What lengths we go to in order to pursue our leisure interests

These days, with our lives more rushed than ever, it is amazing what lengths we will go to in order to pursue our leisure interests… More leisure time than ever before? With the hectic pace of modern life, it is important to maintain leisure interests in order to keep sane and uphold a healthy work-life…

Headsets can create a whole new world

Credible virtual reality used to be the stuff of science fiction. But nowadays headsets can create a whole new world of experience… I’m in a vast bay in the Atlantic Ocean. I’m floating in a tiny, wooden boat. Needless to say, I feel pretty vulnerable. To my left: a flock of seagulls bobs up and…

How do you keep exercising constantly?

Everyone knows that exercising just 20 minutes a day keeps you healthy, but how do you keep exercising constantly? We’ve all got that one friend who’s always at the gym. We all know someone who beams with joy after yoga class. We all have a colleague who bikes to work every morning. These people seem…

The luxury of online shopping for some, amazing hard work for others

These days, with an easy click of the mouse, online shopping websites deliver the products we want, right to our doorsteps, in a matter of hours. In many ways, shopping online is like modern wizardry. All it takes is a simple click of the mouse and – abracadabra! – an afternoon later, your brand new…

European Elections 2017: the choice delusion

The centre-ground represents the all-important battle area in European politics. But how can anyone differentiate between left and right? When all is said and done, they may as well flip the Royal Mint’s new pound coin.    It’s 2017 in Europe: the tides of political uncertainty are set. Britain’s botched exit from the EU, a…

Budapest: a snapshot

Like many of its post-Communist counterparts in Europe, Budapest has shaken off its impoverished appearance. Hipster bars, quirky coffee shops and trendy thrift stores have replaced the image of its impecunious East. The Hungarian capital’s make-over has given rise to swanky urban eateries, impressive luxury hotels and imposing bridges spanning the Danube. This is Budapest……

The Battle of the Beaches

My last piece for Europe&Me reflected on one of France’s most prized liberties: the right to freedom of expression. An essential underpinning of their Republic, this tacit social norm is tantamount to what it is to be French. Within France’s culture, the right of expression is as entrenched as their sense of égalité. It is…

Free Speech Foibles

Nowadays, the definition of freedom of speech is about as fickle as Boris Johnson’s political allegiances. It’s not easy to pin down; it yo-yos about as much as Renée Zellweger’s dietary habits. In the post-modern world, this concept is an unruly beast. What’s more, nobody can say what’s really on their mind without fear of…

8 Genuinely Useful Spanish Idioms

For this post I’d like to return to a pet subject of mine: idiomatic sayings. I’ve always been fascinated by these quirks of linguistics; they intrigue me due to the often incongruous nature of their literal translations. Spanish, much like Italian; English; French (well, all modern languages for that matter), is littered with these colloquial…

Valencia: City of Fire

¡Ya estamos en Fallas! I’ve been living in Valencia for just over a month; it’s been an invaluable experience so far. Whether it’s fiestas, carnivals, football matches or flamenco shows, there’s always something going on. In fact, I’d say it is almost impossible to feel bored in this city. The vast majority of these cultural events have two things…

Oscars 2016: is it time for Leonardo DiCaprio?

The Oscars are just a couple of days away. For Leonardo DiCaprio they could spell a pivotal moment in his career. Has his time finally come? Will he get one at long last? Many will be rooting for him; others remain skeptical. In my last article, I speculated as to whether he is worthy of…

7 Common Misconceptions about Spain

Like all nations of the world, there are many popular stereotypes about Spain and her people. Flamenco is everywhere, isn’t it? It’s always sunny! Spanish people don’t really work, do they? I’d like to challenge some of these falsely-held beliefs and ascertain their validity. Entonces vamos! 1. Flamenco is a popular Spanish dance; everyone knows…