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  • In Search of the Most Beautiful Pictures Ever Seen August 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    In Search of the Most Beautiful Pictures Ever Seen

    One of the nice things about running a blog is that you can ask people things and as Beach is now at a point of nervous desperation on this issue he is going to open this obsession to a wider public. In 1993, 1994 or possibly 1995 Beach was walking down a street in a […]

    Living in Interesting Times: Britain’s Next Five Years August 25, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Living in Interesting Times: Britain's Next Five Years

    This blogger has followed British politics for the best part of thirty years and things have never been so ‘interesting’: there is a storm building up around the UK, which Britain’s neighbours and allies have been slow to recognise. What has created this storm? Put simply two big things have happened at once: important existential […]

    The Imitation Game August 23, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    The Imitation Game

    The earliest and greatest British victory in the Second World War (building on crucial Polish breakthroughs) was the breaking of the new German code machine Enigma, 22 May 1940, just as the British Expeditionary Force was being surrounded by the Wehrmacht in France. For those of an academic persuasion the achievement is particularly sweet because […]

    Don’t Blame Germany July 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern
    Don't Blame Germany

    Germany has never been a very popular country. But it is fair to say that Germany is perhaps more unpopular in 2015 than at any time since the bush fire memories of the Second World War started to die down in the mid 1950s. In several countries Germany is loathed: top of the list here […]

    And So Goodbye Ray Girvan, I knew you but never met you… July 5, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    And So Goodbye Ray Girvan, I knew you but never met you…

    Some sad news via email today. Ray Girvan, a very old friend of this blog, died 30 June 2015, after a three-year fight with lung cancer. He was 59 (a victim of these speedbumps that hit 15-20% of us in late middle age), witty, knowledgeable, and had, of course, never smoked, something that tempts me […]

    The Poisoned Bowl and the 5000 Letters May 29, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern
    The Poisoned Bowl and the 5000 Letters

    Beach has not offered up a rogue researcher for some time: the last was mummy maker, Bob Brier, a year ago. Rogue researchers, for the uninitiated are those men and women, with doctorates, who do things that others in their discipline might consider eccentric. To call someone a ‘rogue researchers’ is a sign of the […]

    History Journals and Their Limits May 28, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    History Journals and Their Limits

    There is something rather sinister about Mike Dash’s latest history post. The problem is not the subject, which is fascinating, women poisoning men in seventeenth-century Italy. Nor is the style off-kilter: it is, as always, accessible and fun. The problem is, quite simply, its length. MD’s new essay runs to almost fifteen thousand words: Beach finished the […]

    50 Shades of Grey Without the Sex Scenes April 19, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    50 Shades of Grey Without the Sex Scenes

    The copy of 50 Shades arrived on a pendrive. The movie was in English but had Chinese subtitles. Instead of the regulation 125 minutes the film ran to 120 minutes. The reason? Every sex scene had been cut from the sex film of the year by censors: think Indiana Jones without the stunts, Lord of the […]

    Beachcombing and the Telepathic Rat March 8, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Beachcombing and the Telepathic Rat

    In the last few weeks rats have been seen in the garden of Chez Beachcombing. The women in the house got rather hysterical about these old grandfathers of the sewer running up and down among the roses, and they may have had a point. But the rats don’t live in our garden, they just visit […]

    The Horror of History Seen from the Bubble March 2, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    The Horror of History Seen from the Bubble

    Beach has long consoled himself with the thought that he is in the Bubble: the three generations that have lived since the Second World War in the western nations, surfing the greatest economic wave in history, buoyed along by petroleum, micro-chips, and the internet and paradoxically protected from violence by the threat of thermo-nuclear war. […]

    Writers I Loathe January 19, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Writers I Loathe

    Why do we just latch onto some people and enjoy detesting them? Beach is not talking here about neurologists taking years off your life or architects stealing tens of thousands from loved one, the bastards, but those more random insidious despisings that arise with people who are barely known and who have not done anything […]

    IELTS for Mothertongues: So you thought you knew English! January 4, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    IELTS for Mothertongues: So you thought you knew English!

    A weird experience six week ago that, while in no sense historical, might interest some poor folks out there who have to go through the same ordeal. Beach was born in the shires of England. As such English is his mothertongue and lacking any particular linguistic proficiency he knows English well and lots of other […]

    The Ghosts of Children Past December 30, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    The Ghosts of Children Past

    Beach has spent a lazy Christmas trying to get to know his new daughter and trying to stop his two elder daughters from killing ‘baby’: ‘can I carry her up the stairs’, ‘but I thought she would like to eat a carrot’ etc etc. All this primed him for a dive into CHILDES, possibly the […]

    Goatman: Flesh or Folklore November 26, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    Goatman: Flesh or Folklore

    ***warning, Beach worked on a goat farm for six long months…*** Let’s first of all get one thing out of the way. Goatman: Flesh or Folklore was brought out by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. In other words, it is a privately published work. In 1990 this would have been a strong negative signal and old […]

    In Praise of North Korean Pop Music November 23, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    In Praise of North Korean Pop Music

    We need to be grateful for North Korea. In a world where communism has crumbled like a biscuit in milk, where even Cuba is getting excited about the market, where there are scores of Chinese billionaires, then good old North Korea is there to remind us of just how god awful state run life can […]

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