The Cathedral Door

Having progressed across one of the three bridges, away from the “pink church”, which was the sun-baked pink of Buenos Aires’ Casa Rosada; away from the statue of Preseren in poetic pose and towards the market teeming with gourmet delights; we arrived in the shade of the St Nicholas Cathedral, a faded yellow building, which […]

Annual Goals

“Year Planner 97 Penetrate Chile before month 11” These lines are an extract from an old writing book of mine recently revisited when dusting off a few metaphorical cobwebs. It was written 20 years ago (1997) and was some sort of twentysomething attempt to express my personal goals, with the reference to month 11 having no […]

The Lass From Across The Pond

THE LASS FROM ACROSS THE POND She’s from “across the pond”. She pronounces her t’s and lengthens her a’s Two countries divided by a common language Not to mention an egg and cress sandwich Or marmite on toast She eats “porridge” instead of oats Says rubbish rather than trash And is ruled by “class” much […]

“Brexit” and Cultural Identity

Brexit and Cultural Identity I am what I am And what I am Needs no EU, Sis? Bozzer J or Bojo – as the flamboyant famed Brexiteer and recently appointed UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson,  is affectionately named – has asserted that exiting the EU by no means implies that Britain is leaving Europe. The implication […]

Cultural Kaleidoscopes and the Art of Amouage.

  I am fascinated by the kaleidoscopic scents of the Omani perfume house, Amouage, particularly their richness, their exoticism, their depth. Perfume blogs rapturously describe the experience of an Amouage perfume, lingering on their every notes, the olfactory chromatic scales and crescendos with a couple of da capo al fines thrown in for good measure. […]

The Risk Manager’s guide to Perfectionism.

Perfectionism is a strange phenomenon. One of my favorite sayings is: Could it be that I don’t think I am a perfectionist because I am in fact a perfectionist? The implication of course is that perfectionists never actually achieve perfect – simply because it is not actually achievable. And of course the question arises: perfect […]

Gaudi’s Sacred Legacy

Legacy is a grandiose word. It conjures up images of the powerful leader, the proud paterfamilias or – if we are to look at it from Sartre’s point of view – the existential failure, who needs his life to be validated by others. There is also the legacy of the artist, whose works are often […]

Catherine Deneuve and the Mango.

One of my favorite scenes from the iconic French movie, Indochine (let’s face it: if it stars Catherine Deneuve, it’s iconic) is a conversation between Deneuve’s character, Eliane and her daughter Camille. The scene is the breezy, tropically humid plantation house in Vietnam, also called Indochine. The blonde and tres francaise Deneuve is dressed in a black […]