Question Time: Overrated Travel Experiences?

Have you ever been on holiday somewhere and returned home feeing completely underwhelmed? The bloggersphere, social media, travel magazines etc. never stop bombarding us with ‘must see’ attractions and destinations – so, you used all your savvy packing tips, booked your tickets and off you went. The thing is, when you got there you felt […]

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Life’s A Beach

Like the tide, life’s moments come and go Sometimes fast, sometimes slow Sometimes gently, sometimes with intensity Like the infinite horizon, life’s possibilities are endless The choices we can make, and actions we choose to take Like the grains of sand, we are many, spread far and wide, the human race Like the creatures beneath […]

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It’s Disappointing, but it’s your Issue

Sometimes you struggle to recognise that when someone lets you down, it’s not necessarily about you. It’s not ‘because’ of you or anything you did or didn’t/should or shouldn’t have done. Very often, it’s about them – their baggage, their mentality and their maturity level. In effect, they have let themselves down, you just happened […]

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Fancy A Cuppa?

Get the kettle on then, grab those biscuits and get comfy, it’s time for another random chat. Tea The tea I’m drinking is from a decorative box of Sri Lankan tea that someone brought back for me as a gift from their holiday there, before the Easter massacre in Sri Lanka, thankfully. There have been […]

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Dear Morocco

I’d been meaning to drop by for a while now, sorry I took so long. It was quite something to be engulfed in your sweet spicy air and terracotta backdrop. I must say though, your medina in Marrakech was a bit scary as I span around in a whirlwind of music, animals, prayer chants, snake […]

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Rumour Has it: Morocco

Should you believe all the hype about Morocco? People who have been to Morocco seem to have quite strong opinions about the place, I guess that’s because it’s such a distinct country and culturally rich experience (certainly not a predictable and run of the mill holiday destination). Here are a few of my ‘before and […]

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Out And About Morocco #3

More snapshots from Morocco to inspire a trip or bring back some familiar memories; whichever is the case, I hope you enjoy! For years I had felt like every other person I spoke to had been to Morocco apart from me – yet I’d been saying I wanted to go there for many many years. […]

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The Hollywood of Morocco: Ait Benhaddou

On our way to the Sahara desert we stopped off at Morocco’s well known High Atlas Mountain Hollywood territory, the Red Citadel of Morocco, Citadel of Ait Benhaddou in the town of Ouarzazate. Some of the many films made on this North African set include: Game of Thrones Asterix Jesus of Nazareth Lawrence of Arabia […]

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Berber People and the High Atlas Mountains

One guide expressed that in Casablanca and Marrakech, “people are always running, rushing around, they have everything the need but they’re never happy, they’re always wanting more” namely money. By contrast “Berber people live simple lives and make the most of the resources they have”. When we visited a Moroccan Berber home, the man of […]

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Maison Tiskiwin: Musée Bert Flint Museum, Morocco

Another Moroccan tourist highlight is the quaint ‘Maison Tiskiwin’ which houses an impressive collection of Moroccan art work, and artefacts from Bert Flint’s art collection. There are strong Berber/African/Saharan themes running through the collection and the riad style house is built around small decorative courtyard.  

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Bahai Palace, Marrakech

Yes, it’s one of the most commonly talked about tourist attractions in Marrakech and seems like absolutely everyone goes there, but I thought Bahai Palace was impressive and worth the whistle stop visit. Everywhere you look there are ornate arches, exquisite ceilings, handsome doors and colourful mosaics, just lovely! It’s a fairly new build, completed […]

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Out and About Morocco #2

Hand made items and the opportunity to see local people making and producing them is always a real privilege to witness when visiting another country. Moroccan Argan oil takes a lot of nimble fingers and repetitive manual labour to extract for our use; seeing the process from start to finish was very interesting, whilst the […]

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Out and About Morocco

More Morocco memories – including the endless servings of food at a riad in Marrakech. After around the fourth course I asked one of our lovely waiters ‘if that was it’ – are we done – he said yes. Two minutes later he’s back with more dishes and plates filled with food, and fresh knives […]

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Comptoir Darna: Marrakech

From the moment you get past security, the interior of this restaurant is intense and dramatic everywhere you look, with red and black being the main colours of choice. Comptoir Darna will have you feeling like you’re on a film set, it’s like being in a dark gothic, dreamy, candle lit Moroccan cave, with belly […]

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Out and about in Marrakech

I enjoyed walking through the souks, especially when we went through a section that was all lamps and lanterns beautifully lit up and glowing gold on every turn (I thought I was filming it but my camera wasn’t on record – so annoying). The alleyways and narrow turns seem to go on and on, and […]

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Move Over Marrakech: We’re Off to Essaouira

There’s a lot of hype around Marrakech, it’s usually the first place you think of when talk turns to Morocco and everyone, their friend, neighbour, grandad and great aunt seems to have been or are planning to go there these days. Marrakech has surged in the ranks of popular tourist destinations, particularly in the UK […]

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You Know You Need A Break When…..

You lose your keys in the morning and eventually end up finding them in the fridge. You wake up on Saturday morning and for a split second, you question what day it is as you look at the time (seemingly, you forgot it was the weekend). You’ve only been in the office for an hour […]

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What the Heck?

How to exasperate your wife! What the heck! No Way! Are you serious? That’s the title of the book I saw a man reading on the train a few weeks ago, he knew very well that we could all see that crazy book cover and I think he was enjoying the curious reactions. As you […]

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Conversations with Strangers

The other day I spotted one of those charity fundraising reps whilst walking through a shopping mall, they were all in uniform, they had a stand set up and there were about four of them; (I’d had a long day and just wanted to grab something quickly from the supermarket and get home – there […]

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Have Bags, Will Travel by D.G. Kaye

Being completely incapable of travelling light myself, the title and colourful cover page of this book got my attention immediately, I couldn’t wait to hear the author reaffirm that I was not alone in this!! I often find myself looking at other people’s suitcases, wondering how on earth they could have packed anything useful in […]

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Never A Dull Moment: Entering The Fourth Age

Well what an interesting and very relevant topic!! I’m probably not the only one noticing the not so subtle increase in self service machines and reduction in humanly manned check out tills in shops/banks/post offices these days, or the general creeping momentum around all things ‘smart’ and the ushering in of a robotic era. We’ve […]

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Dear Mauritius

Dear Mauritius I had anticipated meeting you for a very long time, your beaches, cuisine and tropical beauty. I am truly grateful to have had that pleasure – you were just as beautiful as your pictures, no filters needed, you did not disappoint. I was mesmerised by your ebony forests, those trees take so long […]

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A Dreamy Beach: Ile Aux Cerfs

Imagine feeling like you’re on a deserted island, wading through shallow waters that sweep round a huge curve before leading into the most dazzling sapphire blue ocean….that’s what you’ll experience if you take a boat trip to Ile Aux Cerfs in Mauritius, it was truly stunning, with a beautiful contrast between the two waters. This […]

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Out and About in Mauritius #5

A few more snapshots. Mont Choisy Beach A more low key version of Flic en Flac beach. Views from the highest point on the island… Just around the corner – a craft and specialist cashmere outlet.    

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Fancy a Cuppa? Lets Talk About Mauritius

I’m not going to bore you with all the predictable information that you get in the guide books – nope. I’ll bore you with some of my random holiday chatter instead – over a cuppa’ of course, so lets get the kettle on. Shattered Yep, that’s how I felt when I finally landed in Mauritius […]

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Crocodiles and Tortoises: La Vanille Nature Park

What a fabulous place, a tropical hideaway. Even if you’re not interested in animals, you’ll enjoy the rainforest ambience, the walking trails through the lush fog of trees, and the music from various exotic bird calls. La Vanille Nature Park in Mauritius is home to some very old tortoises and various other animals, including farm […]

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Ebony Forest Reserve

In Mauritius, the south of the island hosts the protected ebony rainforest, which also happens to be in the Chamarel region, it’s incredible to think that almost all the island used to be covered with ebony trees, before the Dutch exploited it in the 17th century. It was a cloudy, rainy day, misty in places, […]

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Snapshots of Port Louis

Shopping, markets, museums, presidential buildings and places of worship –  you’ll find it all in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, situated in the north of the island. All around, there seemed to be new buildings being constructed and a general sense that there is a lot of visible investment and regeneration underway. The fruit […]

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Coin De Mire Attitude Hotel Mauritius

The Coin De Mire Attitude is  a boutique hotel set in garden style plot, just a stones throw away from a beach that offers views of Coin De Mire Island. On arrival you’ll receive a very warm and personal welcome, which extends throughout the stay as it seems the staff can’t do enough to make […]

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Out and About in Mauritius #4

Next, a quick visit to one of the best sugar factories I’ve see on my travels so far, (well actually it wasn’t quick, it  was a pretty long visit given the size of the factory and outside grounds) an interesting tour at the L’Aventure du Sucre (Sugar Adventure), in Pamplemousse Mauritius. You’ll learn some of the history behind […]

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Out and About in Mauritius #3

All this sightseeing works up quite an appetite, so it’s time for some lunch, followed by a bit of rum and jam tasting in Chamarel. The jam was more my thing, I couldn’t resist coming home with a few jars – the guava jam was really really good!    

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Out and About in Mauritius #2

More sightseeing in the south western region of Mauritius, enjoying the views from the popular Black River Gorges National Park, with it’s vast expanse of rainforest before taking in the wonder of the seven coloured earth, at Chamarel. Seven Coloured Earth, Chamarel. Black River Gorges National Park    

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Books on the Beach: Cycling from India to Europe for Love?

What a beautifully written story, a true story. The author uses such rich and vivid description that I felt like ‘I was there’ with the characters right from the opening chapter, absorbing the sounds, their sights, tastes, thoughts and feelings throughout. The book begins with some beautiful childhood memoirs from a little boy named PK, […]

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Out and About in Mauritius #1

Photographs from a visit to the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Pamplemousse, north of the island, and a rare glimpse of hindu worshipers in the south, by the sacred river in Grand Bassin in the south west. Hindu worshipers at the sacred river, in Grand Bassin. Ganga Asnan is the colourful hindu festival that runs through […]

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Flic en Flac Beach

Well all the guide books, blogs, reviews and word of mouth echo the same thing really  – ‘when in Mauritius, Flic en Flac is the beach of choice’, it’s on the west coast and rated as one of the best beaches in Mauritius and a must on your list of places to go whilst on […]

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Veranda Grand Baie Hotel: Mauritius

First stop, first impressions – beautiful, and a welcome sight after an 18 hour haul. The Veranda Grand Baie in Mauritius is set amongst lush green surroundings and giant palm trees. Rooms look like little cottages (reminiscent of the Veranda Resort & Spa in Antigua). A huge selling point with this hotel is it’s proximity […]

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Catch of the Day: Grand Baie Fish Market

This small fish market on the mauritian sea front of Grand Baie caught my eye with the dazzling rainbow of colours laid out beautifully for sale, local fishermen gather here most afternoons to display and sell their day’s catch.      

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Mauritius Diaries: Grand Baie

So you’re thinking about a holiday to Mauritius? Who can blame you, it’s a little slice of irresistible paradise. Lets start with Grand Baie, probably one of the most talked about shopping hubs for tourists. Grand Baie is very touristy, yes that much is true but it still feels very down to earth with plenty […]

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Because

Just sharing a few of tonight’s random thoughts. Writing it down and reading it back really got me thinking and re-affirming a few things I want to do more. You persist Because it’s worth it You invest Because the harvest will be plentiful You try Because otherwise you’ll never know ‘if’ You don’t feel guilty […]

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London Jazz Festival

The city is alive with jazz  Once again, London’s Jazz Festival has been in full swing throughout the month of November and I was fortunate enough to experience some of it. The London Jazz Festival has been going since 1992 – thanks to the London Borough of Camden starting it off locally back in the […]

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Fly Away

Amazing Isn’t it amazing that we live in an age where we can just hop on a plane and go more or less anywhere on the planet in matter of hours, or pick up and leave one country and choose to start a new life in another…. Our ability to move around the world is […]

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Nothing

Sometimes we need time to simply be, without doing. Time to give our mind and body a rest, soak up a moment of nothing.

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A Few Myths About High Heels

Pick a side, team heels or team flats, show us where your shoe loyalty lies? I was surprised and amused to learn a few interesting things about high heels recently, and it got me thinking about the attitudes people have toward high heels today. My scales are tipped heavily toward team heels, always have and […]

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Money

It comes, it goes Sometimes it flows Why we don’t abolish it, nobody knows It fuels emotions and creates many woes Invest it wisely and sometimes it grows Share if you care, share if you can Think about your future and start making a plan Money changes lives, creates competition, stresses and strife Money has […]

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Super Soft Lips: Home Made Lip Balm

Rumour has it, our lips are 100 times more sensitive than our finger tips and they tend to dry out quickly due to the lack of sweat glands on the area. If this is true (which I don’t doubt), then we really ought to give them their worthy share of care and attention. Nobody wants […]

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10 Interesting Cake Facts!

After a day at the Cake and Bake Show, I thought I’d see if anyone has ever come across any of the following bits of information on cakes: 1. There exists, a Coco Cola cake recipe – in case you don’t think your cake will be sweet enough with sugar…just when I thought I’d heard it […]

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Have Your Cake and Eat it

Well as we speak I’m still eating it as I brought quite a lot home with me today from the annual UK ‘Cake and Bake Show’ . I ‘d say there are a few reasons why you might want to go to The Cake and Bake Show, the next time it’s on: 1. You can satisfy your […]

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Nikon Coolpix A900 Review

Following a decision to downsize from my old DSLR camera, and weeks of reading reviews, watching youtube unboxing vlogs and looking longingly (and somewhat cluelessly) through department store camera displays, I ended up bagging the Nikon Coolpix A900. I wanted something easy to use with a powerful zoom that looks like a modest everyday holiday maker […]

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Autumn

As with earthly seasons, life also has it’s seasons. We reach points in life where we instinctively know that something needs to change.  It’s time for this, that or the other. Autumn is probably the season that gives me this feeling the most, particularly September; maybe it’s because of the drastic mind shift from looking […]

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Sunday Lunch!!

A roast dinner with all the trimmings? Nope. Maybe next Sunday. Last Sunday I opted for a meat and tofu mixed Korean take away from the London’s Southbank street food market, followed by some vegetarian Indian crepes and a gooey dessert of vegan chocolate cake. I’m not vegan – but I do keep dairy products […]

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Until

When I stop and think of how much of our lives we spend ‘waiting’ ‘anticipating’ and ‘enduring’ until….. it hit home just how much weight we carry because of this. The scales are tipped heavily toward the ‘until’ rather than the ‘now’. Until Friday Until payday Until that holiday Until Christmas Until the sales Until […]

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Amazon by Bruce Parry

Picture this… You fly off from London’s Heathrow and land in Peru with your crew and cameraman, heaps of luggage and technical equipment. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to trek the best part of the Amazon rainforest, via mountains and forest, using the river as your guide. You will meet and […]

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Cotswolds Quick Stop: Castle Combe

Castle Combe has been labeled the prettiest village in England, it’s a typically picturesque Cotswolds village in Wiltshire. Walking around this place really did feel like walking through the set of a film, with it’s cute post office, beautiful stream, and Hansel & Gretel style cottages. The village gained it’s wealth from the wool trade […]

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Quick stops: Cardiff Bay and Caerleon, Newport

On my last leg of exploring Wales, I paused to remember the fact that although Wales is part of the United Kingdom, Wales is still a separate country and not part of Great Britain, despite welsh land being joined to mainland Britain.  Wales has a language of its own, along with a unique flag and […]

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Out and About Around Wales

Apparently, Wales consumes more oven chips than any other part of the UK, and Mount Everest was named after a welshman – interesting facts!! Here’s more from my welsh galavants this summer……. The UK’s smallest city – St David’s St David’s is more like a village but technically it’s a city because of it’s catherdral. […]

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Two Nights in Tenby, Wales

Tenby (also known as ‘little town of fishes’) is a lovely little medieval seaside resort in Pembrokeshire just oozed candy coloured charm alongside rustic castle walls around the main town. This was my favourite stay in Wales on this trip, I can see precisely why people flock here for their summer holiday. Blue sea, white […]

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Carreg Cennen Castle Carmarthenshire

When in Wales, you never get tired of castles, so here’s another magnificent beauty, Carreg Cennen Castle, in Carmarthenshire near the River Cennen.  Building began around the fourth century, yet it’s ruins are incredibly well preserved, and majestic. It’s a steep walk, great for the legs and the views are worth every step. “One of the […]

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St Tanwg church and Llandanwg Beach

The quaint St Tanwg Church was built in the fifth century and is still in use to this day. The impressive stone built church sits on the welsh sand dunes of Llandanwg beach and is better known as ‘the church in the sand’, offering worship services during the summer months. Much of the former churchyard […]

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A Walk in the Woods: Snowdonia

Well I didn’t see any teddy bears having picnics or a house belonging to three bears, nor did red riding hood make an appearance. What I did see, was a stunning expanse of majestic trees and lush greenery while enjoying the sound of pure, simple, earthly peace, interrupted only by  the subtle sounds of nature […]

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A Bookworm’s Paradise: Hay on Wye Brecknockshire Wales

Honestly, I think this town should be named “Bookworm Village” since I’ve never been anywhere with so many book stores and outdoor book shelves with rock bottom priced books, all in such a small cluster. Even the place where we stopped for lunch had books shelves filled with books that customers could take for free!! […]

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Snapshots of Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, West Wales

Two nights by the Aberystwyth seaside gave me a well needed dose of clean welsh sea air and that lovely aroma of seaweed. Aberystwyth is a university seaside town and popular holiday destination, framed by the ruins of an impressive sea front castle, built in the 1200s over a twelve year period. Aberystwyth is a town […]

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Cotswolds Quick Stop: Burford

Burford is a pretty little medieval Oxfordshire town with quaint shops and picturesque landscape; it  is known for it’s Windrush River, which runs along the bottom of the village slope. The old stone anglo saxon houses with cute attic roofs, and flower adorned buildings and cute tea shops, made it a delightful place to visit. […]

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A Sunday Well Spent……From Regent Street to Regents Park

London’s Regent Street was blocked off for traffic today and had all sorts of interesting things going on from having a go at beating the fastest tennis slam speed, Cuban musicians, fitness sessions and plenty more. Needless to say I was very quickly distracted from window shopping and decided to go for a wander. We […]

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Kensington Gardens

With just a few steps from Hyde Park, you’ll find yourself roaming around London’s Kensington Gardens, which used to be a deer park; yet even more sprawling masses of green space to soak up. Have a wander around Megan and Harry’s back yard, amongst the swans and tree lined pathways or sit amidst the squirrels […]

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Park Life: Hyde Park

When you live in a concrete jungle, you need an escape. Parks take you into another world, where you can pretend the traffic, trains and daily rat race don’t exist. Nature becomes more apparent and you might be tempted to get back in touch with it by laying in the grass, or snoozing under a […]

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Kew Gardens

Trees glorious trees, beautiful proud ducks, plenty of places to hide, a picnic lovers paradise and a floral feast. I’m talking about Kew Gardens, it was ‘blooming’ lovely last weekend, perfect for lazing or strolling. My second visit to Kew Gardens was a sunny and curious one – my last visit must have been well […]

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What A Load Of Luggage!! Help!

So every year I seem to find myself buying new suitcases, usually because at least one wheel has given up (probably not helped by me dragging them down stairs and wherever else). I’ve currently got cases that are starting to come apart at the seams – and I find myself thinking, ‘here we go again’. […]

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I Need A Staycation: The Only Way is Essex

I have to say, three sunny UK days in Southend-on-sea by the wonderful Essex coast really surprised me in a good way. What a cool place, and great atmosphere with a little bit of something for everyone. People and vibes Wow. I cannot even describe the crowds, it seemed like the entire world had decided […]

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Antalya City and Harbour

Antalya is a popular tourist region in Turkey framed by snow topped mountains and amazing blue seascapes. Stray cats and dogs shelters         Farewell Turkey SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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Chasing Waterfalls, a Turkish Delight!

“Don’t go chasing waterfalls” they said…. Well that’s precisely what I did do, and they were well worth the effort. Earths natural elements never cease to astound me with their beauty. Karpuzkaldiran Waterfall Three Turkish waterfalls in one day, first stop was the Karpuzkaldiran Waterfall, not too far from Lara beach and an iconic Antalya tourist […]

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Out and about Antalya

Manavgat Waterfall The morning started with a quick stop at this very impressive Turkish waterfall, with it’s powerful current and beautiful blue hue.   Next stop: Dikmen Textile Outlet A holiday rep described this as being the TK Maxx of Turkey, and he wasn’t wrong. Practically every sports brand and commonly known designer labels were […]

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Manavgat Market

The Manavgat market in Turkey is biggest on a Monday (and apparently the biggest market in the mediterranean), sprawling wide with designer labeled clothes, bags, and a few souvenir stalls thrown in between. If you ‘really really’ love your brands you’ll probably love this Monday market. You will likely end up dreaming about Michael Kors […]

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Cold Turkey?

Well actually the weather was pretty good considering it was still the latter part of the Turkish winter season (March/April). This was a very last minute Easter getaway and the sun had his hat most of the time, thankfully! It was cold and pelting down with rain in London as my plane took off – […]

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An artistic Jovellanos farm

One more post from Cuba before I forget! Ever been to an organic farm that’s also an art gallery and pottery production centre? Well neither had I until this lovely little trip. This family run farm in the Cuban region of Jovellanos is home to it’s owners who have recently opened it up for tourist […]

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Very Varadero

A few nights in Cuba’s Varadero to lap up those beautiful beaches wasn’t such a bad idea, though I can see why many people detest Varadero – it portrays very little of the history, character and unique beauty of the ‘real Cuba’, so make sure you explore other parts of the island (perhaps via an […]

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Iberostar Bella Vista Hotel, Varadero

This is one of many typically sprawling all inclusive beach front hotels on the Varadero strip – take a look if you’re considering staying here. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it as your entire holiday stay – a few nights is enough – explore other parts of Cuba too, and stagger your hotel stays. I’ts a […]

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Glad I went to Trinidad

My favourite part of my trip to Cuba were the days spent in the Cuban town of Trinidad. The pictures may not convey this but ‘what a dramatic place’ frozen in time and bursting with life, colour and charisma. The atmosphere is just fantastic, live music and vibrancy everywhere you look. I loved Trinidad instantly, […]

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad: Cuba

The Gran Iberostar Trinidad Hotel has to be in one of the best locations in Trinidad, centrally located and surrounded by lively cobbled streets buzzing with locals and tourists alike. This was the final hotel incorporated into the Cuban Experience tour.        

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Snapshots of Cienfuegos

More insights from the beautiful island and people of Cuba. Cienfuegos actually means ‘one hundred fires’. Cienfuegos is where the revolutionary uprising against Fulgencio Batista took place.

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Beach Banter #7

Walking on water! I saw three men walking on water – it’s not brilliant but watch the hastily filmed clip! I’m not sure if he stepped on a jellyfish or what but something startled him…..in Cayo  Ensenachos. I tried to rescue a Jellyfish This is the first jellyfish I’ve come face to face with, it […]

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Doing the Locomotive in San Juan de Los Remedios

San Juan de Los Remedios is one of the oldest colonial towns in Cuba. Just mind yourself when you’re crossing the wonderfully busy roads….. The sugar mills are interesting, but the sight of those locomotive trains was show stopping; they’re just huge, mighty and seeped in history – beautiful! The roar of the steam and […]

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Books on the Beach: An Accidental Tourist, A Caribbean Misadventure

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘An Accidental Tourist’ by Jason Smart, it was like really good reality TV on paper. Jason records his travel escapades, highs and lows, and points of interest in this easy to read book. The book brought back memories of some of my own caribbean travels, making for some interesting comparisons. Jason’s […]

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Iberostar Ensenachos Hotel

After lunch at the Los Tainos restaurant at the Hotel Los Caneyes, Santa Clara – we were on the road again heading for the small Cuban off-shore island of Cayo Ensenachos to the Iberostar Ensenachos Hotel. It’s quite secluded, there is no nearby town to walk to – just beautiful beach and plenty of mangroves, […]

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Taxi!!

You won’t be short of taxi options in Cuba, that’s for sure. I’ve never seen so many variations in one place – talk about spoilt for choice!! There’s a taxi type for all tastes – short of a flying taxi…

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Lets Talk About Cuba

Cuba is sometimes playfully referred to as a the sleeping crocodile, if you look at it’s shape on the map that’s what it looks like. When I arrived in Cuba it was raining – and the airport staff were hard to distinguish properly because some of them were formally dressed whilst others were in their […]

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Cigars and Caves in the Vinales Valley

Day three of the Cuban Experience tour took us into some of the most scenic views I had the pleasure of seeing in Cuba. The Vinales valleys are deep, high, lush and never-ending. The Vinales region is an approximately 2hr 30 mins drive from Havana and a flourishing expanse dotted with tobacco farms. You will […]

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Books on the Beach: Friend Request

Imagine being stalked by someone you think is dead – they contact you on Facebook and seem to know enough about your daily life to suggest they are actually watching and following you offline! Imagine the anxiety of wondering whether this person might get away with murder – since nobody thinks they’re alive, and not […]

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Why You Should Try A Touring Holiday: Cuba

Granted, there may be something to be said for the thrill and adventure of organising a travel itinerary with all your own connections and accommodation yourself, either as you go or all in advance. On this occasion I accepted the offer of a little help and a bit less to have to think about so […]

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Hola Havana!

We all know Havana is the capital of Cuba, a metropolitan hub of tourists, beautiful buildings  and classic vintage cars. Havana is bustling and busy with interesting sights on every turn. To go to Cuba and not visit Havana would be a crime, but there is certainly more to Cuba than Havana, so I would […]

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Iberostar Parque Central Hotel Havana Cuba

After three nights at the Iberostar Parque Central, here are a few pictures in case you’re curious or planning a stay there yourself. The hotel is described as one of the best hotels in the centre of Havana (I guess this depends what type of scene you’re into – a modern type of look rather […]

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A Virgin Holidays v-room Breakfast

I never normally bothered with these things  as I actually used to like the buzz of wandering around crowded airport shops and having a nice proper cooked breakfast in some crowded eatery before a flight. A very good Virgin travel agent  managed to do some effective arm twisting so I can now say I’ve given […]

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Before I went to Cuba….

Before I went to Cuba I had a very limited idea of what to expect, based mainly on what you see in magazines: Cuban cigars Big vintage statement ‘cuban looking’ cars Hot weather Exotic looking people speaking spanish White sandy beaches Salsa music Lots of colour Before I went to Cuba I was fascinated by […]

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Take Off!

My favourite part of any plane ride is take off. The exhilaration and adrenaline rush, coupled with that final feeling of actually ‘going’ to wherever it is, the build up is over and its time to sit back and relax. All the better if it’s a miserable day when I take off, leaving it all […]

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A Few Irritating Things

‘You’ve Been Framed’ When people say “I’m not gonna lie….” (hmmm, do you normally lie!). A selfish person. Wind and rain at the same time (unless I’m indoors). When people eat with their mouth open. When people start crunching crisps before they close their mouth, so it echoes loudly across the room. Acoustics are really not […]

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The Oath by Frank Peretti

This book was a hefty hardback, and not quick at getting to the crux of the story. But what a strange story! A small town seems to be harbouring a big scary secret that nobody dares talk about; there’s a thick fog of fear hovering over everyone in this town, but why? If you’ve read […]

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Change

Just my opinion – but I think we all need change. We need to stretch, challenge ourselves and add new experiences to our repertoire. If we don’t get a healthy dose of change every so often, we can begin to feel stale and uninspired – perhaps a bit like a monotonous hamster going round and […]

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Shopping Shenanigans

To all those venturing out into the sales, I hope you manage to make it home with a smile! I’m not sure what happened to the days when: I could find the time to spend a whole day wandering up and down/in and out of shops and coming home with a few nice things to […]

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Log Cabins and Bears: Skiing in Greece!

Well I didn’t actually go skiing. After a hearty lunch in Kalambaka, I found myself in Metsovo, part of a Greek ski resort area in Epirus, which in a few more weeks would be white with snow. It was a flying visit really (as part of a wider excursion), but it was lovely to get […]

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A Piece of Greece: Valtos Beach Hotel Parga

  Valtos Beach hotel is a small family run resort daintily placed in a mountain hill surrounded by lemon and olive trees with fabulously relaxing views onto the bay, ocean and nearby castle. As with most businesses around Parga – it’s a family thing, and you will see names of families hung up outside restaurants […]

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Lunch on the Acheron River

Perhaps the prettiest place I’ve ever had lunch – shielded by the golden shimmer of the trees against the sun as the odd leaf drops and floats down the river. The sound of the water was the only music needed – and the clinking plates as we ate in the woods felt magical! Out and […]

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There’s Something About September

September signals the start of a new chapter in the year, ‘September’ just doesn’t sound summery so for me, I go straight into autumn mode. September signals the countdown to Christmas. Yes I know we’ve got bonfire night and some other events to get through first, but all I keep seeing is Christmas on the […]

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Texas Floods, Trump Tantrums and Terrorist Attacks

Just a few more random thoughts….. Disasters, controversies and tensions seem to be spiralling out of control across the mainstream media, more and more these days – I can’t keep up with it all. One thing after another, all over the globe. Is it just me or do problems seem to be picking up speed […]

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London Southbank and Food Market

Pottering around London’s Southbank on a weekend is an easy way to spend the day – people watching, take in the music, street entertainment and food. There’s always something going on and the atmosphere is relaxed and chilled out. Once you’re done at the food market, head up to the main Southbank terrace/centre where there […]

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Tap Taps To Trinidad: Caribbean Adventures

Now I know what a ‘tap tap’ is!!! I had no idea before reading this book. Tap Taps To Trinidad, by Zenga Longmore, is a quirky little book that tells the tales of a woman’s (largely solo) experiences of hopping around a number of caribbean islands, somewhat naively at times. She seems to have a […]

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Avoid Jet Lag? Don’t Be Silly.

The human body is far too ‘switched on’ not to notice you have been surfing above the clouds at high altitude (which interferes with your oxygen levels) and super strong UV rays for hours on end, and that your entire sleep pattern and usual bodily functions have been turned upside down and flipped around all […]

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Today I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything: Lazy Days!

Sing along now….. There are days when you just want to do absolutely nothing of any real use. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Don’t feel guilty. Sometimes you just need to listen to your inner self and give yourself a lazy break (without the hassle of planning, booking and lugging yourself on holiday, […]

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Glastonbury: Not what I was expecting!!

Admittedly, until this trip I only ever had visions of mud, fields, wellies and music festivals whenever I thought of Glastonbury. I came away with a completely different picture. The most striking thing about the town was that almost every shop was some sort of spiritual type, there were shops selling crystal balls and other […]

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Off to Penwith, Cornwall

Another day galavanting around Cornwall, this time in Penwith, the part of Cornwall where the traditional Cornish Language was spoken for the longest. Quaint cobbled buildings and narrow streets, and the sound of seagulls above. The queue for the main cornish pasty shop was unbelievable, a good indication that they were worth the wait, all […]

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Land’s End and Carn Galver Mine

So I can finally say I’ve been to Land’s End, one of Britain’s most famous coastal landmarks. There is something about the coast that is very therapeutic and calming, no matter where you are in the world.   Quick Stop at Carn Galver Mine, Cornwall     SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave

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A Beautiful British Beach: Porthcurno West Cornwall

This quick stop at Porthcurno West Cornwall was just long enough to take in the sight of one of the UK’s prettiest beaches. The photographs really don’t do it justice, to see it in person with the sun shining was like looking at a photo from the Mediterranean, the colour and sparkle of the water against […]

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Queen Mary Gardens

Right next to Gyllyngvase beach, in the Cornish town of Falmouth, you are likely to stumble across this pretty little garden with immaculate flower beds and a really peaceful atmosphere. There is no charge to go in and wander around, and it’s a very safe space, so enjoy!  

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Gyllyngvase Beach: Cornwall

It takes approximately 15 mins to walk from Falmouth town centre up to Gyllyngvase beach, Falmouth’s biggest beach, it’s an ‘up and then down hill’ walk, but a pleasant one in the summer. You can’t help but stop and admire the gardens of local residents, bursting with colour and vibrant flowers. You’d be forgiven for […]

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Falmouth Town Centre: Cornwall

Falmouth town centre is deceivingly large and winding, with plenty places to get something to eat. The harbour is very picturesque, and there are some quirky shops with funny titles. It was a pleasure visiting Falmouth for two nights.         SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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Around Tintagel Village: North Cornwall

The next stop on my UK staycation, with yet more coastal views, fresh country walks and a pretty little village. Spotted: interesting dancers     Music clip: Do Your Thing – Basement Jaxx, no copyright infringement intended SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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The Grove Hotel: Falmouth, South Cornwall

If being in the centre of Falmouth is on your ‘must’ list, The Grove is definitely one to consider . From the hotel, you can take a right and walk up to Gyllyngvase beach (about 10-15 min walk) under the bridge and up; you can walk directly across the main road to restaurants and the harbour […]

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Boscastle Village: A Cornwall Beauty

This has to be one of the cutest villages I’ve been to, and very much the closest I’ve come to a real life ‘Thomas Kinkade’ scene. I love Thomas Kinkade art, it’s like looking into a fairytale when you live in a concrete jungle!     Music clip: Split Sessions // Rob Heron and the Tea […]

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A Rainy Day in Dartmoor

Moody pictures from a rainy drive through Dartmoor. Dartmoor falls under Plymouth, and is known to most as one of the UK’s most beautiful expanses of landscape beauty. Driving along the scenic narrow roads, we passed Dartmoor prison,  I wondered if the inmates got to enjoy the views! Apparently the prison holds low category offenders […]

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Exeter: A Snapshot of Devon’s Cathedral City

It’s one of the UK’s most popular Russell Group university towns, –  well known names J K. Rowling and Will Young attend!!  Apparently, Exeter is the last place that any person in the UK was tried and executed for practicing witchcraft, and it’s quite famous for this…it also boasts very high employment rates, so this […]

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Stonehenge: A British Mystery in Wiltshire

So I can finally say I’ve been to Stonehenge and seen this mysterious world wonder. Be warned – if you are heading out there be prepared for long ticket queues and a long process of actually making your way to the stones after purchasing your tickets. Once you get your tickets you might as well […]

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Wandering around Winchester: England’s First Capital

When I arrived in the medieval town of Winchester I was greeted by a statue of the legendary King Alfred The Great, who had Winchester as  the capital of England throughout his reign. Winchester used to be the capital of England before London snatched the limelight around the 12th/13th century and took the royal mint with […]

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Stationery Addict, Take Note!

Pretty pens, patterned paper and pointy pencils! There is something about nice stationery that I have always found charming and addictive, every since childhood. If you have nice stationery on your desk it just makes home and office tasks all the more enjoyable, be it homework, a shopping list, a journal entry, online research for […]

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