Skip to content

Cultural Capital of the World

August 20, 2014

Well, it’s been a long while since I wrote anything. In the last year a lot has happened, mostly with me being back home for a while, neither travelling nor procrastinating. But maybe that’s a story for another time. Now I find myself back in Classy Old London, city of top hats, moustaches and the good old gentry.

Sitting in the top of a bright red double-decker bus wending its way through the northern part of the city, a couple of heavier girls who look about 13 come up the stairs and take a seat a couple of rows behind me. They then begin to chat away in loud voices that bounce about the capsule upper deck.

Read more…


Call of the Wild

April 6, 2013

Dream, if you can, a courtyard. An ocean of violets in bloom. The moon hangs bright in the sky like a shiny 10p coin in the gutter. The night breeze drifts gently across the garden and through a window someone has neglected to close, ruffling the curtains on the inside. There you are, quietly reclining in the reading room, catching up on some Dickens, or perhaps enjoying a gentlemanly backgammon match with the visiting Sir Wumbletwigger. The little replica of the Palace of Westminster rests on the mantlepiece, and as the night reaches 10pm, the little Big Ben tolls out the hour. Read more…

Now Is The Winter of His Content

February 4, 2013

R3On 22 August 1485, King Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth Field, ending the Plantagenet dynasty and securing victory for Henry Tudor, who later became known as King Henry VII. In order to secure the footing of his new house, Henry embarked on a smear campaign against the previous King, and reports on Richard III from Tudor times tend to paint him in a strongly negative light, as opposed to the much more favourable accounts from earlier. Ultimately, Shakespeare himself took on the task with the play Richard III in the 1590s, and forever cemented the past King in popular culture as a mean, twisted deformed man who among other things declared his nephews illegitimate bastards, then killed them. Then killed most of the people around him, to become King until the land was saved by the Tudor hero. He ended up being known and hated as one of history’s greatest monsters. He, and the whole system of political intrigue around him, the ‘War of the Roses’ were later used as the basis for a popular series about a certain type of game using royal seats. Read more…

Land of No Hope or Glory

February 2, 2013

Britain: it's rubbish

Here’s something I haven’t seen before. While most countries work on trying to promote their own good image and encourage visitors, the UK is apparently trying to consider ways to do just the opposite – discourage people from coming. Read more…

The 2012 of Torapuro

January 19, 2013

Hello there.

It’s been a while. I haven’t updated this thing in about 6 months, sorry about that! How have you been? Had a good year? I hope so. As for me, I can’t quite believe another 12 months have shot by so fast, and yet I find myself reflecting on yet another year. After the multi-country jaunt that was 2011, 2012 was relatively stable. Occupy London Euro CrisisUnfortunately, that is meant purely in the ambulatory sense, as the job situation was the most unstable one I’ve had. I’ve managed to stay in the same position (except for one brief 2-week stint playing traitor in the middle), but that was something that continued to surprise me at regular intervals, rather than something planned. The job market in England, as in the rest of the world, is grim, and has coloured the past year quite gravely. The start of the year saw the continuation and fade out of the Occupy movement, and all year we’ve been hearing about the death throes of the Eurozone, as unemployment continues to rise. Aside from the depressing employment situation, the lack of being able to pin down a job that was either long-term or well-paid has put quite a stranglehold on my travelling, which is a shame since it started out with such promise.

Read more…

Bankers Under Your Bed

July 3, 2012

Years ago, parents would tell their children that unless they behaved, the boogeyman would get them. Then it was Michael Jackson. That one proved a little short-lived, though, as his death resulted in a huge retroactive change in opinion, the most widespread and insincere change of allegiance since Germany lost the war. Now it seems, at some point in the not-to-distant future, that when parents want to terrify their children into obedience, they will warn them that if they don’t obey, a banker will get them.

Bankers are quickly becoming perceived as the most hideous, inhuman collection of beings to prowl the earth. And for a very simple reason: they just may be. They have usurped lawyers as the Most Hated and Distrusted profession, the only difference being that where lawyers gained that crown by strict adherence to the rules, bankers are winning it through the more appropriate route of breaking them, consistently and thoroughly.

Read more…

Ten Years Til Platinum

June 24, 2012

It must be a hard time to be a critic of the Queen. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee a few weeks ago, and although most of the events put on in celebration for her were for the more financially fortunate, people turned out in their thousands to watch her boat join 1000 others in a float down the Thames, through the centre of London, for free. This was despite the weather which at the time I thought was ridiculous for summer, but am slowly realising is rather par for the course around these parts. At least we weren’t the floating choir, who had to stand in the rain with electronics wrapped around their faces, cheerfully belting out patriotic songs for several hours.

From the BBC

Read more…