Category Archives: Personal story

Looking backwards

Years ago it was still possible to make use of a direct train service between Oxford and Cambridge. A single-track two-carriage diesel unit ambled slowly from village to village or hamlet halt along the way, crossing the West Coast main … Continue reading

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Forgiving ourselves

Some years ago D and I attended a dinner at St John’s College Cambridge, for those of us who matriculated there in 1965.  After the meal, we found ourselves chatting with a fellow of the college I had not met … Continue reading

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Poem for Luca

A poem for my grandson

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Five generations, 1698 to date

I’ve always been fascinated by great arcs of time as represented by successive generations.  When I was in my late teens, for example, I met an ANZAC veteran who told me proudly of being awarded a medal by Lord Birdwood … Continue reading

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How to change the law

Sooner or later, bureaucracy bows to reality.  Here is an example, from Sudan 30 years ago. At ease in his fan-cooled office in Khartoum, the Sudanese official had a document of about a dozen pages to show me.  He slid … Continue reading

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They happy few

World War II, as we all know, was a grim ordeal, a global storm which caused suffering and death for millions.  Yet, here and there in the corners of the battlefield, fortunate young people in their late teens and early … Continue reading

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City in a dream

Years ago, we visited an ancient, silent walled city but I cannot now find it on any map.  Or is it simply that I have forgotten its name.  It was in Yemen.  Was it all a dream?

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Think about it 6

Omnino non amplius, de eo, qualem, oporteat esse bonum virum; disserere, sed talem esse. [Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.] Marcus Aurelius. Meditations 10:16 Some years ago, when I was going though a … Continue reading

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Cambridge remembered

A cold, damp wintry Cambridge evening in November 1966: not a typical, sociable sort of student, I leave the Fitzwilliam Museum, where I have been seeing paintings by Brueghel for the first time,and turn up Trumpington Street.

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