Category Nature

Weekend in the Northeast: Newcastle, Durham, Hadrian’s Wall

On Friday night I took a train from London to Newcastle, checked into a grand-but-faded Victorian hotel next to the train station, and after a few hours’ sleep, woke up to a rather damp weather forecast: Not to be daunted by a little rain, I pulled on my long underwear and all my sweaters and […]

Prehistory in the rain: Stonehenge and Avebury

This morning dawned cold, dark, and wet. Freya had arrived during the night and there was no missing her . . . . . . which made for a delightfully gloomy breakfast in the conservatory of my hotel but put quite literally a damper on the rest of the day. I left Salisbury at 9am […]

Gravestones and Jeeves in Stoke Newington

The middle weekend of February. The second of three weekends that I set aside to do my U.S. taxes. Ugh. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still do something interesting! I spent all morning figuring out the accounts for my house in Seattle, which I’m renting through Airbnb (surprise: it’s making money), and then hopped […]

Lunar eclipse!

Tonight we had some friends over for dessert. Justin made a delicious little treat of macerated berries with cream . . . . . . which we served with shortbread cookies and French got chocolate . . . . . . we had a cosy little turnout — ten people in all — and a […]

I’m in Singapore!

What to do with a seven-hour layover in Singapore? Well, start at the famous Gardens by the Bay with their famous “trees” . . . . . . and strange and beautiful real plants . . . . . . and views across the marina . . . . . . and that big iconic […]

New Year’s Eve 2018

The big night was finally here!  We knew we couldn’t be in Sydney for New Year’s Eve without witnessing the legendary fireworks over Sydney Harbour. Fortunately the Royal Botanic Garden offered its lawns for those of us who didn’t want to spend a fortune at one of the local restaurants.  For the price of a […]

North Head

New Year’s Eve Day was a bit of an odd one.  It felt like a holiday but all the fun wouldn’t start until night-time.  It was also our last full day in Sydney, and Amanda and I wanted to use it to do the last odds-and-ends that had caught our curiosity but not been done […]