Friday 20 September 2013

Twiddly Bits

An interview with a fictional retired British Ambassador

By Patrick Brigham  Circa1998 for the Sofia Western News magazine.

The history of diplomacy in the Balkans started more or less during the period of Bulgarian independence, since which time many ambassadors have travelled through this, part of the world. No longer an ambassador, but now living in retirement in Surbiton, we decided to interview Tony Blogs, who is now in his early seventies. Having held important diplomatic posts in many parts of the Balkans and elsewhere, the SWN asked about his experiences during a long and interesting career. 

Q. What do you remember most about your time in the Balkans? 

Tony Blogs. Mainly the social life actually, diplomatic receptions and so on. 

Who were the politicians you remember the most? 

Tony Blogs. What’s his name? I met him once at a reception given by the Swedish Ambassador. I remember we had wonderful gravlax and fresh prawns in a splendid dill and mustard sauce. I’ll never forget that. 

Q. Were you able to help to promote business during your time? 

Tony Blogs. Well I talked a bit about feasibility studies sometimes - whatever they are - very often at business seminars. But, the food was never very good. However, I remember once having terrific egg mayonnaise canapĂ©’s; you know, with twiddly bits on top, they were excellent. 

Q. You were there prior to democracy, what can you tell us about the run up to the political changes in the Balkans? 

Tony Blogs. Well there were some very dodgy characters hanging around receptions in those days, but, there is no question about it, the food was much better. And the wine; you know, I can remember drinking 1963 Merlot and even a good 1962 Melnik on one occasion. 

Q. What were living conditions then like in the Balkans? 

Tony Blogs. Oh! Very comfortable really. Nice big house, with servants, lovely garden, and of course one could eat more familiar food - roast beef; that sort of stuff - and entertain ones friends. 

Q. You have now retired, what is your most lasting memory? 

Tony Blogs. It is very difficult to say, but as I mention in my memoirs - which are just about to be published - I think it was the egg mayonnaise which I remember most, you know, with the twiddly bits on top. Very tasty! 

Editors Note.  

Next month former Ambassador Tony Blogs will tell us about time spent:-

1. The In*** Subcontinent? -  Madras and Vindaloo Curry.

2. The Leba***? -  Stuffed lamb with raisons.

3. And finally *****? -  Baked Beans on toast.


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