GREAT British music

Not only was the #GREATGardenParty at the @BiltmoreHotel the best event for Brits in Miami this year, but the playlist was AWESOME (to borrow an overused American word). Kudos to Her Majesty’s Consul General for tapping the Best of Britain (Beatles only absent because they don’t show up on Spotify) and thanks to @DJVertigoMiami for what was once called spinning the vinyl. Playlist here:



GREAT Britain

We bid a fond farewell to our friend Mr Kevin McGurgan, “Our Man” in Miami for four years as Her Majesty’s Consul-General, who departs sunny South Florida in July for the barren and frozen wasteland that is Toronto, Canada. Mr Kevin hosted a Great British Garden Party at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables tonight for a huge gathering of fellow Brit expats (the mayor’s speech began: “Ladies, Gentlemen and Blokes” – although he failed to completely grasp the context of the phrase “dog’s bollocks”). We scoffed scones, jam and clotted cream. We sat in the driver’s seat of a Rolls Royce. We had our photograph taken with the finest of all Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew. We MAY have quaffed more Bombay Sapphire than was good for us. But above all, I believe it was a fitting send off for a man who has worked tirelessly to promote British business and British interests in Florida, and who will be sorely missed. Of course, I have not been bribed to write such flowery words by the going-home gift of sumptuous British-themed cupcakes, pictured below. Travel well, Mr Kevin (and your family)…




About three centuries ago I used to be a young reporter on this newspaper, and will always have a great fondness for Torquay’s Herald Express. But I never got to write anything quite like this when I worked there. What a scoop…. right down to the artist’s impression (they sacked all the photographers)




THERE was havoc at a swimming pool in Torquay today when a squirrel dived in the water and bit a man on the finger.

The rodent had somehow gained access to the public pool at the Riviera Centre and was trying to escape the clutches of lifeguards with nets when it took the plunge.

Amid screams, shouts and some squealing, the desperate animal paddled around in circles while swimmers scattered to the pool edge.

When one member of the public waded over to rescue the frightened creature, grabbing its tail and tossing it to safety, it bit him on the finger.

The squirrel then scampered to safety through an open door, invigorated but seemingly unharmed by its experience.

Jacquie Lovett, swimming instructor at the Waves Leisure Pool said: “I came in to do a lesson and was told by the lifeguards that there was a squirrel on top of the wave chamber.

“The squirrel then decided to run out. One of the lifeguards tried to chase it out and it went into the curtain. Then it jumped into the swimming pool.”

About 20 members of the paying public scattered while the squirrel proved itself an adept swimmer.

“It was doing a few strokes, going under the water and then coming up for air,” said Jacquie.

“It was in the deep end.

“There were two lifeguards on one side and me on the other side thinking we have got to go in and save it.

“I would say it was in there for a maximum of about a minute.”

Staff warned members of the public not to approach the squirrel but one brave swimmer swam over and lobbed it to safety. His finger wound was not serious.

“It looked like a drowned rat,” said Jacquie.

“Then it ran out through a door we had opened.”


Old Trafford soap opera

Don’t know how the British newspapers missed this… Aussie paper Mx first with the news about Manchester United’s new manager. Yes, it’s Harold Bishop from Neighbours. I don’t quite know how their picture desk got Dutch soccer manager Louis van Gaal confused with the portly Australian soap star Ian Smith, but somehow they did and this was the result. Can’t be any worse than David Moyes, can he?