My greatest trouble in England arose from my refusal to give up my Romanian nationality. In retrospect this may seem bizarre, especially that I was menaced on a number of fronts: by Securitate operatives masquerading as diplomats, keen to end my flouting of socialist order and drag me back to Romania; by a prospective mother-in-law who refused to allow her daughter to marry me, unless I accepted British citizenship… and by officials of the British Home Office, who assumed that my desire to retain what I saw as my unalienable right of birth, my nationality, might stem from communist loyalties.
Entries Tagged as 'Short Stories & Cameos'
February 9th, 2017 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Short Stories & Cameos
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Constantin Roman"·"Continental Drift"·"Moving Here"·"School of Physics"·book·British Home Office·cambridge·Colliding Continents·communism·Converging Cultures"·exile·Home Office·London·Lord Arnold Goodman·Memoir·Newcastle upon Tyne·oil and gas exploration·Penthouse·Peterhouse·Romania·Scholarship·Sir Basil Spence·traducere·Tyne Tees television·“Cambridge Review”·“Encounter”
January 6th, 2017 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Education, History, International Media, PEOPLE, POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT, Reviews, Science, Short Stories & Cameos
Mi-am analizat rapid, din interstiţiile memoriei, virtuţile eventuale ale originii noastre sociale, pentru ca să pot avea o ideie de cum m-aş fi putut bucura de libertatea de a călători în străinătate, atâta timp cât paşaportul era acordat doar pe criterii de apartenenţă la o anumită clasă socială şi politică privilegiată: era evident că în familia noastră nu ne-am născut “ilegalişti”. Departe de a aparţine categoriei privilegiate de comunişti nomenclaturişti, familia noastră nu dorea să se compromită luând din mers trenul communist, ba chiar dimpotrivă, după ce ne pierdusem prin expropriere şi naţionalizare toate economiile şi bunurile mobile şi imobile, ajunsesem să fim marginalizaţi. Şansa noastră de supravieţuire nu era foarte bună, să nu mai vorbim de luxul de a fi obţinut un paşaport.
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Constantin Roman"·"Continental Drft Colliding Continents Converging Cultures·"Continental Drift"·"Deriva Continetală - Coliziunea Continentelor şi Convergenţa Culturilor"·"Poetry in Translation"·1883-1970)·Ana Velescu·Ana Velescu (nee Zeliska)·Bucharest School of Architecture·communism·editor·Eugenia Velescu ROMAN·Farmacia Bruss Bucuresti·George Velescu Famacist·London·Patriarh Miron Cristea·rezistenţa anticomunistă·Romania·romanian·şcoala catolică de la Ana Velescu (nee Zeliska·traducere·Valeriu ROMAN·“Eugenia Roman”
November 1st, 2016 · No Comments · Diary, Education, History, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Short Stories & Cameos
Besides, psychologists and sundry therapists, even those with an address in Harley Street, were very strange creatures and odd balls. Often, they took such profession as a result of their own intractable psychological problems, in the first place. Look at Freud, for example, say no more!
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies"·"Constantin Roman"·"Swine flu"·Black Death·British Empire·Civil Service·editor·Flemish Huguenots·Great Fire of London·Jewish Estonians·Kama sutra·Legionnaire’s disease·Peninsular War·Pontiac fever·Spanish flu·WWI
October 31st, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos
Dreams of the Vicar’s wife’s oven lit my face, as I warmed up to the offer, thinking at the advice given by the village quack, only the day before: “Make love more often, my dear Sir!”
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Constantin Roman"·"short story"·"Sunday Service"·country squire·editor·homily·jersey cream·revolution·Russia·scones·sermon·vicarage·Vikings·village church·zebra crossing
March 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Short Stories & Cameos
Sărut mâna pentru masă
C-a fost bună şi gustoasă
Şi bucătăreasa grasă.
Which, in the English vernacular translation, would more or less sound like:
Kiss your hand, Ma’am, for the pastry,
And the meal, which was so tasty,
For the coffee and all that,
As the cook was nice and fat’.
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Emil Cioran·"Eugene IONESCO"·Army tradition·Aunt Angela·Bellu cemetery·Bucharest·Cavalry regiment·chapel of rest·Colonel0in-Chief·cousin-in-law·East India Compamy·England·eternal memory·Eternal rest"·family graft·Funeral·inheritance·King's Own Regiment·Maître de cérémonie·majordomo·Orthodox Priest·Orthodox service·outlaw·Romania·Theatre of teh Absurd·Vesnica pomenire·wake
March 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Short Stories & Cameos
The King? What King? I thought you were a republic and just shot one president to replace him with another, I said tartly
– This is His Majesty the King of Romania. He is the guest of His Beatitude the Archbishop of Argesh and is coming to visit the royal graves at the monastery in the Carpathians. The King and his family were specifically assigned these rooms and the hotel will be full with the Press from abroad and dignitaries.
The King of Romania! How very odd – he was turned away before by the new Communist President and marched off all the way to the airport under military escort to have him expelled from the country: only the year before! The old commies were still afraid that he might command some unwelcome popular support and overthrow the rascals who usurped the power after Ceausescu.
Tags:Archbishop of Argesh·Bucharest·Ceausescu·dereliction of morals·driver·HM King Michael of Romania·Hotel Continental·Hotel Union·inhibition·missionary position·morala proletaiatului·obsequious·road potholes·Securitate mascarade·sex under Communism·Systolic heart·tart·traffic·tuna sandwich
March 27th, 2016 · No Comments · History, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Short Stories & Cameos
Still, during the dictatorship years the Continental was no more than a gilded cage for tourists, a kind of ghetto, where all foreign visitors were huddled together, as they were easier to keep in check. A hub of Securitate operatives and professional prostitutes were at hand. A mall of hard-currency shops, where luxury goods could be bought only with dollars, were completing the landscape. Dollars were at the time a currency, which native Romanians were not allowed to obtain: if found out, or denounced, they could spend years in prison.
March 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Genealogy, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos
Mr Professor Sir, you are English, aren’t you? But you are also a little bit Romanian!
– No, I am British – I am not English, because I was not born in England and I am naturalised British. What’s all about?
That baffled Vlad, like most Continentals could not make the difference between English and British, so I enquired:
– But why are you asking this all of a sudden?
– Because, Mr Professor Sir, you are also a little Romanian and you criticise too much all these things, the potholes in the road and everything.
Now I got the gist: I offended Vlad’s national pride and he was going to teach me a lesson: he was going to give me a fright by the way of retribution.
Tags:"post-communism"·"The Scream"·Administration·bacshish·Bellu cemetery·Bucharest·Bucharest trafic·car driver·carer·carer skiving·chapel of rest·denture·died of starvation·dollar bribes·dollars·Edvard Munch·funeral reathm the Balkans·graft·gypsies·hot water·Intercontinental hotel·old habits·Orthodox funeral·Professor·rigor mortis·romanian·rush hour·service·wreath
March 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos
I remember grandfather was telling me that before the war there was a kind of popular bistro across the road from the Bellu Orthodox cemetery whose name was “Better here than Opposite’ (Mai bine aici decat vis-à-vis). This was very handy because the mourners, instead of going all the way to the home of the dearly departed, for the traditional post-funeral meal, they would instead have the drinks across the road from the cemetery, once the funeral was over and the alms given to the poor. And so there was so much merry-making at the bistro, with gypsy brass band and even dancing – all of course in memory of the deceased, that people started complaining for the lack of decorum, especially as the mourners were approaching the cemetery gate with the hearse and all and they were hearing were the fiddles and bassoons playing away drinking songs…
Eventually the police shut the establishment and now it is all history!
Tags:"post-communism"·Angela Lambrino·Aunt Angelica·Bellu cemetery·bribes·Britain·Bucharest·bureaucracy·Ceausescu·chapel of rest·Courts of justice·England·formalities·Funeral·gipsies·gipsy mafia·graft·mafia·Orthodox funeral·Orthodox Priest·Paul Lambrino·reaths·State Funeral·wake
February 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Education, Not without my Boppa, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos
– ‘You know?’, daughter told me, half incredulously and half bemused, ‘you know, Pa’ and then she paused…
– ‘Well, how shall I put it, to you, Pa? When we entered class, the other day, the Spanish teacher had already marked in chalk, on the black board, in English, that is, “BIG TITS”, in capital letters
– ‘Big Tits? I asked, ‘What on earth for? It can’t be! Are you serious?’
– ‘Yes I am, I saw it! We both saw it, Catherine and I. We looked at each other and laughed. It was embarrassing!’
– ‘Of course it was!’