In one of my favourite literary vignettes, Edmund Burke, in the mid-18th century, contemplated the meaning of "the sublime" in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. He described it thus: Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is … Continue reading In search of the sublime, contemplating Brexit in Brittany
This summer, I had the pleasure of spending time in the land of saunas and pine forests, of rain and water, water, everywhere, of fjords and sailing boats and tall blonde humans. It seems that every family has a cabin on an island, and a boat to get there; every public amenity functions like clockwork; … Continue reading Cabins, sails, and fjords in southern Norway
After two months of semi-intensive classes, I've thought a lot about personal milestones, the nature of "fluency", and French culture.
It's been a very, very strange six months to be a Brit. Especially after the EU referendum in June 2016, my thoughts were scattered, anxious, furious; but one positive which emerged was a sense of fervent solidarity with fellow remainers - including dear Londoners, city-dwellers, the young, passionate older folk, the Northern Irish, the Scots. … Continue reading A long weekend in Scotland: castles, trains, and fishing villages
One of my favourite quotes of all time is from the 18th-century writer, Samuel Johnson: "a man who is tired of London is tired of life". It's a quote, and a sentiment, familiar to many Londoners - and one which I thought of regularly when I first moved here as an 18-year-old. I would be filled … Continue reading My favourite places in London
It’s hard to overstate the transformative effect of Ethiopian food on my idea of “going out for dinner”. Since discovering the cuisine here in London a couple of years ago, the delicious blends of aromatic spices with deceptively simple ingredients have shaken up my palate and induced a ravenous single-mindedness when it comes to choosing … Continue reading London’s best Ethiopian restaurants: Kokeb, Wolkite Kitfo, Mesi’s Kitchen, Andu Café