Preparations

4th December 2017 We’re approaching the December EU summit and the British government seem increasingly desperate to be given the go-ahead to begin trade talks. A flurry of activity in Brussels has replaced talk of ‘no deal’ for now.  To move on to trade, the UK needs to demonstrate “sufficient progress” on the rights of…

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

26th -29th September 2017 After 14 months of pressing my case at work, 2 pints at lunch and an angrily written email, my boss agreed to let me visit our Madrid office. They didn’t exactly show me to the full business-trip treatment that, say, my boss gets when she (regularly) travels. Yes, flights, hotels and…

Something Substantial

28th – 30th July 2017 We went back up to Edinburgh to visit my step-brother in July. This time there were ten of us: parents, four siblings and their other halves. We drank fewer cockails and more Tennents. Fringe was starting the following week and the city was buzzing with preparations. While we weren’t around…

Of Enosis and Taksim

10th October 2017 3% of the island of Cyprus is British territory. The military bases there, like Gibraltar and Northern Ireland, provide the UK with multiple land borders with the EU. The island – by then, used to conquerors – was useful to the British and their american allies for keeping tabs on the Soviets…

Summer Break

8th September 2017 When the sun comes out in London, the capital is a great place to be. The city is very green and full of rooftop bars and pub gardens. And the weather is nicer than most people imagine. But that’s over now. This week has been grey and miserable. Somehow, I prefer working…

A Funny Ol’ Year

23rd June 2017 It has been a good twelve months. A change from the morning of 24th June 2016, when I went to sleep (in Spain), head spinning from the EU referendum results. Since then, I’ve been to six Spanish cities, to Frankfurt briefly (twice); I learned some Italian in Bologna (where I was told…

Torn to Pieces

23rd February 2017 I was reading an article the other day about faultlines across Europe. The most obvious from the papers is that of the nationalist, populist mood against the increasingly-derogatory term Europhile. This in-out, inclusive-exclusive divide reacts to the others.  In England, we want to “take back control” from Brussels but jealously resist devolving…

Far from Bavaria

3rd December 2016 There’s a tradition in London wherein Londoners spend December telling each other how great Winter Wonderland is and how you really must go. It is a huge funfair in Hyde Park that is Christmas-themed and rammed full of people. I really couldn’t see the attraction. Now, when it comes to Christmas markets,…

Ghosts of Seasons Past

I thought I’d try to get this in while it’s still kind of relevant. A little festive romp through Europe.  * December 2014 ‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas eve and my two Irish friends descended upon London. We crashed my mum’s “work party” (cocktails with her only employee, my stepdad) and went…

Stumbling Silhouettes

25th September 2016 With my Italian girlfriend and a Spanish friend and her English boyfriend (both of whom did an Erasmus year in Italy), I went to Il Meecato Metropolitano. The one thing I will consistently praise in London is its food scene. I can eat great food from any corner of the world. This…

Growing Up

September 2016 About a year ago, I was introduced to a group of Spaniards and told to “say something”. Everyone was very amused by my southern Spanish accent. (It was a step up from the older madrileña I met on a flight once who asked “Can we speak in English? Your Spanish is ugly,”). One…

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…