Why does belonging matter?

January 2020 seems a long time ago. Back then, I was frustrated by the new-at-the-time HSBC ad. I hate being asked where I am from, and I hate thinking about it. Of course we all ask each other various questions designed to understand the parameters of the person we are talking to, for no particularly... Continue Reading →

Following the crowd of unique people

When I picked up the Spiegel on my way back from Berlin, the title story was about the increasing popularity of "extreme sports". Apparently, mountain biking, climbing, surfing and base jumping all come into this category; although personally I'd put base jumping into the "unusual suicides" category. The article was about the way that people... Continue Reading →

The Germans – almost always the baddies

Another night in the giant multiplex at Westfield, watching Sherlock Holmes. In the first few frames of the movie, I see that familiar gothic typeface, known in Germany as Frakturschrift, and my heart sinks. The scene is Strasbourg in 1891, and the German inscription says something like "1. Jubiläum Elsaß-Lothringen" - which means "first anniversary... Continue Reading →

What makes everyone else happy?

This whole Royal Wedding/ May Day bank holiday weekend has been quite strange. I enjoyed watching the wedding on Friday much more than I thought I would, and somewhat embarrassingly found it quite touching, particularly the Queen's somewhat melancholy facial expressions.  On Saturday I bought a car. Spending quite so much money on a "thing"... Continue Reading →

Accessing the past with music

I am watching a documentary about a very old lady in a red jumper. “What is it like when you believe you will die in the next second?”, the interviewer asks. She is asked this a lot, she replies; and the answer is that you do not perceive any emotion – just blackness descending on... Continue Reading →

1991: A surreal six months

These are short extracts from my diaries as a 13-year-old for 1991.  It was the year that we left Australia to live in Germany permanently. Reading them paints a strange picture of a very pressurised and unsettled life, and some unintended hilarious observations. March 4th 1991 Today was our school free day. At 12.00 we... Continue Reading →

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