Horrible Harare

We said our farewells at Brisbane airport and then it was a long flight back to the Dark Continent. One of the two good things that have emerged as a result of last year’s coup, is that customs and immigration officials are far friendlier than they were previously. The other, even greater benefit has been the removal of the ubiquitous highway bandits, purporting to be police officers who in the name of road safety made it their business to extract every cent they possibly could from the largely innocent driving public. The guilty ones got fleeced as well, but were allowed to continue their journeys in their totally un-roadworthy vehicles. Continue reading “Horrible Harare”


Elvis has left the building

It’s not my country, these are not my own political concerns, not my people, etc., etc., so please excuse my ignorance in not understanding why this “Brexit” business requires any sort of “deal” to be made. After all, what could be easier than leaving? In Paul Simon’s words:

“You just slip out the back, Jack.
Make a new plan, Stan.
You don’t need to be coy, Roy.
Just get yourself free.
Hop on the bus, Gus.
You don’t need to discuss much.
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free.”

Or, to recall Douglas Adams on the dolphins leaving Earth, just say: “So long and thanks for all the fish.”

Continue reading “Departure”

The book is better

Only a couple of weeks ago I read A Legacy of Spies, published last year; as ever with le Carrè, having to concentrate hard on the intricacies of the plot while drooling with appreciation at the vibrancy of his descriptions, both of people and places. And now I have almost finished re-reading Smiley’s People – written 40 years ago and as intriguing as ever. Continue reading “The book is better”

The End of an Era

Merkel is finished. Ihre Zeit ist Vorbei. It was fairly obvious after last year’s election that she was a spent force. It took months for a zombie government to be cobbled together, a zombie government in which Merkel threw many shiny bobbles in the general direction of the Social Democrats only for neither of the two parties to be able to agree on much or for any direction, clear or otherwise, to emerge. Continue reading “The End of an Era”

Where am I?

I landed on an island 12 October. I spent a few days there and visited someone I’ve known for years. After a few days, I travelled by an exceptionally fast — and famous — train to the mainland. I continued on an island journey first to the industrial heartland and a city with a great merchant tradition before taking a journey to the ancient capital where I had a proper tea. I travelled by express train across plains and through hills to a coastal town famous for its preserved buildings and rich traditional culture. I am now sitting near the centre of the country surrounded by high peaks.

Bugbear #2

Confidential information
It’s in a diary
This is my investigation
It’s not a public inquiry 

Dire Straits, Private Investigations

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a cookie too far. You can’t even access their official site without agreeing to the regulations! Every visit to a new website is taking an extra click. GDPR! It’s a click too much.