Robert Pimm

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Bitcoin, Bart Simpson, beards, whales and the vomiting camel

The pattern is unmistakeable.

A graph shows a financial trend-line (the price of gold) going up and down a couple of times, then declining more steeply.

Around the trend-line, someone has sketched a crude profile of a camel, its head lowered as if to vomit.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Vomiting Camel, a spoof species of technical analysis created by FT writer @katie_martin_fx to poke fun at how so-called technical analysts attempt to predict future price movements of eg stocks or oil or gold by drawing lines on graphs to identify trends.

You can read her brilliant article (more…)

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Zum Schwarzen Kameel: Review

No seats.  Outrageous spectacles.  An enigmatic, four hundred-year-old name.  What is it that makes “Zum Schwarzen Kameel” stand out?

Zum Schwarzen Kameel (Bognergasse 5, 1st District) is not exactly a cafe but I have decided to include it in my famous cafe reviews it as it is something of a Viennese institution.

Some of the decorative detail in the Kameel is breath-taking – RP

Nestled in the heart of the First District close to a plethora of so-called designer shops (Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel et al), the Kameel is frequently packed with both tourists and well-heeled locals enjoying an eclectic blend of alcohol, open sandwiches, cakes and hot beverages.  My first impression was: “all a bit much” (or, as the Germans might say, schickimicki). My second, and conclusive, impression was: “das hat ‘wos(more…)

The Death of Stalin (Review)

I am quite intrigued by this movie, which I have not yet had a chance to see. Greatly hope it is as good as the rather reliable reviewers at Inconsistent Pacing make out.

Inconsistent Pacing

The Death of Stalin (2017)Do you remember the first time you watched Jaws, and you were really hyped up, but it was kind of disappointing? And you complained about the corny acting and the special effects and someone said, hey, you’ve missed the point?

And then you watched it again, and this time you got it, because you knew the secret: Jaws is not a film about sharks. Jaws is a film about fear.

That magical moment has never happened for me. I think Jaws is a terrible, boring film, and I always will. But I mention it now because The Death of Stalin is not about Stalin. Or sharks.

It’s about fear.

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Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen – 10 Quotations

Attentive readers will know that, Wodehouse-wise, I am a slow-burn fanatic.

Since 2017 I have been relishing a mouth-watering shelf-full of Wodehouse in a hand-tooled Folio Society edition, pausing occasionally to jot down a quote or two.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen”

Recent pleasures have included Thank You, Jeeves (click link for five wondrous quotations) and Ring for Jeeveswhich also teemed with quotables.  Indeed, my researches on P G Wodehouse have revealed a distressing paucity of quality Wodehouse quotes on the Internet which I am doing my best to remedy.

So for all you Wodehouse aficionados out there, here is a selection of quotations from Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen: 

  • ‘Nice girl,’ I said, for there is never any harm in giving the old salve.  ‘And, of course, radiant-beauty-wise in the top ten.’  [Orlo’s] eyes bulged, at the same time flashing, as if he were on the verge of making a fiery far-to-the-left speech. ‘You know her?’ he said, and his voice was low and guttural, like that of a bulldog which has attempted to swallow a chump chop and only got it down halfway. (more…)

How to read “Blood Summit”

Many people come to this site in order to read my thriller Blood Summit.

Welcome!

You can get hold of a copy of Blood Summit thus:

(i) go to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de or Amazon.com (or your local Amazon if you live somewhere else).  You can order a paperback or download a copy for your Kindle or e-book;

(ii) if you live in Vienna (or even if you don’t), stroll along to Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2.   It’s a terrific bookshop and (more…)

Stairway to Klimt 10/10

The Klimt masterpieces have been seen only twice in the last 127 years.

Yet they have been on show all the time.

It makes some sense.

The paintings are rendered doubly enticing by the juxtaposition of columns – Photo RP

In 1891 Gustav Klimt, at the age of 29 already a successful painter, was commissioned as one of several artists to paint murals in the mighty main staircase of the newly-built Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) in Vienna – a kind of combined British Museum and National Gallery.  The paintings are epic in scale, stretching from one side of the vast space to the other.

I noticed the paintings at once when I visited the KHM in 2016 and wanted to get a good look at them.  But I couldn’t.   (more…)

When kissing in cafes is forbidden

My famous Vienna Cafe Reviews note the alleged “no kissing” rule in the Cafe Malipop; and promise a story from 1986.

Here it is.  It concerns the Gmoa Keller, right here in Vienna.

Back in 1986 I looked something like this

In the 1980s, the Gmoa Keller was a tenebrous place, damp with history and rich with atmosphere.  It was run by two elderly sisters from the Burgenland, Grete Novak and Hedi Vécsei.   Grete had been in charge since taking over from her uncle, Andreas Herzog, in the ’60s.  He in turn had run the place since 1936.

Late one night, my girlfriend Nicky and I took refuge there from a bitterly cold, wet evening.  We ordered beers.  We were the only guests.

The beer, and the safe haven of the Gmoakeller, warmed us up.  A hint of kissing arose.  Nothing ostentatious: a nuzzle, perhaps, a cheek to a neck.

Grete shuffled across to where we were sitting.  She leaned down to my ear almost as though she were about to kiss me herself. (more…)

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