For Georgia to have a sporting team ranked 12th in the world is an achievement to be proud of. For that sport to be rugby union, a game born in England’s elite schools, and kept within the British Commonwealth for over a century, makes it an even more outlandish feat. The rise of Georgian rugby is one of the great stories in European sport over the last 20 years, with the national team going from unknowns to World Cup mainstays. Along the way, Georgia may not have battled the British nations on the pitch as often as it hoped to, but the countries’ rugby histories have been closely linked in other ways. … More Swing Lelo: Georgia and Britain’s shared rugby history
Yerevan used to feel like the most relaxed city in the world – until the week I was caught up in Armenia’s revolution. … More Yerevan, April 2018: Memories of the Armenian Revolution
The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2021 includes a piece that I wrote for its ‘Cricket Round The World’ section, about how the game is becoming known in two far-flung corners of Russia.
Being a lifelong cricket fan, I’m thrilled that my article (on page 815) is in such exalted company. Following the Notes by the Editor Lawrence Booth, the 2021 Wisden features essays by Gideon Haigh, Matthew Engel, Ebony Rainsford-Brent and James Anderson. … More Cricket in Russia: Some writing in the 2021 Wisden Almanack
For Georgians, the Black Sea region of Adjara has come to mean summer fun, with sweltering days and sultry nights lasting for half the year. But with breathtaking mountains, historical treasures and boisterous festivals, there is much more to her than that. With a lively food and drink scene, and more than its fair share of Georgia’s legendary hospitality, there are hundreds of reasons to fall in love with the country’s most colourful region. … More Colours of Adjara – Batumi and Georgia’s Black Sea
“For most of my travels I have been under the influence of alcohol. In my defence, I had to be: by a very fortunate twist of fate, I once worked as an analyst in the wine and spirits industry.
Covering the Eurasia region I travelled to several countries to discover what – and how much – the people in this part of the world drink. I learned that a country’s choice of tipple always reveals something great about their culture. Behind the data and numbers in my reports were hundreds of stories – not to mention some delicious memories”. … More Tipsy travels: a tour of Eurasia’s favourite drinks – Bradt Guides
*** JC: This story ‘Wonder and reflection in the Russian Arctic’ was published in the December 2020 issue of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society’s magazine, The Geographer. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society is a fantastic organisation; learn more about the RSGS on its website, and read previous editions of The Geographer online here. *** I … More Wonder and reflection in the Russian Arctic