Mini-column ‘Alison in Wonderland’, published in the Observant, Maastricht
So Maastricht wants to be named European Capital of Culture 2018. A noble ambition, which puts us in the league of such esteemed former winners as Turku, the official ‘Christmas city’ of Finland, and Bruges, whose claim to fame remains a fleeting visit by the spunky Irish actor Colin Farrell. Not to mention Linz, once home to the mathematician Johannes Kepler, who took the scientific world by storm with his laws of planetary motion, and of course Adolf Hitler, who, er, took the world by stormtroopers and an unhealthy disregard for laws. Of course, the Capitals of Culture also include the all-important birthplace of jeans (Genoa, Italy) and of Skype (Tallin, Estonia). It remains to be seen what world-changing invention will spring from Maastricht. Or whether Colin Farrell will drop by.