THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Taking my ease

How nice to have unrestricted access to the internet. Despite my multiple VPN accounts, China has totally succeeded in preventing me from accessing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many blogging sites of late. My apologies to kindly readers who have "friended" me on Facebook during this electronic purdah. No offence was intended by my delay in responding. Nor have I lost interest in the blogs where I usually comment. I am simply back to being able to see them in Google Reader, but not to access them directly. It's most frustrating.

Many foreign diplomats live in my apartment building so one has to assume special attention is paid to its communications links. The broadband service is delivered centrally via an internal network. I am no expert in these matters, but I suspect my VPNs are being blocked there. I haven't given up my subscriptions yet, but I do increasingly wonder if they are worth the money (and the slower connection speeds).

Vittoria1 Work has been hard and occasionally unpleasant of late so I am glad to have the opportunity of the Mid-Autumn Festival to take a break. I have moon cakes in my baggage for Mrs P. to try and I have a weekend in the Cotswolds with a client, learned friend and occasional commenter here to look forward to. If you see Vittoria roaring tunefully about in the area of Chipping Campden on the 1st weekend of October, do give Navigator and me a wave. He's on a promise of a stint as driver, so he may have to change his nom de plume.

In the following week I shall be visiting Vancouver for the first time to attend the International Bar Association conference. While I am there, I shall take the opportunity to meet another valued commenter (and fellow-blogger) JMB for lunch.

In the meantime, as I await these treats, I am prescribing myself total rest. China is fun, but (in my office anyway) very tiring. At least when I return there on October 10 I shall have Mrs P. to keep me company and take my mind off the stress.


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Mr P, I will leave it to you to decide whether my nom de plume requires changing after you have experienced my efforts!! Apparently there is a vacancy for another Stig.....

I am very much looking forward to it.


Total rest - yes. Gallivanting around at breakneck pace, Tom?


Tom, give JMB a big hug from me.

JMB, he isn't formidable, he's a pussycat. (In bear's clothing!)


Oh do I get some moon cakes too? Joking. With the very high percentage of Chinese in Vancouver I'm sure they are available locally. I must inquire.

Looking forward to lunch with the formidable Tom Paine. Don't eat me for lunch! :)

Suboptimal Planet

Hope you enjoy your break.

British Columbia is nice, though frightfully PC. I've only been to Vancouver once. Try to find time for a drive up the coast :-)

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