Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Citizenship fail

Yesterday's Guardian.co.uk homepage featured an article about the Life in the UK Citizenship Test. We've been out of the country for the better part of the last three years so we thought it would be good to see how we got on with their online quiz. We failed. Embarrassingly so! For us this means nothing more than some dented pride but I can't help feel for the genuine cases that are going to come unstuck when faced with the real deal.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Yes we did!

It's not a picture I'm proud of but I'll say I guess it had to be done to mask the clear lack of principled behaviour on display here. As someone who has enjoy living in a land beyond the reach of McDonalds and Starbucks it is unfortunate to have to confess that this weekend's trip to Sarajevo saw us not just sampling McDonalds traditional fast-food but also indulging in their take of the Starbucks formula.

One of the key strengths of the McDonalds brand is that, whatever you think of it, their food tastes the same wherever in the world you eat it. I don't care much for McDonalds' ability to steam a burger to within an inch of its life, but their hot apple pies and ice cream are a special kind of plastic magic. But who would have imagined they could tackled the decent coffee and cake thing? I was genuinely surprised; I certainly won't rule out a return visit. And that's a confession I didn't expect to make.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Yesterday's news

Yesterday's news was, quite fairly, dominated by the passing of Steve Jobs. It made for sad reading on my MacBookPro over breakfast. I for one am grateful to the man who designed a computer that does the things I want to do without requiring me to understand how the computer does it. That it does it all in a well designed package that is a pleasure to work with is an obvious advantage. But the purpose of this post is not to big up Apple or their various iProducts.

It is, instead, the tale of two contrasting meal times. If breakfast was a subdued affair, lunch took on a celebratory tone as we indulged in our first wraps purchased in Jajce. Not only has the local supermarket finally decided to took some Mexican food, they have done so by stocking more varieties of wrap than we've seen in the other towns we used to secure our supplies from. Long may this continue.

So what's the most appropriate to finish this post? It has to be by saying: that's a wrap!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Eviscerated?!

Most of us must have a favourite quotable movie and if not a favourite then we probably go through phases of plundering a particular popular film for our own entertainment. I remember when A Knight's Tale was the movie of the moment. It remains fantastically quotable, although these days its best lines might do little more than draw blank stares. Heath Ledger was good but I think the scriptwriters gave Paul Bettany a gift with a part they wrote for Chaucer: “I am a writer, I give the truth scope” remains an all time favourite of mine.


I say this because we met a writer last night. They are visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina to research their next book. As we sat listening to them describe their journey from writing true stories to fiction I confess my mind wandered. I was back in A Knight's Tale hearing Chaucer tell the Pardoner: “I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.” Eviscerate sounds so emotive, even if I'd be hard pushed to give the dictionary definition with, well, consulting a dictionary!


I doubt we'll end up as inspiration for some fictional characters but who knows. If we do and you recognise us just remember the writer has probably given the truth scope.