Echoes from Eternity 3. Alan Paton

Alan Paton (1903-1988) was a South African who spent decades fighting against the apartheid system. He was a founding member of the Liberal Party of South Africa and worked in it until it was banned by the government. He is…

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2019: Reading Highlights

These are in no particular order and I've picked them out as the ones I gave 5* to on my Goodreads page - you can see the rest here. The observant may well be able to discern themes and current…

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Promoted to Glory: the incomparable Frances Whitehead

Despite the relative freedom that singleness brought him, John Stott would never have achieved everything he achieved in his 90-year life were it not for one person: Frances Whitehead. Her legacy is truly unique: She was John's secretary for nearly…

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Sofia’s story: 1. The Memory of that Blue Line

This is, I hope, the first of several posts from Sofia. Our friendship goes back a couple of decades and we’ve kept in touch for much of the time. We were invited to her wedding, although we’d been out of the country for several years and so had never met her husband. But we were excited for her.

We had no idea, of course, not least because we lived 100s of miles apart, what was happening and so never saw them interact. It wasn’t until many years later that she was able to start talking more openly about what she was going through. But I’ll let her take over from here, not least because she writes so powerfully.

Sofia’s story will speak for itself.

(more…)

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The flicker of a smile from the unsmiling man

Shostakovich is a personal hero of mine. He walked a tightrope between the Gulag and compromise in the vortex of Stalinist Russia. But more than that, his music has brought me consolation, invigoration, provocation, and perplexity. Sometimes all at once.…

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On the short stories of Cemeteries

Moving to a new town means having to discover convenient new dog-walking areas. There's a great little park near us - but there's a limit to the route variations one can take in it, so it is already getting a…

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