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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Watching traffic on the New York high line

When we returned to New York in Dec 2012 for our first visit in 8 years, one of the most welcome changes was the opening of the High Line, an all-too-short but pleasant stretch of urban parkland running above the rooftops of the Chelsea district of Manhattan. While you might think the aim of a […]

Brighton Pavilion

The strange sight of Brighton Pavilion ice rink

Brighton Pavilion doesn’t fit in easily with its surroundings even at the best of times. How do you make a building that would look more at home in India than on the English south coast appear even more incongruous? Stick an ice-rink in front of it of course.

Fun Store Majuro

Welcome to the house of fun

Sometimes it’s tempting to wonder if people exist purely to act as a prop for the perfect photo. The appearance of the Fun Store in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, is probably enough to qualify it for the award of The World’s Most Inappropriately Named Shop. In case there was any lingering doubt, […]

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Sometimes it’s important to know the full story behind a photo; at other times, as in this case, it really doesn’t matter. I can’t remember what this lady and her children were looking at, but judging by their expressions it was certainly of more interest than the stranger who was pointing a camera in their […]