Why I love Greece

My first visit to Greece was in April 1971. I was 16¼. Although I’d just dropped Greek for Spanish at A Level (and never regretted it), I was still studying Ancient History and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity of spending three weeks in Greece if I could help it. My former schoolteacher Eddie…

In Northern Greece

Yes, that's where we are - so there won't be a blog this week. But there should be plenty to talk about next time. In the meantime... thanks to the two loyal friends who've already reviewed my ebook on Amazon. If you are one of the many millions of potential fans who haven't yet read…

Freedom to travel

Watching the D-Day 75 Commemorations on TV has made me think, and not for the first time, how exceptionally fortunate I am, and how easy it is to take such good fortune for granted. It's obvious, when listening to British veterans of 6 June 1944 talking about their experiences, that they recall the events of…

Arriving in León

Spain in 1975 was very different from England and quite different from what it has become today. I felt it, as much as saw it, as soon as I got off the plane. Of course it was hot and dusty. Policemen carried machine-guns, and there seemed to be a lot of them about. There were…

Portuguese wrestling

I was all ready to start at Queen's College to read Modern Languages. The only problem was, I wasn't. I was to be billeted in the famous Florey Building Wasn't at all ready, that is. I'd done Spanish at A Level, but I needed a second tongue to go with it. I could not bear…

Surabaya Johnny

In 1961, at the age of six, I entered the English school system for the first time. No-one in our family had ever lived in England before. I had a generally happy time at Overchurch, a popular and progressive state primary around the corner from our house in Upton. My new classmates said I talked…

Useless information

When I was 10, my father's cousin (more like an uncle to me, as they'd both been brought up by my grandmother in Glasgow) became engaged to an English girl, a bold deed previously unheard of within our family. The wedding was to take place in Hemel Hempstead on 31 July 1965. As it was…

Je ne regrette rien

That Anne and I have had a holiday home in Charente for nearly 20 years is no secret. It is a source of constant, ineffable smugness. I wonder if we would have had the guts to do it today. With Brexit looming (I have avoided mentioning it in this blog until now), we would almost…