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Narbonne Cathedral – Narbonne Part II

The main square of Narbonne is quite small, with Roman ruins in its centre. On the square and to its north-west side are found the main historical edifices of the city – the Archbishop’s Palace and the Cathedral St Juste. Despite its enormous size, we stumbled into the cathedral by...


Entree en Narbonne – Narbonne Part I

Narbonne is breathtakingly underwhelming at first glance. This is true of anywhere when one arrives by train. Angry snakes of cars trying to pick up and drop off family members. Enluggaged passengers taking up every available space – doorways, paths to doorways, emergency exits, pathways to emergency exits! – and...


The waiter of Marseille

At first glance, Marseille is a sprawling harbour city, with restaurants and bars stretching from end to end. But just one street back and away from this central hub and you’ll find small squares bustling with friendly locals, affordable beer and multicultural food. After a delicious dinner of mussels and...


Unexpected joys of learning a language

Learning a language is hard. There’s no getting found that fact. After two years of living in Croatia and studying Croatian, sometimes it feels like I know nothing at all. But then you have unexpected wins. Little flashes of understanding that make you smile. I was standing in the queue...


Faithless in Zagreb

The blue caterpillars that are the Zagreb trams snaked past us, but we barely noticed as we walked along Ilica toward Šalata. Faithless was playing tonight and nothing else mattered. Going to see a gig in Zagreb is always an experience. It’s never quite what you expected. Šalata is a...


Back of the brewery

The back of the brewery, like the back of many things: a woman, a book, bad luck, your hand, a mirror, a door when it’s time to move on – the back of a brewery is a beautiful thing.


Reaching for the clouds

A very small boy ran past me today as I was walking to the market. “Bok!” he said over his shoulder, as his little legs propelled him forward at a cracking pace. “Bok,” I said back. A few moments later, his mother ran past, wheezing a little and holding her...


Caffe Bar Sunce

I’ve been coming to Caffe Bar Sunce for years, literally years, even before I moved to Zagreb. It is a place populated by old men who have been sent by their wives to the market, for a bag of tomatoes, potatoes, onions. It doesn’t matter what they sent them for....


The Simple Things

de simple tings of life, mi dear de simple tings of life ~ Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze Plums on the ground. The ground. Not of a supermarket, tumbled off the crate. Not on the kitchen floor, rolled out of the bag, across the counter, fallen from the bench. Just on the...


Apartment living in Croatia

I’ve lived in apartments before, but there’s something about apartment living in Croatia that has its own special joys. During the winter, everyone’s blinds were shut and so we rarely saw into our neighbours’ windows. The blinds keep the heating in, I suppose. We kept our own blinds mostly open,...