Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Yuletide in the Democratic People's Republic of America

Xmas Lunch at Planet Bombay in Little Five Points, Atlanta 2014.

Ding dong merrily on high, it's Christmas time in the Democratic People's Republic of America!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Memories of Москва at Thanksgiving

"Since he was a Diplomat we knew he wasn't going to church."


Webster's International Dictionary defines diplomacy as the work of maintaining good relations between the governments of different countries and skill in dealing with others without causing bad feelings. Last decade in Moscow the definition became obsolete. Mass surveillance of the British Embassy was being planned.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

นักมวย ฝรั่ง

Slimmed down to fight (2009)


Muay Thai is one of the hardest contact sports in the world. I know this first hand and not from a bloke that I met down the pub. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How I learnt to love my life as a Male Trailing Spouse

The Male Trailing Spouse keeps himself busy at a salon in Atlanta


I am at a tea party in Bangkok surrounded by embassy wives, enjoying, nostalgically, a cucumber sandwich. As we small talk about apartments near the British Embassy (with pool, gym and tennis court paid for by you, dear British taxpayers), the best personal trainers and the abhorrence of thieving maids, I try my hardest to pass as one of the women. I am the cuckoo in the nest, the only male, one of a rare but growing new breed of expat husbands.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Male Trailing Spouse in the News


11st 8 (fat caused by work). Alcohol units 0. Jamaican Woodbines 6 (very good). Big feature published in Vice (bloody good). Calories 2,850 (on soup and pumpernickel bread due to extraction of three back teeth).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Diplomatic Mail

Male Trailing Abs

11st 6 (pesky lower fat on abs) alcohol units 0 (same old same) Jamaican woodbines 5 (that's me being healthy).

Monday, August 4, 2014

An Englishman in Atlanta


Quentin Crisp: An Englishman in New York

11st 7 (hideous fat on lower wall of abdominal section after eating way too many hamburgers) cigarettes 10 (have run out of duty free Benson and Hedges) alcohol units 0 (no booze for almost 4 years but tempted by $10 bottles of Old Grand-Dad bourbon and $12.99 cases of Stella Artois in the local liquor store). 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Socialist in America

My new Labour Party membership card has just arrived in the post. I must be the only card carrying member of the Kensington Consituency Labour Party in Virginia Highlands, and, quite possibly, the only "democratic socialist" in Midtown Atlanta. Good: a lunatic is always in a minority of one.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thoughtcrimes in Bangkok

"One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”


It was a bright, sunny day in Bangkok, and the clocks were striking thirteen.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Watching Football in America

English football fans in Atlanta are a bit of a rarity.  There do not seem to be too many of us here.  Perhaps that is a good thing. The barmy army of beered up louts, cheering on the national side, are a nasty social by-product of our society, and not really suitable for export

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Haunted by Savannah

The tree lined roads to Savannah are voodoo paved with snakes, black vultures and blown out rubber tires. Second posting into my present life as a "male trailing spouse," this was our first "road trip" (in the newly acquired grey-metallic 2008 Honda Civic) to the most haunted city in America.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another fucking coup d'état in Thailand

"As of this minute, I am taking over." General Pad See Ew Gai takes aim


Oh no, not another fucking coup in Thailand. Is it coup number 18, 19 or 20?  Or the twelfth since 1932?  Even the bloke on the BBC, shouting English in a public school educated accent at the monolingual Thai soldiers, does not seem sure. Coup 18, 19, or 20? The BBC is sticking to 12.  The Guardian has it at 19.  For some reason, I have it at 20 (but I could be wrong).  This is Thailand, the coup prone Kingdom, and the cycle and frequency of military takeovers makes things confusing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We have become an Author!


11st 10 (creative anxiety has eliminated most of my body fat); cigarettes 4 (writer's necessity); alcohol units 0 (no nutritional benefits whatsoever); coffee 12 (intravenous, much needed for old age); Vitamins 16 (need to score Glucosamine).

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Getting Nicked in Notting Hill

Portrait of the Artist as a Borderline Juvenile Delinquent

The Male Trailing Spouse has cause for celebration.  I have just finished my first book.  Not a moany old novel with a thinly disguised, smart arsed protagonist; no, a work of non-fiction, about a very serious subject indeed. I won't propose to bore you with the details. Or go on about the blunders and triumphs that went into its making. Authors talking about the sweat, pain and despair of their own work are as interesting as mothers who talk about their children. Suffice to say, it is a worthy tome. And not for the fainthearted.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Normality of Gun Ownership

Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes

Americans love guns. There are an estimated 270 million firearms in American private ownership, nearly as many firearms as human beings.   One day quite soon the guns will outnumber the people. That scares me, but I am English. Now that I live in America I am starting to understand why I should be scared. Or, as it happens, not.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Guns are in my DNA

Advertizing my Second Amendment right

A is for ArmaLite, B is for Browning, C is for Colt, D is for Derringer, E is for Enfield, F is for Firearms and G is for Gun. Growing up in England, that’s how I learned my ABC’s. This is because I am an American through my Father, and guns are in my DNA.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cruising for a vintage fix of Brit telly on YouTube


BBC Broadcasting House 1932


The BBC is a trusted brand. It is known the world over in ways that Netflix isn’t, and never could be.  It has a vast, seemingly infinite archive. Soaps. Dramas. Plays. Thrillers. Comedy shows. Documentary series. All of it high quality stuff rusting in old cans of film, gathering dust in crates and boxes of videotape. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Balalaikas in Notting Hill

The Historical Monument of the American Republic by Erastus Salisbury Field (1888)

America is the Republic of my imagination but England is my home.  And a pot of lamspang souchoung and slice of Dundee cake was much needed after a twelve month stretch in Atlanta, "the city too busy to hate".

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Trapped in Toronto by the Polar Vortex!

The Male Trailing Spouse has just returned from a 48 hour nightmare trek like no other.  It all began in the wee hours of January 5th, when I lobbed the Christmas tree out of the shuttered windows of Mum's flat on Notting Hill Gate, and fled the scene of my crime for Heathrow Airport and Atlanta via Toronto.