Sugar and plastic balls

  Dear Inquisitive Stranger, In 1815, the Duke of Wellington led red coat troops to victory against the French at the Battle of Waterloo. As was the custom of the age, the military leader went to battle on horseback and for this commander, no horse was more reliable than the chestnut stallion, Copenhagen. For 17…

Celebrities and the present tense

Dear Inquisitive Stranger, I suspect as you read this letter, you are nibbling on Julia Robert’s beer battered crab. Or maybe you are licking Tom Hanks’ spinach and water chestnut sauce from your lips. Personally, I’m into Emma Stone’s falafel but if you are a meat lover, you’ll be tucking into Ryan Gosling’s caramelised bacon….

Green tea and Battlecat

Dear Inquisitive Stranger, he-man hē ˌman Noun, informal a well-built, muscular man, especially one who is ostentatiously so. synonyms: muscleman, strongman, macho man, iron man; antonyms: wimp Look at you! Sipping your matcha green tea and nibbling on green tea tiramisu. You checked all the lights were turned off and recycling had been sorted before…

Tangerines and thoughtfulness

Dear Inquisitive Stranger, Isn’t it just wonderful that “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”? James Keller’s marvellous quote is so honest that it became an instant paraphrase smash hit. Mrs Foley, my formidable year 6 teacher, dispatched the candle light nugget on her bright-eyed class of young ladies, thus becoming the go-to quote…

Ugliness and wands

Dear Inquisitive Stranger, Aaah, childhood. That innocent time of snot, sandpits and sans electricity bills. We were raised on porridge oats (non-organic if you pre-date the Millenials), a tot of brandy in our bedtime milk and fairy tales read to us by somebody who, if we got lucky, delivered the dialogue in amusing voices. Like…

Horses and honour

Dear Inquisitive Stranger, You have discovered this letter in Seoul Metropolitan Library. Maybe you have come here to leaf through the pages of your favourite novel. Or research your history paper in the cultural record room. Or perhaps, like me, you have a book sniffing fetish and you need to scratch that itch. As I…

Lipstick and jet lag

Dear Inquisitive Stranger, There is a school of thought that makes me happy: creativity makes the world go round. If creativity is king, being an original is revered. In these times, we are encouraged to cultivate critical thinking and authentic thought which may be reflected in our style of dress or approach to environmental issues….

Waffles and glamour

Hello Inquisitive Stranger, With the festive season drawing to a close, the reason for your visit to the airport today may be the return journey of your Christmas getaway. Oh, the excitement of foreign travel and winter adventure, however there is a chance your travel plans may be blighted by the question that has haunted…

Limitations and socks

Dear Inquisitive Stranger, Bruce Lee, martial arts champ and wordsmith, summarised the hobbling effect of limiting ourselves. “If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not…

Burgers and battles

Bonjour Étranger Curieux, You have discovered this lettre in Acacia, the cafe with the European vibes in Sinsa, the continental corner of Seoul. Perhaps you are dithering to decide if Acacia is a cafe or a café, that is to say, is it more London pub or Parisian bistro?   Purists may scoff at the…