Why I Started My Budapest Novel a Year Later

Last year, September to be precise, I went on a solo trip to Budapest. I wish I could say I went to Budapest for some deep purpose, like I’d always read about it in stories or I’d seen films based there and felt like I had to go. Reality wasn’t that glamorous. The truth was…

Poems From the Alcazar

The Alcazar, situated right in the heart of Sevilla, is the city’s Medieval and Mudejar castle. It is the more understated sibling of the Alhambra in Granada.   Its position in the city couldn’t be more central; it neighbours the monumental Cathedral of Sevilla. And yet, unlike the flashy, dominating Cathedral, the Alcazar is discreetly…

An Epicurean in Sevilla

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Spanish food. It won’t be the last. Last time it was Madrid, now it’s Sevilla.   Whilst Sevilla’s culinary scene isn’t as diverse as you would like, when it gets it right, it really gets it right.   In terms of fashion, art, culture and tradition, Sevilla…

3 Poems From the Bullring

Having just returned to Malta from a week in Sevilla, I still can’t get a particular feeling out of my mind.   A lot of things have impressed me about the city, the flower of Andalucia. A city celebrated by poets like Federico Garcia Lorca, Rafael Alberti and Juan Anton Jimenez; a city that nourished…

Hunting Duende in Sevilla

    Spain is unique, a country where death is a national spectacle, where death sounds great bugle blasts on the arrival of Spring, and its art is always ruled by a shrewd duende which creates its different and inventive quality. Federico Garcia Lorca     There can only be one reason why an artist…

Venus in Exile Sample

Four or five men around the bar were talking about the next EU elections. They were foreigners living in Budapest. Christopher watched Cassandra’s fixed stare. She watched them, her eyes acrobatically following their lips and hands as they gestured. She wants them, Christopher thought, she wants any one of those men, in a way she…

Masculinity: Putting the M in Romance

  Is the Romance genre of literature, music and films too effeminate a domain for men to enter? When people think of Romance their mind is inevitably drawn to estrogen-fuelled, Danielle Steele-mimicking, love-and-kisses-and-bondage stories. From 50 Shades of Grey to Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’ Diary, if you’re a man wanting to read or…

#YouToo, Dear Author

  There once was an author who wrote about construction. He had long, curly hair, wore a baggy shirt and he had a tattoo of Bob Marley on his leg. He wrote about construction with great passion. He wrote, “my lovely island is becoming a capitalist’s plaything. Down with history and up with phallic skyscrapers!”…

Budapest Skies

  The whole city felt like it could fit in the palm of his hands. The darkness of night was interrupted by a honeycomb of lights. He recognised every street, every dome, every reflection in the river’s black mirror. The piercing spires of the parliament looked like burning stalagmites. St. Stephen’s Basilica wore a skirt…

After the Goring

  “Papa, why are we eating tacos on a bus?” “Have we ever done it before?” “No.” “That’s why.” From the windows of the bus the Puerta del Sol pupated into the Gran Via of Madrid. The line of trees came into view and the whiteness of the buildings gave them their architecture. It was…