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Saw 2016 in in Sydney and wrote review for The Irish Times on Georg Buchnerís Woyzeck, an interesting if challenging performance brought to life by a few numbers performed in the catatonic style of Tom Waits who, together with his partner Kathleen Brennan, wrote the music for the play.

Thursday 03 March
Visit to Londonís Greenwich. The Maritime Museum is at the bottom of the hill and the Royal Observatory is at the top. Going to see the display of John Harrisonís famous series of inventions, the chronometer, which allowed mariners work out their longitude. My interest was sparked by reading Dava Sobelís marvellous book Longitude and later by watching the BBCís equally marvellous series.

Wednesday 09 March
Banter for tweeters in the Dublin region. Subject Syria and panellists are Goal CEO Barry Andrews, Medecins Sans Frontieres Irelande Director Jane-Ann McKenna and writer Mary Russell who has travelled widely in Syria.
Venue: MVP Clanbrassil Street Dublin 8. 1800 to 20:00.
All welcome. Tickets on the door.
Podcast available here: Bantercast 86: Syria

Saturday 12 March
Quaker meeting, Dublin, to discuss position of refugees in Ireland, with Sue Conlon CEO, Irish Refugee Council.

Monday 14 March
Final of four sessions examining Shakespeareís Othello from every angle. Put on by terrific Futurelearn, the all- embracing online education site. Have a look at it. Itís free and youíre bound to find a course you absolutely canít do without.

Wednesday March 30
Visit to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich to check out John Harrisonís four marine clocks which made the calculation of Longitude both precise and reliable. ( Watch out for my blog on this.)

At Greenwich I will also be checking the laser which marks, in the sky, the line of the Greenwich meridian which is to me, a mix of science and magic.

Saturday April 09
Talk on Syria at Quaker Meeting House, 82 Lower Churchtown Rd Dublin. 2pm

Saturday April 23

Birth of William Shakespeare

Monday April 25
Anzac Day. Ceremony in Dublinís Grangegorman Cemetery to mark the contribution made by Australian and New Zealand military to Britainís wars.A moving event with the Last Post played during this dawn service which is followed by a warming cup of coffee spiced with rum, courtesy of the Australian Ambassador.

Thursday April 28
Richard lll: simulcast of Richard lll film at cinemas nationwide in the UK including onstage contribution from Ian McKellan. Miss this at your peril.

Sunday 01 May
Celebrating the great Celtic feast of Bealtaine which marks the beginning of summer and is known in Oxford as May Morning. Remember all those maidens skipping out into the dewy morning to gather their nuts in May? Thatís Bealtaine. The word is made up of Beal or Bel, the god of fire and tinne, the word for fire, in Irish. Itís all in my book about Syria, in the chapter on Palmyra
Click here for more information about that chapter

Tuesday May 10
Dust Orchestraís annual concert at the National Concert Hall, Dublin in which I play alto sax.

Tuesday May 17
Anniversary of execution of Anne Bolyn, wife of Henry Vlll and mother of Elizabeth 1. She appeared dressed in a gown of Damascene silk.

Wednesday July 13
Talk on Syria. Harwell Womenís Institute, Oxfordshire.

Wednesday July 27
Talk on Syria. Drayton Womenís Group, Oxfordshire

Watch this space for future events. RTE (Irish radio) History Programme will be broadcasting my talk on the Siege of Kut which coincided with the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916.

Watch out also for a blog on Longitude and how John Harrisonís marine clocks make an important contribution to marine trade in the great days of sail.


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