The Grasshopper and The Queen

Thomas Gresham had served three Tudor monarchs as their Royal Merchant¹ in Antwerp and had grown rich acting on their behalf. However, his success in arranging England’s financial transactions with bankers and money lenders was not always favourably received. It had also made him enemies in both financial and political circles. Some believed that he would often quite deliberately manipulate the money markets — cleverly duping them in his games of thimblerig² —  disadvantaging them financially and often politically. Knowing that his activities in Antwerp and elsewhere had made him these enemies, Gresham had an awareness of danger when confronted by it. This was obviously no chance encounter with a stranger who called himself Frances Walsingham. Not only had he identified Gresham in the crowded Antwerp bourse, he had addressed him by name and acknowledged by name his two factors Clough and Spritwell. The significance of this was not lost on Gresham nor was Walsingham’s demeanour, which was that of a dangerous man who it would be unwise to cross. Hoping that his alarm was not apparent, Gresham enquired if he could be of any assistance. Speaking in a low voice, almost a whisper, Walsingham told Gresham that he was under instructions to deliver a message to him only and that they should find somewhere quiet where they be could be certain of privacy. Read more of this post

February 2015 Critique/Review/Thoughts

Yet another difficult month for making choices, the discussion helped in making me think a lot about how difficult it must be to co-ordinate this group and especially to ‘score’ the contributions. I try to group the entries (romance, drama, etc) but this isn’t easy as such simplification doesn’t necessarily provide the key to what may be the contributor’s intent. Read more of this post

Marrano – The Letters

Between late 1938 and July 1942, my twin brother, Abraham Francisco Hubsch, wrote to me at least once a fortnight from Paris. Our ambition was to study together at l’École de Paris, but we agreed that one of us should stay in Santa Cruz de la Sierra with Mama.  Being Marrano was just family history which, to us both, could have no relevance in this day and age. We should have listened to Mama, history does have a way of repeating itself. Here are five letters written by Abraham between 1939 and his disappearance in 1942.

Miguel Ariel Hubsch

1952 Read more of this post

‘Shades Of’?

Some three years ago I wrote the post Machismo and the modern man, this was a commentary on the emasculation of the modern male and a masculine response. There was a strong connection with Australia (Oz), particularly the influence of Germaine Greer. Ms Greer is a chicken come home to roost so to speak, possibly the repatriated progeny born of colonists transported for their disruption to the harmonious order of society. Yet it’s to the men of Oz that we should express our gratitude. They have responded to this ‘emasculation’ by creating a shed culture for the alpha male. Read more of this post

January 2015 Review/Critique

My choice has become one of personal preference, in effect which stories gave me the most reading pleasure. That is not to say that the other stories were not an enjoyable read, but I had to make a choice. One that was not made on the quality and presentation of a story, that would have meant too many choices, and so my list is heavily biased. Read more of this post

OH NO! Not another blog on blogging!

When I first began blogging on My Telegraph there seemed to be a continual cry of, OH NO! Not another blog on blogging!  My search for a ‘decent’ site had led me there and having lurked off stage – so to speak – I decided to blog there, beginning with non-controversial blogs. I thought the site often treated newcomers in a very unfriendly manner, certainly not in any way that could be termed ‘an honest critique’ of their blog content or its presentation.

Some five or more years later, the world has moved on. Amateur bloggers like myself who now know how the professional media have commandeered the internet – if they’re wise – have given up any delusions of grandeur that they may have held, or are captives of that media. Still, blogging does give voice to the ‘common man’ (I’m sure you ladies know my intent) and both the professional media and amateur bloggers are learning to use ‘blogs’ effectively. So! Cue Aaron Copland and Fanfare for the Common Man (article). Read more of this post

That Odious Greek Debt

Der Spiegel reported in May 2010 that without bribes virtually no foreign company could do business in Greece. In How German Companies Bribed Their Way to Greek Deals, Der Speigel claimed that the money from bribery enriched industrialists, civil servants, the military and politicians.  Read more of this post

My word you do look queer!

Once a month I meet up with a friend and ex-colleague  for a pub lunch, he is recovering from an operation and I remarked how well he looked. It seems that I was the first one to say so everyone else was saying that he looked poorly, but then perhaps they have not heard of or don’t remember that famous Stanley Holloway monologue ‘My Word You Do Look Queer’! Stanley Holloway made this 1922 music hall piece popular some thirty years after the following recording. Read more of this post

2015 Election Year

In The debt we’re in (Jan 2011) I referred to a 2009 report by Brooks Newmark MP with the title The Hidden Debt Bombshell. In it Newmark claimed that the true level of government debt was £2,200 billion and not £805 billion as was reported by the Office for National Statistics. It’s interesting that Newmark has not written a similar report in the run-up to this years general election. However I can understand why. Read more of this post

Children Will Listen.

The same medley and two version. I quite like Barbara Streisand and have a few of her records. I don’t have any recordings by Mandy Patinkin. In the recording below Mandy Patinkin has has a simple piano accompaniment this, and the setting, makes it quite different from the following Barbara Streisand version in which she is accompanied by an orchestra. Read more of this post

Yanis Varoufakis

thoughts for the post-2008 world

Chateaux en Espagne

Stories and reflections

Exploring Ontology

It's all about the deep questions.

UK Constitutional Law Association

affiliated to the International Association of Constitutional Law

Africa - News and Analysis

News, analysis and comment on Africa

Intriguing History

Map your history, make new connections and gain new insights for your family local or special interest project

The Slog.

Deconstruct lies, reconstruct Decency


some of us are brave


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