My cousin Aidan (see right) just posted a nice summary of the last decade. I particularly liked his verdict on Tony Blair: Tony Blair â€“ The pearly-toothed messiah who swept to power on such a wave of promise in 1997 revealed himself as a serial liar and unrepentant war-monger. The supposed socialist became the fawning…Read More Aidan on the Noughties
Whenever I return to Britain and venture into a supermarket, I am confronted with products that I could not imagine encountering back in the USA. For example: I just bought a container of mixed nuts at Tesco. Not just any mixed nuts: “Rosemary & Thyme Infused Jumbo Cashews, Macadamias & Pecan Nuts”. And they’re brilliant:…Read More Only in Britain
Once upon a time, the US claimed to be a nation of laws, and set great stock by the idea of “due process”. Not any more, apparently. And we’re not dealing with terrorism, or national security; just run-of-the-mill criminal stuff. Nor are we talking about countries with which the US doesn’t have extradition treaties. We’re…Read More "US says it has right to kidnap British citizens"
Yesterday I blogged about the gaps that expats must fill in their lives (and their stomachs). I think it’s only fair to balance this by identifying one of the unquestionable benefits ((Hat tip to Chas for the blog link.)) that we enjoy by escaping from Europe.Read More The benefits of being an expat
Jane Smiley says what I think, but does so more eloquently.Read More Guns
Over at HuffPo, Martin Varsavsky describes his experience of French health care: The case: I had a 3 cm cut on my chest that urgently required stitches. I was rushed to Hopital St Antoine which is not far from Place des Vosges where we have an apartment (my wife is French and we come frequently…Read More US vs French Medical Care
I know that multiply-resistant pathogens are a significant risk in hospitals, but even so, this BBC story seems to go a bit far: “Patients should bring their own medical wipes and scrub up before coming to hospital to cut MRSA, say advisors. They should ask relatives to launder their clothes and make sure their visitors…Read More Dial 999 (or 911), then hop in the shower
It’s that time of the Christmas/Hannukah/Solstice/New Year season when we go through all of the cards that we’ve received: updating addresses, reading individual or round robin letters, noting people to be added to the list or those who have not responded for a few years. If you ignore the commercial material, about half our cards…Read More Charity cards
As Boing-Boing reports, quoting the BBC’s Stuart Hughes: The Paralympics will boast:4000 athletes. 140 countries represented.525 gold medals at stake. 19 sports. There will be no American TV coverage of the Paralympics. Let me repeat that. There will be NO AMERICAN TV COVERAGE OF THE PARALYMPICS. Not one hour of live coverage. Not one commentator.…Read More Why no US TV coverage of the Paralympics?
OK, not all of them. But when I was driving down the M40 yesterday towards Oxford and was overtaken by a couple of Vauxhall VX220s and MG TFs, I wondered what had happened to the American sports car. The Corvette? The Viper? And while I was musing on this, a Ford Streetka blasted by. Now…Read More American cars are boring