HoL H2O bicycle buds

In an Italian cafe I saw two eight-year-olds locked in a passionate embrace. I had to blink. What on earth? On closer examination he had her locked, her neck was rigid, he had hold of her head in both his hands. Their lips were pressed on each other, hard and still. It was a Holywood […]

HoL H2O pink broom

In a second hand shop I tried on the superlong pair of creamy trousers that had had to be hung twice over the pavement rack. They were pearl coloured Thai silk and so long in the calf you could ruche them up tight, and then the bloomer shaped waistband region ballooned like a flower in […]

HoL H2O salamiherz

In the cafe he showed me the pictures he had taken on his walk here, of a dog skateboarding in the park. “You should animate those into a thumb-book!” I said. Amy Winehouse was singing. “Or maybe a – gif.” We watched a couple walking past in their somehow sweet and somehow matching outfits. He […]

HoL H2O morocco pink snugglee

Every week I cross town on the train and we pass a tower block of identical grey-frame units which have grey balconies. One balcony, at eye level with the train, has a bright pink inflatable flamingo hanging like a lurid fern, I guess somebody went to Florida or Havana and brought it back with them […]


On the subway I sat down next to a guy who was remarkably good looking. Tall and well set up, he sat at his ease, one leg crossed over the other and his knee splayed. I glanced sideways at him as I got my work out of my bag: Mmm, cute! Well dressed, too, in […]


Autumn in Berlin and the grimy guy begging outside our supermarket is absorbed in a book. When I come home he’s set it down to thank a woman who dropped some coins into his smashed paper cup. It is Sylvia Plath. I prefer him to the punker dude who spreads himself with a large dog […]

HoL H2O berlin most berlin photo of all time ii

Reaching my Kiez in the late afternoon* I nearly ran into a boy-girl couple kissing strenuously outside the Turkish supermarket. This supermarket annoys me because they always reel off too many plastic bags and I have seen a man who had put his single apple into one bag accept another bag to carry it home […]

HoL H2O bilderbuch white lamp

A lot of noise round the house today as the Hausmeister – Deutschland brims with masters – has called a gang of workmen in to saw back the thorny bushes round the huddle of bins. Our bin system is complex because everything gets recycled – everything but, puzzlingly, aluminium and steel. The thorny bushes make […]

fb chinatown!

It took me four hours to make my way across town, people kept shaking their heads. “Too far for walking.” “There won’t be much happening,” said the girl who’d been to Brisbane and Sydney, “the night markets are closed Mondays.” Explosive seething crowds sat stuffing themselves. Late night shops spilled onto pavement and street selling […]

HoL H2O bangkok pomegranate

I spent 36 hours in Bangkok and it seemed to me just like the Jakarta of my childhood, that dense crowded lost world. Our flight was three hours late and I had missed the shared minibus from the airport. A series of people gave me courteously conflicting advice. You must go to Gate 3. Go […]