James Bond, Skyfall and…lenses

Skyfall was released in 2012 – a Bond box office best, as dramatic as they come…and with strange side effects.

The Phraser

Skyfall smashed British box office history and set the tills ringing.

We were there. We popcorned in for bombs and bashings; for smouldering moods; for shriek-screetching music; for back-stabbing; for ‘British is best’; and for villains who should have been locked away for life.

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Madagascar 3…or Argo?

I discovered this little memory in my update of The Phraser – a film review of a sort…and very brief.

The Phraser

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It is an autumn evening with a few hours before my young charge has to return to his school. Can we fit in Madagascar 3? Yes…of course.

We race down the steep hill into the town. Lights flick on in the buildings around us as we park and run the square to the cinema entrance.

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Review: Innocent Victims by Cathy Buckle

This is an updated version of a book review I wrote in my first year as a blogger. I hope, that if you don’t already have a copy, this might persuade you to look for this excellent book about animal rescues in a difficult time in Zimbabwe.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle

Turmoil tore into Zimbabwe’s farms in the early 2000s, the years Mugabe’s government chose to ignite its programme of land redistribution. Thousands of animals were trapped in the mayhem that followed.

Innocent Victims tells the story of the rescues carried out by a small team from the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA). The team leader was Meryl Harrison.

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Book Review: The Odd Man In – Mugabe’s White Hand Man by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In, understated and direct, reaches out to all Zimbabweans. It is a respectful testimony by a man who served as an independent government minister for seventeen years in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

It is a record of events from the inside.

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Book Review: Hunting Mr Heartbreak – A Discovery of America by Jonathan Raban

Hunting Mr Heartbreak - A Discovery of America by Jonathan Raban

Hunting Mr Heartbreak – A Discovery of America by Jonathan Raban

A few weeks back I “took ship” in Liverpool, and headed off to find America with the English author Jonathan Raban.

It was pure pleasure – page after page of portrait and insight.

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Letter from Leicester – Gelato included

Gelato Village Leicester, England

Gelato Village Leicester, England

The trip to Leicester was an impulse – something to do with the heatwave, and meeting Antonio De Vecchi and Daniele Taverna in Turin. All we talked about in Turin was food, and their passion was gelato…so much of a passion that they started Gelato Village in Leicester, England.

I’d never been to Leicester. Now I had two reasons to go.

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Book Review: Return to Naples by Robert Zweig, Ph.D

Return to Naples - My Italian Bar Mitzvah and Other Discoveries by Robert Zweig PhD

Return to Naples – My Italian Bar Mitzvah and Other Discoveries by Robert Zweig PhD

I loved this book and its collection of carefully told memories. If you know Naples, or are curious about the city, this is an easy, fascinating read – a surprisingly gentle ride around a family and a city scarred by war.

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