Neil Stokes

Neil Stokes

THE LAST WORD

MYTHS IN THE MAKING

Every country comes up with myths about itself. It is an unavoidable element of forging a national identity, even if the actual truth may be quite different. In fact, as everyone knows, it is the blend...

HISTORY THE LAST WORD

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Journalists love a good anniversary. Need a subject for a column? It’s the 50th anniversary of that painter’s death. Need a companion piece for an interview? It’s the 150th commemoration of that...

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Living in 'interesting' times

May you live in interesting times” is a Chinese proverb that is often used wrongly. No one wants a boring life (or at least we don’t think we do) and so the saying is often taken as a way of wishing...

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Saving lives can be quick, easy and very gratifying

I have a bit of a confession to make. Don’t worry, it’s nothing gross or embarrassing. It is as simple as this: I have to admit that I have never given blood in this country. Giving blood was something...

Making a difference in India

Where did it all start?This adventure started in 2004. I was a fan of humanitarian work and wanted to have the experience of volunteering, so I went to Calcutta and became a volunteer for the Mission of...

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They said they would vote, and vote they surely did

Votarém (we will vote) was a common chant heard in the run-up to the independence referendum. When October 1 finally came around, Catalan voters made good on their promise. Despite a violent crackdown...

Crime between two worlds

How are you finding living in Britain?For me it is a very positive experience because I’m a writer, so I work at home, I live in Oxford, which is a very cosmopolitan place where people from abroad are...

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The currency of knowledge

A few years ago, I somehow came into a bit of extra cash. Obviously, being me, my first thought was to blow it all a new motorbike. Yet, it seems that, finally, a little bit of maturity must have crept...

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Support your local festival

Summer is the most important time of year for Catalonia. Last year, more than two million people visited the country in July alone. The weather, the beaches, the food, the landmarks, the landscape, the...