Category Archives: Expat Life


Pubs and papers

There’s few things I miss about home. But when a big British story breaks then two of them combine to make me a little homesick.

Last night, if I’d been in the UK, I would have gone to the pub after work. I would have talked rubbish late into the night about legacies, formative political experiences, the Falkland Islands, Billy Bragg, the unions, Tony Blair, nostalgia, Rupert Murdoch and so on.

Then this morning I would have spread out the papers and done it all again over a cup of coffee. There has been some utterly brilliant writing this morning, on which ever side of the Thatcher divide you stand.

Pubs and newspapers are still the thing for a proper story. And I think that makes me a dinosaur.

TV, Tunneling and Tosh

I generally take a dim view of expats that try to recreate home life in their chosen country of work, teaching the staff to cook shepherd’s pie, asking the driver to wear a cap and blazer, QBP (the Queen’s birthday party) that sort of thing. But this weekend I gave in. I downloaded some sort of IT trickery that means I can “tunnel in” to a server in the UK, allowing me to watch British telly online.

Ostensibly, I signed up so that I could watch my various sporting teams lose in their chosen fields of expertise. But, as we all know, British TV is the finest in the world. So it was with some delight that I settled down to engage my brain in the sort of stimulating entertainment that conquered the world and made the BBC the envy of colonial broadcasters.

But quite what Lord Reith would have made of Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents is anyone’s guess. The only conclusion I could possibly draw is that most things in Britain look better from far away. Although I can now at least watch the rugby