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A French Bombing Operation in London, 1984! January 4, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
A French Bombing Operation in London, 1984!

This is the time of year that UK government records are released, slipping out of the thirty years for which state papers are routinely kept away from the public gaze: freedom of information has changed this situation, but not dramatically. The result is that every year on New Year’s Day British researchers and conspiracy theorists […]

Mrs T’s Revolving Eyes April 13, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Mrs T's Revolving Eyes

In the tradition of writing topical posts a week after they have ceased to be topical, Beachcombing thought that he would celebrate, today, Margaret Thatcher’s eyes as part of his occasional maverick politicians series. Coming of age in a country where that loathed/loved woman reigned, this blogger has long been fascinated by the way that […]

Queens On Top (or not?) August 3, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Queens On Top (or not?)

Beach has been waxing lyrical a lot about monarchy recently: there was Charles I with his head sewn back on (the bastards!), then there was environment vs the hereditary principle (or perhaps better environment within the hereditary principle) and today we come to queens. Queens, you’ve got to love them. For is it Beachcombing’s imagination […]

The Great Crying November 11, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern

Beachcombing has been troubling his unpretty little head about notable cloudbursts of tears in modern history. In the ancient world, some honest tears seem to have been acceptable: from Alexander crying at learning he would only ever conquer one world, to Aeneas shedding some big ones over women and burnt cities, to Odysseus ‘We must […]

Strange Speeches July 11, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Strange Speeches

Beachcombing got an email last night from inspired speeches, a new website [now defunct!] dedicated to gathering, well, inspired speeches. His correspondent asked for suggestions for notable discourses from the past. And Beachcombing made the terrible mistake of opening said email at midnight. The result? Beach did not sleep until dawn, tossing and turning, as […]

Best of Enemies April 2, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Best of Enemies

Beachcombing is always going on about how he is looking for historic pictures, especially of the lesser known kind. He was most excited then when a correspondent recently opened up a raw and largely unmined vein: what Beachcombing will call ‘the best of enemies picture’.  Foes brought together after the event… Ok three rules. 1) Photographs […]