Victoria and the Fragility of the Expat Dream

by Charlie Graham-Dixon

Around five years ago, I decided to move to Berlin after visiting the city for a weekend and instantly loving it. A sense of freedom was palpable along its wide streets and in the parks where people sat drinking massive bottles of cheap, decent beer.

Greetings from Chez Jacques

I wake up, uncertain how many people are asleep around me. Sometimes it’s just Jacques, at other times indeterminate snores ping pong over the fold-down sofa, into the shower unit and across the kitchenette. I slip into my trunks, part the patterned curtains and fall into the pool. At first, we all went over-ripe, our skin blistering tomato red.

How Should We Be Bored?

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and I’m watching Take Me Out on catch-up. It’s a cringe-y lol and the right level for my brain, ticking to a slower tock after too many gin and tonics last night. Except I’m not just watching Paddy – “let the angel see the delight”; “let the jal see the frezi” – I’m also on my phone.

Christmas With the Kranks: A Miraculous Tour of Made-for-TV Movies

Christmas movies used to be good. Even the bad ones, which is why it was a preternatural blessing when Mariah Carey released the highly anticipated teaser for her holiday movie and directorial debut, A Christmas Melody.

Reflections on Glass

I don’t know what I was expecting when I first tried glassmaking, but from the moment I gathered molten glass out of a furnace on a metal blowing iron, I fell in love with the pale fluorescent glow of glass’s heat and the sound of the furnace keeping it alive for the maker.

On Björk and Divorce

My mum’s parents’ lives have always been an open book, thanks no doubt to Nana’s razor-sharp memory. I know that they met when Grandpa volunteered to life-save Nana in their youth group swimming club.

The Tribe and Outsider Cinema

As you arrive at a restaurant, you receive a message from your friend letting you know that they are running late. “Fine, no problem,” you reply, and it is fine, aside from wishing that they would just turn up now so those people around you looking into each other’s eyes and laughing as they eat don’t glance in your direction and think you’re here alone. The friend appears.

One Hundred

The other day, I had a nightmare. It was Wednesday afternoon and I’d been up since the night before writing a newspaper review of a translated science fiction novel called One Hundred by the Portuguese author Priscila de Araujo Severo. It’s about a detective who has an accident that leaves him with the power to see the future, without the ability to change it.

Subtle Cinema and the Dardennes Brothers

I’ve never liked being told what to do, or how to think. Usually, my default response is to want to think or do the opposite, while quietly hating the person who ordered me around.

Midnight Subversion: A Eulogy for Late Night TV

You’ve been gone so long now that the time we spent together almost feels like a lie. Although, on certain days, I swear you’re still here, a nightlight to ease my febrile brain. And, as an echo of your memory floods my mind, once again you illuminate the darkness with a warning and a promise… “DO NOT SLEEP” But it’s just a dream.