Hello, glad you're here.
It's Monday, July 6 2020 now, and I've just been told off by one of my friends in Slovenia that my 'about' section needs sorting out. And she's right. (As women often are. :) )
I'm a British journalist who's lived in Hungary for the best part of 35 years. Yup, when I first came here, there was a red star on top of parliament and on many other buildings too. Soviet troops could be seen all over Hungary, and the infamous "Iron Curtain" surrounded the country's western border.
I've done radio and television work, but most of my time has been spent writing for a bunch of news outlets. These included pieces for The Guardian, Telegraph, Economist Intelligence Unit, Business New Europe and the BBC. But my staple paper for 20 odd years was the Financial Times. The latter was great fun, as we would typically work on special reports covering Hungary and the surrounding countries - Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, and most of former Yugoslavia - the likes of Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Slovenia and North Macedonia. (Many of these are available if you can access the ft.com site.)
I also updated the current edition of Culture Smart! Hungary - a guide to Hungarian life and culture, part of a huge series - to be found here:
Alas, in recent years those have been difficult to fund. Indeed, paid journalism is getting ever tighter. I still contribute to the Budapest Business Journal, but have a lot of stories and comment I'd like to offer which can't go in there - hence I've founded this blog.
That sounds easy, but after a couple of months of anguished learning, with the help of friends (thank you T, E and V), I managed to start publishing stories myself only a few days ago. (I've still got lots to learn in managing the site, however.)
I expect to post stories/comment in the 'main blog' on Hungary and countries round and about, as and when I can get to them.
There's a second blog category (as Wix, the site builder I've used terms the blogs), which is entitled "Tales of a Teenage Spy - The Life and Times of Gabor Rimner". This is a serialisation of a planned book on ....well, what it says on the tin.
And there's a third category for Off Topic Ramblings.
I might add a fourth later, if I get to enough interesting wineries to make it worthwhile.
So that's it for now. I hope you enjoy the content and feel free to make comments, as you wish. I'll find a photo of me later and hoy it up in here. (Apologies, only just done that - August 22!)
Oh, and until I learn how to caption it, the B&W photo on this blog is of a random tourist on Margit Bridge taken in about 1993. If you happen to recognise yourself, I hope your own piccie came out well.