img_1040When you’ve been brought up on a diet of football in a football loving country with a clear footballing structure, it can be a challenge getting into what is supposed to be the same game in a country where at least two and possibly three sports are more popular.

New Zealand has a pretty decent national football team, in truth, as was illustrated by their come-back draw against the USA in Washington earlier in the week. Arguably (very, at the moment), the country’s next best team is Wellington Phoenix, effectively representing New Zealand across the ditch in the competitive A-League. Though, Phoenix are currently bottom after two games in an apparent move to refute that suggestion. Read More


fullsizeoutput_2c49New Zealand is a wonderfully varied place. Beaches, mountains, hills, fjords, countryside, wine, beer and even the odd city. Many are not odd. New Zealand in spring has all of those things, still. But, if you’re English, you have to bear two things in mind: Cold and Hot. Auckland, in particular, does a wind that chews more than bites, drizzle that attaches itself to your soul and hard rain that flays skin. It makes you want to sit in front of a fire and defrost with a nice hearty porter. Alternatively, thanks to the absence of ozone, it also does a sun that scorches and burns your skin. It makes you want to take your clothes off so that you can sit for hours, if armoured with factor 50, in the sparkling shine drinking a lovely cold pale ale. Read More

fullsizeoutput_2c48As I sit here on the veranda pondering whether to write anything about beer this week, I think about everyone else working hard in their windowless offices, dry air being blasted at them from all angles at a just-slightly-too-cool temperature to ensure no snoozing on the job … this pleases me, so I have a drink and resolve to soldier on lest I’m considered tardy and letting the British side down in some horrendous way.

Having acclimatised to the Australian way of life, I’ve concluded that an Australian likes a Pale Ale. The Aussies LOVE a pale ale. They are everywhere, like dangerous spiders, half decent sushi bars and the threat of Chinese multi-nationals buying up all indeginous brands and companies. Read More

img_7378You’re probably getting a picture. A beardy twat with a swept-over cut-under on top, a shirt buttoned to the neck, tight chaps and some pointy shoes or deck feet?

And there would be nothing wrong with me if that were the case. But, sorry, I am bald, Robert Pires appropriated my facial hair in 1995 and I hate doing up a shirt fully as it reminds me of the noose I used to have to wear when I was a responsible adult, gainfully employed. No more. Read More

fullsizeoutput_2c47Food pairing. It’s a thing. Ignore it, get over it or go with your tastebuds. Having said that, sometimes it’s difficult not to be left with the impression that you’ve had the wool pulled over your eyes

Featured: Doyle’s Fisherman’s Lager, Malt Shovel Brewery.

As if to emphasise the previous blog’s note on the corporate appropriation of craft beer culture, the Malt Shovel Brewery gets its’ second mention in the first two entries. Read More

img_7265Lifestyle beer. It’s a problem but not a big one for the tastebuds. But can anyone manage being a beer wanker?

Featured: James Squire’s One Fifty Lashes, Malt Shovel Brewery. Growers Golden Ale, Endeavour Vintage Beer.

Relocating to a new city for four months is a good thing. Fancied it. I’ll be honest, Australia was not the first choice of possible countries. And Sydney was not the first choice of cities within that not first choice country.

But necessity dictates that it’s home until 2016. And, as I don’t, technically (or in reality), have a job, I need something to do. So, here we are, I’m going to be a beer wanker abroad. Read More

IMG_6946Loved this. The cobbles, the ghostly dead-eyed forms arcing over the three characters: a wide-eyed child, a creepy moustachioed Don and what could be a ‘fabioler’ from the island’s Festes de Sant Joan de Ciutadella. The hinges form neat crosses and this all pans out above the cobbled streets.

Street art, back streets of Ciutadella, Minorca.

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