Category Archives: Great Thoughts

Cosi fan Tutte

Following my splendid evening at the opera in Venice, it seemed a good idea to go to Opera North’s Cosi fan Tutte this week. Of course it contains what is generally regarded as the most beautiful music ever written, the trio … Continue reading

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Renewed enthusiasm for Paris

Now that there are no direct flights back to Newcastle from Venice, we are trying various options, and decided on impulse this time to return via Paris, spending two nights in a little hotel in Place d’Italie where we used … Continue reading

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Scotland and the Floods

It has recently been announced by Ms Sturgeon (who I always think reminds me of  the wife of Rab C. Nesbitt) that all householders in Scotland who have been affected by the recent floods will be entitled to a payment … Continue reading

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Schengen: to be or not to be?

It was very interesting on our long drive back across Europe to see how things have changed since the acts of terrorism in Paris. Suddenly, the sacred open borders in the EU are no longer with us. Driving from Italy … Continue reading

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Spending my Prize

A few months ago a short piece I wrote in the Daily Telegraph about cycling in ” my” hills in Italy won me a prize, 6 nights  in Athens. Staying in a hotel with a pool on the roof and … Continue reading

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England through Italian Eyes

It’s always interesting to see the place you live through the eyes of someone else. My friend Paola from my English conversation group has been staying with me and each day we’ve set off in a different direction to explore … Continue reading

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A Day in the Life of a Magistrate

I had a full day sitting in court yesterday. It was the usual mixture of shop lifters, domestic violence cases and drunk and disorderly familiar faces, but the contrast between the offenders was more marked than usual. On the one … Continue reading

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The Curious Incident of the Man in the Supermarket

Back from Italy, and with no food in the house, I trotted off to Tesco for a few essential items. I was minding my own business by the eggs when a very tall man wearing a green Accenture tee shirt … Continue reading

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The Grand Tour Again

The long drive to Italy began well with a pleasant journey to Eguisheim in Alsace, a picturesque village and centre for excellent wines. The next plan was to visit the Beyeler Gallery in Basle, which we did after missing a … Continue reading

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Learning English by Osmosis

We’re entertaining an Italian guest here in Newcastle at the moment, a friend I know from my English conversation class in Italy.It’s amazing how quickly the language can be absorbed: after only two months he’s quite fluent, although he gets … Continue reading

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