Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Here's To St Patrick

Last Thursday, St Patrick's Day was celebrated in Moldova and they really did it in style. We went to Albion Club, one of the best haunts in the city and were treated to a great evening of live music, green beer and leprachauns. See the footage here

Round about 4:20 you'll see yet another of my TV appearances. I think my interview is much more interesting and sober than the rest of the expats. Just saying...

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Dance The Night Away

Please see the attached flier for the Hospice Angelus Charity Ball 2011, THE Chisinau social event of the year. Please contact me for further information and feel free to pass on to anyone you feel may be interested.



As things are hotting up in Moldova (not just the weather, but the work of the Hospice), I wanted to post some links to a recent TV appearance I made on the local Moldovan TV channel, Sare si Piper (Salt and Pepper). Our hospice co-ordinator, Denis, is the official photographer on the show, which airs Monday - Thursday from 1815 to 1945 on Jurnal TV, and he asked me to go on and cook some Scottish food in my kilt (see the start of the stovies getting made here) and teach the hosts to do some traditional Scottish dancing.

Some of my colleagues and friends came along to watch the show being filmed (much appreciated support) and it was a great laugh. The show lasted 90 minutes and I was on for much of the time. The hosts, Andrei Bolocan and Nata Albot, were really welcoming and made me feel at ease. Andrei even went as far as to wear a makeshift kilt (but I obviously had better legs) and correct Nata when she got my name wrong. You can watch this and enjoy Mr Bolocan's fantastic Scottish accent here, along with Nata's obvious infatuation with Ewan McGregor and the evident comparisons between Moldova and Scotland on their video clip.

The show is kind of a cross between This Morning, The One Show and Saturday Kitchen and they really went to town in showing traditional Scottish items and some funny videos from YouTube. It was nice to hear the Weegie accents and to see some of the homeland. I was really impressed about what they knew about Scotland including how many islands there are, that Scotland only gets 4 hours of daylight per day (!) and that the national animal is the unicorn......again, not sure but they seemed convinced.

And then the piece de resistance, the Irish ceilidh band they had on to do a Scottish Reel. It was brilliant and set us up nicely for doing the Gay Gordons which you can see below (note, that we didn't get a chance to practise this first and was her first attempt).

The show ended with the stovies looking a bit like vomit and a little bit of slagging as it was just mashed potatoes and meat and this is available all over Moldova. But the cranachan went down extremely well. It was a brilliant night and even made the Scottish press. My journo pal, Jane Bradley, wrote this article in the following day's Scotsman:

and so thrilled were the show to hear about their new found fame, they featured Jane's article on the next night's show. You'll notice in the clip that Andrei mentions something about the dessert from Perth. The story was that they asked me to bring along a bottle of whisky for the cranachan so I thought I should bring a bottle of Perth's finest (depending who you ask), Dewars. They only used 6 tablespoons for the dessert so there was a lot left. Once the show ended, I went to collect my bags from the dressing room downstairs and when I came back I asked for the bottle. Apparently, this negated the shock horror I portrayed earlier in the show when asked if the reputation us Scots have as stingey is true. Either way, the crew and audience had pretty much tanked the entire bottle in 5 minutes so I didn't get to take any home. I feel that this story also backs up the recent articles published by the World Health Organisation about Moldovans and their attitude to drink which you can read about here. Take that, Bolocan!

Take a look at some of the stills from the show here:

Andrei and his make-shift kilt

Irina, Cristina and Victoria from the Hospice were in the audience to have a laugh

Denis, our volunteer co-ordinator at the Hospice, who was responsible for my appearance

This was the moment I realised that I'd probably cocked up the recipe

The ceilidh band who played on the show

Co-hosts Nata Albot and Andrei Bolocan. Pleased to be with such a celebrity.