ailing the Endurance down the curving arm of the Antarctic Peninsula, Shackleton planned to disembark with six handpicked men and attempt a death-defying 1,800 mile trek across the Great White Continent on foot: through the South Pole and straight out the other side until they hit the frozen coast again.
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The British government is funding 750 young Britons to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to learn lessons from the Bosnian war and recognise the dangers of what can manifest when racism, religious-hatred and discrimination go unchallenged and ethnic divisions are exploited by political leaders...
For a lot of us survivors every anniversary is poignant and this has not lessened with the passing of the years. When we first all met in 2000, at the inaugural meeting of the Paddington Survivors Group, we were much the same though the memories then were still fresh in our minds, the pain of what had happened still raw.
Start at Rialto Bridge to re-live heated conversations from The Merchant of Venice and experience the views this tourist trap offers over the city's canals. Take a trip to the area known as the 'Jewish Ghetto' and see one of the city's stunning synagogues, like the Levantine Synagogue, where Al Pacino prayed in the role of Shylock in the 2004 film.
I have always been lucky when I needed help though. When I was a child my Mother was always there for me, and when I was very ill as a teenager she got me through a period that was one of the darkest imaginable. That is lucky enough, but to then find a partner who equally cares for me is like winning the lottery every weekend.
Le Grand Meaulnes is a novel best read by a man of youth and innocence, as it would be impossible for those who have become immune to life's tragedies, where the rawness of that first lost love has faded into the mists of time, to ever resonate quite so deeply and fall under its spell in such a tremendous way.
You might also have thought that after fifty years, the Catholic Church would have reached a fixed mind as to the significance of the Council. Not so either. Its consequences are contested, its nature, continuity or break with the past disputed, and all subject to opposing interpretations. Zhou Enlai's assessment of the French Revolution applies: "too early to tell".