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Tag Archives: war

Mortality 101 – or; Catullus at the graveside

The Oldie runs my poem for the Armistice commemorations. – For The Oldie

I ink, therefore I am

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

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The average salary of professors at Dublin University is £530. — The Nelson Evening Mail, March 14 1907 . The persecution of Christians is now worse than at any time in history. Toto’s ‘Africa’ is one of Myleene Klass’s all-time favourites. The Hillsborough disaster is still in the news. Simon Bolivar, a Venezuelan military and [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Only about three in every hundred amateur novel-writers find their way into print, except at their own expense. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907 . The erection of a verandah is a useful way to extend one’s living quarters. Seven American states observe Abraham Lincoln’s birthday as a public holiday. There is only one [...]

We were soldiers, once

How I went from Oxford choral scholar to British Army squaddie (in just under a dozen years). – For The Oldie

Turning Japanese stomachs

Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima Penguin, 170pp, £8.99 . Born two years after the Great Earthquake of 1923, in ‘not too good a section of Tokyo’, Kochan is a sickly child, brought up by stultifying parents and a morbid grandmother. His first reliable memory is of the ‘night-soil’ man, and he immediately becomes [...]

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

. The province of Quebec has a wooden railway 20 miles in length. The rails are of maple. This railway is used for hauling timber. — The Nelson Evening Mail, November 1 1906 . The German word for ‘train’ is ‘Schienengefuhrtes Sonderzug mit feststehender Lokomotive’. Bathtime is a good time for kicking. Margaret Atwood’s real name is [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The typewriter is more largely used in Mexico than in France. — The Nelson Evening Mail, August 2 1906 . In 1943 a British pilot made an emergency landing on the Italian island of Lampedusa, only to have it surrender to him. Kelo trees live for up to 3,500 years, and remain standing for another 700. [...]