Archive for the ‘My life & thoughts’ Category


How should we test for coronavirus?

February 24th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

There are two tests to determine whether someone has coronavirus (and one – a blood test – to establish whether someone has actually had the virus). The first test for the virus is called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This involves swabbing the back of the throat and the nostrils. The swab has to be sent to […]

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What’s it like to be on Channel Four’s #FirstDates programme?

February 10th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Almost five years ago, my wife of 35 years left me and, after some time, my mind turned to online dating. I dated quite a number of women but did not manage to establish a lasting relationship. My young friend Spence told me about a programme on Channel Four television called “First Dates”. I had […]

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Something to cheer you up in these dark times

February 9th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This blog has readers from around the world but, if you’re resident in the UK, I have a treat for you this evening. On Channel Four television at 10 pm, there is a special Valentine edition of the series “First Dates”. Each show pairs four couples and I’ll be the guy in the second couple. […]

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A new year means a new diary

December 31st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I have now kept a diary for 59 years and the total number of daily entries currently stands at 21,548. I have never missed a day. I have always enjoyed the routine of writing a journal, but this last year has been so challenging that it has been a part of my survival mechanism to record what is […]

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Do you miss real life meetings, seminars and conferences?

December 29th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Nine months before the pandemic hit the UK, at the age of 71 I finally retired. The last 17 years of my working life had been as a portfolio worker sitting on, and usually chairing, a variety of consumer bodies. So, every couple of days, I would attend a meeting or seminar or conference. I […]

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Today my heart is with the people of Beirut

August 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Like so many others around the world, I was horrified to hear the news about, and see the pictures of, the huge explosion in Beirut. This is a country, and especially a city, that has already suffered so much in recent decades. Fortunately the people I know in Beirut are safe but shocked. In 2011, […]

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What did you do in the coronavirus lockdown, granddad? Well, one of the things I did was deliver over 30 online history lessons.

July 22nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

When the country was suddenly plunged into lockdown and schools had to close their doors to most of their students, I was asked if I would help out with my nine year old granddaughter by doing an online history lesson with her once a week. When a young friend heard about this, she asked if […]

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How I first learned about racism and how I am still on a journey

June 22nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

On 21 June 1948, passengers disembarked from the liner “Empress Windrush” including some 800 from the Caribbean. Although there had been black people in Britain since the Romans, the arrival of this group of immigrants is widely regarded as the beginning of the history of multicultural Britain. Since 2018, 21 June has been known as […]

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In the UK, it’s Day 50 of lockdown and Mass Observation would like to know about your day.

May 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This year, the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its annual call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK. The written diaries will be stored in the Archive at The Keep and be used by a wide range of people for research, teaching and learning. This is the 10thAnniversary of […]

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How has this week in lockdown been for you? The Internet has made it tolerable for me.

April 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I live alone and I’m in a vulnerable group age-wise for the coronavirus. So I’ve been observing all the lockdown precautions, but still having a walk each day. What has made this experience much more tolerable though has been access to modern communications, especially the Internet. On Monday, I used FaceTime to deliver an online […]

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