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

3 Romanian Film Directors

trei-directori This video was found in our archives, translated into Romanian and published in Jurnal National (click here).

If you want to see the video without reading all this text, go to the end of this article (scroll down).

The Story Behind the Video:

The ending of the year (2011) seems to be a month of nostalgia, particularly in Romania where the media are wallowing in a sea of memories based on unanswered questions about the 1989 revolution. Searching for answers gives editors pages of material (the biblical phrase “old wine in new bottles” springs to mind) and characters like Petre Roman, Romania’s first post revolutionary PM, get wheeled onto TV chat shows to discuss their memories of Communism. 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

Memories of Bucharest in 1990

rupert-wolfe-murray-in-1990-2In 1989 I taught myself to be a journalist (I had no idea you could study it in university).  By the end of that year I was covering the Romanian revolution for Scotland on Sunday, a newspaper that was too “Scottish” to send me over to witness the action on the ground.  I didn’t get here until January 1990, which I thought was far too late, but there was still plenty of drama on the streets of Bucharest. Continue reading