Monthly Archives: January 2011

Pistols at dawn

In 1807 England was at war with Napoleon. In the graveyard of St Laurence’s Parish Church in Stroud, Gloucestershire a plain stone carries the inscription: Here lie the remains of Lieutenant Joseph Francis Delmont, of His Majesty’s 82nd Regiment, born November 25, 1785, died August 18, 1807. On August 14th 1807 Delmont and Lieutenant Benjamin… Read More »

Courage mon brave!

What makes a human being brave? There are clearly a variety of possible answers to the question. Frequently, what seems incredibly brave to some is perceived by others to be extremely foolhardy. Many of us will remember the bravery of Colonel H, awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously in the Falklands War but fewer will know… Read More »

Judge, please be my friend

Social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace are increasingly in the news. I wrote recently about such sites and some of their less well known brethren in a piece entitled “A duck’s a duck” [28th Oct, 2010]. My concern at the time was to point out that the courts may take the view… Read More »

A tsunami of tsunamis

Had I been alive in the era of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt I might be better able to view recent disasters with equanimity. The biblical account tells us that the Exodus began only after a horrific series of plagues was unleashed by Yahweh on Egypt. The implacable Pharaoh held out until the tenth plague… Read More »

The wrath of grapes

Is there such a thing as a cure for hangovers? Or is the idea that a remedy exists merely a cruel joke perpetrated on the vast majority of us who occasionally drink too much? I am not talking about the obscene binge drinkers who are so incapable after the intake of alcohol that only intervention… Read More »

Keep calm and carry on

What is it about snowmen that turns entirely rational people (I assume they are or were rational but I suppose I could be wrong) into idiots? I mentioned recently the woman who had dialled 999 after discovering that someone had nicked her snowman [Snowman theft armless, say police, 7th December, 2010]. At the time, I thought… Read More »

A precedent embalms a principle

“A precedent embalms a principle.” Benjamin Disraeli’s quip should appeal to all free thinking people. After all, as the American philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller once said: “People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things.” Most people have a fondness for tradition. It is what… Read More »

Should auld aquaintance..

Writing this with the warm glow of the safely retained Ashes firmly in mind, my thoughts turn to the King James Bible whose 400th anniversary falls in 2011. Sometimes known as the Authorised Version, the King James Bible is an English translation of the Bible started at the instigation of King James VI of Scotland… Read More »