Tag Archives: University

Fiona Hill’s Denigration Of Great Britain Unfair & Uncalled For.

by Anura Guruge



Yes, of course, as everyone is raving about, she was impressive and I was proud that she was British by Birth. But, I was disappointed and saddened about her comments, at the start of her public testimony, when she tried to ingratiate herself with the public, by claiming that she would not have had the opportunities that she had if she had stayed in Great Britain — because she was a miner’s daughter and had a strong working class accent. Balderdash. Tripe. Garbage.

I am 9-years older than her and ALSO grew up in Great Britain and went to University there (x2). I was even MORE disadvantaged than her — and I still have a wog accent. I was NOT white, I had no family at all in Britain. I grew up, on my own, in Great Britain from the time I was 16 — my adoptive parents a continent away.

But, I never lacked for opportunity in Great Britain. I, given my limitations, got all the opportunities I needed and MORE. I never felt that I was held back when it came to opportunity.

So, yes, you are dying to say, ‘BUT you also came over the U.S. of A.’ Yes, very true.

But, I did NOT come over looking for opportunity! There were THREE (3) reasons I came over in 1985 and by far the MAIN one was to pay less taxes on my earings! Kind of the opposite of looking for opportunity. I was in the same boat as the famous British pop stars of that era. We were getting taxed way too much. How come in my case given that I was not a famous pop star. My first book (which did very well (thank you)) and the tons of seminars I was doing — on top of holding some very nice jobs with all the perks, including company cars. I did OK in the UK. Thank you.

The other two reasons had to do with the weather (given that I had not seen the sun in three full-months) and a divorce that was never-ending. The plan, however, was to restructure my finances and go back. What happened? Two American wives (one ex-) and four American children. That is my story.

IF I am to be brutally honest, Fiona Hill hasn’t done that great! She, in reality, is a mid-level Federal employee. She could have, easily, accent or not, reached similar heights in the U.K. government.

I know plenty of folks from poor backgrounds that have done Brilliantly in the U.K.

And we all know the poverty and the homelessness in the U.S.

I don’t want to make a Federal case out of this. All I want to stress is that the U.K. is not a third-world country where opportunity is hard to come by. That is all I want to stress.


Related posts:
Search ‘Britain’
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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.

Enjoy.

If you are into Angels this is YOUR DAY.

Wonder whether geese know of angels


Related Posts:
Check Category ‘events’ & ‘holidays’


by Anura Guruge

Never Underestimate An OLD MAN Who Graduated From Swansea University.

by Anura Guruge


swansea

Click to access ordering information. Available in other colors. $39.95.


I got it, as a targeted Ad on Facebook given that Facebook knows that I graduated from Swansea (in 1974).

Clever. Of course you can do this for any and all universities and they probably have. But I am unlikely to find too many from Swansea in these parts and 99% of the folks around here will have no idea as to where ‘Swansea‘ is.

I am hoping that I might get one of these for Christmas. Might be too late. It would be cool.


Related Posts:
>>>> Search on ‘Swansea’ & ‘Christmas’ for other posts too >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Oxford University Rugby Football Club — Women’s (Nude) Calendar 2016: I Receive 3 Copies.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Oxford University
nude Rugby calender.
>> Newcastle University Boat Club calendars.

**** Search on ‘rugby’ & ‘nude’ (sidebar) for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE and STUDY.




I ordered 4 copies in total — initially just ordering one before I learned that Deanna wanted one.

On Saturday I received a BIG envelope from the U.K. with 3 calendars. So these were the 3 from my second order. I have yet to receive my first order for one.

Anywho … I gave Deanna her copy and she was pleased.

The other two are Christmas presents; one for my 23 year old son, who did try his hand at Rugby.

The pictures, in b&w, are of a high quality.

The calendar part, as you might be able to see from the ‘February’ and ‘September’ pages that appear above, is pretty basic, rather cramped and devoid of the usual annotations one has come to rely upon — e.g., holidays (e.g., Easter, Passover, Hanukkah etc.), phases of the moon. There are, however, a few Oxford Rugby Club fixtures listed. But I guess most people will not be that concerned about the shortcomings in the tabular part of the calendar.

I am glad I got these. I hope you ordered some too.


Newcastle University Boat Club (UK) Competes With Oxford Women’s Rugby With Male & Female Nude Calendars.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Oxford University
nude Rugby calender.

**** Search on ‘rugby’ & ‘nude’ (sidebar) for other posts >>>>


Click here for the ‘Newcastle University Boat Club
Nude Calendar Webpage
— where you can order the calendars you desire.

Click images to ENLARGE and STUDY here.

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All I can tell YOU is that there has been a HUGE, DAILY interest in my November 20, 2015 post about the “Oxford University Women’s Rugby Team” nude calendar. No, I have yet to receive any of the 4 (yes, 4) calendars I ordered.

I happened to hear about the Newcastle initiative and felt compelled to SHARE it with YOU given that they are doing both men and female versions and I do NOT want you ladies to feel in any way deprived.

As I said with my “Oxford” post neither Deanna or I have any problems with tasteful calendars such as this — for CHARITY. Neither of us would have any qualms if our kids posed for such an initiative. Nudity is natural. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas.


Oxford University Women’s Rugby Team Nude Calendar For Charity Could Galvanize Interest In Sport.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Airport Haka for NZ post World Cup.
>>
Samoa Haka from 2015 World Cup.

**** Search on ‘rugby’ (sidebar) for other posts >>>>


Click here for the U.K. ‘Daily Mail‘ original,
with BIGGER pictures.

Click images to ENLARGE and STUDY here.

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Oxford Rugby Homepage for ORDERING YOUR calendar.

Click image to access.
oxfordrugbyhomepage

I thought about it, all for a few minutes, and ordered ONE.
For a start it is for CHARITY.
Second I think, if I keep it unopened, it will be one heck of an investment
— down the road!
Deanna will probably want it.
If she doesn’t I might give it to my son. 

IF you would like ONE
and are TOO SHY to order
or can’t afford it
let me know.
I will see if I can get one for you


Brilliant!

What you would expect from women going to Oxford.

Loved it.

As a father of 3 daughters I gave it some thought.

How would I react IF one or more of my daughters posed for a calendar like this?

What do YOU think?

I would be chuffed as punch. Way to go.

Nothing wrong here. Very artistic.

Made my day. I had to share it with YOU.


Following Deanna’s posted comment I realized that one calendar would NOT suffice.

So I ordered ANOTHER 3 for a total of 4.

Deanna will get one. My son will get one and one is a Christmas present for a v. special couple with British connection.

The last one I am going to put away, unopened.


Newcastle University Boat Club
Naked Calendars 2015.


Liam Dutton Shows How To Pronounce The 58-Letter Welsh Name With Aplomb.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Other Related Posts:

**** Search on ‘Wales’ for other posts >>>>


Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.


53welshliam

Click to access “Channel 4 News” provided YouTube video. It is brilliant.


53welshliam2

Click to access his, must see, Website.


53nameplace

The place. Click to access Wikipedia entry.


This was BRILLIANT. Bravo. Made my day. I had, since 1971, always wanted to be able to say it BUT I can’t even come close.

I went and checked him, i.e., Liam Dutton, out. Quite the guy. We is Welsh — born in Cardiff (though he doesn’t have the classic Welsh look of yore — BUT this is the new, melting pot UK).

I, given that I spent three of my most formative and fun years in Wales, in Swansea, consider myself somewhat Welsh. If nothing else, as those that know appreciate, cut-to-the-chase, the underlying cadence of my (hard to understand) accent is Welsh! Fancy that.

In September 1971, when I started at Swansea University, I was given a tour and orientation by a Welsh student. All the signs were in both English and Welsh and he took delight in reading them out to us. I kind of thought it would be neat to learn some Welsh while I was there. Well that never happened. I was busy with other things. SMILE. But there was a time, after much tutoring from locals, when I could properly pronounce ‘Llanelli‘ like a native 

This is great. Thanks Liam. You are the guy.

P.S., This was not live. They prerecorded it just to be on the safe side BUT it is claimed that he nailed it on the very first take. I am so proud of him.

Iechyd da!

cymru


How They Celebrate The 4th of July In England, Britain.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘July 4’ & ‘4 July’for many, many other related posts >>>>


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Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, MP and Mayor of London, born in New York, is not amused.

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 The Scene

donaldct4th of July 1985. Donald Court, Woodbine, Maryland — a new, ‘middle class’, 4-acre lot housing development. We had been there for about 2 months.

My 2nd 4th of July in the U.S., the FIRST as a British citizen. The other had been in 1968, in Buffalo, NY, when I was 14. I was, however, a citizen of Ceylon at the time (only having changed nationality in 1983).

Big, neighborhood cookout across the road. Very communal community. Around 3 in the afternoon. The sun is beating down. As ever I have a glass of wine in my hand. A lady, one of the neighbours, sidles up to me and puts her delicate hand on my arm.

“So, Anu, tell me, how do they celebrate the 4th of July in England?”

“Quietly, very quietly!”

I kid you not. This is a true story. It was my best rejoinder EVER. I am so proud that I was able to come up with that. I have got so much milage out of this story, in Britain, when I used to do seminars over there. I would start off with this story. The Brits loved it.

So I am sharing it with all of YOU in case you too were wondering how the British celebrate the 4th of July.


Some Other Memorable, “This Really Happened To ME”, U.S. << — >> U.K. contretemps during my many (30++) years in the U.S. as a British subject.

>> “These, what did you call them, ‘pounds’, is that like a currency, like money, like the dollar?” ((“Know they are better than the dollar, about two and a half times better”. This was in 1980 when a U.K. pound (£1) was worth around $2.40. Phoenix Airport, Arizona — trying to pay for excess baggage using airline issued MCOs (Miscellaneous Charge Orders).))

>> “Arthur C. Clarke was British? Well, we wrote damn well for NOT being American!” ((This was by a retired, highly respected surgeon in Laconia, New Hampshire, in September 2001 during a Laconia Rotary Club Meeting.))

>> “He got his first degree from the “University of Whales”. ((Laconia Rotary Club Newsletter, Fall 2001, after I had told them that I got my first degree from the University of Wales. The writer of the piece, a newspaper editor and now the Mayor of Laconia, claimed that he had NEVER heard of Wales!))


Please, Please, Please, Be Generous In Death, Donate Your Body To Science. Burial Or Cremation Is All So Passe And Unnecessary.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


This morning, in the regular spam we get (despite GoDaddy e-mail doing a fairly decent job of trying to weed it out) we both got this e-mail for burial insurance.

Independently, we both had  the same reaction. There are a number of things in life where Deanna and I think and feel exactly the same. One of them is the desire to donate our bodies to science when we die.

My adoptive grandfather, who was quite a guy, got the ball rolling as far as I was concerned. When he died, 92, he had his body given to a local university. He did not have a funeral per se. That made quite an impression on me. I, in my 30s at the time, hadn’t really given much thought to this, but as soon as I heard what he had wished, I promised myself that I will be doing the same. It has now been over a decade since I had my trust, will, living-trust, power-of-attorney etc. updated. I am pretty sure that my current will is specific that my body should be given to a hospital or university tout suite when I kick the bucket. I tell Deanna this on a regular basis and each time she gets mad, but I think she has a fairly clear idea as to what I want. I don’t want her to even tell my kids when I die. I just want her to make one call. Get my body to Dartmouth (or wherever) and then proceed with life as if nothing happened. No obituaries, no funerals, no phone calls. Nothing. She says she can’t do this, but we will see. This is my ardent wish.

Deanna too wants her body to be given to science, but she wants her death to be made known. That is where we differ.

Anyway, what is important is the DONATION of your body to science/medicine. Don’t be greedy, don’t be selfish. The Catholic Church now says it is ‘OK’ to be cremated. If so, it has to be even better, to donate your body to science. Come on, are YOU that gullible, that YOU think that your old, decrepit body is really going to rise from ‘the death’. Plus, isn’t it ‘dust-to-dust’. So if it is dust, what is there to rise (even with the help of Viagra)? So don’t cling to beliefs from the dark ages. If Catholics say you can still go to heaven if you get cremated, you sure should be able to do so, even quicker (with less time percolating in purgatory) IF your last act is truly selfless.

I have heard that Judaism is even stricter about the burial thing. So be it. BUT, if you can … PLEASE think about donating your body. Just think of the good. They can use every bit of you to help others.

Yes, I need to do some work. I would like my skeleton to be preserved. Yes, part of that is my irreverent humor. Nearly all real skeletons you find in the West came from India. Then in the early 1900s the Indians put a stop to that. So most skeletons you see now are plastic. So since people think I am ‘Indian’, I want my Indian skeleton to be put to use. The next bit of my logic is a bit more subtle. A skeleton has no race! Anybody looking at my skeleton will not be able to tell that I was not white. That amuses me. So, I want to make that point too. Plus, as I tell the kids, and it amuses (at least) Devanee, I want them to be able to come and shake my hand when I am dead and gone.

Right now, I think my paperwork, has Dartmouth-Hitchcock as the recipients of my body. But, I have spoken to them about my skeleton. They refuse to agree to that. Well, screw them. You can’t have my body. I will find somebody else. That is what I need to do. IF you know of a hospital or university that will preserve my skeleton, saving me the trouble of Googling, let me know and I will get my lawyer to update all the paperwork. 


Click for Wikipedia article which is a good start.

Click for Wikipedia article which is a good start.


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

 

A Fond Farewell & Big ‘THANK YOU’ To My 2nd Favorite Female Prime Minister, Mrs. Thatcher. A Great Lady. An Inspiration To All.

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by
Anura Guruge


I meant to write about this a few months ago after I had watched it. The movie ‘The Iron Lady‘ is unmitigated tripe and an abysmal, pathetic representation of an indomitable soul and her exemplary husband, Denis.

Yes, given her age I kind of had in the back of my mind that this day would come. I am sorry to see her go. She chiseled and shaped my character.

Let me start with some bullet points about me and Margaret.

>> c. 1973, when I was a student at Swansea, I, accidentally as it happened, led a protest march of about 350 students, through the town center, me personally escorted by an Inspector of Police, with me wearing a Air Force surplus, WW II, double breasted gray coat — with a poster hanging from the top two buttons that showed a picture of Mrs. Thatcher with three (rather cute) exposed mammary glands and the slogan: ‘Thatcher Makes Another BOOB‘. She was the Secretary of Education and was trying to stop Student Unions contributing money to other unions, especially the Miners, to support their strike activity. She, to be fair, had a valid point. In those days about 99% of all University students in the UK got some kind of ‘grant’ from the Government to pay for their education. So her argument was that students were using Government money to fund strikes aimed at hurting the Government. I, even then, could see that. But, here was the problem. I did NOT get a grant, because I did not have enough residency (as yet) in the U.K. So the dues that I paid to the Student Union (and I was a HUGE supporter of the Union since I was a habitual attendee of all their concerts and dances) were mine — and I was not going to have Mrs. Thatcher telling me how my money could be spent. Looking back I sometimes shudder. I was also lucky that I did not end up in jail. Pictures of me leading the march appeared in papers. The funniest thing, I really had nothing to do with the march! As with so many things in my life, I was at the right place and the wrong time. Yes, they were having a rally around 3pm on a Saturday. The timing was crucial. If it had been held any earlier I would not have made it. When I was a student I never used to get out of bed much before noon — 7 days a week. I didn’t go to any morning classes — class attendance, at least in those days, not a requirement to get a degree. You just had to pass the yearly exams in the Summer. But, I would try to attend any and all student sit-ins, rallys, protests  or gathering  provided them were held at a civilised time. So, I am there in the crowd just as a participant. The Student Union officials and organizers are up on the steps of the Swansea Town Hall trying to address the crowds before the march. The President of the Union was an Indian guy. He was at the mike talking but the sound system was not working. So a cry goes out, can somebody fix the sound system. In those days I dabbled with amplifiers, speakers, mikes and sound systems all the time. So, I climbed the steps and fiddled around and got the sound up. I was still up on the steps when they started the march. Yes, I was already wearing my ‘3 boobs’ poster. The crowd waited for the people on the steps to lead the march. I was on the steps and I went along. The next thing I know, I am in the front row, I am in the middle, I am wearing a poster and there is no sign of the Indian guy. I guess the police were told that the march would be led by an Indian. So this Inspector of Police, wearing a cap with a checkered, black-and-white band, walks up to me and puts his hand on my shoulder. I genuinely thought he was a traffic warden since I had no prior dealings with Inspectors of Police. So I addressed him as ‘traffic warden’. He must have had a sense of humor. He never corrected me or told me off. Was quite polite, but to the point. He stops me and with that the march and says to me quite clearly: ‘There are about 3oo people behind you. Maybe more. If we get trouble from any of them I am holding you responsible‘. He really must have thought I was the Union President. I was probably 19 or 20. I was a dyed in the wool, non-inhaling hippie. I hadn’t had my hair cut in 3 years. I had been expelled from 2 schools. I was going to be a game warden in Africa. So what do I care. I tell him: ‘That is fine‘. There was no trouble NOT that I could have done anything. It was a blast. We all ended up at the Union bar and partied (and remember that the drinking age in the U.K. was somewhere around 14 or maybe 16, though I didn’t start imbibing till I was 20). So that was my 1st encounter with Margaret.

>> I voted, with pride, for her as Prime Minister (or at least to have her party elected which would make her PM)  in 1979 — her 1st run as PM.

>> I voted for her without fail in every election thereafter till 1985 when I left the U.K.

>> She is the ONLY prime minister, or for that matter, ANY national leader that I have voted for (as yet).

>> She, single handedly made me into the rabid ultra-right, conservative I was, c. 1976 – 2003, until ‘The Shrub‘ forced me to think otherwise. I was so right-wing that people, especially those that worked for me, would say (usually when they were suitably inebriated): ‘Anu, come the revolution they are going to line you up to the RIGHT of Thatcher before they shoot the whole bunch of you damn conservatives‘. I would take it as a great compliment to be thought of as being to the RIGHT of Margaret. [Yes, even in the early 1980s there were folks in the U.K. that believed that there would be a social revolution!]

>> It was Mrs. Thatcher that got me into stocks. Thank YOU, Margaret. It was the famous ‘British Telecom’ (BT) privatization. I like so many in the UK caught the bug. I, within the limits of what was permitted, made multiple applications for the lottery. Yes, I got some — but maybe 1/5th of what I had asked. Suffice to say BT stocks were a huge success. I was bitten. I bought into every other privatization after that — the BEST one, again, accidentally. This was before the ‘Web’. You actually had to call a broker to buy and sell stock. My broker was my London Barclays Bank. I used to take the Manager and Assistant Manager to lunch at least every 3 months, and as such they were quite nice to me. I happened to work next door to the bank. I had bought and owned, BA — British Airways. On a dip I wanted to buy some more. So, I call up the Asst. Manager and tell him to buy me some more ‘BA’ — because I was always on the road driving around the UK in those days. It is my accent. He thought I had said ‘BAA‘ – British Airport Authority, the agency that ran the British airports. I hadn’t wanted BAA. It was considered a risky investment at the time. So a few days later when I get my statement in the mail I discover that I now own BAA, rather than more BA. I decide to hold onto BAA. A couple of years later BAA outperformed all the other ‘B’ stock: BT, BP, BA etc.

>> Denis Thatcher went to the same school as I did, Mill Hill in London.

>> I was so behind Mrs. Thatcher when it came to ‘The Falklands War’ — and the day we won, I was at one of my regular restaurant/bar haunts in North London and I bought 400 UK Sterling Pounds worth of drinks (probably about $1,200 by today’s money) and PAID for them with my personal credit card, though as Customer Support Manager for ITT (Data Systems) at the time, I had a ‘no questions’ asked, ‘no limit’ company AmEx card for entertaining ‘clients’ and per ITT lore, every person in the UK was a potential customer and it was my duty to cultivate them.

I will miss Mrs. Thatcher. Yes, another female Prime Minister, the world’s first, came before her into my life. She was ‘Aunty’. I never met Mrs. Thatcher, and in case you are wondering, she (quite deservedly) became a Baroness when I was living in NH. So I never got around to thinking of her as such. She deserved to be Baroness and Denis a Baronet — in his own right. He was a great man. His portrayal in that stupid movie was so inane. For a start, I don’t think Denis ever had an ounce of fat on his lean, wiry body. The guy that played his part was just plain fat.

Goodbye Mrs. Thatcher. Thanks for all you did for me.