Archive for April, 2009

Apr 17 2009

Why am I not a journalist?

Published by under Digital,Media,Misc

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People often ask me if I’ve ever worked as a journalist. Which is a fair enough question. Some of my ilk indeed are former hacks. In this line of work you need an understanding of the media mindset, you need to understand what makes the media tick and how to get the best from each other.

Some people tell me I ‘think like a journalist’, which I take as a compliment. One colleague recently commented that I dress like a journalist, which I think is a compliment.

But I’ve never been a journalist, barring the odd primary school magazine piece. Not that I would rule it out. Actually I think it would be quite fun.

‘What sort of journalist would you be?’, a (journalist) friend asked me the other day. Not a TV one. It looks dangerous.

(thanks to Theo for the clip)

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Apr 13 2009

A change is as good as a rest

Published by under Misc,Russia

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Eliteniy.jpgPlease don’t take this the wrong way. I like Moscow very much, I really do. This past week has been Easter holiday for the children but, while many of the city’s expats (at least those who still have jobs) flew to London, Frankfurt, New York etc I chose to stay here. And we’ve spent a fantastic week enjoying Moscow’s hidden (and not so hidden) gems. According to the kids, the Darwin Museum has been the highlight. I’m inclined to agree (although our youngest learning to ride his bike without stabilisers has to come a close second).

The weather’s been exceptionally pleasant, so there’s been much strolling around the Boulevard Ring and discovering endless stunning back-street architecture. And of course at this time of year the city emerges, bleary-eyed, from its long, grey Winter, shakes off the last of the slush, and starts to beautify itself again. Everywhere you look there are people painting, planting, sprucing the place up for Summer.

The city’s elite, too, are swapping Winter fur for Summer Gucci, garaging the American 4×4 and breaking out the European sports car. From where I’m sitting now (the same place I took the photo at the top of the screen, unless you’re following via RSS) I can hear the howl of Italian V8s and German flat-sixes tearing around the city to blow out the cobwebs.

But sometimes, you do need a break. Perhaps you just need to see a Tesco, or eat a sandwich that doesn’t have smetana on it. It’s not so much a case of being tired of London = being tired of life, but that being a little Moscow weary = need a few days in a cleaner, less frenetic environment, to come back refreshed and ready to deal with the unique, brutal and unpredictable combination of pace, beauty and excitement. Even the medical professionals here acknowledge this – come down with a cold and you’re as likely to be prescribed a week in Sochi as a dose of antibiotics.

So in a couple of weeks’ time, when tax filing season is over (the joys of twin careers), we’re off to Spain forr a week. Nice little villa just outside Barcelona, tapas, aqua-park not far away, a stack of paperbacks and some cheap neckable red wine by the pool … bliss.

Which is why I find it just a little disconcerting that one of the advertisers on Facebook has, this evening, entreated me to book myself one of its

Elite-niy Russian flats and villas in the best locations, for my next trip to Barcelona

By the way, apologies for the long silence. I wish I could put my hand up and say yes, Simon was right, two blogs is too difficult. But it’s not even that – I’ve just been too crazy busy lately for even one of them. Sorry. New leaf duly turned over …

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