Archive for October, 2019


A review of the important new film “Official Secrets”

October 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

In 2003, 28 year old China-watcher Katherine Gun worked for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) when she came across evidence that the British and the Americans were covertly monitoring members of the UN Security Council in an effort to obtain leverage on countries that might be persuaded to support a crucial second vote authorising the invasion […]

Posted in Cultural issues, History | Comments (0)


A review of “Terminator: Dark Fate”

October 28th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I thought the first two “Terminator” movies (1984 & 1991) were terrific and the third (2003) and fourth (2009) were entertaining enough, but the fifth (2015) was disappointing and I felt that we’d seen the end of the franchise. However, it seems that – even after 35 years – you just can’t keep those killers […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


My nearest cinema and a review of “Joker”

October 27th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

As all my friends know, I am a massive cinema fan. I see a fair number of films and review all of them online. Now, when I moved to London’s South Bank seven month ago, I was excited that I would be living so near so many cinemas. Indeed the British Film Institute – which […]

Posted in Cultural issues, My life & thoughts | Comments (0)


Who would have thought that anyone would be interested in my diaries?

October 25th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I started keeping a diary when I was 13 and, since then, I haven’t missed a single day . This means that I’ve kept a diary for almost 58 years or 21,114 days to be precise. It is a personal diary written only for me – but this week I was visited by an historian […]

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (0)


A review of “The Metamorphosis And Other Stories” by Franz Kafka

October 23rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

In my early 20s, I read all three of Kafka’s novels – “America”, “The Trial” and “The Castle” – as well as some of his short stories including “The Metamorphosis”. I had thought that this would be the end of my Kafka phase but, some 50 years later, a Czech friend bought me a handsomely-bound […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


Why aren’t more consumers engaging with the broadband market?

October 22nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Recently the consumer organisation Which? published new research – gathering an in-depth understanding of why consumers aren’t engaging in the broadband market.  This behavioural research identifies six key barriers to engagement among disengaged consumers: Consumers have low confidence in assessing what they need and identifying a suitable package Consumers are confused about how pricing works […]

Posted in Consumer matters, Science & technology | Comments (2)


How could an animation film for children cause an international row?

October 21st, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This weekend, I took my two granddaughters (aged 8 and 3) to see the new animation movie “Abominable” and they loved it. They were able to identify with the young Chinese girl Yi, who lives in Shanghai, when she discovers a yeti on the roof of her apartment block and endeavours to return him to […]

Posted in Cultural issues, World current affairs | Comments (0)


A review of the charming but poignant film “The Farewell”

October 20th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This mostly Mandarin-speaking film is billed as “based on a true lie”. since it is the lightly-fictionalised experience of writer and director Chinese-American Lulu Wang. The lie in question is the deceit perpetrated by the family of Chinese grandmother Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) when she is diagnosed with incurable lung cancer and given little time […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


Brexit bingo – on the day of the Commons vote and the people’s march

October 19th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A drink is not compulsory each time you hear these, but it might not be a bad idea: “Customs border in the Irish Sea” “Get Brexit done” “The will of the people” “17.4 million people” “No more dither and delay” “A reckless Tory Brexit” “No-deal cliff edge” “Chlorinated chicken” “No one voted to be poorer” […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)


A review of the new Will Smith film “Gemini Man”

October 18th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Although this movie has had poor reviews, I wanted to see it, partly because I like Will Smith (and you get two of him here) and partly because there was location shooting in Cartagena, Colombia during my visit there last year (the other non-American location – Budapest, Hungary – is familiar to me too).  Taiwanese […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)