KULTURE KIOSK

Travel: Where I’ve Stayed Part 2: 2010-2020

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this post contains affiliate links *Some of the hostels on this list may no longer exist Welcome back! Part 2 covers the 2010’s – it’s a pretty extensive ride so make a cuppa, sit back and I’m not sure if relax is the right word but let’s begin back in Barcelona… BARCELONA – GARDEN HOUSE HOSTEL Based out in Horta, away from the hordes this was definitely the right choice for me. Returned eight years’ later, could use a few tweaks here and there. Pros: Clean, quiet and in a…read more

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Helsinki: City Time and Place

Posted by in Culture, Design, Travel

INTRO *this blog contains affiliate links and was written in 2017 before the Ukrainian invasion which I give modest reference to below. There is a clear delineation between my formative years in New Zealand and Finland. Both are known as clean, green destinations. Both are sparsely populated, both have risen from relative global slumber to be desired liveable countries and both now command a good degree of personal wealth to be able to do so. In this piece (as well as the usual things to do, museums to visit etc)…read more

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Vienna: It Might Mean Something to You

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

*this blog may be expanded and updated in the future. *this blog also includes affiliate links VIENNA CALLING For those that know the song, it might mean nothing to Midge Ure and co but it might mean something to you. In the rock n’ roll lifestyle of an English teacher you can find yourself anywhere including Austria, not a known country for the TESOL world so you can imagine my surprise.  I had only two previous encounters, one in 2000 (see the Voyage of Nomad book) when Austria still used…read more

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Simple Minds: Themes For Great Cities

Posted by in Culture, Music

**this blog contains affiliate links SOME PROMISED LAND Graeme Thomson is not a name I’m familiar with and I suspect neither is mine to him, but it’s clear from the intro he is not just a Simple Minds enthusiast but a poet (the Scots are awfully good with words and of course music – see my Hats off to the Scots blog for the proof).  Thomson goes through each band member with prosaic praise and wonderfully aims to ‘remystify’ his subject, to approach the music from within (that is to…read more

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Singapore: Merlion Memories

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links TO THE ESPLANADE A long time ago in 2007 I visited Singapore with my then girlfriend. It was a lucky break but also a strange holiday. Like China, Singapore has changed since but some of the renewal process had taken place; The Esplanade was built for example. It’s there soon after arrival at Changi – a destination in its own right, and check in that we ventured first. The exterior shape – it’s known locally after the stinky fruit the Durian – offered a good…read more

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Tim Bowness: Catching Up with the Velvet Ghost

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design

*this blog includes affiliate links *It would be difficult to discuss Tim’s output without mentioning No-Man and some of his collaborative efforts. I mentioned being on the road since 1999 and it’s that year I met Tim at the now defunct 12 Bar Club in London’s Denmark Street where I also briefly chat to Steve Jansen and Peter Chilvers. I’ve not met Tim in person since but we have maintained a periodic dialogue over the years. The story begins some years earlier… PAINTING PARADISE: THE NEW ROMANTIC NINETIES It’s the early…read more

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On Track… Hall & Oates

Posted by in Culture

*this blog includes an affiliate link Every now and again someone, in this case fellow Brit Ian Abrahams, sends me their book to review and on this occasion I was happy to receive it. Stranger still is the fact that someone other than me is a fan of Hall and Oates on this side of the pond (along with Dylan Jones author of Sweet Dreams). The forward tells how author Ian Abrahams got into their work in of all places Cornwall! More or less around the same time I had…read more

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Steve Hogarth: Here There and Everywhere

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

*this blog includes affiliate links WHO IS THIS GUY? The late eighties were, as I’ve most likely said elsewhere, a time of discovery. Now in the age of Wiki we can look up anyone of interest and know all about them in moments but back then it was all detective work, piecing together fragments of information.  For those of us music junkies or audiophiles who took time to read the sleeve notes, certain names appeared. I can’t remember which one went first, it could have been The The, it could…read more

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Swansea: City By The Sea

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links PREVIOUSLY Three cities, three sisters, three connections on the map, dotting the southern Welsh coastline. The second largest is Swansea, a mere 40 odd miles west of Cardiff yet I’ve barely been there. This is only my fourth ever visit and by some considerable distance my most comprehensive. The first was in 1986, a rushed affair which took in HMV (where I saw David Sylvian’s Gone to Earth and INXS Kiss the Dirt single). The second I can’t remember and the last one was at…read more

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Tears for Fears: Before and After Love

Posted by in Culture, Music

*This blog contains affiliate links. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for purchases made on third party sites. CHANGE OF SEASON In early 1983, unaware of Mad World which I had missed through the vortex of global relocation (from NZ back to the UK), my first meeting with Tears for Fears came with Change; an energetic marimba driven song with lyrics both cool as they are obscure: ‘You walked in to the room, I just had to laugh, The face you wore was cool, You were a photograph.’ Change carried enough youthful fizz to reach…read more

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