London: World Centre

The official center of London is at Trafalgar Square, marked by a small brass plaque in the pavement beneath a statue of Charles I on horseback. “Stand here and you will eventually see everyone you know in the world,” they say. And it’s true I once bumped into someone I worked with a decade before inContinue reading “London: World Centre”

Lisbon: Looking out for No.1

AS any Sharpe fan will know, and hopefully most of the rest of us, too, Portugal is Britain’s oldest ally. Visiting Lisbon, I was reminded of the link between the countries by one iconic image: the bright red pillar box. Lisbon’s post boxes are the old British Victorian design, given a local makeover with aContinue reading “Lisbon: Looking out for No.1”

Armenia: Taste of the old order

IT’S HARD NOT to go to a country from the former Soviet Bloc without a James Bond moment. I had a perfect one on arrival at Yerevan Airport, a pleasing concrete flying saucer of a building. A police officer kept staring at me. Perhaps I should have been a tad more nervous but, despite theContinue reading “Armenia: Taste of the old order”

Star Clipper: Sail through the centuries

WE TEND to think of the Mediterranean as a small sea, almost a lake. But, when you’re actually on  it, you find it is  a pretty big place. From Gibraltar to Sicily, Alexandria to Dubrovnik, it spans three continents and many countries and cultures. It can turn fierce, sink ships and pummel shores. Or, inContinue reading “Star Clipper: Sail through the centuries”