235 results for 'Anastasia '
“Yes, I’m fine. No, I haven’t seen any trouble and I’m not in any danger.” It all got a bit repetitive after a while, these messages of comfort and reassurance that I had to send home to family and friends. For, you see, I was in Egypt in the middle of an uprising.
Actually I left Cairo – a horribly congested place – a few days before the trouble started in Tahrir Square, flying south to Aswan. I wasn’t in Egypt for politics; I was there for history, or history of an ancient kind. Still, I could not avoid politics altogether, keeping an eye on reports from the BBC and CNN, talking to... (more)
It was Bonfire Night in England on Saturday, an event celebrated every year on 5 November. It’s a night of fires and fireworks, of bangers and bangers! Now, least those who are not English misunderstand me here, a banger is just a type of firework and a banger is a sausage, really quite delicious when cooked over a fire in the open air.
So, yes, November 5 is our firework night, just as July 4 is firework night in the States. But whereas the one celebrates rebellion the other celebrates loyalty, loyalty to the crown. It celebrates the frustration of the most significant terrorist... (more)
A Potemkin village, if you’ve never heard of the expression, is one of the enduring myths of Russian history. The reference is to fake settlements, hollow façades supposedly set up on the orders of Prince Grigory Potemkin, chief minister of Catherine the Great, to impress the Empress when she toured the Crimea in the late 1780s, territory recently conquered from the Ottoman Turks. It was simply a way of increasing his political prestige.
I say it’s a myth but in Russia myths have a habit of fleshing out into a reality, which really is nothing more than a myth! In the 1930s various western... (more)
It's the most famous negative in Greek history – Epeteios tou Ohi, literally the Anniversary of the 'No', Ohi Day, celebrated every year on 28 October. It marks the occasion in October, 1940 when General Metaxas, then prime minister, rejected an ultimatum from Mussolini to allow Italian troops on Greek soil or else. He replied, in laconic Spartan style, with that single word - No!
The Euro crisis, a Greek tragedy by any measure, is now in its final act, bodies strewn across the stage, the chorus wailing in the background. Of the prologue I said over a year ago on another news blog... (more)
Now we have just past Halloween – and, yes, I did have a marvellous time – you might like to know that the police force here in London has been issued with thoughtful and sensitive advice on dealing with the great sisterhood of witches.
Indeed, they have. Officers of the Metropolitan Police have been issued with a 300-hundred page guide (not exclusively about witches!), containing all sorts of helpful tips on dos, don’ts and correct procedures.
To begin with officers are advised against touching a witch’s Book of Shadows. Yes, we all have one, a personal, hand-written account... (more)
Further to my previous article on Libya’s Mad Colonel (Do You Know Right from Wrong?) I can report that the National Transitional Council (NTC), the body that supposedly governs the ungovernable, has given up on the death by crossfire suggestion. Unfortunately for them there was too much cell phone footage. Now, unsettled by international condemnation, not just over the way he died but the chamber of horrors display of his remains, it has said that whoever killed Gaddafi will be “judged and given a fair trial.”
That’s an interesting way of putting things, don’t you agree? First comes... (more)
I went to see The Help yesterday, the day it premiered in London. I imagine there is little point in saying this, but for those who have not seen it, or not heard of it (well, there might be a few!), it’s a comedy drama set in the segregated South of the sixties, based on Kathyrn Stockett’s novel of the same name.
It’s my kind of movie, one that deals with serious and interesting themes in an adult way, one that has a serious and interesting story to tell, one that’s so much more a shallow fest of special effects or tiresome thrills. I would have gone to see it at some point though perhaps... (more)
You are thinking of coming to London, are you? I’m sure that there are a number of highlights on your itinerary: Buck House, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Westminster Abbey, all there among the more compelling draws. And then there is Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s seventeenth century Baroque masterpiece, a symbol of the new London that emerged from the Great Fire of 1666.
Hold on; you can't go there. Yes, I’m sorry to have to tell you that you are going to have to score this off the list because it’s closed, for the first time since London was under attack... (more)
The pictures are grim, bloody and depressing, the final stages in the life of the Arab world's longest standing dictator. I never thought I could ever have any sympathy for Mummar Gaddafi, but now I do, seeing him treated like that, brutalised by a mob that could not resist taking trophy pictures on their phones, capturing the moment, capturing history, blood to be savoured at leisure.
And those who did not see his end and that of his son Mutassin have been able to queue up in Misrata, children included, to have a look at the remains, masks courteously provided to ward of the stink... (more)
In October 1938 Neville Chamberlain, then British prime minister, returned from signing the Munich Agreement with Hitler, telling the British people, relieved that war had been averted, that he had secured ‘peace with honour’. The ‘honour’ involved the abject betrayal of Czechoslovakia, the high-tide of appeasement. Few were prepared at this moment to speak of uncomfortable truths. One of the few was Winston Churchill, who stood up in the House of Commons a week later, saying;
Our loyal, brave people ... should know the truth. ... they should know that we have sustained a defeat without... (more)