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Terry Venables

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Terry Venables . He was more than an acquaintance less than a friend. As in lifetime, opinion is divided on his merits and achievements. For some he was a progressive football man managing at the highest international and club level. For others he did not [...]

November 28, 2023 // 0 Comments

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

Having watched a bio-documentary of Elizabeth Taylor in which the critic Derek Malcolm argued that the above film, based on the Edward Albee play, proved she could act, I duly ordered the DVD. It stars Elizabeth Taylor as Martha, the daughter of the President of the Faculty, and her husband George [...]

November 7, 2023 // 0 Comments

Kennedy, Sinatra and the Mafia (Channel 4)

I’m not a great one for a Channel 4/5 conspiracy documentary which tends to be more speculation to grab the headlines but not bolstered by hard evidence. However this one made a plausible case. This was that Jack Kennedy befriended Frank Sinatra, who arranged glamorous Hollywood film stars for [...]

November 6, 2023 // 0 Comments

Olive Kitteridge (HBO)

It’s always an interesting discussion as to whether the book – or the film of it – is better. I reviewed Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroud on this website in May 2017. It’s a collection of short stories set in Maine which won the writer the Pulitzer Prize. The HBO film version [...]

November 3, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Admirable Crichton (1957)

I livened up Monday morning by watching this film, directed by Lewis Gilbert, on Film 4 yesterday. Dramas on service and class have always been popular. Think of Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey and Remains of the Day.   In many ways the genre all started with the J.M. Barrie play and Lewis [...]

October 31, 2023 // 0 Comments

Brighton 2 Ajax 0.

Were we to go back nearly 30 years, you would see Brighton struggling to survive and Ajax – with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Edwin van der Sar, Marco van Basten, Marc Overmars and Jan Lithanen – winning the European Cup. That very good Ajax team broke up whilst the then homeless [...]

October 27, 2023 // 0 Comments

Chess defeat

Last night I played my second game for the Reform Club which ended in personal and team defeat. This was no disgrace as our opponents – the RAC – are the Manchester City of club chess.  They host the Varsity Match and their chess dinner usually attracts a British Grandmaster. Before my [...]

October 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys/Jack Jewers

Historical fiction has become a popular genre with writers like C.J. Samson and his Shardlake novels set in the reign of Henry VIII leading the way. In some respects these are easy novels to write – as you do not have to invent a whole cast of characters – but (in other respects) [...]

September 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

Symbolism in art

Recently I watched a programme called Decoding Turner in which a mechanical engineer and his wife advanced a theory that in Turner’s famous The Fighting Temeraire, on the prow of the vessel was concealed a picture of Napoleon. The art historian Andrew Graham Dixon peered at the picture and [...]

September 13, 2023 // 0 Comments

Social chess

I was both honoured and enthusiastic to be selected for the Reform Chess Club in the Hamilton Russell trophy competed for by the ‘Gentlemen’s’  clubs. Honoured as I have only recently joined the club and enthused by playing chess across the board rather then on the internet. The main [...]

September 7, 2023 // 0 Comments

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