New Year has come and gone and we've missed the opportunity to tell some good stories here. Well we have if we enforce a new news policy. However, in the interests of letting you in on the interesting stuff we're going to do a bit of a rewind over the next couple of days. Sometimes there isn't the time to be involved in cool things and blog about them at the same time, so kicking off our retrospective of recent events we'll start with New Year's Eve. Budo, our Novi Most co-worker in Jajce, decided the town needed an open air concert with fireworks to see in the New Year properly. This is not an unusual idea, similar events happen all over the world, but this had never happen here before. Together with the local Omladinski Centar (Youth Centre) he got the idea off the ground, securing the all-important permissions and sponsorship from the town council, local businesses and Novi Most and the Omladinski Centar. Budo plays in one of the main local covers bands. The
"That won't make a good picture" warned my wife as I reached for the camera. She may well be right. But I have soft spot of the venerable Lada Niva. Spotting two of them, identically coloured, alone in an otherwise empty car park somewhere in central Bosnia was too much temptation. I have a friend who tells me horror stories about how their oil (or it could be fuel) consumption grows with age every time I say anything approaching complimentary about these stalwarts of Soviet design. He wants to ensure I never succumb to my irrational attraction and enter into any kind of long-term relationship with the vehicle. And so, for better or for worse, I will continue my quiet admiration from a discreet distance.
“Mr Writer, why don't you tell it like it is? Why don't you tell it like it really is? Before you go on home...” Yesterday afternoon, as the Stereophonics sung these words in my ear, I had one of those moments of conscience. Am I guilty of not telling it like it is? Come to think of it do I really know what it is like? The ‘it’ is probably life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the land of contradictions that is broadly the subject of this blog; our life and work in Mostar being the particular focus. I am aware, often painfully so, that our life here is nothing like that of a great many of the population. For one, I have a Passport that allows me to live and work around Europe. Bosnian Passport holders need an expensive visa just to visit the UK. Such restrictions affect how you see life’s possibilities. My brother commented on the video I made of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s World Cup playoff defeat to Portugal that at times I could have been Alan Green. Sometimes I do feel more like a