Archive for December, 2008

New Year’s Honours List

December 31st, 2008 by Roger Darlington

I confess that I never pay much attention to the Honours Lists, but I’ve just learned that one of my colleagues at Consumer Focus has been recognised in this year’s New Year’s Honours List. The organisation’s director of international policy advocacy, Jill Johnstone, has been awarded an OBE for services to consumers. Jill has devoted […]

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Israel and The Gaza (1)

December 31st, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Early last year, my wife and I made a fascinating trip to Israel in the company of our close American friend Eric Lee who lived on a kibbutz in Israel for 18 years before moving to London. In the course of the journey, we had some interesting political discussions because, while I am a friend […]

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The history of Scrabble

December 30th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

I confess that I’m not one for games of any kind – but I make an exception at Christmas when it’s fun to play something with family members after a big meal. This year, it was Scrabble and afterwards I thought that I would check out the history of the game. It’s an interesting story.

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Playing the name game

December 30th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

I’m really interested in naming practices and name popularity around the world because one can learn so much about a country’s culture or a person’s background just from names. That’s why I’ve constructed a comprehensive look at naming practices around the globe with a special emphasis on the position in the UK – you can […]

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How to make decisions

December 29th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Shortly before Christmas, a conversation with a friend turned to discussion of how people do or should make decisions. This got me thinking and, over Christmas, I’ve drafted a new section for my web site on “How To Make Decisions”. This is the 26th section of my web site concerned with various life skills and […]

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A family Christmas

December 27th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Vee and I have now returned from Felpham on the south coast where we spent Christmas at the home of Vee’s twin sister Mari and her husband Derek. Also with us was their eldest son Martin with his wife Isobel plus their daughter Yasmin (three in a couple of days time) and Lucas (seven months). […]

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What were the final words of King George V?

December 25th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

In early 1936, Britain’s King George V, who triumphantly celebrated his Silver Jubilee only months earlier, lay in his bed at Sandringham House on the verge of death, surrounded by his family. Concerned with keeping his royal patient’s spirits up, the King’s physician reportedly suggested, “Your Majesty will soon be well enough to visit Bognor.” […]

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I have a theory …

December 24th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Now all generalisations are dangerous (even this one), but I have a theory that, generally speaking, the higher up the social scale, the slower people speak and the worse they write. The Christmas cards that I’ve received in the last couple of weeks provide strong evidence for the writing part of my thesis.

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The art of the Christmas letter

December 24th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Some people are somewhat cynical about the idea of a Christmas letter, but I’ve sent out one each year since 1979 [see this year’s letter here] since we have so many friends around the UK and throughout the world that we are in touch with much less often than we would like and they appear […]

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Seen any icons recently?

December 23rd, 2008 by Roger Darlington

We live at a time when the media seems to describe almost everything as iconic – from an old red telephone box to the footballer David Beckham. But, as I explained in my previous posting I have just been to an exhibition on Byzantium and here there were many real icons. The word icon comes […]

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