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On wanting to be a Zen Master

With so much being written about Covid-19, there's very little left to say. Yet writing about anything else seems inconceivable, as the virus consumes our thoughts, restricts our movements and turns our worlds upside down.

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The Celtic Barber

I'm having flashbacks to 1994 and the birth of the term "metrosexual". The portmanteau of metropolitan and heterosexual describes a man who has discovered moisturiser and manicures. The marketing world suddenly woke up to the fact that men had money and liked to spend ...

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7scents

I have a peculiarly impulsive sense of smell that has led me to stopping random people and commenting on the scent they're wearing. Women usually smile, take the compliment in their stride and volunteer the name of their perfume. Men, once they get over ...

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Coming home

I have a weakness. I have several weaknesses in fact, but more than any of the others, this one I find impossible to resist. You can keep your wine. You can have your chocolate. You can save your flowers. What gets me every time ...

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The other Balaton

I'm writing this from Balaton. Not the Balaton but the one and only Balaton in the United States of America, a small town in southwest Minnesota. I'm not quite sure how I found the place but once I discovered it existed, I couldn't not ...

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In abstraction

On 20 August, Hungary celebrates its foundation and remembers St Istvan (St Stephen), its first king, who was inducted into the ranks of Hungarian saints by Pope Gregory VII on 20 August 1083. Let's fast forward to 20 August 1993, when Scottish painter Jim ...

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Adding some Scottish to the mix

French philosopher Voltaire is reputed to have said "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation". Presumably he was talking about the French. Some three centuries later, the British in Hungary are looking in that direction too, this time for ideas on ...

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Living on a battery

Eons ago, I hung out with a guy who, as a teenager, lost the use of his legs in a shooting in New York. Wrong time + wrong place + stray bullet = life in a wheelchair. Cursed as I am with a brazen ...

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My Budapest

Hardly a week goes by without someone asking me for advice on where to eat and what to do in Budapest. Usually it’s friends asking for friends or colleagues with different interests and requirements. In anticipation of a raft of questions coming as the ...