Culture Articles


So cute...

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by  Patrick O’Connor

LIKE a cat that got the cream . . .

That neatly sums up the expression of a 64 year old granddad approaching his 40th wedding anniversary who has suddenly found himself a cult figure on British TV.


A Star Is Born?

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by Patrick O’Connor

THERE is a mood swing taking place amongst the British public which over the last couple of weeks has been given a massive nudge by the Olympic Games.

Could it be that we are beginning to see through the King’s clothes?

Could it be that we are beginning to realise that hype should not take precedence over substance, that fame comes through hard work and dedication and not by just turning up at the right party.


A Broadway Treat

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by Patrick O'Connor

It used to be such a simple affair going to the pictures or the flicks as we used to call it.

Hand over a few coins, grab some popcorn from the small kiosk and sit through a support feature before the main event.

Back in those days –  I’m talking about the late 50s, early 60s here –  there was a huge selection of cinemas to go to. Grand names such as Regal, Alexandra, Classic and Gaumont.

The one within walking distance from me was called the Cavendish and it is there that my love of film began.

Saturday morning matinées for kids, what an adventure that was...


The English Garden

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by Margaret Watson

This week we have had the Royal Chelsea Garden Show, one of the best and most famous in the world. Gardeners come from as far away as Japan to show their blooms and skills at Chelsea. Although I lived in central London for a number of years I’ve never been. For one thing it is too crowded and for another the crowds are only allowed to view the gardens from the edge. For me it is all about handling the plants, brushing against them, smelling as well as seeing the roses, the freesias and more exotic blooms. I prefer to watch this one on the television with my feet up and a cup of tea. I can listen to the interviews with the growers and designers and see the plants close up. It isn’t as good as real life, but it will do. The one time I would like to be at Chelsea is at closing time on the last day – that’s when they sell off the plants for charity. I’d need more than a taxi to get home that day.

A Quick Guide to Coping with Culture Shock

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by Heather Pears

One sunny afternoon my cousin and I were seated on the small patio of a restaurant in the Hungarian countryside. The beautiful scenery was lost on us because we were busy staring blankly at the menu in front of us. Slowly the feeling of panic grew, nothing made sense! What was “galuska”, was it something I wanted to try? Suddenly a waitress set a big bowl of food in front of us, saying something that sounded like “Is good!” With that she was gone.

Fast forward ten years. I found myself standing in an underground subway having an emotional meltdown. I was paralyzed by confusion and anxiety. There were 6 sets of stairs radiating upward to street level and I had no idea which way to go. I couldn’t understand the signs and, even if I could find someone who spoke English, the people rushing past me looked too busy to answer my questions.