Tag Archives: Mill Hill

My ‘Mill Hill’ 1971 School Picture — A Few Months Before I Was Expelled.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

So, can YOU spot me. I have NOT changed. Honest. Still as dark (in every way & sense) as I was then — 49-years ago.

This picture was sent to me by a classmate, in 1971, from Mill Hill. He is in this picture.

He found me, on the Web, a few months ago. So, we reconnected after 49-years. He had gone onto become a very well respected doctor. Good for him.

It has been great chatting with him.

Wow. 1971.

A momentous year. I got expelled, from Mill Hill, around May or June. All I know that it was 2-weeks ahead of the A-level exams. They let me come back, to take the exams — but could only stay for the exams. I was well are truly expelled for being ‘an undesirable influence’! Haven’t changed, have I. Just think of ALL the people who would still like to expel me from their lives for being ‘an undesirable influence’.

My 2nd expulsion, from a school, in 2-years!

I was good — at getting expelled.

Got expelled in 1969 (around May/June too) from the prestigious ‘English School of Paris’ in 1969. Why. Because I refused to have my haircut for the upcoming prize giving. Mary Soames, Winston Churchill’s daughter was attending to present the prizes. I had (per what used to my wont) won a few. They wanted me to look presentable. I refused. They called my parents. I still refused. I was expelled & banned from attending the prize giving. My parents went. My mother collected my prizes.

I will be honest, in my old age, as a HUGE FAN of Winston, I regret not getting to shake Dame Soames’ hand. C’est la vie. I didn’t want to get my hair cut. SMILE. Haven’t changed, have I.

This was also from Mill Hill, but the prior year. I am wearing tinted glasses. I must have got my contact lenses between these pictures. I know I started wearing contacts when I was around 16.

Click to ENLARGE.

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by Anura Guruge

“The Professor And The Madman” (2019) Movie On “Amazon”: A ‘B-‘ For Effort, A ‘D’ For Veracity.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the IMDb.com listing for this 2019 movie.

Official Trailer on YouTube.

Click image to access the Amazon listing for the BOOK.

OK, I will admit upfront that I am not your typical audience for this movie — which is about how the classic ‘Oxford English Dictionary‘ came to be created.. For a start, one of the settings in this movie is my old school, Mill Hill (in London). Moreover, I have read THE book (by Simon Winchester on which the movie is based), know additional bits about the history of the Dictionary and furthermore adore ‘THE OXFORD’ and what it stands for. So, I was not going to be an easy customer to please — though I desperately wanted the movie to WOW I. Alas, it did NOT.

For a start, it misrepresented the history involving Mill Hill and the scene they show involving Mill Hill does NOT show anything close to what Mill Hill looks like! And that was how the movie started. So, I was not impressed. It would NOT have been difficult to have shot the scene at Mill Hill since the buildings, from the time, are still there. Plus, they show Dr. Murray’s son playing field hockey. Yes, we played hockey at Mill Hill but the school is more of a rugby and cricket school. So, that was part irritating. Then the movie gets the dates and facts WRONG! The Murrays did not move to Oxford as soon as he became Editor. The first five-years of the Dictionary were at Mill Hill. So, the movie misrepresents that.

Yes, it is NOT an easy story to tell and the ‘Madman’ (viz. Dr. William Chester Minor (who cuts off his penis)) was not as central as the movie makes him out to be. Yes, he contributed, much — but so did thousands of others. It is the typical conflict between a good book and a movie that tries to tells its story. In this case, as it happens so often, the movie falls short.

My recommendation: skip the movie, read the book!

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by Anura Guruge


Should I — Could I — Be Mad At West Indian Carlos Brathwaite For The Rush Of Blood To His Head?

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access post from 3-years ago when Carlos was THE MAN.

He, Carlos Brathwaite, with his quite brilliant & incredible maiden ODI century had got the asking rate down to BELOW a run-per-ball. They only had one (damn) wicket left.

They had a 7 balls in which to get 6 runs.

Oh, NO!

Carlos goes for the glory shot.

How stupid.

The private school in London I attended, 1969 to 1971, Mill Hill had an astute slang term for such behavior: Munda Logic (literally African logic).

This was classic Munda Logic. He can’t help it. He is programmed as such.

Now, I can empathize, though I as a cricketer was a true midget compared to Carlos’ occasional bouts of being an outworldly giant. Yes, I have swung the bat way too many times when I did not have too. But, I was never playing in the World Cup or in a match that we had to win.

This was so, so, so unnecessary and he knew it AFTER he did it. That is Munda logic. It never occurred to him beforehand.

Well, it would appear that my two favorite teams, South Africa and the West Indies are out of this World Cup.

C’est la vie. Both teams played liked pillocks. I am ashamed on both.

Good world cup. Good matches and more to come.

But, Brathwaite … WHY?

He will have nightmares for weeks to come. And he should.

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by Anura Guruge

‘Munda Logic’ At Its Very Best — Trying To Push A Truck From Inside!

by Anura Guruge

Click image to ENLARGE & ENJOY.

I saw this on Facebook this morning and it just cracked me up. Judging from the kids it is definitely from Africa.

They are trying to free a truck stuck on an embankment.

One guy is pushing REALLY, REALLY hard while standing on the truck bed.


Immediately reminded me of the phrase ‘Munda Logic‘ from my school days in London.

I attended ‘Mill Hill’ Public School (meaning it was a fee-paying private school) from 1969 to 1971 before they expelled me for being a disruptive influence.

Pretty famous school — the place where the VENERABLE “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) was born! Yep. Look it up.

The alumni include Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, and Sir Denis Thatcher, Margaret’s illustrious (2nd) husband.

It was a school with a lot of exposure to the British Empire in its heyday.

There were two expressions that were OFTEN used at the school, during my time, that were pithy, very precise and what today would be called quite racists — though they were not meant to be.

The first was ‘Play the White Man‘. It meant do the right thing. Stiff upper lip and all of that. Basically said, act like a British gentleman. ‘Play the White Man’. I still love and use that phrase. ‘Play the White Man’

The other was ‘Munda Logic’. The above picture is ‘Munda Logic’ epitomized.

‘Munda Logic’ — African Logic!

There was this realization that Africans, at the time, had a different thought process to others. Well, see above.

‘Wog’ was another favorite word. I was a wog — though I really wasn’t. Jesus was a wog — in that wog is specific to men from the Middle East (and NOT the far east).

So, Munda Logic.

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by Anura Guruge

Today Is ‘Michaelmas Day’ 2018 — Happy Michaelmas, Enjoy Your Goose.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michaelmas

Since I am not into angels this is really not my thing — though I am always happy to eat goose (even once, 40-years ago, in Thailand, eating swan thinking it was duck).

But, when I hear ‘Michaelmas’ it does bring back memories — now filtered by decades of time. As some of you know I had a very traditional British upbringing, including Public (i.e., Private, fee-paying) School and British Universities. At Mill Hill, in particular, ‘Michaelmas’ was always used to denote the Fall (i.e., Sept. to Dec.) term. I associate that with Rugby.

So, it crossed my mind that I should share with lovely, quite British tradition with some of you — as a de facto ambassador for the Brits.


If you are into Angels this is YOUR DAY.

Wonder whether geese know of angels

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by Anura Guruge

BBC TV Came To Be This Day, 81-Years Ago; November 2, 1936. World’s First Regular TV Service.

by Anura Guruge

The original BBC TV logo.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Television

Alexandra Palace — the home of the first BBC TV studios. My U.K. ‘guardians’ lived directly beneath it, in Muswell Hill, 1969 – 1970, while I was attending Hill Hill. Know it well.

Wow. The Grand Ol’ Lady of Broadcasting — THE British Broadcasting Company (BBC). What a wonderful institution.

And we still watch the BBC — even if it is their superb, incomparable programs on PBS, ‘The Great British Bake Off‘ Seasons 1 -7 but an example.

We get Acorn TV (on our Roku). As such we have access to more BBC programming than most, e.g., the ‘Detectorists‘.

81-years ago. 17-years before I was born. I first got to see BBC TV in August 1967. It was 31-years old by then!

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by Anura Guruge

Janis Joplin Died This Day, 47-Years Ago (October 4, 1970) — 3 Months Ahead Of ‘Pearl’.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janis_Joplin

My 1971 copy of ‘Pearl’. Shot with my TABLET (for ease)!

I remember hearing about her death. I was NOT a big fan of hers at the time. I only got into ‘her’ once ‘Pearl‘ came out — and “Me & Bobby McGee” is one of my ‘go-to’ favorite songs.

In October 1970 I was 17-years old and had just started my second (and last year) at Mill Hill. Music was BIG at Mill Hill. All the kids, this being a private school in North London, had the money to buy LPs etc.

That I still have ‘Pearl’ in LP form, 46-years later is a miracle. I only have (and I just counted) 42 LPs, from what was a library of over 650 LPs in mid-1980s. That ‘Pearl’ made the cut, over and over again, as I culled my collection says a lot for Janice.

I have no sympathy, patience, time or empathy for the rich-and-famous who have addiction problems — and die from it. To me that is sheer indulgence. Walk in my SHOES to see what it is like to have a HARD LIFE and the most I take is a glass of red wine a day. So, there is that.

Anywho …

She was special. Pity she killed herself — and for what. She had ALL to live for! That is the shame.

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by Anura Guruge

The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” LP Was Released This Day 48-Years Ago; September 26, 1969.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbey_Road.

I think I remember this. I had just started at Mill Hill — my London boarding school. Music was BIG at Mill Hill, the kids, in general, affluent enough to indulge in their musical tastes in terms of LPs, record players etc.

In later years I would become EXTREMELY familiar with ‘Abbey Road’, the road and the iconic pedestrian crossing. Abbey Road was ‘next door’ to MY ‘Holy of Holies’ in LondonLord’s Cricket Ground.

When I started going to Lord’s for Test Matches and Middlesex matches, mid-1970s to 1985, I would park, for FREE, on Abbey Road — a bit further up north, and walk down to Lord’s. Often I would cross the pedestrian crossing for fun.

Click to ENLARGE. Google maps.

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by Anura Guruge

The Word ‘Dotard’ — Origins & Synonyms.

by Anura Guruge

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Dotard origins by Anura Guruge in NHlifefree.com

Dotard origins by Anura Guruge in NHlifefree.com

It, i.e., ‘dotard’, was a word I was familiar with (given my very British heritage) — though, of course, living in the U.S. I had not heard it in a long time. I am sure I first encountered it at the Public (i.e., private) School I attended, in North London, “Mill Hill School” — the read birthplace of the ‘Oxford English Dictionary‘ and the alma mater of Denis Thatcher (Margaret’s husband). It was a school rich in vocabulary and idioms, my two favorites, that I still treasure and use being: “Play the White Man” (i.e., do the right thing) and “Munda Logic” (African/black logic). Both are very profound and have many applications.


  • An old person in their dotage.

    That is where the word comes from ‘dote’ + ‘-ard‘.
    -ard‘ denotes someone with a specific condition — as in drunkard.
    Dote‘ refers to an imbecile!

  • An old person with impaired intellect.


Old English.

1st known usage was by the inimitable Geoffrey Chaucer in his beyond ionic ‘The Canterbury Tales‘ — in “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue“. It went: “Til they be wedded; olde dotard shrewe!”

Then it was Edmund Spenser (above) in 1590 & then Shakespeare (above) ~1598.


  • old man, elder, senior citizen, old codger, geezer, old duffer, pantaloon, graybeard.
  • senile, fogy, fuddy-duddy

So what do YOU think? You think ‘they’ got it right?

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by Anura Guruge

A ‘Mill Hill’ Cricket XI From 1970.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

I think it is 1970 (my first season there) though there is a 25% chance that it is 1971. 

Definitely the 2nd XI — if not 3rd, but I am leaning towards the former as I look at some of these reprobates.

Actually there were some very fine cricketers in this team, the shady looking wog in shades notwithstanding. The middle three in the front row, befitting that status, was good. The little Indian guy, at the left, was a very fine spinner. I would not be surprised if he went onto play at some v. high levels. Three others in the back-row, the one sandwiched between the two wogs and two others next to the shady wog in the middle were impressive cricketers. That is why I think that this was the Second XI. I never made the 1st so it is easy to rule out that. It might have been the 3rds, that I occasionally was dropped to, but some of the others were regular 2nds. The ‘bigger’, taller, strapping guys were decent ‘fast’ bowlers.

I think the ONLY picture I have of Mill Hill.

Very sad BUT I do not remember the names of any of my teammates. Sorry. I would LOVE to get in touch with all of them. On the whole a good bunch.

This picture was taken in front of ‘School House’. 

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by Anura Guruge