Gabriel Hershman describes a Bulgarian housing estate

18th September 2014 0

A popular English-language memoir of communist-era Bulgaria (not written by me!) was called Street Without a Name*. The book was not a one-off account of a deprived family. This sums up the current living conditions of most Bulgarians who inhabit prefabricated, identikit socialist housing in the suburbs of Sofia and all Bulgarian cities. To repeat – most streets do not … [Read on]

Anti Semites Corner

14th September 2014 0

When I read about Islamic extremism my mind goes back to 25 years ago when, as a callow youth, I used to attend Speakers’ Corner almost every Sunday. (Yes, I know, I know, but not all of us enjoyed traditional Sunday lunch with all the trimmings!) I was attracted to a forum where people could express their view on an … [Read on]

The Face That Sank a Thousand Pints

6th September 2014 0

Britain increasingly seems to specialize in producing people who are not only drunken and foul-mouthed but also downright ugly. Take this egregious encounter during the Euro 2004 football tournament in the Algarve. I was watching the England V Portugal match when an English “fan’s” obnoxious behavior unsettled me. First she repeatedly booed the Portuguese national anthem. She obviously didn’t care … [Read on]

Did the left hate Mrs Thatcher because she taught them to eat their greens?

30th August 2014 0

I notice on Facebook that almost all enlightened liberals, when they refer to Margaret Thatcher, even 16 months after her death, still preface their remarks with ‘couldn’t stand Thatcher…’. The next word is usually ‘but’… This is the lead-in to some compliment along the lines of ‘she wouldn’t have tolerated this Islamic extremism on our shores’. The writer in question … [Read on]

Are we heading for Fahrenheit 451?

25th August 2014 0

Our language is constantly being debased in ways I hate. A “notebook” is apparently a small laptop, not a little exercise book on which to scribble thoughts. A “tablet” is yet another screened device, not a pill that you put into your mouth. I noticed the other day that a plane I was riding on at 35,000 feet was referred … [Read on]

Are newspapers only fit to wrap your fish and chips in?

25th August 2014 1

It is said that after the age of about forty the great Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, read nothing except the Bible and newspapers. These days, alas, newspapers play an ever smaller role in the cultural role of any country. I don’t know a single young person who reads, let alone takes, a newspaper regularly. I say alas not because I … [Read on]

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