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Family holiday in Andalusia

It’s like watching a movie on the terrace of Lisboa Slow Food and though the photo shows a dull cloudy sort of day its actually sunny, but the wind is up. Most days the terrace is full of coffee drinkers and breakfast eaters because it gets the full sun, stretching its long rays across the […] Read more

Post-Lockdown, a bit dated perhaps but not much

Do we mourn the demise of engines of commercial engagement, their cogs and wheels grinding via esoteric systems that busily serviced what passed for the city’s culture? Oxford’s three or four theatres, the beloved Phoenix Picture Palace, Holywell Music Room, Sheldonian and St John the Evangelist musical venues plus the familiar shops and eating houses- […] Read more

On Being an Ersatz Oligarch

A snap of the fingers and a tom yang soup appears…

Lost villages

the "lost village"

The lost village of Acebuchal On January 13 it was warm enough to be eating lunch dressed in a tee shirt up in the mountains of Andalusia and while waiting for my thick potato and rib soup to cool a little I experienced a sharp feeling of deja-vu. potato and rib soup with chickpeas Sebastian’s […] Read more

Blackened Beanfields

Droughts happen, floods happen, but this was also the year that had thrown up the Covid plague. The world had changed within the seasons

The marmalade of my youth

“I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade…” (D.H. Lawrence) The little marmalade, aka lemon, tree. In the garden (in truth a pocket handkerchief sized plot) of the very first house my parents built and owned, my mother planted a miniature orange tree- Calamondin according to a […] Read more

Paradise Regained

The custard-cream church Kardymili This year is the eighth time I have been in Kardymili since I published my first post in November 2013, so I had to stop at the village church to pay homage and be blessed by the sung Orthodox liturgy. I’d parked the rusty old bike outside, the same bike I […] Read more

Some years ago in more carefree times I was drinking coffee and enjoying an olive oil bread roll made by Hafiz, the original owner of the Magic cafe. The Magic Cafe Two women (one wearing a turquoise headscarf) Eat cake, drink coffee With silent relish. A small reward, so innocent, at the end of a […] Read more

University Parks

Two park benches commemorating deceased “lovers of the Parks” simply CHOLMONDLEY, pronounced “Chumley” Some people walk or jog, or walk their dogs, at the same time every day. You see ancient dons in their old tweed jackets often talking to themselves, shuffling on scuffed soles, or well-off retirees taking their post prandial stroll, or immensely […] Read more

Vikram Seth at home 28 years ago THE SUITABLE BOY COMES HOME reads the headline “Vikram Seth’s book has universal appeal with its many levels and versatile use of language” The Pioneer Book page of January 27, 1993 Nearly thirty years ago I was a columnist for the Pioneer newspaper in India. I wrote a […] Read more