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Monday, 30 November 2015

Amsterdam and "The Lady in the Van"

It was worth pushing through Saturday 's crush of Christmas shoppers in the centre of York to see this film. I know the work of Alan Bennett is not to everyone's taste but we love it. This film is wonderful, funny and witty, with a little social conscience thrown in, definitely one of the best films I have seen this year.

Also, I have booked our first trip for 2016, three nights in Amsterdam in February, a trip we have been planning since hearing of the reopening of the Rijksmuseum. So, something of an arty-farty and foodie weekend, I don't think we will be sampling the other two main "delights" of Amsterdam, the red light district and the wacky-backy cafes.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


Sunday afternoon at the cinema to see the latest James Bond spectacular. Good fun, plenty of CGI destruction (or at least I hope it was CGI), good looking men and women, some violence, totally implausible, great for a rainy Sunday afternoon. Big hints this is Daniel Craig's last outing as 007, which would be a shame, but better to go out on a high note.

PLUS = I have tickets for the new Star Wars film - we are both very excited - "We're home Chewi"

Saturday, 14 November 2015

U3A Talk - Wellington Invades France

On Thursday I delivered my talk to U3A York branch Military History Group, the subject being "Wellington Invades France 1813/1814".I believe it went down rather well, a full room of about 25 attendees, plenty of questions, no-one left or fell asleep, a number of thank-yous at the end. I was surprised that nobody knew of the campaign.

Even my hand drawn map was appreciated.

So - onto the next talk, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun, I shall be talking on that subject in February.


This morning I was shocked and horrified to hear that Paris has witnessed another attack on civilians, with around 125 killed. This really saddens me and I am at a loss for words. My heart and my sympathies go to the families of the dead and injured.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Goya The Portraits

This last weekend was spent down South, to see B's family and to go to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square for the "Goya The Portraits" exhibition.

A marvellous exhibition, a good range of portraits from across Goya's career and from his commissions and his portraits of his friends. Well laid out. Full but not too crowded.

Sir Arthur Wellesley, painted 1812, then updated when he became Duke of Wellington by Goya in 1814.
This was followed by a very good curry lunch at Marsala Zone in Covent Garden, then fish & chip supper with B's family.

A good day out.