4 February 2011
Kit Orde-Powlett came this afternoon for our first game of chess. He arrived with a chessboard and no pieces which he had forgotten! (How is it that brilliant people are frequently so vague?). Fortunately I had several sets and was able to provide a suitable roundup of chessmen. More than adequate compensation for the forgotten chess pieces were to jars of wife, Jane’s, delicious home-made marmalade. We played two games, both taking the best part of an hour and I suppose the kindest thing I can say about myself was that I held him at bay that long. For a man who claims to have beaten Kasparov, the past world champion, on his electronicÂ chessboard, I suppose I should be satisfied with my mediocre performance. I doubt whether I will ever actually beat him but I will, undoubtedly, learn something in the meantime. It was a very pleasant diversion which I hope we will repeat again soon.
The situation in Egypt is beginning to look very serious, there are thousands of, mainly young, people on the street who are determined to get rid of their long-term president, who are able to defy the curfew because they are being left to their own devices by the army who appeared to be neutral in this struggle. Although the Black Muslim Movement, the main opposition party, does not appear to be taking an active role in this revolution is hard to see how if Pres Mubarak gets overthrown, or voluntarily resigns, which now seems inevitable, how this country with an 80% Muslim population can avoid becoming an Islamic state.
England started its challenge for the six Nations rugby cup with a good win against Wales in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, 19-26. Their first win against Wales in this venue since the 2003 World Cup
Look at these fantastic pictures and imagine how this place was built long before modern machinery was available to get the materials at their. China city in the mountains.