Montebourg Montebourg is a small town in the Cotentin peninsula, just off the N13 road that leads up to Cherbourg. The town was 90% destroyed by fighting in 1944, so there are very few historic buildings in the town centre. But there are three bakeries, two butchers, one advertising prize-winning tripes and pieds de porc,Continue reading “Through a glass darkly – 76”
Family matters We went south for Peter’s funeral. Lucky to find a train given the growing chaos on Scotrail. which has just substantially reduced train numbers because of the shortage of drivers and threatened industrial action. We stayed with Jem and Anna in Watlington, the first time that we have seen them since they movedContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 75”
A gloomy few months As I’ve already indicated it has been quite a gloomy few months. The news from Ukraine continues to be depressing; an unknown number of civilians including children are still trapped in bunkers beneath the giant steelworks, and the Russians seem unwilling to abide by the promised cease-fire and the humanitarian corridors.Continue reading “Through a glass darkly – 74”
My younger brother died on Tuesday evening. Peacefully in a hospice some two miles from their home in Leamington Spa. In the middle of the twentieth century about 14 million people were killed in Eastern Europe; today’s Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and western Russia. I guess it may be a preaching cliché to say that oneContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 73”
Passion Week Question: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a wounded buffalo ? Answer: A lawyer charges more. A well-dressed man goes into a pub with a crocodile on a lead and asks ‘Do you serve lawyers here ?’ ‘Yes, certainly, Sir’, says the barman. ‘In that case, I’ll have a pint ofContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 72”
“All religions will pass, but this will remain, simply sitting in a chair and looking into the distance.” Vasili Rozanov This aphorism prefaces the opening chapter of Richard Holloway’s 2004 book Looking in the distance. Richard notes that the words served as a prompt to his own life; as he was drawn from his firstContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 71”
Starting from home It is two days short of the winter solstice. The temperature is five degrees below freezing. At dusk it snows steadily for five hours. When the snow stops the writer leaves his desk to go for a walk. He clears the suburbs, finds a hole in the hawthorn hedge, and follows theContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 70”
It was Susie’s idea. For a belated birthday celebration. As a change from watching all the depressing news on the television, we would go walking with alpacas. No trip to the altiplano of Latin America was needed. Instead we went with our friends Mike and Wendy to Bobcat Alpacas at Bonaly, just south of Edinburgh,Continue reading “Through a glass darkly – 69“
It has been a rather dispiriting few weeks. Apart from France, the quality of rugby in the Six Nations has been pretty poor. Scotland have got steadily worse as the Six Nations progresses. It now seems as if their opening win over England was a false dawn. My younger brother, Peter, is terminally ill. ButContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 68”
The Boys’ Crusade I used to think I knew quite a lot about the Second World War. Certainly more about the Royal Air Force than about the Army. And more about the Army than the Royal Navy. I guess that I know a lot more about the activities of SOE, especially in France, than IContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 67”
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