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Nato's no use in Afghanistan

Churchill, that aristocrat who hid under a commoner's name, that arch anti-communist, when he was a young subaltern, a Lieutenant in India said of the Afghans; before running away from them to save his hide: "The danger and difficulty of attacking these active fierce hill men is extreme. They can get up in the hills twice as fast as we can, and shoot wonderfully well with Martini Henry rifles. It is a war without quarter. They kill and mutilate everyone they catch and we do not hesitate to finish their wounded off. I have seen several things which have not been very pretty since I have been up here." We are talking the best fighting men in the world here. Not the SAS. So I doubt General David Richard's words. These are the men, who legend says, slaughtered their wives and children before they went off to fight the Golden Horde so that they would have nothing to lose. These are the men who defeated the SpetsNats with a little help from Zbigniew Brzezinski, the CIA
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Mexican Pan Dulce - Sweet Bread - patisserie

Bread of the Dead for Masterchef

  Pan de Muerto, photo from Kitchen Parade My brother Andy and I once made a pitch for a TV programme to some young Channel 4 producers.  We arranged a meeting with them in a buzzing pub. They were busy, and observant. The idea was a little cruel. A member of my extended family on the Mexican side is not supposed to be a very good bullfighter, in fact once he failed to kill a bull - the worst sin a bullfighter can commit.  The programme would be called the 'The Worst Bullfighter in Mexico' and as he is getting on a little we would follow him around for his last season, watching to see if he could rescue shreds of dignity from a life of failure. We would question the idea of failure itself. But they looked at us and asked: 'Has he actually killed a bull?' 'Yes,' I said, 'many.' 'Well then where's the jeopardy? Where's the jeopardy?' Evidently, this was their mantra and if you switch from channel to channel on the TV you

My darlings

Eve and Tony in Dar-es-Salaam It was so great to hear your voice last night, and that you sounded chirpy. I was a bit worried after your first Munchen letter that you were a bit under it all. But I gather also, from your second Munchen letter, which I got today, that you don't feel so bad about Ma with you in Paris. Just keep making it clear that you'll be tough if she starts to the steamroller again, and she'll be okay - ne? I hope so, hon, anyway. So much to tell you, to acknowledge, to talk about - and I don't even know the best address to aim this letter at in an attempt to reach you before or during your Paris visit, I got your Rome letter this morning and your earlier postcard which the boys loved (they also got your earlier postcard - did you get their letters?) Thank you for writing so regularly baby, it's very comforting because I always feel a little disorientated, a bit 'floating' without you - and every few hours of every day I have cause

Un essuie glace pour le con, s'il vous plais.

He wouldn't allow us in the cabin with him so we had to sit in the 2CV, Photo from Cars I have seen. Christmas 1990 we were visiting Tere's sister who was completing her doctorate at the Complutense. She had a shared flat in Cuatro Caminos . We were out and about a lot in the bars sampling tapas and chatting. For me it was coming home. I had lived in Madrid for several years here in the '80s. for Tere it was all about catching up with her younger sister. Next stop was Golfe Juan. We would drive Rocio's Green Deux Chevaux, Pancho , to see Granny Lisa. We started out gaily, chatting about Rocio and discussing our plans. What should we do in the Cote D'Azure? What would Granny enjoy? Soon we were on the outskirts of Madrid and I just about had the measure of the car. The signs on the four lane highway pointed to Barajas and Barcelona and there was nothing that could go wrong. Except that Tere was back-seat driving and I was a little jumpy and, those are my exc

Animated prayer

Aithee'ists shud prai te blak h'eulz Mait ai sedjest sumthing fer 'n aithe'eist te prai too. A big h'eul. 'V kaus it wud ownli bee a litl h'eul, but if aul the aitheeists praid tegethe then the hole wud grow bigge nd bigge nd then it kud be soh big it kud eevn swolow god. Te prai te a h'eul wud bee veri rispektibl becauz praiing te uh hole iz n admishn that won duz not no wot iz troo or untroo. It iz n edmishn ev ignerense. Secratic in the best sens ev the werd, bet ownli sow long ez yr secratisizm duznt haid filistanizm. In m'eust kaisiz ai think it duz, th'eu. Wots we'ed fe mi iz the wai kumyoonl praiy'e seemz te werk bet'e thn prai'ing on yer own. Aiv been in plaisiz we'er peepl gather nd u silens disends n yoo reely feel u presens. Ai supeuz its laik beeng et e footbawl mach. O the igzampl ev solitary pre'er in e forist. Thauz plaisiz we'er cawld chaantid wudz, not inchaantid. Yoo'l notis the

Izzy, Flora, Regina, Arthur, and a girl holding Eve - in Paris