Category: Other Stuff

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A Cagnomatic in the Auberge de Founex

Cagnomatic for the people

I called into the Auberge de Founex for a coffee and to read the news on my way to work last week. On the way out I spotted something on the wall that puzzled me. I took a photo to enable further investigation… A Cagnomatic provides a means of organizing a cagnotte du bistro, a tradition that seems to be...

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In hindsight, it looks like a master plan

In hindsight, it almost looks like it was a master plan: spend two to three years each at different international organizations, building up the skills, experience and network I would need to launch a (hopefully!) successful communications consultancy. In reality, it was more like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, where deliberate decisions at specific moments in time have brought...

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A new website for GLAS

For more than a decade now GLAS – the Geneva Literary Aid Society – has been bringing theatre, music, poetry and prose to Geneva. I was at the first event in January 2005, when David Norris, a well-known Irish politician and gay rights activist, came to perform his one-man tribute to James Joyce. Over the years since, GLAS has hosted...

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90 reasons why I’ve enjoyed my first year at Ecolint

It’s just about a year since I took up the post of Alumni Officer at the International School of Geneva (or Ecolint, as it’s commonly known). In those twelve months I’ve met hundreds of our alumni in person and interacted with many hundreds more electronically. Looking back, I think the part I’ve enjoyed the most so far has been my...

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Snowfolk

It snowed a lot here last weekend. I don’t recall ever seeing so much snow down at the level of Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman, to use its official name), with the possible exception of one year around 2006 or so when Geneva itself froze up for a week. In our village of Vich, just above the lakeside towns of...

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Top tip on bike rental in Amsterdam

I had the pleasure of spending 24 hours in Amsterdam this week, organising a dinner for Netherlands-based alumni of the school I work for. (The Apotheek room at the Pultizer Hotel, where we held the dinner for 14 people, was a perfect venue for this kind of thing. The food was excellent too.) It was so lovely to be back...

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Passport posing

Getting Robert to pose in a manner that would be acceptable to the Irish passport service proved difficult, but fun. (Click the image for a bigger version.)

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Introducing Alumnographics… and other news from Ecolint

It’s five months since I began the latest phase of what’s turning out to be quite a varied career as an all-purpose comms guy. This time three years ago I was starting my final month with the European Association of Zoos & Aquaria, from an office at the back of Amsterdam Zoo; I then spent a little over two years...

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The best Irish pubs outside Ireland

I’ve been an Irishman abroad for more than ten years now, and had already travelled a fair bit before leaving for Switzerland in February 2004. One big difference between being an Irish tourist and actually living overseas is that you tend to visit Irish pubs more often. It helps to keep the homesickness at bay and Irish pubs are usually...

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A living statue actually worth seeing

Having lived in Amsterdam for a couple of years and witnessed the influx of really bad “living statues” on Dam Square, I’ve grown to dislike this form of street theatre greatly. (It annoys me even thinking about those con artists in Amsterdam. I know people are desperate sometimes, but they made life very difficult for legitimate artists.) So when I...