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What is a lingon berry?

There are some small things about spending time in other countries that it’s just hard to get your head around. Matters that are more complex than translation difficulties. One such complication in Sweden has been the lingon (-et) which literally translates as lingon berry. So what, you ask, is a […]

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The strange world of Swedish football

My previous experience of football outside the UK has been quite grand. While on my travels I have watched Inter vs. Helsingborg FF at the San Siro in 2000, and FC Barcelona vs. Club Brugge at the Nou Camp in 2003 (both Champions League). In the last fortnight, I have […]

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Two tests every blogger should take

You might have read some of the other entries here and thought "what is this guy on about". That’s for sure the way I feel when reading many blogs! So here’s an idea to do something about it. There are 2 tests that give a good idea of what a […]

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Why Europe (but not the people) will run the 21st century

It is seldom that you come across a political book as clear and straightforward in its prognosis as Mark Leonard’s "Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century". The chapters flow with a clarity that is unusual for such a book, and it for sure really makes you think. But there […]

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If CNN is the face of globalisation??

??then we have to be quite worried. I am thankfully sheltered from CNN at home in London (the joy of terrestrial TV, and choosing your news sources on the internet) but come across it from time to time on my travels and never cease to be shocked what a heady […]

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The ending of youth – now even in political terms

Each and every one of us has to cross the bridge at some point. From the security in the relative innocence of youth, we traverse to arrive in the hard world of adult life and realise all of what we have been ‘building’ for years actually counts for very little. […]

Transport

The End of Faith

Some sort of deep scepticism about religion – not in terms of definition of whether God exists, but rather a concern about the institutions of religion – has been growing in my thoughts for some years. The book “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason” by […]

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Glorious Britain? Don’t think so

I am on my way out of London for a fortnight. I have been looking forward to this escape so much, and my determination to get away has been hugely amplified by the total mess that is Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3 on a Friday afternoon. It is beyond me how […]

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The NHS – almost too swift?

I wrote about my first experiences of the NHS in Lambeth / Clapham in a post a little while ago. Referral to the minor surgery clinic in Grantham Road, Stockwell, took a little more than a week to sort out, and getting the appointment made was very swift.

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Fear on the Tube

It’s quite a horrid place at the best of times, but travel on the London Underground has become really more fraught than ever now. This article from BBC News Online is an excellent summary of how people are feeling, and how odd the situation can become. I have a particular […]

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Welcome to multi-lingual blogging with gimmicks!

From today you will notice a whole series of new links at the end of every post – machine translations into the languages that people visiting this blog are likely to speak. The technology is of course not perfect, but I hope that there links will be more than just […]