Latest

This column for the excellent Expatriate Lifestyle magazine appeared in the October 2010 edition

Caring sometimes involves telling it like it is, expressing hard truths that those with less emotional attachment might leave unspoken. And so it was that, straight out, I informed young Sam – he’s only seven – that he was fat. I didn’t like doing so, not with the obvious implications for his self-esteem and lifestyle, and I didn’t know how he was going to take it, but it had to be done; no beating about the bush. In the end, his reaction was, on the whole, quite muted. He looked at me, with that enigmatic expression he so often wears, leaned forwards slightly, and licked my nose.

Continue Reading →

Latest

This column for the excellent Expatriate Lifestyle magazine appeared in the May 2015 edition

Some idiot reversed into my car in Tesco’s car park. That, I expect, is what the owner of the car behind me in Tesco’s car park probably said when he got home. He might well have added an adjective or two to describe the idiot in greater detail, but the editor’s Big Red Pen of Purity won’t let me speculate in print.

Continue Reading →

Latest

This is a column from the excellent Expatriate Lifestyle magazine. It was first published in June 2014

I’m concentrating on fruit and vegetables, so any extra rhubarb in this column is entirely intentional. The government mandarins over here have issued new guidelines. They’ve released a report, or it might have been leeked, stating that their old advice of five portions a day is wrong and that the magic number is now seven. Initially, this did not strike me as something which would go down well, though driving past a field I was sure the cows were looking unusually chuffed. But, assuming they’re not going to enfranchise cattle, why, I wondered, did they do it?

Continue Reading →

Latest

This is a column from the excellent Expatriate Lifestyle magazine. It first appeared in July 2012.

They’re bringing back bob-a-job week! Marvellous! I can’t stop smiling. For those of you who don’t know, the clue’s in the name. During one designated week, Cubs and Scouts knock on neighbourhood doors, and, instead of running away before they are opened, carry out tasks requested of them by the residents.

Continue Reading →

Latest

This is a column for the excellent Expatriate Lifestyle magazine in Malaysia. It was first published in June 2013

In the continuing tussle between your courageous columnist and the forces of technology, a minor victory this week; I have discovered how to access a picture cache on my mobile telephonic device. It seems to hold a large number of photographs of my ear …

Continue Reading →

Latest

This is a column for the excellent Expatriate Lifestyle magazine. It was first published in August 2013

My great aunt Cnythia had a penchant for performing chicken impressions in crowded shopping centres. She also smoked a pipe, though not while performing. And it was following an administrative error at the passport office, which she took to be divine intervention, that she changed her first name. Not her ‘Christian’ name, note, since Cnythia was a revivalist member of the ancient Caledonian deer cult.

Continue Reading →

Latest

This is a column for the excellent Expatriate Lifestyle magazine in Malaysia; it was first published May 2011

My dear departed mother – she left a few days ago for a holiday in Malaga – has always been something of a, shall we say, traditional British cook. She won’t mind me saying this, not least because so long as she hasn’t confused the Malaga flight with a Malaysia one she won’t find out.

Continue Reading →