Its not often I can find any goodness in budget airlines, their only uplift is technical, but, I reckon its mostly down to Ryanair and EasyJet, that European literature is on the rise in the UK. Fifteen years ago the change in UK eating habits was laid at the door of low-cost foreign travel.
At a time when I was old enough to know that a decision was required but not quite old enough to know how to make it I was faced with the choice of what to do with the rest of my life. Should I go down the well-trodden academic path or take the uncertain creative track? Even though we didn't have "no brainer" situations then, it was one.
It happens frequently. You are walking along a street in India and a man comes up to you and demands, What country? The first time this happened, I was so taken aback that I said, in my best colonial English, "Im sorry?. What country you from? the stranger enlarged. Recovering, I replied England.
Wars have happened since the dawn of time and will continue to happen until dusk falls over the planet. Wars are either about one nation seizing territory from another, (WW2), or assisting an ally to defend itself against an attacker (WW1), or protecting essential global assets (Iraq, The Gulf 1&2), stemming the tide of terrorism (Afghanistan), or religion (take your pick).
Its around this time of year when many Brits bolt the box on the roof rack, fill the car with family and luggage and set off across the channel for their summer holidays in France and Italy. As they speed down the autoroute on their way across the fields of northern France few realise that they are driving over the falling places of hundreds of thousands of soldiers who made a similar journey a hundred years earlier with certainly no thought of a holiday on their agenda.
She was Estonian, he was French and I was driving up a clutch-judderingly steep hill in south -west France listening to France Musique on the car radio. In summer, France proliferates with music festivals and they become the staple diet of the national music station. I found myself listening to a live interview being conducted in front of a concert audience.