Travel

On The Greek Election Trail

On The Greek Election Trail

I was asked to write an insider/outsider’s perspective of the Greek election, following my mother-in-law, a Syriza MP, on the campaign trail.
The September 2015 election was a highly charged campaign in Greece and followed right across the world.
So what happens when my mother-in-law goes on the knocker? How does it compare to the time I campaigned for Labour’s Alf Dubbs in Battersea? And how did I end up pinching PM Tspiras’ speech?

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Last Chance To See: Travels Round Britain With A Greek

Last Chance To See: Travels Round Britain With A Greek

Before setting off for a new life in Greece, I’m talked into taking a tour of Britain.
Visiting many places in the country for the first time – places I’d heard of, made assumptions about, but never really bothered to visit – it was a chance to see my country in a whole new way. And also through the eyes of my accompanying Greek Passepartout.

So a last chance to see. Which turned out to be so much more…

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My Family and Other Hellenes

My Family and Other Hellenes

I’d never really thought of Greece before. All this changed though when I met a rather quiet, unhappy looking, beautiful Greek girl who had come to teach in a summer school in Winchester. And married her. Then I became the Englishman in Greece lost in world of anarchists, nudists, Olympian Gods and bearded bouzouki players. And feta. Lots of feta.
Ola kala then.
But why is everyone calling me ugly? And why, exactly, is my mother-in-law forever spitting on the top of my head?

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Goodbye To All This – 10 Years in TEFL

Goodbye To All This – 10 Years in TEFL

Reflections on 10 years of teaching with the Boozers, Losers and Cruisers.

TEFL: a profession where the teachers have to read a grammar book for beginners before going in to their lessons.
Are there any other sort of teachers who have to desperately catch up with the level of knowledge that their students have? Do Geography teachers have to check an atlas before they go into class?

But then, when you meet some of your fellow teachers in the TEFL world, it’s a wonder some of them have even managed to put their trousers on in the morning. In fact, some haven’t…

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The Magical Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour

Commissioned to be part of a feature on musical history tours, I am sent to Liverpool to rub shoulders with fellow Beatles’ obsessives.

Driving round the Fab Four’s old haunts in a replica Magical Mystery Tour bus, I am in my element…until the trip starts getting a bit too exhaustive for my tastes. And when the die-hards start crying around me, well it’s time to bond with the one person on the tour who’s never even heard of the Beatles…

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La Vie en Teaching

La Vie en Teaching

Saved from being down and out in Paris by taking a job teaching English as a Foreign Language to children of the impossibly rich, the never-ending appeal of the city tries to compensate for a job where you’re viewed as a heap of rags blown in off the street at best. But maybe a job as a busking chanson on the streets of Pigalle would be a better a prospect?

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Teaching Tokyo

Teaching Tokyo

Having ‘conquered’ Europe the next stop for the English Foreign Language teacher has to be Tokyo. The perennial honeypot for teachers seduced by the prospect of an incomprehensible language, an indecipherable alphabet, inscrutable customs and an intoxicating way of life. Getting the students to talk about anything other than Disney characters or understanding that when your boss tells you “this is not a problem” it really IS a big problem, is another matter though.

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I. Cairo

I. Cairo

  “Why don’t we take our clothes off?” Kemp said to the Greek. “We don’t have to do anything…” And so the travel adventures began.   The location for this beginning was unpromising: a tatty under-graduate’s room, cleared for the summer, on a suburban London campus filled with bored foreign teenagers, where Kemp and the […]

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A New World Symphony

A New World Symphony

A new world of travel and a new life of chance opens up for Kemp after he meets his travelling Passpartout – a bored, searching, pretty Greek anarchist, teaching in a suburban English boarding school for the summer, longing to get away and explore.
Passports in hand, they make a dash for it together…

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Teaching Europe

Teaching Europe

Where do you go when the world has become your oyster?
When you have just acquired the English teaching qualification that is your passport to the world?
The answer, for this teacher anyway, is across Europe, travelling to each new country by train and discovering the different cultures, students, types of accommodation and ways of life thrown up by each new location. And trying to master the past perfect tense before his class suss him out.

Originally asked to be written for a UK-based magazine, this article is a longer look at the life of a travelling TEFL teacher through Europe.

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