Newcastle, the Vertical City

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Newcastle upon Tyne, formerly a powerhouse of the industrial revolution and a byword for coal, is built on the bank of the River Tyne which can slope down fairly steeply. The city is jam-packed with the remnants of a brutalist urban dream from the 1960s that was aborted in a heroic act to save the many historic buildings it endangered. As a consequence, and in an effort to adapt to the slope and bridge the river, Newcastle bristles with bridges, underpasses, flyovers, walkways and tunnels that turn it into a vertical city.

The People's March in London

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Last Saturday I joined the People’s March in London that called for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal. It was a peaceful and thoroughly enjoyable event with over a million attendants. I’ve seen more children than at any other demonstration—good for them as it is directly about their future.

Winter Garden

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My father is a fan of crab apple trees and has dozens of different varieties in his garden. The English word ‘crab apple’ doesn’t do them justice. They are more aptly named ‘Zierapfel’ (decorative apple) in the German language. Their fruit is too sour or bitter to eat. Crab apples are smaller than normal apples, some are of the size of berries.

The Little White Cross of Mostar

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It was a great honour to travel with the English Pocket Opera, a London based company, to Mostar where they staged Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet as an opera together with the children of two of Mostar’s schools. During the rehearsals for the performances, I had time to explore the beautiful city.

Brasilia

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Many travelers say that Brasilia is not worth visiting. It is completely at odds with the rest of the country, and, conceived as an unholy combination of utopian project, planned city and modernist dream, it was doomed to become a failure. Whilst theoretically speaking these points have merit, I discovered that they don’t seem apply, perhaps in a blatant case of proving the exception to the rule.

Amazonian Reflections

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Reviewing the photos from last year’s trip to the Amazonas, I made a shocking discovery. We were not alone as we had thought but surrounded by the most bizarre and frightening creatures. Have a look for yourself in the gallery.

Reading About Homo Irrationalis

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Doing research for ‘novel 3’ which is geared up to be about irrationality, I got slightly carried away, reading not as planned one book on the topic but four. I’m glad I did. It was a deeply fascinating journey which became surprisingly personal as I was handed many explanations for what had happened in those past moments in my life where the behaviour of others or myself had me baffled.