Pauline and Juliet
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Pauline and Juliet
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
So maybe I should be grateful for Basingstoke after all, for without it those choices, those conflicts and those turns of perception may not be there. I imagine that to actually live in Basingstoke must be a bit like residing in confused.com? But I know which direction I would be heading in.
One day last week, I was visiting an old friend who told me that he and his wife were due to have a week or so in Dorset. They have been before and they like it. This time they will be staying in the village of Duntishe, far away from the madding crowd.
Now, as you may have spotted, I was born in Dorset and my friend`s mention of Duntishe gave rise to a passing chat about some of the quirky place names for which Dorset is famous. Those shown on the signpost above are good examples, but so too are Plush, Toller Porcorum, Melbury Bubb, Ryme Intrinseca, Hamoon and Whitchurch Canonicorum...to name but a few.
I`ve often thought that Dorset is one of those counties that people pass through on their way to somewhere else and, in doing so, they miss the countless delights the county has to offer. Most of all, perhaps, it offers absolute peace and quiet in its rural hinterland where those magically named hamlets and villages provide the perfect escape from the ramrod, helter-skelter, devil-take-the-hindmost, ultra competitive `real` world.
It was a bit of a surprise also last week to hear reports that the investigations into the death of Bulgarian dissident playwright and novelist Georgi Markov had been reopened by Scotland Yard and the Bulgarian authorities. Almost 30 years ago, you may recall, Markov was stabbed in the leg by someone carrying an umbrella, the tip of which contained the deadly poison ricin. A few days later, Markov was dead.
Suspicions and conspiracy theories have abounded for most of those 30 years as to the identity of the perpetrator, so why the intense activity now to try and put the case to bed? Must be something to do with the fact that the Staute of Limitations under Bulgarian law is....30 years; and the 30 years of the Markov case are up on 11th September this year.
And what has all this to do with the rural tranquility of deepest Dorset? Well, if you are ever that way and you stray into the small churchyard of the church of St. Candida and St. Cross at Whitchurch Canonicorum, you might come across Markov`s grave which must surely make him a most unlikely celebrity in that idyllic location. At least, for him, he could not be resting in a more peaceful place, in sharp contrast to his, as yet, unresolved demise.
For more on the Markov case, please see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2158765/Poison-tip-umbrella-assassination-of-Georgi-Markov-reinvestigated.html
For more on Whitchurch Canonicorum, please see http://www.thedorsetpage.com/locations/place/W210.htm
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The Life of Brian
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
On Thursday, the good folk of the Emerald Isle go to the polls to vote on the ratification or otherwise of the discredited Lisbon Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty is, of course, the Janet and John version of the original EU Constitution which was rejected by the French and the Dutch what now seems a lifetime ago.
There was a time when I was a bit in favour of the coming together of the sovereign states of Europe not just for trading reasons (although I`m not sure that did much good for our trading relations with New Zealand, for example) but also for the collective security it might have provided in the face of the former `Eastern Bloc.` There may still be some validity in these `benefits` but they have been overtaken by the `European Project` which aims for a unified European State, which is what the original Consitution was aiming for. We`re half way there already, of course, with the edicts coming out of Brussels coming down like tablets from on high from a largely unelected, expenses-claiming, self-serving elite.
We in Britain were promised a referendum in the Labour Party manifesto and indeed there is a case coming before the High Court this week challenging the government`s decision to deny that very same referendum. I`m not holding my breath on that one though. Instead, I`m pinning what hopes I may have left on the voters in the Irish Republic who have the right by their own enlightened constitution to have the referendum we have been denied.
So, come on you Irish - don`t worry about the fact that even if you vote `No` the political cheating will probably insist that you keep voting until you give them the answer they want - we may be deep into injury time, but many a game has been decided on penalties.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
The report, commissioned by the corporation's governing body, the BBC Trust, says in some cases stars get paid less than they would elsewhere."