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Entries Tagged as 'Britain'


March 26th, 2016 · Comments Off on ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (PART FIVE OF SIX) · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos

I remember grandfather was telling me that before the war there was a kind of popular bistro across the road from the Bellu Orthodox cemetery whose name was “Better here than Opposite’ (Mai bine aici decat vis-à-vis). This was very handy because the mourners, instead of going all the way to the home of the dearly departed, for the traditional post-funeral meal, they would instead have the drinks across the road from the cemetery, once the funeral was over and the alms given to the poor. And so there was so much merry-making at the bistro, with gypsy brass band and even dancing – all of course in memory of the deceased, that people started complaining for the lack of decorum, especially as the mourners were approaching the cemetery gate with the hearse and all and they were hearing were the fiddles and bassoons playing away drinking songs…
Eventually the police shut the establishment and now it is all history!

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Five Book Reviews: Memoirs of Adrian Marino, Gheorghe Rafael-Stefanescu, Boris Johnson, George Orwell and Joseph Stalin

May 25th, 2014 · No Comments · Books, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

This is the most meaningful metamorphosis in Orwell’s life, during which time he realizes the underlying workings of Communism. Such ideology he ditches to refute it completely in his future best sellers: “1984” and “The Animal Farm”. We find Orwell, as an intelligent man, flirting with the left-wing dictatorship (and the Civil War) only to reject it without a right of appeal. As an observer, living his life’s experience at first hand, this is a compelling experience
It is precisely the stuff for which George Orwell’s works were completely banned in Eastern Europe, to the last days of Communism.

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February 28th, 2013 · Comments Off on «COMPTES RENDUS D’OUVRAGES – BOOK REVIEWS – BOEKGESPREKINGEN». Geologica Belgica, · Books, International Media, OPINION, quotations, Reviews

“Cambridge was almost like a mythical mistress, whose eroticism would excite my resolve against obstacles put in the way by sundry bureaucratic tormentors and moral dwarfs”.
This is an exhilarating book and I can fully subscribe to Professor J. F. Dewey’s view (Oxford), who wrote the Foreword of the book: “Continental Drift offered me a relaxing excellent read full of humour, wisdom and good science, way beyond the History of Science”.

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They came by Orient Express – Cameos of Times Past by Constantin ROMAN (I)

January 13th, 2013 · Comments Off on They came by Orient Express – Cameos of Times Past by Constantin ROMAN (I) · Books, Diaspora, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Translations

It must have taken the future English bride infinitely longer to get used to her picturesque, yet desperately primitive, adopted country. The couple got married, in spite of the many differences that separated them – Antoine being Elizabeth’s senior by 19 years and Elizabeth herself still being rather bruised from an emotional relationship with a previous English suitor. In the event it was quite understandable that the Asquith parents, while finding the Romanian prospect quite charming, would still have preferred their daughter to marry an Englishman of the best type. Nevertheless, the wedding to the Romanian diplomat, Prince Antoine Bibesco, took place in London’s fashionable St. Margaret’s church Westminster, in April 1919. It was a time when the Romanian nobility married frequently into French, German or Italian aristocratic families. The Bibesco-Asquith wedding was London’s wedding of the year, with the great and the good attending, from Queen Mary to George Bernard Shaw.

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Four decades ago – A Romanian in Britain (A Story from the Home Office website)

April 23rd, 2011 · Comments Off on Four decades ago – A Romanian in Britain (A Story from the Home Office website) · Books, Diary, Diaspora, PEOPLE, Reviews

My greatest trouble in England arose from my refusal to give up my Romanian nationality. In retrospect this may seem bizarre, especially that I was menaced on a number of fronts: by Securitate operatives masquerading as diplomats keen to end my flouting of socialist order and drag me back to Romania; by a prospective mother-in-law who refused to allow her daughter to marry me unless I accepted British citizenship; and by officials of the British Home Office who assumed that my desire to retain what I saw as my unalienable right of birth, my nationality, might stem from communist loyalties.

Afterwards Lord Goodman decided to champion my cause, writing to the head of the Home Office that I was a

“man of impeccable character clearly determined to belong here and make a significant contribution to our national life.””

In retrospect I hope that I discharged myself honourably of Goodman‘s expectations as I gave generously my expertise in discovering oil and gas for Britain and batting for Britain abroad on the cultural and scientific front, especially in my native country – Romania

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Romanian Foreign Affairs (I): Rebecca WEST and Antoine BIBESCO

May 1st, 2010 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, PEOPLE, quotations

Rebecca West: in Paris, on her way home, she had a brief affair with Prince Antoine Bibesco (who wore black crepe de chine in bed), a Romanian diplomat married to Elizabeth Asquith, daughter of the Liberal leader. She was to remember her own affair as ‘rapturous’ but at its close felt that some blight still affected her personal life. The evidence suggests that Bibesco’s sophisticated sex inventiveness frightened Rebecca and that she interpreted it as a further manifestation of male hostility and aggression and she continued in analysis when she returned to London this time with Silvia Payne another early Freudian. Neverthelsess the elation of her first days with Bibesco coloured the writing of ‘The Strange Necessity’ in which her meditations on art and literature are embedded in an account of a ‘sun guilded autumn day’ wandering through a magically illuminated Paris.

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QUOTATIONS: How other people see us (1) – Margaret THATCHER

April 10th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Books, PEOPLE, quotations

Interesting insight on her visit to Ceausescu in the mid 1970s: “Margaret Thatcher – the Path to Power” (Harper Collins, London 1995, ISBN 000 255806 8, 656 pages)
I was also shown around a scientific institute specializing in polymer research. My guide was none other than Elena Ceausescu who had already began to induulge a personal fantasy world which matched her husband’ absurdity, if not in human consequences, she was determined to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on polymers. it subsequently emerged that she could barely have distinguished a polymer from a polygon. But behind the defences of translation and communist long-windedness she put up quite a good show.

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Poetry in Translation (LXIII): Ada TYRRELL – MY SON – Fiul meu

August 24th, 2009 · Comments Off on Poetry in Translation (LXIII): Ada TYRRELL – MY SON – Fiul meu · Poetry, Translations

Ada Tyrrell (1854-1955), Anglo-Irish writer and socialite is best known for her poem “My Son” written during WWI. In the context of the current British engagement in Irak and Afghanistan it has a particularly poignant relevance. fregments of this poem are rendered into Romanian.

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