Category Archives: Europe

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

The years of commuting dangerously. Excerpts of life in Transport for London’s hands.

Like everyone else, I use social media to share utter gibberish (think penguins slapping each other, Russian drivers’ antics, Economist articles) and moan. My social media of choice is Facebook and the primary objective of my tirades, the exclusive subjective … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, London, Odd ones out, Public Transportation, Random memories, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Wine, London and fireworks.

A few years ago I tried, together with some friends, to head downtown to see the fireworks. In a word, it was awful. Pissing with rain, the centre was a mess of angry people, mounted police who’d clearly lost their … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Licensed to Ill: driving your teenage roads, twelve years on.

Unlike many of my peers, I wasn’t given a car as a birthday present when I turned 18. Publicly I was saying I didn’t want it but I knew it was a case of fox and grapes with a numberplate, … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Piemonte | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Slow dawn

I’m normally up at 5.30, 6.30 on weekends. Yes, that’s sad. A few months ago I could get up, dressed, fed and caffeinated in the dazzling light of the sun, already high over the city. Then July gave way to … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The view from my window.

I’m not one for bragging, but after years living in a basement, or a ground floor flat, it’s nice to be afforded some views, especially when it’s Friday evening, work is 48 hours away, you have a personal treasure of … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, London, UK | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments