Category Archives: Europe

Elegy for gentrification. Yes, you read it right.

There are a few words as laden with meanings, almost entirely of negative connotation, as gentrification. Say it and your mind will conjure images of invading toffs, an irresistible volkswanderung of genteel professionals with no fear but for white carbs, descending … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

And the bumblebee buzzes by.

There’s a mammoth-sized hydrangea bush sprouting on the street we normally take on our way to the tube; think an explosion of pink and green caught in the moment of deflagration. As we passed it we heard an ominous buzzing, … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The night raid to Billingsgate.

Shopping for food in the UK is often not, for yours truly, a joyous experience, and this is due to the utter lack of variety. Honest, there’s more individuality in a pool of cloned cells than in UK’s supermarkets. Even … Continue reading

Posted in All things food, Europe, London, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

La Amazonia No Se Vende.

I blame it on the Piccadilly Line. You see, living in London makes you think that every other city’s public transportation system will move at the same speed as the unwieldy web of train lines that huffs and puffs beneath … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Politics, Public Transportation, Spain | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Fireworks, mountains and sleeping elephants. Wrapping up 2017, in pictures.

The last trip of the year has just ended; the rucksack’s been duly unpacked and its contents unceremoniously thrown into the washing-up pile, hoping for some merciful hands to put them into the washing machine without the whites turning pink … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, China, Europe, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, London, Overlooked locations, Piemonte, Random memories, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Goodbye for now, Italy!

As with most good things (and luckily a fair few bad ones), it all must come to an end. On a nice day in September, the sky akin to Microsoft’s Windows 98 screen saver, we gave the car back to … Continue reading

Posted in Emilia Romagna, Europe, Italy, Toscana, Veneto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Chaos theory applied to abbeys.

Sometimes you don’t make it, sometimes you break it. Ian Malcom explained it in Jurassic Park, circa 1993. A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.  A single valley, two abbeys, … Continue reading

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

Of the intrinsic beauty and harmonious forms of Tuscan hills.

I come from a region where the land is alternatively very flat – filled with rice paddies, corn fields and factories – or very mountainous. There’s really not much of an alternative; it’s either flat as a ruler or climbs … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Toscana | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Venezia people watching.

I came to Venezia expecting it to be a slightly less polished version of EuroDisney, a Hogwarts-styled theme park caught in a flood, inhabited only by visitors brandishing iPhones and Instagram accounts named “Eat-Pray-Love89”. As it turned out, that wasn’t to be … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Veneto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Delirious Venezia.

Thirty-one years, all of which in possess of a passport marked “Repubblica Italiana”, and I had never been to Venezia. I visited Hanoi, Dušanbe and Charlotte, North Carolina, but never made it to the city at the end of the Veneto … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Veneto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments