Archive for June, 2021

Be careful where I visit – the latest example is Mekele in Ethiopia

June 29th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

OK, I haven’t travelled abroad for a year and a half because of the global pandemic. Before that I visited a lot of countries. I’ve noticed that so many of the locations that I visit have either had a civil war or major conflict or do so shortly after my time there. The latest example […]

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Now I have written two books: a biography and a collection of short stories

June 26th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In 1985, I wrote the biography of the Czech Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher who was the RAF’s greatest night intruder ace of the Second World War. It was republished in 2017. It is titled “Night Hawk”. I never thought that I would write another book. But now I have collated 31 short stories that I […]

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Word of the day: paraprosdokian

June 24th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, or larger discourse is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, […]

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Which was the largest empire in world history?

June 21st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

For many years, I’ve enjoyed doing regular courses at London’s City Literary Institute. For a year and a half now, all those courses have had to be online because of the covid crisis. Currently I’m doing a nine-week course in world history delivered by the Danish historian Martin Jorgensen. This week’s session included discussion of […]

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A review of the new film “The Father”

June 21st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Many of the patients I visit in my hospital volunteering role have some form of cognitive loss and my mother had vascular dementia, so I’m not unfamiliar with the illness. Also films like “Iris” and “Still Alice” have previously addressed the issue of dementia, so this is not a new topic for the cinema. But […]

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Looking for thrills? Try “A Quiet Place”

June 20th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

“A Quiet Place” Horror is not a movie genre that generally appeals to me, but this movie received good reviews and it stars one of my favourite actors, the British Emily Blunt. So I took the opportunity of a pandemic lockdown to catch it on television. In fact, the film is something of a family […]

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A review of the 2016 film “20th Century Women”

June 15th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This 2016 movie didn’t register on my radar at all on its release but, five years later, I caught it on television during the global pandemic. It will not be to everyone’s taste because it is totally character-driven with no set action pieces – but I loved it. It is written and directed by Mike […]

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The evolution of storytelling: have stories become more complex?

June 15th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I recently had a discussion on the evolution of storytelling – as you do – with a Canadian friend who is an English teacher in an American school. I suggested that storytelling has become more opaque but she rather contested that. She pointed out that the  “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” – both, of course, very […]

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A review of the novel “The Beekeeper Of Aleppo” by Christy Lefteri

June 11th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

There is a certain fashion for novels to have a title in the format “The [common noun of an occupation] Of [proper noun of a place of peril]” – think “The Bookseller Of Kabul”, “The Tatooist Of Auschwitz” and “The Cellist Of Sarajevo”. I was particularly attracted to this particular work because I spent a […]

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How many men have walked on the Moon and how many of them are still alive?

June 8th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In July 1969, the first men walked on the Moon and I watched it live on television. The previous year, the film “2001: A Space Odyssey” was released which portrayed a community on the Moon at the turn of the century. At that time, we assumed that there would be a growing programme of lunar […]

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