Fleeting Moments

Simenon’s work features some of the most searingly genuine and true characters I’ve ever found in a novel. They can often be bizarre and are never bland but I cannot think of any that aren’t strickingly human. In seven volumes, Proust explored jealous love. Time and time again, Simenon captured a jealous lover in a…

‘Happy’ Birthday

25th March 2017 The European project was begun in earnest 60 years ago today. But the festivities today will be rather muted. As we march through London today, I hope it will be seen as a pro-EU demonstration but cannot ignore its antipathy to out governments apparent negotiating strategy. Let’s suffice today with a brain…

Surpises in Sibiu

…continued. 28th November 2016 To get to Budapest, we had to change in Sibiu. We decided to head to the centre to kill a little time. The taxi driver didn’t understand “centre” so I pointed at a random street in the middle of the map and off we went. It was bitterly cold and we…

Salve in Sighisoara

…continued. 28th November 2016 So we arrived into Sighisoara, passing the orderly rows of Saxonesque houses, emerging from the terrifyingly dark and steep mountain roads, at almost eleven o’clock at night. It seemed eerily quiet and a little spooky walking from the station. The fact that this was Dracula’s hometown – and the bats circling…

Broken in Brasov

28th November 2016 …continued. We woke up in Bucharest feeling worse for wear and hopped in a taxi to the station. We managed to miss the first train but that at least gave us plenty of time (three hours..) to get some food. The station offered a number of options and we found shelter from…

Boozing in Bucharest

24th – 27th November 2016 I arrived in the last hours of daylight, in the late afternoon. Originally we were going to take a trip through the Baltics but somehow we pulled Romania out of nowhere.  I had few preconceptions about Romania. I knew it only as an ex-Soviet country. In preparation, I read Along the…