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Tom
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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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 yesterday 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 yesterday 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 2 days ago at THE LAST DITCH
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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 3 days ago 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 4 days ago 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 4 days ago at THE LAST DITCH
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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 5 days ago at THE LAST DITCH
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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 6 days ago at THE LAST DITCH
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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 6 days ago at THE LAST DITCH
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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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No apologies necessary. I had a great day and will take the other route back, stopping off at the Museo Enzo Ferrari.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2017 on Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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You and me both. I figured that, as the relentless censorship algorithm of Facebook let it stand (identifying blue paint as clothing, I guess) I could venture it here.
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2017 on On the Road Again [NSFW] at THE LAST DITCH
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Today was the first of two full days in Florence. My photo workshop begins this evening and I am looking forward to meeting up with friends from previous such events as well as making, I hope, some new ones. I had breakfast with the organiser, photographer and film-maker Liza Politi.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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I took the coastal option to drive to Florence this morning. It was a little disappointing. It's not that the scenery was not pleasant, but rather that from the autostrada it was mostly obscured by the brutalist transport infrastructure oddly favoured by one of the world's most stylish nations; home... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
One there one back? That’s an option
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2017 on Dijon to Alessandria at THE LAST DITCH
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To hell with Google! I would rather verify your teenage memories! Italy doesn't seem to make too many concessions to modernity, except of course in advanced automotive engineering.
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2017 on Dijon to Alessandria at THE LAST DITCH
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Today was bliss. The sun shone. I drove with the roof down on France's great roads to the Mont Blanc tunnel, stopping to drink in the scenery a couple of times. Rising up to the tunnel entrance cooled me down, as did the tunnel itself. Then it was out into... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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Even I am tired of politics now. Everyone is, except perhaps Arlene Foster and her merry band at Westminster. I saw her speak about Brexit in London before the election and she didn't strike me as the monster the Left-Liberal Establishment is portraying. In fact she seemed quite Auntie-ish –... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
But that’s from before young voters were born! Irrelevant!! Everyone indoctrinated in Western unis knows that prehistory begins in the 1980s when everyone was racist, sexist and homophobic (and would have been Islamophobic too if they had ever met any Muslims).
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2017 on Hope for the future at THE LAST DITCH
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They're our future Matt. We can't be scared of them. The outcome suggests, as I have long maintained, that the real battle is being lost in our institutions of higher education where made up subjects are being used to indoctrinate, not educate. The social "sciences" are largely a fraud designed to magnify division, set friend against could-be friend and justify big state solutions employing social scientists to solve imaginary problems.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2017 on Hope for the future at THE LAST DITCH
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I hope you are right about the young and that they will grow out of their juvenile leftism. The alternative is that the long march through the institutions has succeeded. The shocking part is the historical illiteracy. I was told today that Corbyn urging on terrorists to kill British soldiers and civilians is so long ago as to be irrelevant. It is ancient history because it was before most voters were born. If our historical hog cycle is really now that short, we are doomed surely?
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2017 on Hope for the future at THE LAST DITCH
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I take no satisfaction in having been right about the unnecessary election of June 2017. The voters punished Mrs May for putting party before country. In their ire they came close to inflicting upon us all a government Communist in all but name. We had a narrow escape. I was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
There has been a leak from the Commission’s legal team that this line is not coming from the Commission but member states panicking as to either (a) being asked to contribute more or (b) being asked to receive less. Britain’s net contribution is greater than that of all member states except Germany combined and is coincidentally almost exactly the cost of running the Commission. There will be a financial crisis in the rump EU unless they can persuade Britain to keep paying after we have left. That’s why Mrs May is right to say “No deal is better than a bad deal”. They never expected a member state democracy to function without the usual “correction” and are completely at sea. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. As to Mrs May cocking up her campaign, I think it’s panning out exactly as I predicted in my post when the election was announced. People were miffed at being put through an unnecessary election and rapidly tired of the talk of a landslide. She clearly placed Party interest above that of the country and that’s annoying even to people who would otherwise be inclined to vote for her. Expectations of the clown Corbyn were so low than any performance on his part short of drooling idiocy appears successful. And of course the perception that the Tories cannot lose gives a hostile broadcast media even greater scope than usual to savage them.
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Quite - just as reflected in the Counsel's Opinion linked to in the sidebar. I would have total confidence in a positive financial outcome for the negotiation if it was being led by businessmen advised by City of London lawyers. Unfortunately, it's being led by the kind of sociopath attracted to a parasitical life bossing people about from a position of arrogant ignorance and inexperience of productive life. AKA politicians. The current election is largely about choosing the least bonkers team of such sociopaths.
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