Let’s talk about beauty

Let’s talk about the courageous women in Iran who are standing up for their human rights in the face of horrific repression and persecution. Let’s talk about their bravery, their hope, and their determination. Let’s talk about their shared ecstasy as they laugh, sing, dance and cry tears of joy in the streets.

Let’s talk about the look a couple give one another. The secret, personal, love-filled glance which envelops the other in warmth. The glance that says everything, that reassures, that praises, that admires. A smile with the eyes, and at the same time a laugh, a kiss, a hug.

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A FIFA World Cup Boycott

Having been a rabid football fan for as long as I care to remember, following my infection as a child, the FIFA World Cup has almost always been something to look forward to. The greatest sporting spectacle on Earth.

I remember “staying up late” to see an 18-year-old Michael Owen charge through a helpless Argentine defence, that David Beckham petty kick and resulting red card, and England’s eventual loss on penalties in 1998.

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Sleep Token Have Arrived

This felt different. In front of a sold-out Islington Assembly Hall, this seemed like an announcement. A declaration that a new band has arrived and is ready to take centre stage. Pioneers intent on moving the goalposts and pushing a genre deeper into creativity and experimentation.

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Life at the Lodge: 15) End

It seems as if every week I write about how low the river has got, and yet it continues to decline. For a few weeks now, guest transfers have had to have been done by land, but even the river excursions are becoming more problematic.

Three retired British couples have arrived, and Brits being Brits, they want to drink beer. Although we sent Primchan to buy 24 cans from Yupukari recently, those have all now gone as well. Everyone will have to be satisfied with the complementary rum punch. Our present guests aren’t the first, nor will they be the last, to comment on how much I eat and ask in wonder “where does it all go!?”

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Life at the Lodge: 14) Successors

With Mount Roraima and Venezuela behind me, the aching legs, sunburnt skin, and tortured feet a painful reminder of the worthwhile ordeal, I returned to Guyana to write my final chapter at the Lodge.

From the northern Brazilian city of Boa Vista, I once again made my way to the Guyanese border, finishing a wonderful book on Krakatoa as we rumbled along in the early morning sunshine. A Chilean couple had also taken the coach and we shared a taxi to pass through immigration and then head into Lethem.

It was the final day of a music festival that was being held at Manari Ranch, and as nice as it may have been to attend, I had a lift to catch, back into the savannah.

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