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15 thoughts on “Greetings

  • Clark

    Happy Vernal Equinox to all. The days are lenghtening at their maximum rate! What a sensible idea to assign the start of the year to this day.

  • MJ

    “What a sensible idea to assign the start of the year to this day”

    Until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752 the new year in England began on March 25th.

    In the change, 11 days were also expunged from the calendar to account for disparities with the solar cycles. The banks weren’t having most of the changes for financial and accounting reasons and retained the old system of measuring the year, but accepted the 11 day adjustment. That’s why the financial year begins on April 6th.

    Not a lot of people know that.

  • John Prince

    Dear Ambassador Murray,

    I came cross your comments in today’s Telegraph (Sunday, 21st March) as being unable to obtain good art for your ambassadorial residence in Tashkent, during you posting there.

    It makes me wonder what ambassadors do when they go to these wonderful, off-the-map places. As an extraordinarily apt and inquisitive person, you must surely have gone to the local markets, opera house, theatres and museums, as well as to Bokhara and Samarkand?

    And how about art? There is excellent art everywhere from the streets of Moscow to the beaches of Senegal. Tashkent is no exception.

    I have a large,lovely oil painting of an Uzbekhi girl in springtime in the Ferghana Valley, painted by a Russian named Tchkan, called “Veterok” (which I’m sure needs no translating), which I purchased from the artist for $300 in the museum in Tashkent. I have it framed and look at the smiling young lady in my office with delight every day.

    With your initiative, would or could you not have done the same?

    My father was ambassador to Bangkok from 1960 to 1964 and we had no shortage of local artwork to adorn our lovely residence there.

    I happened to look you up and am very much enjoying your blogs, but take some some slight exception you your (undoubtedly misquoted) comments in the Telegraph!

    Yours sincerely,

    John Prince

  • mary

    The Foreign Office is coming under mounting pressure to tell the truth about whether there are plans by the US to use the British island of Diego Garcia as a base to launch an attack on Iran.

    Leading opposition politicians are demanding answers from UK ministers on the role played by the Indian Ocean atoll in previous attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan, and in any future strikes.

    Last week, the Sunday Herald revealed 387 bunker buster bombs were being shipped to Diego Garcia by the US. Some experts suggested the move could be in preparation for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    Although the island is part of British territory, it is used by the US as a military base. Some US air strikes against Iraq in 1991 and 2003, and against Afghanistan since 2001, have come from Diego Garcia. The island has also been used for the extraordinary rendition of suspected terrorists.


  • arsalan

    bloody hell, he deleted my post again.

    Do I get the most post deleted here?

    I hate Navruz anyway.

    At least in the Chinese New Year people all dress up as dragons and set off fireworks. Or in Diwali hindus go about giving people sweets.

    What do Iranians do on Navruz?

    Put a gold fish in a bowl?

    Who cares!

    What is the point of that?

  • Richard Robinson

    Thanks for the Herald link, mary.

    The last para.’s interesting, the suggestion that they may have been diverted from Israel, as a part of their current spat.

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