Jazz and Cafes..

In Secrets of Paris, Vernon Coleman writes, ‘London invented coffee houses but abandoned them. Today, only Vienna has cafes which match those of Paris.’ Well said, Vernon – I shall take a brandy immediately, to fortify myself for the day ahead. First stop, Cafe Leopold Hawelka, a dimly lit cafe in central Vienna. It’s perfect … Read more

Should pigs be in zoos?..

Normally, a man needs an excuse to visit a zoo – perhaps in the form of a child needing a chaperone. Or maybe a simpering girl, treating you to a glimpse of her petticoats and whooping at the cute little penguins. Of course, it might simply be a judgement muddied by drink. What’s my excuse? … Read more

Horsing About in Vienna..

A Strauss waltz plays unobtrusively in the background. Tourists drift onto the grand, stone-balustraded balconies; horses trot elegantly through the sawdust below, their riders sitting regally astride in brass-buttoned tunics. ‘Stallions, Barn, not horses,’ corrects Crazy Sandra. ‘The ones when they have a shot and it doesn’t work.’ She is pressing her hands together, colouring … Read more

Namibian’s Still Alive..

Prepare to raise an eyebrow. Or, should you wish to pip Roger Moore, by all means raise both. Simultaneously. You will perhaps be surprised to learn that a degree of fitness is required to drive a truck. There, I’ve said it. No, nothing to do with the hefty rigours of manipulating sixteen gears and assisting … Read more