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British Expat Newsletter: March 2018

Hello, Happy Easter, and welcome to those of you who have recently signed up.

In this issue

This month

Just for a change, this month’s headlines haven’t been dominated by Brexit. No, instead we’ve been taken back to the Cold War, with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on 4 March. The British Government have identified the poison as a Russian-produced nerve agent and challenged the Russians to account for it. The Russians have responded with a weird combination of denial and bluster to the UK and threats to their own citizens of the consequences of treason.

Tit-for-tat expulsions of each other’s Embassy staff have now escalated. The UK’s allies have expelled varying numbers of Russian diplomats, as a mark of their displeasure with Russian disregard for the rule of law. The Russians have followed suit. (Their response to the closing of their consulate in Seattle was to post on Twitter, inviting people to vote on which US consulate in Russia they should close.)

So, with just under a year now left until the day the UK formally leaves the EU, it’s good to know that despite our differences we still have good friends in Europe.

Those of us who spend time travelling to or around the Continent will probably know that there are EU rules on mandatory compensation for delayed flights. But in case you don’t, our pals on the Flight Delay Claims Team have come up with a two-part article explaining what the rules are, how to find out whether you qualify and how to go about claiming. Essential reading if you ever arrive more than three hours late and your flight has an EU component.

Our latest Pic of the Week comes from the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes in Northern Spain, where all paths seemingly lead to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Our choice was inspired by the fact that “pilgrimage” seems to be a hot topic just now. Our friend in Canada, Graeme, wrote on the forum that he was planning to do this very trip. Coincidentally we had just started watching BBC2’s Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago series on iPlayer, in which seven celebs undertake part of the Camino, among them TV priest Kate Bottley, lapsed Catholic Neil Morrissey and patron of Humanists UK Ed Byrne (who’s quite scathing that some of his fellow pilgrims apparently didn’t expect to have to walk!). Funnily enough, we later discovered an earlier series called Pilgrimage, written and presented by Simon Reeve, who also follows this path in one episode. It’s interesting to see how many non-religious people undertake this pilgrimage and what they hope to gain from doing so.
You’re welcome to join in the discussion about Graeme’s proposed pilgrimage here:
British Expat Forum: Camino

And as it’s Easter weekend for Western Christians (Orthodox and Coptic Christians need to wait for another week) this month’s Quick Quiz is about…Easter Island. Most people know it for its mysterious moai “head” statues. At a push they might know that it was first visited by Europeans on 5 April 1722, which was that year’s Easter Sunday. But there’s more than that to Rapa Nui (that’s what the locals call it). Try our quiz and find out!

Are you ever flummoxed by fancy foodie words, mystified by menus, or confused by culinary terms? Then head on over to and become enlightened by our quirky A-Z of food. And it’s got cartoons in it! Don’t forget to tell all your friends about it too.

On the subject of food, I’ve been thinking for some time of trying hydroponics. With the chance of another stint overseas looming – quite possibly in a location where the soil’s poor or the climate’s difficult – it could be the best option available to me if I want access to all my favourite culinary herbs. So I’ve started a thread on the forum where I’ll be posting updates about my progress. I’d love to hear thoughts from people who’ve given it a go already or have considered it – a couple of you have already joined in the discussion. Any other keen gardeners out there?

Meanwhile, of course, the forum continues to provide information on a wide range of expat issues, as well as the opportunity to socialise with like-minded people all around the world. You can see the full range of discussion boards here.

Write for British Expat

Would you like to write for British Expat? Sorry, we don’t pay for articles but if you have a website we’ll link to it in the author’s blurb below any of your articles we publish. We use all sorts of content as long as it’s useful and/or interesting to our readership.

Besides articles, we also publish quick trivia quizzes—five questions about any subject. So, if you’d like to write for us but don’t feel like producing a literary masterpiece, then why not try writing a quickie quiz about your city, country, or even your hobby? Please use our contact form to get in touch.

British Expat Amazon Shopping

Amazon don’t just do books, you know. We’ve teamed up with them to bring you the ultimate in online shopping—from a micro SD card to a garden shed! A great way to do your shopping online, especially if the shops aren’t up to much in your part of the world.
BE Amazon Shop: UK & EU | BE Amazon Shop: non-EU

So there’s a round-up of all that’s been going on. Come on over and see for yourself! Don’t forget…
Visit the BE website and join in with our lively community!

Till next time…

Happy surfing!

British Expat—the definitive home for British expats

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