The Myth of the Office and Cargo Cults

Thomas at work at a surf camp

During World War II, the Americans set up air bases across South Pacific Islands. The native islanders were intrigued by these uniformed men radioing to the skies and receiving load after load of cargo from sky ships. The islanders concluded that the cargo was the key to the wealth and power of these Americans. They … Continued

Why I Write Here

48 Laws of Power and My Favourite Coffee Cup

Yup, Tommy’s digital home just got renovated, all thanks to the design talent of Caroline Hardy. Now, this is the part where I say why I annoy you on Facebook. Don’t Wait for Permission You see, I write here because I want to become a better writer. In my way of thinking, there’s no point … Continued

Learning and Knowledge: Outside the Ivory Towers

Fernsehturm, Berlin

The Conman Victor Lustig’s attitude to scams was go big or go home, and so his favourite scam was selling the Eiffel Tower to aspiring French businessmen. So good he was, or so gullible were the Frenchmen, that he managed to sell the Eiffel Tower twice within the space of six months. Honestly, I think … Continued

Wikipedia and Blogs: Lies, Damn Lies


I love newspapers. As a nerdish kid, I’d lie on the floor of our kitchen, reading the Irish Times from cover to cover. I even followed the stock market regliously, in the process convincing my father to make disasterous trades costing him thousands. It was all money well spent on my education (hint: you can’t … Continued

Less is More: Living in the Middle of Nowhere

French countryside

Arbitrage is about taking advantage of the price difference between two markets. That’s what I’m currently doing by living in a tiny town in rural France where traditionally Communists hold office. I grew up in the back arse of no-where on the coast of Ireland, and back then I wanted to live in a city … Continued

Washing Dishes and Stoicism


If I were filthy rich, I’d bankrupt myself eating in restaurants. I love them. So when I heard that the restaurant my girlfriend worked at needed a dishwasher, I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to get inside Munich’s premier French restaurant, praised for its bistro cooking in the … Continued

Rules for Social Skydiving: Angry Amish and CouchSurfing Parties

social skydiving

It was an insanely hot day in Virginia about 20 years ago. I was four and at a massive outlet for children’s play equipment, run by Amish. Heaven, at that age. As I crept out of the car, heading for the swings and roundabouts, I heard a shout. Thinking  it was directed at me, thinking … Continued

Financial Independence: The Ultimate Goal?

Thomas drinking wine

Sometimes, I dream of being a desperate housewife. I mean, I’m already half way there: I work about 20 hours a week and spend the rest of the time working out and learning French. But I always thought truly being a housewife was beyond my reach. I would never spend my days reading Proust in French and … Continued

Staying Sane in the French Countryside: Gurus and Painting


The other day I was standing in our corridor, staring skywards and painting the ceiling, when the girlfriend’s grandmother stopped by. She was stunned by the paint job I had done on the radiator, and so I spent a good 10 minutes attempting to say that I used a special paintbrush for radiators. When she … Continued