Butcher Bolt David Loyn

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

BUTCHER & BOLT - David Loyn

Date: 10th March 2011

BUTCHER & BOLT – by David Loyn

A friend invited me to attend a talk given by David Loyn, the subject being Two Hundred Years of Foreign Engagement in Afghanistan. As I’ve never understood why we are even over there, I thought it time I found out. You couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the history of Afghanistan. David was the BBC Correspondent in Afghanistan and has extensive knowledge, and dare I say ‘love’ for the country.

It would be impossible to try and précis his talk but suffice to say that when he concluded, I looked at my watch and was amazed to find that David had been speaking for an hour – it felt like 30 minutes and you wanted more. And I now do have an understanding of why our troops are in Afghanistan fighting an ‘unwinnable’ war.

I was able to purchase the last copy of his book – they were selling like hot cakes – and he’d added a £1 on to the price for his charity in Afghanistan. His book is written in the easy and flowing style in which he gave his talk and I know it will be an interesting read.

If you have the opportunity of hearing David talk, do go to his lecture – if not, and you would like to know about 200 years of Afghanistan’s history which has led to the current state of play, then purchase his book.

I’ve said before how I love history but I like it served up in a palatable form (David’s book does this). At the moment, I am ploughing through a book on the Grey sisters – Jane Grey was Queen of England for a few days before she was executed. I say ‘ploughing’ because the book is so full of footnotes it doesn’t make for easy reading. And the authoress has the (to me) annoying habit of calling her characters by ‘different’ names i.e. she will use the given name and later refer to the person by their title – Northampton (Duke of) so one is constantly dipping back and forth looking at the family trees. And believe me those family trees are very contorted especially in the days where women either died in childbirth or were so prolific they popped one out nearly every year. I’ve never been able to read War and Peace (in which I played Natasha in my thespian days) for the same reason – one minute Pierre is Pierre – then there might be a shorter pet family name and then his title name. And when you have a novel with 65 characters (have just counted them) and over 1,300 pages, the prospect of an easy read is not an option. My copy is still pristine – maybe one day.

Bye for now.


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