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When did blogging lose its soul?

With a small handful of worthy exceptions I rarely read travel blogs any more. Why? PR and marketing folks have firmly identified blogs as great places for them to promote their brands and their clients’ products. When writers (on any platform) get 5-star and Michelin-star carrots dangled before them, then the inevitable result is more […]

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A visit to the Japanese snow monkeys

Everyone loves monkeys. Actually no, that’s not strictly true. While many people coo at the sight of seeing our distant cousins pulling funny faces, most of us consider them a pest when they get up to their usual mischief and try to separate us from our snacks and loose camera gear. The macaques that come […]

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St Albans kingfisher – more photos

When I posted my first set of photos of the St Albans kingfishers back in January, I assumed our good fortune in having these colourful birds frequenting our local park would be short-lived.  Here we are in mid-March and they’re still with us, visible most days along the River Ver as it runs alongside the […]

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Nagano Temple

Zenkoji Temple in Nagano: The High Priestess and the Bumbling Idiot

I’m never at my best first thing in the morning. We’d woken early at our temple lodgings in the Zenkoji temple complex in Nagano. The accommodation in the two-storey wooden house had been basic but the hospitality typically warm. Fearful that the winter nights in such an old place would be uncomfortably cold I’d packed the […]

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Japan and an ongoing affection

For a long time I had the same reaction as many folks when asked to name a favourite country from my travels: “How can I pick a favourite? It’s impossible; they’re all different and each has its own merits.” When we came back from a month in Japan in 2011, I changed my tune and […]

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Collection of Japanese signs

We’re just back from a couple of very enjoyable weeks in Japan and I’ll post several stories from our trip on here in the coming weeks. For now I thought I’d quickly share some of the funny Japanese signs and strange English translations we encountered on our way around the country. I should stress that […]

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The Kingfishers of Verulamium Park in St Albans

We must have walked around Verulamium Park in St Albans hundreds of times, dodging the swans, geese and marauding hordes of small children as we make our way around the lake and along the banks of the River Ver. During that time, we’ve gone out of our way to try and spot kingfishers on our […]

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Plan the perfect holiday? No thanks

It’s a subject I’ve covered here a few times over the years and it’s one that I’m reminded of every time I see yet another company sharing with us their vision of the future of travel. These dreams have the same consistent elements: families gathered round a computer screen wearing excited expressions; travellers young and […]

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The stories behind our souvenirs

I’ve never been one for buying expensive souvenirs from our travels. We travel with backpacks and I tend to be fairly ruthless when it comes to packing; lighter packs make for a more comfortable trip. My wife has no doubt lost count of the number of times I’ve asked “Do you really need to take […]

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Cat McDonalds

A cat gets his paws on junk food

There are times when I struggle to come up with something to post on here, but one thing I will never ever resort to is the desperate posting of cat photos. Oh, ok… just this once then. We stumbled across this handsome kitty rummaging through a bin in Hilo, Hawaii. He appeared to have been […]

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