Almost Autumn

Ever been walking on a staircase in the dark and misjudge the number of stairs, your foot flailing in empty space? Such bumps are a necessary step in the revolution of the world.

I have nearly witnessed all 4 seasons of Prague. Having arrived in February, I grabbed Winter by the tail and saw the roofs lined with snow which fell in great clumps onto the street. Spring popped up quickly and was gone in an instant, replaced by Summer’s fires. Autumn feels a second Spring, cutting with a new found rain and colder air. At least the clothes I arrived with are now suitable attire.

The foliage is still green, but the leaves are turning. By next month it may be something to really write about and by the month after that they will all be dead. Funny how seasons still surprise me in my advanced age.

The city’s energy has become somewhat lethargic after the heat of August, but it has woken with a new calmer vibration. This marrow deep resonance reaffirms the wisdom of former choices and suggests delights are to follow.

Besides the chill and the damp, Autumn also brings my old frenemy – darkness.

And darkness beings with it richer scenes to study the interplay of architecture and society. Buildings that would be abhorrent in other circumstances take on a new life here, mingled as they are with past structures.

The ticking of the traffic lights beckoning one to wait continues, but it is no longer a stupid tune of my own devising. It is a harsh logic.

All in all, the adventure of life continues. Make sure to make the most of it, and stop once in a while to take it all in.


Nest month I intend to write and publish one short story a day, make sure to stay up to date as it happens!

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Change and Chaos

This post contains 3 parts. If any part does not interest you, feel free to jog along and catch the others instead. The first is a poem, the second is about the current political state, and the third is a financial opportunity that may be worth some attention. There is something of a link.
Section I

The world is fucked, but so am I.
It spins, some win, some lose, and why
Commingling guilt and pleasure, high
Expectations make us comply
With regulation, then we die
Again. We persevere and try
To respect the truth and lies
In equal measure – man, alive! –
Because we see the ends to tie
It all together. Brains are fried
When all is done and conquered by
Irritating, annoying guys
On Glory’s path who go awry.
The world is fucked, but so am I.
Section II

Thank the heavens politics has become honest. Only some joke intended.

On the UStateside of the Atlantic, they are deciding between an actual villain and a politician for the highest office of the land. Oddly enough, some are keen to say they are both politicians and some are keen to say they are both villains. Hard to agree with the latter category as one of them is supported by racists and the alt-right, some of whom literally call themselves fascists. The mind boggles at how close they became in the polls at one point, though now they are diverging and the politician is on the up. Hopefully it continues and there can be one piece of good news for the world this year, even if that good news is just that the objectively worse person lost. American Revolution 2 would not go amiss, however, if that’s the best they can do. We all like sequels and reboots these days, so I think it has some chance.

Meanwhile, on the Old World side of the Atlantic, the Great British public, or at least the 52% known as Brexiters, are doing their best to send the nation along a very murky path. The most recent conference has Theresa May, the second female Prime minister, and substantially colder than the first one, claiming human rights lawyers are the enemy, and that the UK is being bossed around by elites. She’s damn right about the latter part. She’s in charge of a cadre of the richest, corruptest, powerfulest, scumbaggiest, self-servingiest, people in the U.K. Got to love a bit of honesty. She even went out and targeted human rights lawyers, a clear indication that she’s the villain of this particular piece. Every moral person on the planet should hold the maintenance of human rights as the highest aim of any one of us who call this place home. So glad she has identified herself as some sort of reptilian.

I hope there can be some unity among the non-horrible people to bring the elites of the Tory Party down. It’s bad enough that the PM is targeting humans rights lawyers, but then we have the Home Secretary borrowing some very questionable rhetoric and demanding lists of foreigners. Name me one good person who keeps list of people, I dare you.

And the Great British Public are somewhat more supportive of this than they are opposed. It’s all just the worst.

In other news, the currency continues on he way down, a nice kick in the teeth for the Morons who were talking a fortnight ago about a post-Brexit bounce as a possibility. If it is a possibility, it’s not coming anytime soon. In fact, the pound is set to fall to parity with the Euro and herein lies opportunity.
Section III

Ask any investment manager and they will say it’s a great thing to have a diverse portfolio – you don’t want to keep all your money in one place or one material or a sudden shock there and you fall. If you want examples of non-diverse collapse, consider the fall of the Russian rouble in 2014. Sanctions and a falling price of oil lead to a huge drop in it’s value against other world currencies. They had to resort to liquidating a huge proportion of their foreign currency reserves to stay afloat. It’s a very bad idea to be tied to one thing, as they were tied to oil. Similarly, it’s an awful idea to have all your money in GBP.

If you want evidence of the difficulty in maintaining your savings in pounds, examine the difference in the value of your savings now and at the rate four years ago. It is a very good idea to keep your money diverse, even if it’s something like just buying a stack of foreign notes every now and then as reserve.

So my suggestion today is a mid-term money-making scheme, but this advice will hopefully bear you more fruit later. I am going to detail what is happening with the Czech Koruna (CZK), and how you can profit from it.

The Czech Koruna has been pegged to the Euro, 27 crowns to 1 Euro, since 2013. Since then, the Czech national bank has had to repeatedly intervene to stop it from becoming too strong. The thing is, the economy is more buoyant in the Czech Republic than in other parts of Europe. The crown keeps trying to rise in value, but the central bank is keeping it down. I’ve seen it written that it will likely be forced to abandon the peg mid-2017.

Which coincides with triggering Article 50.

So, word to the wise, buy a bunch of Czech crowns and store them somewhere safe. When the drop happens, it’s bound to be substantial.

The Czech crown was at it’s most valuable in 2008, where it was about 23 to the Euro, 15 to the dollar, and 25 to the pound. If it rises while the pound plummets, which I strongly suspect with the noises from several European officials, then it could be worth substantially more.

Thanks for reading, safe travels.

Brown paper packages, tied up with string

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Happy World Smile Day

Today is one of those days that went right. Excellent classes, where I know the students learned something, wonderful conversations with my colleagues, and an incipient evening of Irish stew.

Additionally, I got a call from DHL to tell me they were delivering something at that moment and did not know which flat. I was confused by a Czech text message I had received the day before and thought I needed to pick something up, not that I was being forewarned of a delivery. Luckily, my flat mate was in and signed for the package. My love, who had turned up on the street during the call, meanwhile seemed in similarly high spirits. The world was good and I would handle the packages later.

Did I say packages? I meant packages:

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My favourite things

Both my condoms that actually fit AND my passport arrived on the same day from the same courier. A big hand for Her Majesty’s Passport Office. It took less than a month for an application made overseas. In addition, said application involved having the photographs countersigned, no easy task from abroad.

I’m full of praise today, and thought I might give some advice to the bepenised people who practice, or at least want to practice, safe sex. A miraculous invention, so simple it shocks the mind that it took as long to happen as it did, condoms that actually fit are available from several different places. You can purchase them at sex shops, probably best use a measuring tape first to get your size right, or online. The particular company I used, theyfit.co.uk, even has a handy penis measuring print out. If you don’t have a printer, they also have a “feel” quiz where you describe the sensation of regular condoms and they suggest an appropriate measure.

These things are particularly handy, geddit, and increase your pleasure manifold. Invest today!

Your brain is correct. This has been a Public Service Announcement lauding both Her Majesty’s Passport Office and TheyFit condoms.

Now, to quote my good friend Teddy’s favourite and most important question, what’s made you smile today?

Good Habits, Bad Habits

Now for an update of where I’m at. As honest as a person can be at 10 in the morning before properly alive though, strictly speaking, I have been a bit of a morning person for some time.

It’s probably one of the Good Habits I developed at a young age. We only had one upstairs shower, and my brother and I had to race to get to it. First person in the shower was the first person to get breakfast. The second person was just left lolling around in a half awake stupor, unable to eat until the ritual ablutions. So from at least 8, I endeavoured to be the first washed and the first at breakfast and this has led me to be far keener and more active in the morning than in the afternoon. Still a Good Habit as there is a far greater pressure to be places on time than there is to be awake and 100% all day. First impressions are everything.

Now, the stuff I’ve kept from you, fellow travellers, in the interest of not scaring anyone. In the past months I have had two occasions where I lost important things.

The first time I lost my wallet and glasses, after a night on the tiles that ended when a Czech woman woke me in a park. A wallet is nightmare enough, but could you even imagine the crippling horror that manifests itself in a Czech bureaucratic building without the ability to even see the letters or numbers? Can you imagine having to do this multiple times? Being stopped by Czech police and asked for ID, feebly holding up a picture on an iPad and hoping it is good enough? (Apparently, it is not good enough for their purposes). That was my first week of July. I got fined by metro police.

It wasn’t pretty, but I survived. As I have said other places, I have an exceptional taste in friends – another Good Habit.

The second time was more serious. This is a cautionary tale for all travellers. Do not try this at home, even with adequate adult supervision.

One night, after leaving a party, I got drunk and woke up with no watch or bag. Contained in said bag was my journal, full of several irreproducible poems, and my passport.

If you love travelling, you must hold onto your passport. For the past two months I have been unable to leave the Czech Republic. This would be fine, except I want to wander around and see the cool things in nearby Austria, Poland, and Hungary. While the EU technically has passport free travel they do still perform routine checks at borders, and I do not trust that a photocopy and a police report, written in Czech, will suffice when it comes to border guards. It reads strangely to Czech speakers, what would a Hungarian make of it? They don’t even call their police police (Rendőrség).

Both of the above stories have one clear similarity. Yes, we’re talking about the most major Bad Habit.

I have been drinking too much. I have absolutely been drinking too much. I have been absolutely and terrifyingly out of control drinking too much. It makes me reckless.

And not reckless as in harmless reckless, I mean shit the bed reckless (not literal). Waking up in a park wasn’t enough for me. Oh no, I couldn’t rest with only losing the ability to see and buy food. I had to lose my poetry, graduation watch, and the one thing that is supposed to guarantee me legal protection around the world. What the fuck.

Fortunately, with careful planning, good friends, and some self-awareness, I am getting back on track.

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I got a pair of new glasses for a song. My love bought me a new wallet, which she gave me the day after I lost my passport. It took me a while to accrue funds and actually sit down and do it, but I have ordered a new passport. Most importantly, I have set myself a limit of three drinks in a night. I have mostly held to that for the past two months and I have lost nothing else.

I will finish with some pieces of moralising.

If you are travelling anywhere, you must pick up and cultivate some Good Habits and shake off the Bad ones you will inevitably have gathered in a long life. You should plan your finances accordingly as the types of incomes most travellers and wanderers get is very temperamental and you will have sudden shocks to contend with. When making friends, find good people who will help you if you stumble and who will encourage you to be a better person.

Do these things and you will have a considerably better time overall.

Then again, the good news with losing things is that it gives you more to win.