Category Archives: Europe

Ashes and blue skies: a Palermo travelogue.

Warm air rushes in to fill the plane. We disembark by row, adhering scrupulously to the new socially-distant orthodoxy, ditching jumpers and jackets as we do: summer might be a distant memory where we left off, washed away in the … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Sicilia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Saving a corner of wilderness.

Regulars of this blog will know that I originally hail from NW Italy. I was born in Piedmont but spent a lot of time in neighbouring Val d’Aosta (also known as Almost Switzerland). A region of glaciers, woods, gurgling streams, … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Uncategorized, Val d'Aosta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Postcards from the city at the edge of the island.

This place is ancient. Countless generations lived here; even more passed through. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans. Then Vandals, Goths, the Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards. Germans and the Allied forces. All left a piece, a memento of their passage. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Sicilia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Bushy Park.

South-west of Richmond, sandwiched between that florid neighbourhood, the equally affluent borough of Twickenham (Twickers for those in the know), and the considerably grittier Kingston is Bushy Park. I’ve lived in London for almost a decade, I’ve flown above it … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Locked down.

Day whatever of lockdown. As of this week we’ve moved from “Stay home” to “Stay alert”. Face masks may be worn in some shops and on public transport, but it’s only a suggestion. A fourteen-day quarantine for overseas travellers might … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, London, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

無月

After ten years of repeating that Budapest had potential I arrived in town for a solo night – my first – to discover that, yes, the old gal has done it. Realising it, I mean. And ain’t that a surprise. … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Hungary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Every day is Legs Day if you’re in Lisbon.

“Every day is Legs Day if you’re a dog” once said a philosophy-inclined former colleague of mine. For those of you not familiar with gym logic, he was referring to the fact that dogs, for obvious reasons, cannot skip training … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Portugal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Swindlers’ Market.

On a square dedicated to the saint patron of needleworkers and television, behind the convent sanctifying the memory of the protector of orphans and widows, Lisbon’s lady thieves are having their weekly gathering. Make of that what you wish. For … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Portugal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

À la recherche du bar perdu.

There was a bar, once. A weekend away with friends. An April escapade with mates from high school, an occasion to appreciate how much we’ve grown – cancel that, how much we’ve aged in the last years. There were calls to girlfriends, … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Portugal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me to see me looking back at you.

Grounded. I guess you can say this is my status at the moment. A new job with no duty travel means not many occasions to fly the nest. All there is left to do, then, is to polish up your … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments