Terrorised

2001 After 9/11 and with many of our parents working in the centre of London, my school lifted its nascent ban on mobile phones. Our heavy, monochrome mobiles (mine still had an antenna) would be allowed on school premises, kept in our lockers, in case we were called upon to jam the networks attempting to…

A Dark Day at the Beach

June 2016 And so we’re back where this blog began. I’ve tried to show the extent to which my life has been shaped by Europe (studying in France; living in Spain; friends from across the continent) and I’ve described some of the memorable experiences I’ve had in my continent since the idea of the EU…

The Calm before the Storm

May 2016 At the beginning of May, I met my girlfriend in Turin and the following morning we drove about 7 hours south to Tuscania in the Lazio region. An Etruscan town founded variously by a son of Aeneas or Hercules, my girlfriend’s uncle celebrated his 50th in a tower just outside the city walls. …

Unconquered Land

April 2016 The Catholic Kings began their (re)conquest of Spain in Asturias, their last foothole in the Ottoman country. Hence the saying: Asturias es España, el resto es tierra conquistada (Asturias is Spain, the rest is conquered territory).  Like the Moors before him, Franco was never able to fully control the area. From the air, it…

Edinburgh

March 2016 At the beginning of this year, my brother moved with his girlfriend to Edinburgh. It wasn’t that long ago that the furthest north I had been (in the world) was Oxford.  But I’ve been edging north with trips to Cambridge, Coventry, Lincoln and Manchester. Always keen for free accomodation in a new city,…