Category Archives: All articles

Abolish The Ministry of Tourism

This article also appeared in Romanian on the Contributors section of Hotnews.

When I published my first article in the Huffington Post I was greeted by over 100 negative comments, all from people who passionately believe that cannabis should be legalised (my crime was to suggest that cannabis can cause psychosis).  Most comments on most articles in most news-sites seem to be negative and there is a phenomenon in UK (I’m not sure if it has reached Romania yet) called “trolling” whereby a group of like minded people, or “trolls”, bombard individual articles with negative comment, creating the impression that the people are against the point made by the journalist. It is a form of PR. Continue reading

Prince Charles of Romania

You can also read this article in Romanian, on the Contributors section of Hotnews. I don’t have a TV as I can’t stand the sensationalist nonsense pumped out by ProTV or the endless “analysis” the 24 hour news channels inflict on the public every evening.  But when something interesting does actually happen you get to hear about it (I was in a Romanian village in the early 1990s when a peasant told me the American’s were bombing Iraq. “Nonsense” I replied. But he was right, he’d seen it on his ancient black and white TV). Continue reading

What’s a “Legal High”?

If you are not sure what a “legal high” is just click on this link and see what the Shiva Head Shop in Greenwich has to offer. You can order over the internet — in perfect legality — Snow Blow, Jungle High Energy Pills (“will bring out your wild side”), Party Pills, Happy Caps (“will have you grinning from ear to ear”) and Kratom which is a “highly potent stimulant” that they claim is “not for human consumption.”   Continue reading

Gambling Kills

Since I’ve been blogging on the Huffington Post I’ve written about cannabis, alcohol and sex. This is what I would like to say about gambling… Continue reading

When is a Village not a Village?

At school we used to trade in jokes and most of these went under certain themes. The Irish were stupid (“what do you do if an Irishman throws a hand grenade at you? Pull out the pin and throw it back.”), the French were smelly, the Germans cruel and the Italians cowardly (“How many gears in an Italian tank? Five: One forward and four reverse”).  It was many years before I realised that most of Europe told jokes about us Scots being tight fisted. Continue reading

Portuguese Ticket Inspectors

Last month I was enjoying the sun in Portugal. Here’s what happened when I was leaving… Continue reading

How to Not Get Robbed

Being robbed is a shocking and humiliating experience which raises immediate questions: how did it happen? why did it happen to me? How could I be so stupid? Continue reading

The Difficulty of Writing

Everyone can write and yet but there are very few writers around.  Many people can write funny letters, fluent emails and good reports but when it comes to writing articles most people can’t deliver.  This is not to say that many people can’t write well – it’s just that the process of writing with confidence is much harder to achieve than you think, and  few people have learned the basic rules of writing an article (something that I would like to explain here soon). Continue reading

Watching TV

I’m sitting in front of 4 flat screen TVs, only one of which has the sound on – KISS TV – filling the canteen with the sound of rap and soft porn images. Next to KISS is Realitatea, a Romanian news channel, where sound isn’t needed: so far I have learned there is a big meeting going on in Brussels about “the pact that stabilised Europe” (I’ll believe that one when I see it). They have several crawler texts on the screen one of which contains financial information and share listings, another one with “urgent” news updates. Continue reading

The Wrong Way to Run a Blog

Inspired by the BBC’s new Sherlock Holmes serial, I have decided to turn our company blog into a personal blog. Instead of monthly updates about various issues I will write more frequent posts about what’s going on around me. Continue reading