Global economy

Ba, ba, black sheep

I seem to be on a woolly streak of late. First a post about tartan some days back, and today a post about sheep. Well: it’s not about sheep, it’s about wool, and seeing as no sheep equals no wool, that per definition means you cannot talk about one without mentioning the other. Sheep have …

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A spoonful of sugar – of trade and slaves

Say the West Indies, and most of us think of sun and sea, of palm trees and the soft swaying rhythm of calypso music. We don’t automatically think big business – well, beyond the fact that most of us know there are a couple of attractive tax havens in the Caribbean – but once upon …

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Ode to the bulb – an abbreviated tulip history

When I was a child, tulips were mostly yellow flowers my mother bought around Easter. Sometimes, they were red, and now and then my mother would receive a bouquet of pink tulips with mimosa (good combo, that), but mostly they were yellow. I never buy yellow tulips. I go wild and crazy with pink and …

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All that glitters…

In 1494, the then pope, the infamous Rodrigo Borgia, brokered the treaty of Tordesillas. As per this treaty, Portugal and the joined kingdoms of Castilla and Aragón divided up the world outside of Europe between them. Hmm. I wonder what the divided world had to say about that? Anyway, due to this treaty, a line …

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Not only tulips and chocolate sprinkles

Today, I thought I’d write something about the fishier aspects of Dutch history. I like the Dutch, I suspect I may be genetically predisposed to do so, seeing as my mother had a most romantic fling with a tall (they’re always so tall, these modern Dutchmen) Dutchman called Hank. And then, of course, there’s the …

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Of the potato – the true gold of the Andes

I love them fried, I love them boiled, I love them very much when they are mashed. I like them new when they’re the size of quail eggs, I love them just as much when they’re covered with thick peel and are the size of a large fist. I like them red and yellow, blue …

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Shop until you drop

It is five thirty on the Friday after pay day, and I’m stupid enough to be at IKEA with a shopping list long as my arm and droves of people equally equipped. Of course, the reason all of us are there at this same time is because our lists exceed our end-of-month wallets, and so, …

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