Monday, 28 December 2009

Christmas past … and presents!

My wife and I have just returned from a short break at our favourite hotel – The Le Strange Arms Hotel, Old Hunstanton, Norfolk – where we spent a very relaxing Christmas. As usual the food and entertainment was excellent, and we greatly enjoyed the company of our fellow guests.

I received an interesting mixture of presents this year, including several books and a game. My wife bought me the recently published THE DEFENCE OF THE REALM – THE AUTHORIZED HISTORY OF MI5. Professor Christopher Andrew wrote this book, and he was given unprecedented access to MI5’s files in order to write this book.

The book is divided into several sections. These are:
  • Section A: The German Threat, 1909 – 1919
  • Section B: Between the Wars
  • Section C: The Second World War
  • Section D: The Early Cold War
  • Section E: The Later Cold War
  • Section F: After the Cold War
The book is published by Penguin Books Ltd., costs £30.00, and is available from most large bookshops (ISBN: 978 0 713 99885 6).

The second book I was given was a present from an old friend, Tony Hawkins. It is SANDS OF DEATH – BETRAYAL, MASSACRE AND SURVIVAL DEEP IN THE SAHARA by Michael Asher (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, ISBN: 978 0 297 84643 7).

The book tells the story of the ill-fated French expeditions – led by Major Paul Fletters – to cross the Sahara. Michael Asher has an excellent reputation as a writer as well having extensive experience of the desert and the Arab world, and I am looking forward to reading this book in the very near future.

The final book I was given was a recent re-print of Carlo D’Este’s FATAL DECISION – ANZIO & THE BATTLE FOR ROME (Aurum Press Ltd., ISBN: 1 84513 242 4). I borrowed this book from my local library and read it when it was originally published in 1991, and I am please that I now have a copy to add to my collection of books about World War II.

My wife also gave me a game that I had never heard of before – BEYOND SUDOKU – SEA BATTLE.

This is a combination of Sudoku and the old game ‘Battleships’. The game looks like it will be interesting to play as it is, but my wife bought it for me because she thought that I could use the components to develop my own games … and I must admit that thought had crossed my mind as I unopened it!

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