Archive by Author

Absurdistan

I really liked Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story and I’m weirdly fascinated by any country that ends in ‘-stan’ – I’ve been to a few of them – so his earlier novel Absurdistan looked like a certainty. Sure enough the vulgar misadventures of the grossly overweight Misha Vainberg, spoilt son of the 1238th […]

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A Little French Trip

Having returned from Kiev and Chernobyl with my radiation levels under control I set off for a driving trip through France and Italy with a group of friends. ▲ First it was Eurotunnel under the Channel then along the autoroute to Gevrey Chambertin. ◄ Yes we’re in wine country ▲ More driving, but now on […]

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Kiev – the Capital of Ukraine

My recent travels to Ukraine featured a couple of days in Kiev, as well as pointing a gieger counter at Reactor 4 at Chernobyl. Kiev’s a surprisingly attractive city and there’s plenty to occupy a few days. ▲ Plenty of glittering Orthodox churches and cathedrals for a start. They don’t come much more golden and be-domed […]

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A Day Trip to Chernobyl

Or Chornobyl? That’s the Ukrainian spelling and that’s where the deadly nuclear reactor is located. Chernobly is the Russian spelling. Ditto for Kyiv (Ukrainian) and Kiev (Russian) ◄ I’m standing outside Reactor 4 and holding up a Geiger counter to show that I’m quite safe. I know a lot more about radiation after my Chernobyl […]

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Hovercraft – hovering to the Isle of Wight

Remember hovercraft? Those air-cushion vehicles or ACVs were going to take over the world at one point, but today there’s only one passenger carrying service remaining. Until this week my last hovercraft trip was between Macau and Hong Kong 30 years ago. We’d got stuck in Macau, pinned down by a cyclone, and when the […]

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