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December 2017: A West Country Christmas Ė Dorset in December

Thomas Hardyís celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
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Katherine Grainger

All those early morning training sessions rowing on rivers and lakes are enough to break the spirit of any but the mentally toughest, and the sheer battering of the body would break any but the physically fittest. And Katherine Grainger has been doing it now for 20 years. That is what it has taken for her to win the accolade of being Britainís most decorated female Olympian of all time, her fifth medal, the silver won with Victoria Thornley in Rio, taking her past Rebecca Adlington and Kitty McKane who each won four. At 40 years of age itís unlikely that Katherine will wish to continue competing at this level (though that was said about her at 36 after London too). But alongside her athletic career she has built up a formidable academic record too, culminating in two PhDs in legal topics, and in her being named Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University in 2015. Katherine herself has said that the transition from her focus on rowing to other fields will be the biggest challenge of her life, but given her record thus far itís odds on that she will make not just a success of whatever she chooses to do, but an outstanding success.

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There are some things only intellectuals are crazy enough to believe - George Orwell
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On this day:
Henry VI Crowned as Henri II in Paris - 1431, Oliver Cromwell becomes 'lord protector' - 1653, The 'Bill of Rights' established - 1689, Boston tea party - 1773, Battle of the Bulge Begins - 1944
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