Category Archives: Uncategorized

The sun never sets

It seems the sun never sets on the long arm of the U.S. Marshal. It can snatch a war criminal from his hideaway wherever it may be, provided he’s the right kind of war criminal, of course, the one we’re hunting, not the one we’re selling weapons to. It can extradite awkward gadfly internet publishers

Valedictory for a suffragette

In case you wondered where I was two weeks ago, I had slipped back into England (they still let me in, under cover of darkness) to attend Great Aunt Jocasta’s funeral. I shall not try to explain how I managed until recently to have a relative who qualified as “great”, even at my already elevated

Let them eat quiche!

“It’s just a jump to the left” is how the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s narrative voice, the criminologist played by Charles Grey, recommends that we begin to dance the ‘Time Warp’. His advice, like much else that has been time-warped, is neither timely nor appropriate in 2012. However, this does not prevent it from being

The King’s donkey, part 2

Not far beyond the city wall, our freshly disguised wanderer was accosted by another man on foot, travelling alone, who asked if he might walk with him. The King was delighted to have a chance to test his new identity, but rather nervous, lest he make a fool of himself through his obvious ignorance of

The King’s donkey, part 1

Once upon a time, in an utterly unimportant country, there ruled a most important King. The country was unimportant because it was small and poor. It was small because it always lost any wars it got involved in. It was poor because the other large countries on its borders kept it that way. The King

Turkish delight

“My English, she is more better now,” … my hat remains battered. It was caught by a wilful gust of exceptional strength while crossing the upper reaches of a small country disguised as a bus station. Buses being the prime mode of public and private transport in this large and far-flung nation, things connected with

The officer’s mess

Mack and Luka have a novel way of tidying up. The two free-lance journalists – Mack for Mackenzie Bowie (no relative), who has written for numerous French periodicals under various pseudonyms since she realised back in the nineties that her talent for frivolous, piquant but never spiteful gossip could be made to pay rather well

Last resorts

Micronesia is shrinking. Although spread across a vast swath of the pacific, this sub-continental grouping of tiny island states and federations was already small enough in land area, but is now getting noticeably smaller year by year. Recently I heard that many citizens of Vanuatu are planning an imminent move to one of the Himalayan

My way or the highway

There is a recognizably French way of parking. You kiss the car in front in a sociable manner, then kiss the car behind with slightly more élan. Then you kiss them both once more, because two kisses are de rigueur among the citizens of Gaul. Then you step into the street as if you owned

Doing porridge in the Goldilocks Universe

Douglas Adams kindly presented us with the ‘puddle parable’ before he left, in which a pool of rainwater is so impressed by the way the pothole he lies in exactly fits his shape, that he believes himself destined for greatness … right until the sun dries him up. This spoof on anthropocentric thinking, intelligent design,