You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 16, 2010.

Italy and Sicily as seen from the International Space Station.  Absolutely brilliant.  Go here to see some more.

Flipping about the devil’s website, I came across a delightful new discover:  The Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan-Doyle (yes, that Arthur Conan-Doyle).  According to the copy, it is a collection of stories about a soldier in Napoleon’s Grand Armée, told by himself in his old age.  Any of you read these tales before?  Unlike Flashman, Gerard is bravery incarnate on the battlefield, although like Flashy, he seems to spend his off hours chasing skirts.  And as if to seal the deal, this edition includes a forward by George MacDonald Fraser his own self.  Needless to say, I one-clicked without a second thought.  I am looking forward to reading it very much.

Speaking of Fraser, I also came across a book of his that I was previously unaware of, The Candlemass Road.  It is a short historickal novel about the Anglo-Scots Border Wars in Elizabethan times, which he apparently wrote in conjunction with or as a result of all the research he did for his non-fiction history of the Reivers, The Steel Bonnets.  It is my impression that this is a more serious work and quite unlike the Flashy series.

Oh, and speaking of books and just to show you how easily I fall to temptation, I couldn’t help noticing that the author of the Telegraph article I linked to below about Prince William, Harry Mount, has written a book entitled Amo, Amas, Amat….And All That: How To Become A Latin Lover. Well, as it happens I’m already a Latin lover (I’m still waiting for someone to clang me for using classical pronunciations in Mass), so I feel it my obligation to read this book and see if the formulae (as we Latin sharks might say) proposed therein are correct.

UPDATE: Whoops! My email just reminded me that while I was surfing, I went ahead and picked up a copy of Chesterton’s Heretics, as well.  I’ve been thinking about doing so for the past couple of weeks and I suppose that I just got caught up in the one-clicky ease of it all.  Perhaps it’s time to step away from the seductive book store for a bit before Mrs. Robbo starts making me eat peanut-butter sammiches for dinner again.  Vade retro, Amazonas!

Regular port-swillers might suppose that I would have something to say about the announced engagement of Prince William and this Kate Middleton person.

Well, the truth is that I really don’t.

Alas, the whole biznay reminds me of the sad reality that the Royals are nothing more than “celebrities” these days, having been stripped by a combination of historickal tides and their own foolishness of the last remaining vestiges of, well, royalty.  Poor old Elizabeth soldiers on, bless her, but I wouldn’t give you tuppence for the rest of them.

And that’s mighty hard for someone of such a Tory temperment to admit.


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November 2010