Apologies to England (and help me find places to visit, please)

I'm sorry, England. I haven't spent much time in you as an adult. Sometime soon I will fix this. But I have my reasons (excuses?). Reasons I have barely visited England Firstly, I had long maintained that travel is only adventurous (in the spirit and social sense of adventure, rather than the … [Read more...]

A three-day London layover with jet-lagged kids: Our suggestions

Are you friends with jet lag? I am not, but sadly as I live in Western Australia there are many destinations where jet lag can hit badly, and flying long haul to Europe is one of those times. I always try to build in a jet lag buffer to the start of these trips, and this time it was a … [Read more...]

Interview with author Dianne Ebertt Beeaff

Late last year I reviewed the book Spirit Stones and it got me re-interested in all things Stonehenge-like. My last trip to Stonehenge was a bit of a non-event - we got there just after it closed for the day and took pictures from the roadside, as close as we could get. It was a bit of a touristy … [Read more...]

“Spirit Stones” book review: Stonehenge and much more

It's been a little while since I've reviewed a book on Not A Ballerina but Dianne Ebertt Beeaff (goodness me, doesn't she have a lot of double letters in her name?!) has just published Spirit Stones and it is more than a little intriguing. A case in point: my practically non-book-reading husband saw … [Read more...]

Passport pirouette: Feeling criminal in Heathrow

Landing, for once, in an English-speaking country, I really didn't expect to have any problems at passport control. Two British airport employees who seemed to be watching the queue (I'm not sure of their real function!) were quite literally having a cup of tea and I felt like all was right with the … [Read more...]

25 years ago in Europe: A musical in London to end the trip

And so our six months of campervanning around Europe sadly came to an end. For the last couple of weeks we rented a small flat (very small, as I remember) not too far from the Elephant and Castle tube station. As small girls we thought this was the funniest name for a station ever. As a big girl I … [Read more...]

25 years ago in Europe: Back in London, visiting Madame Tussaud’s

Sadly, we're nearing the end of my 25 years ago in Europe series - sadly, but fittingly, because in a couple of weeks it'll be 26 years ago, which doesn't have quite the same ring to it! Taking our campervan back to London to sell, we spent a couple of weeks exploring London's attractions … [Read more...]

25 years ago in Europe: Not all beaches are created equal

If you grow up in Australia, you have a warped sense of how good a beach should look. I guess it's like growing up in Switzerland and then heading to other countries to go skiing: you'll usually be disappointed. When I was nine years old, I was sure that all beaches had beautiful white sand and … [Read more...]

25 years ago in Europe: London stereotypes

Even before I visited London as a child, I had some ideas about it. After all, I grew up on British TV and reading British children's books - back then, the United States had much less influence on Australia - and I knew all about Buckingham Palace and bright red phone boxes. In late March 1985, my … [Read more...]

Cornish cliffs

My Easter Egg hunt this year extended to a nine kilometre walk, starting from Land's End at the (disputably) very bottom south-west corner of England. Escaping the tourist clutter (and Tatiana's incredulity that you had to pay for photos with that famous sign) was a priority, and thanks to the … [Read more...]