what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Monday, April 30, 2012


Clearing the flat here in Sofia for a 4 month absence - during which my landlady may rent the place out. 
Michael Palin's BBC 's "Other Europe" series has him today on BBC Entertainment here in Bulgaria in the Plovdiv gypsy quarter; then onto in Edirne in a container lorry; and then in Istanbul at the Bosphorus. As I watch, the idea comes of renting a flat in Istanbul for 6 months or so from next spring. This at the same time I am contemplating buying a flat here in Sofia - or in the old part of Brasov! 
Tomorrow early I hope to leave Sofia and cross the Danube border at midday before the returning Romanian holiday-makers from the Black Sea cram the border. Then on to the Carpathian house for last-minute tuning before making the drive through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Belgium to Scotland ( via the Zeebrugge overnight ferry) by mid-May

Verily I am a nomad! Indeed I was just counting how many addresses I've had over the last 25 years - it works out at 25, a new one each year on average. That's why it has sometimes been impossible for me to fit some bureaucratic requirements eg informing of change of address!! Scottish courts used to (may still) have a term for people like me - NFA (No Fixed Abode). As a young magistrate in the 1970s, many of the miscreants who appeared before me were so designated. "Nomad" or "peripatetic" sounds so much better!     
At a time when commentators are trying to work out how the 20% of French voters who supported Le Pen's candidacy for the French Presidency will cast their vote in the second round next Sunday, it's useful to read again what was in my blogpost of 29 April last year about populism

The sculpture which I recently bought at Astry Gallery is, aptly, called "Paddling his own canoe" and is by Petra Iliev


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