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London, England
An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about threats to liberty in Britain
Interests: liberty, travel, photography, writing
Recent Activity
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Thanks. I’ll look into that.
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2017 on Tilting at windmills at THE LAST DITCH
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I have not blogged since Friday because my home in Porrera, the otherwise excellent La Icona del Pont Vell did not have wifi. An old friend and I (a German client from my lawyering days in Poland and Russia) shared a two bedroom town house on the village square, conveniently... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Speranza and I are on the road again. This is her first outing since her recent annual service and the fitting of new shock absorbers, a couple of new tyres, a few other fixes and the installation of a new "infotainment" system. Apart from the fact that it requires a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Conspiracy involves crime and there will always be a James or Tom who won't go along with it. In a movie those guys get whacked but real life is more problematic because murder flushes out yet more moralists. In a group of public employees however cock ups will evince sympathy and it won't even be necessary to ask that they be covered up. Not one NHS employee "ratted" in Mid Staffs for example, though thousands died. Many still deny (perhaps even to themselves) that there WAS any issue. The problem was accidentally detected statistically by an academic.
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Narcos season 3 finally gets a frustrating show on track - Vox. I enjoyed the first two seasons of Narcos dealing with the rise and fall of the Medellin cartel and its charismatic leader Pablo Escobar. I found myself on the side of the CIA and DEA, as the writers... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Comrade Detective: Channing Tatum's hidden gem of Romanian TV | Television & radio | The Guardian I link above to the Guardian review of Comrade Detective without approval. The completely modern, American-written and produced show is, as it says: astonishingly high-concept Amazon comedy; a detective spoof written in English,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
As resolve seems to be weakening, here is the Moggster explaining to the Oxford Union just why we are leaving the economically-destructive, anti-democratic, extremism-inducing shambles that is the European Union. Note there is no mention of immigration nor any hostility to our European neighbours. Actually, he expresses affectionate concern for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
"I should point out I was a particularly awful example of the thing I’ve just described." Me too, which is why I remain optimistic that most of these youngsters will turn out just fine when they get some life experience under their belts. The harder we laugh at them, the faster that will happen.
That's a helpful tip. Thanks. A £2 penalty is a LOT cheaper than the Flexiplus and the customs and passport checks are relentlessly Socialist so maybe it IS a waste of money.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2017 on Home again at THE LAST DITCH
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The laws built on the pretext of dealing with money laundering have done a lot of damage to relationships of trust such as yours with your clients and mine with mine. Free market economies (like all positive enterprises) depend on trust. I worked in Russia and witnessed first hand the economic limitations of a society where trust is scarce. You can duck and dive as an entrepreneur in such a society but you can't build reliable institutions. The state now seems to start everywhere on the assumption that everyone not working for it is a crook, which tells you more about the mentality of those attracted to the parasitical life in government that it does about the mostly honest general population.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2017 on Another boat burned at THE LAST DITCH
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Today, I let another part of my old life go. In a pleasant conversation with a lady from the International Bar Association, I explained that I did not plan to renew my subscription of more than 20 years. I had only been maintaining it out of nostalgia for the days... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Last night I attended a splendidly jolly 65th birthday party but today I am finally winding down after all this month's excitements. . An email came in from the Felsina winery in Tuscany authorising (in fact rather charmingly encouraging) the publication of some of the shots I took there. My... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
After a simple but decent breakfast at my Holiday Inn Express in Dijon, I set off in relatively cool air. I decided to try to do the whole journey with the roof down. At 24º Celsius that made sense but by 11.17 am when I stopped for fuel it was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
I arrived at Cusago, just outside Milan last night in an oppressive 36ºC. I woke this morning to find there had been an enormous thunderstorm. The atmosphere was lighter, the air was cooler and it was not the sweaty chore I had expected to load the car. I breakfasted in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
No, it's just one of those places that stands on its dignity too much. The staff at the hotel in Florence were, as they often are in truly great hotels, easy and friendly without being impertinent. The receptionist here was a bit snooty. He didn't offer to help with my bags as he route-marched me to my room in 36 degrees Celsius. Also he resisted my diagnosis of the defective internet in my room for thirty minutes before replacing the failed wifi router, assuming that a man of my age would be digitally incompetent! He walked me condescendingly through all the measures I had already taken before complaining. A stupid waste of hard-to-win customer goodwill.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2017 on Wine and song at THE LAST DITCH
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The final critique session yesterday was a revelation. I have been on many photo workshops but have never seen such progress in a week. Valeria, an Italian lady (and an authentic character who has raised smiles all week) had brought her new DSLR camera – her very first. She began... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Last night I decided to make the effort to go out after all. I was glad that I did. Our whole group was invited to the home of Paolo and Tiziana, a local couple who are friends of some of our teachers. They made us welcome to their beautiful home;... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Thank you kindly, Yes, it is a church near San Quirico d'Orcia. It's much photographed, I imagine and it was hard to get a "look" that was distinctive.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2017 on On the bus in Tuscany at THE LAST DITCH
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Considering how selectively I shot in the previous day's blazing heat, I was happy with my "selects" for the critique yesterday. After class we adjourned to a restaurant where "Suzie" the chef had agreed to a pasta making demo / photoshoot. The area set up for the purpose was ablaze... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
After morning class yesterday (critiques of photos from each of the fourteen photographers on the workshop) we were bussed to Montepulciano. The idea was not so much to shoot the moderately pretty town, but to find some lunch. The midday sun does not make for attractive cityscapes. I chatted with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
After our morning class today our sensei showed us some of his shots. One was of your humble blogger earnestly plying his photographic craft on the Ponte Vecchio. Image courtesy of Joe McNally / @joemcnallyphoto Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
We hit the road on Monday morning. We hit it slowly because the bus driver's lean and hungry look did not signal, like Cassius, that he thought too much, or perhaps at all. He was taken by surprise by road works that had been going on for days, by Monday... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Our workshop proper began on Sunday morning with a pre breakfast portrait shoot on the street outside our hotel with Natalie, our traveling model for the week. This was followed after breakfast with critiques of past work. Sensei took a look at four or five images from each of us... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
I agree. I just wish my Teutonic lane discipline was rewarded with German speed limits. You can't see it in the cut off version in the blog banner, but in the original of that photograph I bear the shield of the Teutonic Knights!
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2017 on Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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