BOB’S LAST DAY AT WORK

'Welcome to the EMIRATES Spinnaker Tower, as I legally have to call it.' 'It was going to be opened in 2000 and be named the Millennium Tower, but due to political ineptitude, it didn't open until 2005, so was renamed 'Spinnaker', a type of sail.' 'The tower sits on Gunwharf Quay. In the 18th-century it … Continue reading BOB’S LAST DAY AT WORK

P IS FOR PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

A STORY OF PERESTROIKA IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA (now the CZECH REPUBLIC) 'My old friend,' he greeted Phillips with an enthusiastic hug as he had always done. Phillips returned the gesture before resuming his seat. Přemysl took the seat opposite him. They sat facing out from the small coffee shack, looking at the pond and the green park … Continue reading P IS FOR PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

E IS FOR ECHTERNACH, LUXEMBOURG

A STORY OF ELATION IN ECHTERNACH, LUXEMBOURG The violinist onstage, the world renowned Daniel Hope, took the applause. As it gradually died away he raised the instrument to his chin and an expectant hush descended. The opening notes of Brahms’ Violin sonata No. 1 in G major, op. 78 quietly soared from the sliding bow. … Continue reading E IS FOR ECHTERNACH, LUXEMBOURG

D IS FOR DRESDEN, GERMANY

A STORY OF DÉTENTE IN DRESDEN, GERMANY Alan Smith stood among the locals of Dresden in the reconstructed Neumarkt, looking with the crowd towards the Frauenkirche with its wondrous dome topped by a golden cross gleaming in the dusk sky.  The dignitaries were filing into the building, German mainly but also religious leaders from far … Continue reading D IS FOR DRESDEN, GERMANY

C IS FOR CORK, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

A STORY OF CONFLICT IN CORK, IRELAND ‘The bastards wouldn’t let us put out the fires. The city has burnt to the ground.’ ‘Sit down, Conor, please.’ Imogen pleaded with her husband. ‘You’ll wake the baby.’ ‘It won’t end now. The Republicans will want revenge. They’ll hit back harder. I saw Jimmy heading away with … Continue reading C IS FOR CORK, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND