Last year, in the excitement of finally getting a new job after six months of unemployment, I rented a flat in the middle of Brussels, complete with a roof terrace. Naturally, I was looking forward this summer, when weekends of casual gardening would pay off, and I could have an oasis in the city, resplendent with flowers, herbs, and maybe even the odd vegetable or two.
I got into this habit of writing a special post whenever I moved to a new city. Manchester, Leiden, Brussels: they are all still on this blog. Of course, I’ll almost certainly live in other cities over the course of the rest of my life, however long that may be. But I’ve really started to feel settled in Brussels. More importantly, I’ve started to feel at home in Brussels. (more…)
I was bored, the weather was good, my bicycle beckoned, and my phone has GPS… this was the chain of causes for my attempt at geocaching today, and I’m very glad that all these things came together. Since I’m probably not best placed to try to explain something I’ve only just tried, I’ll let YouTube take over for a moment:
Yesterday, I tweeted my despair at the entrance to the Waterstone’s best-seller list of a book tie-in to the Compare the Market adverts which have been airing on British TV lately. I can understand the entertainment value of books written to tie into actual programmes or films—I’m not a snob in this regard, such books can extend the ‘enchantment’ of the main production, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of entertainment—but I cannot fathom why anyone would want to buy a glorified advert! To say that it’s testament to the destruction of meaningful culture in favour of mammon-worship is perhaps a little clichéd, the sort of unthinking, which all too often laces political discourse; there is certainly some basis for concern over the trends in society and our culture, which the success of such an advertisement, masquerading as literature, signals.