Malaya Emergency

I hadn’t realised why the Malayan Emergency was called that until reading War of the Running Dogs by Noel Barber. Apparently by avoiding the term ‘war’ the authorities ensured that insurance claims would not be nullified as the small print specified in cases of ‘civil war’.

The book has marvellous vignettes of Chinese Special Branch agents who burgled shops — hidden in unloaded cases of tinned pineapple — without the CT watchers outside realising that the pineapple truck had not suffered any old puncture.

Anyway, a rip-roaring yarn amidst the planters with their stengahs!

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"