The Roquefort Files

Travels to the pub and back

October 29th, 2008

Sun, sea, sand (and construction)

We were staying at the Alexandra Hotel in St. Julian’s, a once-grand place that just reeked of faded glamour. The lobby fittings were all marble and brass and the hotel’s bar, the optimistically named Park Lane Cocktail Bar, must have been quite the hang-out back in 1975. Our bed’s headboard had a built-in push-button FM […]

October 25th, 2008

Maltese double-cross

We grabbed a taxi from the airport to our temporary lodgings in St. Julian’s, part of the conurbation around the capital Valetta, and plunged straight into gridlock. I’d lost track of the date (and the time of day, to be honest) and we were stuck in the middle of the Monday morning traffic, along with […]

Istanbul redux

The coach from Göreme crawled back into Istanbul as the day was starting to warm up. Either I’d relaxed during the two days in Cappadocia or my initial culture shock had worn off, but the city felt far less hectic and more welcoming than it had done when we’d first arrived. It still bustled and […]

October 22nd, 2008

The Night Bus

I woke up on the 12-hour bus trip to Göreme just as the sun rose, somewhere maybe a hundred kilometres short of our destination. I could see a ridge of low hills to the left and arid farmland—desert, almost—to the right. The odd thing was that it just stretched out indefinitely to the southern horizon, […]

October 18th, 2008

Bazaar times

We walked through Sultanamhet Square between two huge mosques, one pristinely opulent and the other a patchwork of exposed bricks and mismatched minarets. They were both squat and massive, and looked like they’d accreted around their central domes rather than been designed as single entities. I found out later that the newer of the two […]

October 15th, 2008

Istanbul looks like the ’70s.

I thought this as we came in to land at Sahiba Gokçen. I don’t know exactly why, but there was something about the sprawling carpet of pale houses and terracotta roofs surrounded by dark blue water that made me think of over-saturated aerial photographs in travel agency windows, stock footage from Moore-era Bond films, or […]

October 9th, 2008

A Humerus Interlude

At my most recent appointment at the orthopaedic clinic, the consultant took a look at the latest X-rays and we were both optimistic. Me: “Yeah, the elbow’s fine; I’ve been commuting by bike most days, and I think the extension might even be a little better since last time I saw you.” Consultant: “I’m pleased […]

October 2nd, 2008

Redesign

I’m fiddling with the design at the moment; expect some things to be broken, and others to change in the near future. Opinions are welcome!