It was in the heady days of the so-called peace dividend. We’re talking about the early 1990’s. The Berlin Wall had been breached and the Soviet Union had come apart at the seams. The Cold War was over, which allowed the Western democracies to radically reduce our military expenditure. Such was the importance of this juncture that American political scientist Francis Fukuyama coined the phrase The End of History. He explained: “That is, the end-point of mankind's ideologic
We await the arrival of Eunice, the calm before the storm.
As I write this outside seems perfectly calm, the trees stand still and no rain falls. But according to the Met Office, we are soon to be buffeted in a big way.
It’s a strange experience, the calm before the storm. Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, in his book on Dunkirk, speaks of the experience of one English army captain awaiting the imminent arrival of the German panzers.
This English officer has been tasked to chec
“Another day. Gotta keep it together. Face the world.” That quote could come from either of the two current streamed series which I’ve been following: Ricky Gervais’ After Life on Netflix and Martin Freeman’s The Responder on BBC One. Both very different but with the same central theme: life is unrelentingly bleak. Basically, how do live your life without God (whether he is there or not)? I note that Gervais, who abandoned religion at the age of eight, received the 2019 Ri
“Sending a handwritten letter is becoming such an anomaly," observes comedian Steve Carell. “It's disappearing. My mom is the only one who still writes me letters. And there's something visceral about opening a letter - I see her on the page. I see her in her handwriting.”
I know what he means for over the last few days, confined to barracks by COVID, I have finally undertaken the task of sorting out all my letters, all the personal letters I have received since 1963. I ha