A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Posts tagged ‘Books’

A Good Read

There are some really positive things about being single.Especially if you are lucky enough like me to be to be living in a luxury apartment in Thailand until the UK throws off winters grips.

I “reside” in a two bedroom,two bathroom apartment.That means I don’t just have one cleaning lady,I have two.They come with the place.

Monday morning 0900  is my allocated time,which means anything  between nine and ten o’clock.That is the only thing in my agenda the whole week.

Invitations are all very last minute so there is no need to note those.

In this paradise I have time to call my own,and can read again without getting a bad conscience because I should be doing some household chore or cooking dinner.

Not that you can attempt any heavy literature in this heat, so I enjoy just a good book that can also accompany me to the beach or down to the pool.

I have now discovered Jeffrey Archer who fits my requirements perfectly.I know he has been around for quite a while but if you haven’t read anything by him and need a book for a long journey or holiday he is your man.

 

Last week I finished “Paths of Glory”,a story about George Mallory,the English mountaineer that led the first attempt to climb Everest.
Based on fact it poses the question of whether history should be rewritten.
It is exciting,interesting and yet most amusing reading, written in a W.Somerset Maugham style,and in fact at times it is difficult to say who the writer is.

Now I have advanced to a collection of short stories by Archer.”A Twist in the Tale” Just as entertaining but enabling you to get up and do things between them.

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Are VIPS So Important?

We all know the famous line from George Orwells book Animal Farm;

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others

and I wonder why we go along with this.

Don’t misunderstand me,I was never a Marxist,Trotskyist,communist or any other gender of an “ist”, but I would support an ideology where the people of the world could be more equal, whether it be with respect,freedom,or wealth.

But I know that is just a dream,and we have to live with the fact that George Orwell was right.

Nowadays these more equal people are known as V.I.P.’s or “very important persons” But what is so very important about them and what right do they have to so much priority?

Sometimes this status doesn’t always work,like last week when the security officials at a Russias’ St Petersburg Airport didn’t care a hoot for the diplomatic status of Doris Leuthard, Switzerland’s Economic Minister. She was still made to remove her shoes and submit to being frisked. Which of course held the flight up for an hour while the diplomatic phones ran themselves hot,and the likes of you and I could wait on board.

Or the arrest of Hannibal Gaddaffi, the son of Libyas head of state, and his pregnant wife in Geneva on Tuesday. They were accused of mishandling two of their servants in the hotel where they were staying. Two days later they were released after paying a caution.(Can’t keep such a large sum in my head). Libya has retaliated of course by arresting two Swiss who were working there,and threatening to turn off their oil supply to Switzerland. Half of our crude oil is imported from Libya, so the outcome will be interesting.

May be one consolation for not being a V.I.P: can be found in the words of the playwright Terence Rattigan 1911-77

You can be in the Horseguards and still be common dear”

Seperate Tables (1954)

Is China Attacking Us?

German author,Political Scientist, and China expert,Wolfgang Hirn isn’t sure that China deserves the miserable reputation that it has in the west.

His two books “The Chinese Challenge” (Herausforderung China) and “Asian Attack” (Angriff aus Asien),published by Fischer, make interesting reading.

China is gigantic,China is suspiciously, “foreign”,and then there are all these 1.3 Billion people.

China will become,next to the USA the second superpower in the world and that makes us all somewhat frightened.

But didn’t we encourage it all for our gain?

Environmental pollution in China is immense,and the Chinese are eating more and more meat.But can we condemn them for that? Shouldn’t we be pleased that for the people there things are beginning to look better?

China has at least managed to free 400 million people from deepest poverty. What they are doing is legitimate. The West challenged China to at last participate in world trade. Now they are certainly doing this ,following the rules of globalisation and we must live with the consequences.

We had hoped that human rights and democracy might follow, after the theory that an affluent society brings the wish of complete freedom for all. In South Korea and Taiwan it worked.

It hasn’t worked in China yet, because the middle class is not big enough, and interestingly this section of the people, which one might have thought were all for political freedom is not in the least interested in it,because then, they would be completely in the minority and 700 to 800 million peasants would have their say.

Up until now their  authoritative system has worked for developing China,and many a western manager enthuses over it.

In China Peking decides, and at least at this stage it is probably the only way to get anything done. Other countries with a democratic system take years deciding on anything because every ones interests must be taken into consideration.

By 2012, ninety seven new airports will be built in China-and they will be built.Whether the environmentalists agree or not.

That is why China has managed better to get more people out of poverty as the democratic India has.

Maybe come time, come change, and we should admire them for what they have achieved.

The Most Dangerous Dog

Solomon,was his name and he had big brown eyes but I still didn’t like him.Maybe it was because I was going on seven years old and I felt his bare anatomy not very nice, especially as he peed over the carpet when he got excited. A brown and black shorthaired Dachshund or sausage dog as a lot of people called them then.

He belonged to my Aunt Molly.She wasn’t really my Aunt,just a good friend of my Mothers.

I thought her very special as she would go barefoot in her shoes or even sandals in the middle of winter. My Mother said it was because she served in the Royal Air Force in India during the war, and was forced to wear heavy shoes and stockings in the heat.

Sometimes when my Mother was working I was sent to Auntie Molly’s. She always made fried egg and delicious chips for lunch,which I can’t remember ever having at home.

In the afternoons we would go for long walks in the Surrey countryside,and she would tell me stories from the books she had read.

She loved books, and reading, and passed this passion on to me.

At Christmas and on my Birthday I always received some classic of literature all very much to old for me,but I read them just the same.

I will always be thankful for what she taught me,and when I eat chips I often think of her. But I never really liked her dog.Not that I was afraid of him,he was just so yappy and as I said liable to wet over your feet.

Today I saw a picture of Solomon in the paper. It wasn’t him of course just one like him.

According to a study by the University of Pensylvania on which is the most agressive dog, it isn’t the Pitbull Terrier,it isn’t the German Shepherd,but it is Aunty Molly’s four legged friend Solomon.

Dachshunds are the most likely to bite,and they won by a wide margin.

Feelings are never wrong.

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