In the Shadow of the Tower

As the final results of the 2012 local election were tallied and reported, London was the place to be. I hadn’t planned nor scheduled it this way: it was a mysterious happenstance that meant that just before Boris Johnson’s re-election as Mayor was confirmed, I was making my way back to my hotel in the […]

The Sorrows of Catalonia

Last weekend’s edition of the Financial Times led with three articles about Spain. They catalogued nothing but misery: a quarter of Spaniards are unemployed, the country’s financial position is worsening, Spain’s bonds have been downgraded by two notches, Spain is crying out for help, seemingly into a void. The FT’s attention is justified; Spain is […]

The End of the Conservative Party

Outrage, but no surprise. Jeremy Hunt’s close relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s empire is the subject of widespread disgust, nevertheless, genuine shock is rare. I was once told that each political party specialised in a particular type of scandal: the Conservatives’ corruption usually involved sex, e.g. David Mellor’s spanking activities while wearing Chelsea Football Club gear, […]

Shopping Blues

The Trafford Centre is an undeniably impressive place. I could see its large glass dome from the motorway. The areas allotted for car parking are vast. I went in along with my other half via an signpost marked “The Orient”: this was followed by a set of tall columns and a stone statue bearing gilded […]

Memories of Turkey

“Did you enjoy your stay?” The question, posed by the young lady stationed at the reception desk of the Paloma Renaissance in Beldibi, carried no hint of being rehearsed. Doubtless it was something she had been trained to ask: the query’s formulation was as professional and crisp as her tan jacket. Nevertheless, she looked hopeful […]

The Dead City

I have been to a dead city. I am not referring to a town that inspires the sentiment of “Marietta’s Lied” from Korngold’s “Die Töte Stadt”; rather, I speak of the Roman city of Perge. It once thrived but now only is home to stray dogs, of which there are many to be seen sleeping […]

Cruel Sports

Not far from here, the European weightlifting championships are taking place. This is apparently very important to the Turks: the triumphs of their countrymen Sibel Şimşek and Fatih Baydar are matters of national pride, lauded in newspapers and on television. I watched some of the competition on Eurosport in my hotel room (much to my […]

The Mosque in Göynük

My other half captured some of the scene in Göynük with her iPad; hopefully this brief video can convey some of what words fail to express.

A View from Antalya

There’s nothing quite like the Muslim call to prayer. I heard it earlier this afternoon while walking through an open air market. The air was full of the sharp scent of citrus, the earthy smell of fresh vegetables, and the spiky odour of fish out on display. Mothers and grandmothers manned their stalls, haggling with […]

A Mayor for Bradford? No, Thanks!

I don’t think anyone ever thought there was much love lost between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone. The explosion of expletives that Johnson let fly at Livingstone in a lift yesterday merely confirmed matters. It’s unedifying to say the least: London is an ancient and venerable city, and yet it finds itself potentially in the […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of Creative Writing, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a published novelist, a technologist, a student, and still an amateur in much else.

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