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UK in Minsk

30th October 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Open Plan

Several correspondents have asked me for my impressions of Belarus.  So last week I wrote about a day I spent in one town of Belarus.  This week, I decided to write about something very different:  office space. I will be returning to London in January.  I am likely to work in my home department, the […]

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26th October 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Tempus Fugit

Pahonia window in Novogrudok museum

I am now in the last three months of my posting to Belarus. The time has passed very quickly. I’m suddenly confronting the need to finish things or put them in order for my successor. I’ve also realised that I haven’t done some things I wanted to do, or been to places that I wanted […]

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21st August 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Habitat

A few weeks ago I had the delight of taking off my shoes and socks, rolling up my trousers and walking onto a raised bog.  I actually stepped onto a bed of moss. It was a nice feeling walking on soft moss and gently sinking.  It was also a bit unnerving as my footsteps slowly […]

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17th August 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Volunteering is GREAT

It’s been hot this summer. I’ve been getting out of Minsk to have some fresh air and enjoy the countryside. This has included visiting British volunteers working outside Minsk. It’s been great to meet them, because most are young people who haven’t experienced living in foreign countries before – except on holiday. I enjoyed hearing […]

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26th June 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

On yer bike

Two weeks ago I found myself cycling in a part of Minsk I hadn’t visited before.  I was in Loshitsa Park cycling along the cycle lanes and listening to a guide describe the park’s varied history. I was one of many taking part in an event about climate change organised by my colleagues in the […]

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12th June 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Diplomacy and business

Can others learn from diplomacy?  I think they can, but so can diplomats learn from others. I gave a presentation to a business group in Minsk, on “10 lessons of diplomacy” that might be useful for business.  I picked on 10 as it seemed a good number.  My brief was to entertain and provide some […]

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5th June 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Like a bird

A rewarding part of being a diplomat is celebrating bilateral co-operation.  It’s a joy to see a common interest bringing together people from two countries.  Some of the best examples are from non-state organisations. Last week, I visited one of Belarus’ jewels, the Belavezhskaya Pushcha, some of the most ancient woodland left in Europe.  The […]

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29th May 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Needed – civil society

Last week I (briefly) took part in the “Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference” in Riga.  This is part of the European Union’s efforts to reach out to the peoples of the surrounding nations. I wrote about civil society nearly two years ago, when I mused about what the term meant.  I concluded that civil society […]

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15th May 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Landscape – A Touch of Britain

When I first arrived, I didn’t look very closely at them.  After we had settled in, I inspected each one and wondered whether I could change them.  Then I forget about them, until quite recently when one of my team had the idea that we should exhibit them. I’m talking about the paintings that usually […]

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8th May 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Counting the votes: Houghton & Sunderland South (formerly Sunderland South)

By the time you are reading this, we will know the results of the general election in Britain.  I expect that I will have stayed up all night to learn about the results because I love elections.  I find them fascinating – especially how different areas vote. I shall probably have waited impatiently for news […]

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