Tuesday, February 20, 2018


At the Winter Olympics in Korea, the British contingent is delivering both surprising successes and heart-rending failures. All of this makes for compelling television entertainment. But the sport I follow is curling, since watching it for the first time when the action on the ice was transmitted from Sochi.

That a certain Peter Thomson in Perth fills ceramic miniatures of curling stones with his blended whisky, brings a smile to this Scot of the diaspora. The smile broadens with the realisation that the girls of the curling team representing the United Kingdom all hail from north of the border. Again this year their skip is the delightful and talented Eve Muirhead. She is also said to be a very competent player of the bagpipes and wears the kilt with aplomb! 

As things stand, a medal could well be a possibility. In 2014 it was bronze. Can the lassies better that result this year? 

Sunday, February 18, 2018


There are undoubtedly Ultra High-Net-Worth Individuals, UHNWIs, with homes in Belgravia and other posh London neighbourhoods who wish they lived in a gated community.

From The Guardian
“A meet-and-greet service from your car or nearest Tube station. A hotline to your local bobby, whose location you can track on your iPad. Dedicated patrols. A 100% conviction rate. For up to £200 a month, this is what residents on some of London’s most expensive streets in Belgravia, Mayfair and Kensington can sign up for with TM Eye, Britain’s first ‘private police force’.”


Saturday, February 17, 2018


From TheMunichEye
“Numerous protest rallies are expected to take place today around the Munich Security Conference at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. Four thousand demonstrators are expected for this, while four thousand members of the police force will be in action around the premises.”

Light snowfall, as I write, and a maximum temperature only just above freezing will probably not discourage the activists.   

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


There is also this year’s second calendrical coincidence to savour as, in 40 days’ time, Easter falls unusually on April Fools’ Day.

Thursday, February 08, 2018


No reason to post these photos, except that I find them delightful. In all my Paris years I never saw the likes of this.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


Yesterday's observation of the hundredth anniversary of the first step towards universal suffrage dominated the British news. It was a centennial which would have been celebrated under any circumstances, and rightly so.

But I cannot escape the feeling that this year, the fervour was intensified in consequence of the recent focus on the gender pay gap in the United Kingdom and the increasing disgust as each new case of sexual harassment hits the headlines.

I think the poster published back in the day by the suffragist movement still sends a timely message.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


It's always great when Mickey is able to travel to Berlin and visit our daughter. This past weekend there was the chance to introduce Jessi to one of my favourite places in the city. I find it satisfying that in Paris, too, Jessica learned about La Coupole and the CafĂ© Flore. Although it may sound whimsical, I like the notion of passing on a kind of cultural legacy. I think Pierre Bourdieu would have approved of my effort to pass on a small element of what he called 'social capital'..