Mediterranean

Do you remember that glorious morning before the war when I swam you out into the sea, against your mother’s warning of urchins scouting the rock water for rays? You holding too tight around my neck, laughing, encouraging me over the blue space beneath our feet. You were not punctured by urchins that day. Or, […]

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Notes on Oslo

Monday 6th October The back left tyre on my Land Rover Defender was flat. When I changed the front left on Saturday evening I had congratulated myself that (a) I had done it with little fuss and (b) I would not have to repeat the experience anytime soon. But on Monday morning, as I stepped […]

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Days of Fire

“I began Tuesday, January 20, 2009, the same way I had started every day for the past eight years: I read the Bible. One of the passages that final day was Psalm 18:2 – “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer: my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” Amen. […]

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Notes on Slovenia

The track leaves the river and climbs through beech woods to a wooden hotel. Beyond the hotel the track continues across a wide pasture, green and flat below the high wall of the mountains. Mixed forest of birch and pine grows either side of the pasture, until it is too high and the limestone shows […]

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London clay

The grey stuff inexpertly photographed by me from the platform at Royal Oak Tube Station is a big pile of London clay, excavated from somewhere under central London to create Crossrail, a new commuter train service operating east-west across London. By the time the new trains begin operating in 2018, 26 miles of new tunnel […]

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Notes on our “Era of Insecurity”

Last week my firm hosted a discussion in London on “Geopolitics in the Era of Insecurity”. The discussion was led by Major General Sir Rupert Smith, who commanded 35,000 British troops in the First Gulf War (1990/91), led UNPROFOR to suppress the war in Bosnia (1995/6), served as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Commander Europe (1998/2001), and published […]

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Notes on UK Strategy for C21

I’ve written before about the UK’s need for a strategy for the 21st century. I think David Cameron’s EU referendum pledge + his announcement of a new generational struggle against Islamic terrorism in Africa +the looming referendum on Scottish independence + the shifting priorities of the US under Obama etc. etc. pose interesting questions about […]

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