediately everywhere. I had an Egyptology degree to get to grips with; and choral evensong [...]

Veterans of modern wars

In a mid-September interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Baron Richards of Herstmonceux (GCB, CBE, DSO, DL – better known as General David Richards, former Chief of the Defence Staff) made a comment to the effect that “a part-time soldier cannot be as effective as someone who’s devoted his life to it and puts on a [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Few of those who know and admire the camellia, that waxlike and pure flower, are aware that the parent plant, the origin of the million plants scattered throughout Europe, is still alive and is in Italy. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907 . The Taliban now control more territory in Afghanistan than they did [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. A man is generally at his heaviest in his 40th year. — The Nelson Evening Mail, October 10 1906 . The Museum of Emotions in London has a game with yes/no answers. Adolf Hitler fixed the Nazi Party registrations, to make it seem they had more members than they did. The endnotes to David Foster [...]