UK Election: Voting for the Rat King?

A Rat King (Roi des Rats) if you are unfamiliar with the phrase or have never seen one before, is a pretty nasty (possibly crypto-zoological) phenomenon. That is basically a collection of rats that are inextricably bound together through being born into and growing up in a restricted environment.   Due to this close proximity their tails... Continue Reading →

The Flowers of Thingyan

In amidst all the revelry, loud music, heat and water throwing, as an outside observer it’s easy to forget that Thingyan is a very special, spiritual and beautiful time in Myanmar. Take for example the abundance of flowers, that you will see adorning temples, taxis, houses, stalls, and well pretty much everywhere. This Thingyan flower,... Continue Reading →

Escape to Ngapali, Myanmar

In South East Asia we are definitely blessed with an abundance of beautiful beaches to visit, and you don’t have to travel very far to find your idea of paradise – be that the hedonistic haven of Haad Rin, or the idle tranquillity of Gili Air. You may even have your own secret little spot... Continue Reading →

Missing a Taste of Home

For me it is tea - industrial strength tea, the kind of tea that you could build a house with, or slice up and make a sandwich out of - the kind of tea that would worry a cheap teaspoon. English Breakfast tea, Yorkshire Tea to be precise, Yorkshire Gold if I’m feeling flush. I... Continue Reading →

Falling back in Love with 19th street.

According to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question 'How can we eat?' the second... Continue Reading →

It’s not fair: A blog on inequality

It’s been seven days since I promised some pals that I would publish this piece within twenty-four hours – so true to form I’m late. It’s not been a week of lounging by the pool drinking margaritas I might add. It’s been a week of studying documents, reading newspapers, and scouring the web for information.... Continue Reading →

A Question of Social Enterprise

As conscientious consumers it is important to us that we are clever with how we distribute our Kyat; for as much as we spend at Citymart - and you can’t argue that it is a convenient place to buy muesli and tonic water, many of us also feel a natural philanthropic desire to contribute to... Continue Reading →

Cigarettes and vaping in Yangon

There is little doubt that Yangon is a city of smokers - you only have to walk into your nearest teashop or beer station to experience the modern-day equivalent of a Dickensian ‘pea-souper’. Whilst the health authorities in many countries are fighting hard to prevent smokers from lighting up almost anywhere where it might be... Continue Reading →

Don’t lie kids* (Contains Spoilers)

Because if you lie, Father Christmas wont give you any presents. He’ll zoom right past – on his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer - and go to the house next door; regardless of how much Sherry (do we still do that or has drink driving kicked that into touch?), mince pies and carrots you leave... Continue Reading →

“Spare some change mate?”

“Get a Job!” This was the reply an educated, articulate and generally amiable mate of mine gave to the guy sat on the floor as we walked past on a rainy boozy November night out. This beggar who’d dared to ask the question - one of the many on the streets of Manchester that didn’t... Continue Reading →

The 11p Crew

Aside from 50p Phil, there was another kind of beggar in Manchester that I used to meet regularly; these I christened the 11p crew. They primarily worked the outdoor area along Canal Street, and in between finishing the left over pints on the tables (mine sweeping they call it) they’d periodically pester you for 11pence.... Continue Reading →

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