Category Archives: Comment

The Separatists Have Won Although They Lost.

Our family is divided about Scottish independence. Here is my Dad’s view:

I’m coming in late on this Devo Max debate.

One thing is for certain. Whatever the Westminster Gov provide as extra powers for Scotland, the Yes crowd will say it’s not enough, we’ve been shafted/lied to/blahhhh. Continue reading

Scotland Contemplates Suicide

I wish I could believe in the promise of an independent Scotland: a land that will be free, green and wealthy. I have listened to passionate nationalists who tell me that Scotland has been exploited for centuries, that we pay more tax than we get, that we have vast reserves of North Sea Oil, that it doesn’t matter if big business moves out and that a currency union with England (and EU membership) is guaranteed. Continue reading

Very Simple & Incredibly Complicated

We recently celebrated the launch of Castle Craig’s new Romanian website by having dinner at a fish restaurant in Bucharest called Happy Fish. I had the dorada. Continue reading

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Greatest Event of the Twentieth Century

Although I have never been a member of an Alcoholics Anonymous group, I have participated in a few “open meetings” (where non-members can attend) and each one has been inspiring in its own way. The best one was held in a park in Cluj — the meeting room was closed — where six of us sat on old tin cans and bits of wood and shared our stories from that week.  There was a great feeling of camaraderie (or community) among them. Continue reading

Death and Art

I recently wrote a Tweet — one of those little phrases on Twitter — which I thought was rather clever:  “Don’t read a book. Read an author”.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a flood of emails congratulating me on my wisdom or asking what I meant.  As with most tweets, I got no reaction, which begs the question “What’s Twitter for?”, a question I tried to answer in this article some time ago. Continue reading

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

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

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

Why Not Give Up Alcohol?

img_02077Why not give up alcohol for the new year? Alcohol is a poison: two bottles of spirits would be a fatal dose for most people. It also makes you fat, smells bad to non drinkers (such as children) and ends up costing a fortune.

But could you do it? Could you survive 2012 without a taste of beer, wine or something stronger? Can a modern adult have fun without booze? What would your friends and family say? Continue reading