Archive for October, 2018

Visit to Rome (2)

October 20th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Our first full day in Rome was a long walking tour. We were out for eight hours and, in that time, visited six locations and made three refreshment stops. We started near our hotel with a visit to the huge Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This was originally built in the 5th century with Romanesque, […]

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Visit to Rome (1)

October 20th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’ve kept a diary since I was a teenager and I like to count things, so I know that this is my fourth trip to Rome and my 12th visit to Italy. It is the 200th time that I have travelled outside the UK. On this occasion, I am away with two members of my Chinese […]

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What is at stake in the US mid-term elections?

October 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, I attended the first of two sessions at London’s City Literary Institute to discuss the United States mid-term elections. This session looked at what is at stake and considered what might happen. The session after the elections will examine the results and debate the implications for the presidential election in 2020. The elections are […]

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Do you know who was the founding first president of the new state of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago?

October 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk – or TGM as he was often known – and this week I attended a talk given by his great granddaughter Charlotta Kotik. The event was organised by the British Czech and Slovak Association and the venue was the Slovak Embassy in London. Masaryk was already 68 when he became President […]

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Is there any good news in the world? Maybe in Ethiopia …

October 17th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

All that most people in the world know about the African state of Ethoipia is that it had a famine in 1984. But profound political changes are currently taking place in the country. As the “Guardian” newspaper reports today: “Ethiopia’s prime minister has appointed women to half the posts in his cabinet and created a […]

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Ever heard of “up-lit”? Sounds like a good idea to me.

October 14th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

So many fiction books and television series seem to be about crime and violence. Although I’m current reading the thriller “Prague Fatale” by Philip Kerr and recently watched the hit BBC series “Bodyguard”, I’m not generally attracted to such dark material. Apparently, I’m not the only one which explains the growth in popularity of so-called […]

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A review of the new version of “A Star Is Born”

October 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It seems that each generation is destined to have its own version of this classic and painful cinematic tale of one star on the decline as another rises. In the original 1937 version, the actors were Frederic March and Janet Gaynor; then, in the 1954 remake, we had James Mason and Judy Garland; and, in […]

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A review of the new film “The Wife”

October 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is a quality film with outstanding acting but it won’t appeal to all because it is a character-driven, dialogue-rich work with no action sequences or special effects. Indeed it could have been a play. In fact, it is adapted by Jane Anderson from the 2003 novel by Meg Wolitzer and, together with the eponymous […]

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Word of the day: myrmidon

October 9th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It means “a person who executes without question or scruple a master’s commands”. The word comes from classical mythology as the Myrmidons were one of the warlike people of ancient Thessaly who accompanied Achilles to the Trojan War. I came across the word while reading “Prague Fatale” by Philip Kerr which is set in Nazi-occupied […]

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What is the religious composition of the US Supreme Court?

October 8th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

For weeks now, the world has watched while the United States Senate has held confirmation hearings for President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. Sadly that nomination has now been confirmed and the court has a clear conservative majority that will impact its decisions for decade and guarantee Trump a long legacy. Meanwhile […]

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