Monday, December 26, 2011

Solo in Avignon

We walked into the courtyard in front of the mighty Palace of the Popes in Avignon,
France, a marvellous sight to see with the blue sky framing the silhouette of the building roof. There was the clear, pure sound of the saxophone echoing around the empty square and this fellow was there on his own in his own musical world - a particular lovely memory of this Trafalgar Tour.

Friday, December 23, 2011

South for Santa

Headed south out of Sydney searching for Santa Claus - and I know he will visit Australia before the Europeans hear him coming down the chimney. We left Sydney behind and drove into sunshine after weeks of nasty, rainy weather. Bowral was a picture of relaxed holiday atmosphere, no scrambling to shops or screaming kids, no agitated drivers in the parking lot, just folk being pleasant to each other, catching up with local gossip and enjoying the cafes under the shady trees. Settling into a resort and chilling out until dinner, and then tomorrow, Christmas lunch - more images to come soon, this writer is having a little holiday and will be back soon with lots of good pictures - from where? Wait and see.
Two day's on and after a splendid, traditional Christmas lunch - turkey, ham, pork - and all the rest! Had to have a chilled out evening - no dinner!
Images of Bowral, in the southern highlands of New South Wales.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hanoi's Hidden Secret

Earlier this year on a trip to Vietnam and Myanmar - after a week or so we ended the stay in Hanoi. Our last activity was to learn to Cook some 'street food' at a cooking school.
In the new issue of Get Up & Go magazine (out early January) I have written about the school, our experience and the fabulous teacher Tranh Hanh An (pictured). I still remember how lovely our food tasted - with her expert help we made a damn fine lunch.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

No room at the inn - names please!

Contributor David Ellis says the Travelodge chain’s 480 hotels in the UK are offering a free night’s accommodation between Christmas Eve and the Twelfth Night (January 5th) for married couples who can prove that their first names are Mary and Joseph, or their surname Jesus.
It says the idea is meant in the spirit of Christmas, and to atone for there being 'no room at the inn' on Christmas Eve all those years ago when the original Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus had to spend the night in a stable.
Marys and Josephs who apply will be given a free night in a Family Room the hotel chain says 'can cater for a baby and a manger, with a free car-parking space available for the donkey if needed.' And a Double Room will be provided for a night for anyone during the Twelve Days of Christmas who can prove their surname is Jesus...
Applicants for the free rooms have to apply by email, provide proof of marriage and that their first names are Mary and Joseph or surname Jesus, and meet some fourteen other criteria including being UK citizens, agree not try to sell the room for cash or give it to another person… and be prepared to participate in any post-stay publicity that we presume will be meant purely in the spirit of Christmas.