235 results for 'Anastasia '
Since the story about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes broke there have been more revelations in the British press about the malevolent and sinister nature of the scientology cult. It’s the little stories that I find most compelling, the anecdotes of the victims, people who have walked out of the shadows into the present light. One that caught my attention at the weekend was that of Astra Woodcraft, a London girl who was co-opted into scientology when she was just a little younger than Suri, the daughter of Cruise and Holmes.
It was 1984 when her mother took her to Saint Hill College, a... (more)
Are you following events in Syria? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certainly is. She recently berated Russia and China for the tacit support they have given to the beleaguered regime of President Bashar Assad.
She was talking at a conference held in Paris by the so-called Friends of Syria group, which has promised to massively increase aid to the rebel forces. There she was, Dame Hillary, waving her verbal wand, threatening to cast spells on the Russians and Chinese unless they get off the sidelines and support the “legitimate aspirations” of the people of Syria.
What are... (more)
I rarely take any interest at all in celebrity marriages, separations and divorces; they are just too, too boring. So far as Hello and other celebrity fanzines are concerned I’m a hopeless cause. However I’ve made an exception for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, whose bust up is bursting out all over our national press. I’ve made an exception because the rift is over Cruise’s scientology fad.
People are strange but one would really have to be strange indeed to embrace this bizarre mishmash, to embrace a cult that is allowed to masquerade in the States as a religion. In writing about... (more)
How’s the weather where you are? Oh, the weather, the weather; it’s such an English obsession. But, goodness, there has never been any more reason to talk about it than there is now. Our summer so far has been a complete washout. Annette (my horse) and I usually go for long and leisurely hacks on Sunday mornings but recently the bridal paths we both love have been far too water-logged and muddy for enjoyment.
Last week the deluge was so bad that Scotland threatened to drift away from England! I’m not exaggerating; well, OK, I am, ever so slightly. The truth is that both of the... (more)
“Let concealment, like a worm in the bud, feed on her damask cheek”, so says Viola in Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. That’s all very well, but what about a worm in the eye? You think I’m joking, you think that this is the beginning of some kind of horror fiction? Well, I can assure you, I’m not and this is no fiction. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask 75-year-old P K Krishnamurthy, an Indian man who had a five-inch live worm removed from his eye last week.
This particular medical horror story comes from Mumbai in India. Two weeks ago Mr Krishnamurthy started to feel discomfort... (more)
It’s October 1944, the dying months of the Second World War. Across what is left of the areas of Europe it controls, Germany is anxious to bolster support. In Hungary the Arrow Cross Party, a local fascist movement, deeply anti-Semitic in tone, is allowed to form a government. The remaining Jews of Budapest, those who managed to survive Adolf Eichmann’s deportations to Auschwitz earlier that year, are once again in grave danger. In nightly raids armed thugs entered the city ghetto. Those they take are shot, their bodies thrown in to the Danube.
It’s the summer of 2012. We are back... (more)
My last Letter from Ana was an amusing reflection on a putative zombie apocalypse. Now I want to warn people about a genuine contagion, a potential threat to all computer users. I can speak personally about this because it hit me last week, causing an hour or two of anxiety. My remarks are specifically addressed to people outside Europe, where the threat, I believe, has not yet appeared. North America looks likely to be the next target.
Anyway, it’s a virus that came to England recently from the Continent, where it first appeared in Germany, affecting Windows users. It purports... (more)
I do try so hard not to be a ‘cultural relativist.’ I try so hard to be tolerant of others, of the customs and practices of other peoples and other nations. But, alas, the demon of prejudice snaps even at my tolerant heels. Where I fall down and fall down badly is over the marriage customs of South Africa’s Zulus.
Actually I could not care less about the Zulus or how many wives they are allowed to take by tribal custom. My problem is with Jacob Zuma, the country’s grinningly inane Zulu president, the butt of repeated jokes when he came on a state visit to London two years ago. More... (more)
This has always seemed like a magical time of year to me, Midsummer, the Solstice, Litha, whatever one wishes to call it; it has ever since I saw a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream when I was eight years old. The Sun is now in the sign of Cancer, my birth sign, the sign of the Moon. The magical forces are now at the height, and Robin Goodfellow puts a girdle round the Earth!
Midsummer Eve itself, St John's Eve, is a major holiday for witches and all who love them, all who love the old power and the ancient ways. Traditionally it was a fire and water festival, a... (more)
OK, then; you’ve covered every contingency for the coming zombie apocalypse. You have a good supply of food and water stored away. You have your armoury all prepared; a shotgun or several and perhaps a collection of power tools and other useful implements. You are an island; you are Legend. Stop; think again; this is not the best way to save yourself or humanity from the contagion!
If you are taking this threat seriously – and who does not? – you really should have been in the town of Cheltenham in the west of England last week to hear Doctor Austin, a Theoretical Zombiologist (yes,... (more)