How To Post A Card in Parma -Five Easy Steps

Step 1. Do not go to the post office. Even if that seems to make sense. Don’t sit on a chair with your list of countries and number of stamps required written down to avoid confusion ( not because you don’t trust your two term Beginner’s Italian), clutching your ticket and waiting for your number … Continue reading

Let Me Show You The Way To Van Gogh

Sometimes I forget the joy of a new experience. Almost ten years on from my first sighting of the Louvre which had me in tears I am a bit jaded. Not because I have seen all there is to see in the world but because I now know that it is possible for me to … Continue reading

Paris: The B Side

I never tire of this city. Each time is like the first time. Every time the train pulls into Gare du Nord, I feel my stomach do light flip flops in echoes of the heavier ones they did eight years ago when I got off that Eurolines bus from Leuven. And each time I drop … Continue reading

Looking For A Lifestyle-NYC ’13

I have a friend who never ceases to remind me of one of the more memorable lines delivered by Sarah Jessica Parker as whiny, husband stealing Shelley in The First Wives Club “Morty, all I want is a lifestyle, some ambiance and classic eternal good taste!” It came back to me more than a few … Continue reading

Sketches of Spain: My Money Is On The Bull

Atavism versus Avatar

In my last blog I mentioned that I bought tickets to see the bullfights, complete with Hamletlike equivocation. While writing that post I thought I could have included the bull on my ramblings about being outside but no, the bull-he stands alone. Besides by now you might have realised that everything has a backstory with me. I … Continue reading

Sketches of Spain: A Mujer Libre

Shaking the Sun Out-side

It is all well and good to drop in on these amazing centres of art and culture. There is no discounting the value of the museums and galleries but that will give you the truest sense of what the people were, not what  and who they are. So after my Saturday questions on Easter Sunday I … Continue reading

Sketches of Spain: Semana Santa

A Fixed View or A Possibility

If Good Friday threw up answers, the next day challenged me with questions. In fact at the tail end of Friday I happened upon a Good Friday mass as I had never seen one. A band of some 40-50 uniformed players positioned some metres away from a church performed a sombre tune punctuated by heavy … Continue reading

Sketches of Spain: A Good Friday in Madrid

Being Right Here, Right Now

Almost twenty four hours on and it feels I have already been here twenty four years. From getting the underground from the airport because the hotel’s website said all I had to do was get to Metro stop Piramides and a slight walk bearing right would get me there to the bus driver taking a five … Continue reading

New York Chronicles : Day Seven Chasing Joy

Seven days into this still new year finds me two days away from my return to London and resolved to do with today what I failed to do with yesterday. Yesterday I hunted joy in retail and from 1st to 5th Avenue she proved elusive. I found despair, really floor manager at Zara do not ask me … Continue reading

New York Chronicles: Getting a little LOVE on the side

So I had enough time to squeeze in a side trip to Philadelphia. With my luck I fully expected to bump into the current Queen of Philly Soul. But no, Jill Scott was not at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Shops at Liberty Place or the Sunoco minimart. I can tell you who I did … Continue reading