Friday, 28 March 2008


Richmond looks good in it, better than Norwich at least.

I've spent the last two nights watching a programme in which Michael Palin wanders non-plussedly around the 'New Europe', AKA those countries east of Vienna which never featured in an Only Fools and Horses 'holiday' plotline (though 'Cassandra gets kidnapped by the Ingushetian mafia' would have put Del and Rodders in a scrape with undoubtedly hilarious consequences.) Interesting things I've learnt so far:

- Now the bridge in Mostar (written 'Mocrap' in Cyrillic, according to Wikipedia) has been rebuilt, people use it for a diving competition.
- Croatians don't like to be hurried, especially when cooking Michael Palin elaborate cuttlefish-based meals.
- 'Enver Hoxha' is pronounced 'Enver Hodger'.
- The BBC have got so into showing programmes portraying the painful deaths of farm animals that they need neither Jamie Oliver nor a cookery show to do so. In this case, Palin finds himself halfway up a mountain with some Raki-sipping Sufis as they sacrifice a sheep.
- The mayor of Tirana doodles on his minutes in council meetings, which possibly explains the fact that Tirana has the most inefficient traffic management system in Europe.
- If you sit alone at a restaurant table in Istanbul, musicians will sit down and serenade you to cheer you up, even if you weren't miserable in the first place.
- How to stun the biggest Monty Python fan in Bulgaria: send Michael Palin around his house to ask about distillation techniques for plum brandies.
- Michael Palin seems to spend an awful lot of time chatting to attractive women.
- The only available journalist to show Michael around Chisinau (Moldova) was a twenty-something blonde called Tatiana.
- The military costumes in the breakaway republic of Transnistria look like Jean-Paul Gaultier designs.

More as discovered. I'm of to get wet now.

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