Grounded!

I've been wanting to get away for months. First Covid put a spanner in the works. Now I'm grounded by a chest problem that I've been struggling with. Time to make plans. My plan had been to be on the road by April, but that's now looking like a long shot. The best...

Rejigging the website

Just to let people know that I'll be rejigging the website over the next few days. My most recent update was on the trip I did to Macon in late January and early February, since then not much has been 'wheeling' but there has been plenty going on the food and wine...

Some Common Indian Food Words

This short list of Indian words used in cooking was compiled with the help of the Google Translate language App पालक paalak = spinach साग saag = greens पनीर paneer = a kind of cheese मुर्ग murga = chicken दाल daal = pulse बासमती चावल = baasamatee chaaval = basmati...

Indian Takeaway with Style

Indian Takeaway The food of India, not just Indian foodIndian Takeaway for Valentine's Day Down with a chest infection, I really couldn’t face the walk into Waitrose on a chilly Sunday afternoon in February. But it was Valentine's Day, and I also couldn't face a night...

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Our Allotment

We have been doing our allotment for the last five years. Over time, we have moved on from the basic plantings of salad and potatoes that we started with, and have been trying all sorts of more exotic produce: tomatoes, beetroot, brassicas, carrots, chard, onions, and...

Beaujolais Delivers

Beaujolais Delivers

Exploring the villages of Beaujolais in January was a challenge but I struck lucky at the Caveau Chateau de Fleurie

Moulin-a-Vent on the N7

After my brief visit to Beaune, I drove on to deliver the hire car that had replaced my broken down Skoda, which was still en panne in a garage somewhere outside Orleans. I have described its rather tragic last moments earlier in my blog, and gradually it was becoming...

Beaune and the Musee de Vins

Beaune and the Musee de Vins

My visit to the Musee de Vin at Beaune was a vivid reminder of how important wine has been in the history of the Bourgogne region.

A Glimpse of the Cote Chalonnais

Côte Chalonnaise Our brief visit to the Côte Chalonnais provided a tantalising glimpse of the wine wonders of the region, rather than the full experience. This was partly because it was January, and partly because it was a Sunday, not a good combination for...

First steps in the Maconnais

Exploring The Mâconnais From our base in Mâcon, I drove out to several of the southern Mâconnais villages: first to Vinzelles, then on to Fuissé, then Pouilly and then Solutré. These all lie within a few kilometers of each other, and although the Caves were all shut,...

Macon Degustation

Wine Tasting in Macon My favourite place to taste wine around Mâcon was Les Vins d’Anges. This is located close to the centre and has a Oenoteca machine that allows the clientele to sample small taster volumes of good and high quality wine at a reasonable price. The...

Getting to know Macon

  Mâcon We have been staying in the small city of Mâcon in southern Burgundy. Just down the road from our AirBnB, in Place de la Barre, is a statue of two workers carrying a huge basket of grapes. It was made by Pierre Alexandre Morlon. The sign under the statue...

Arriving in Macon

  I had expected my first trip to Burgundy to be a leisurely meander along the Saone, sampling French cuisine and the liquid treasures of the Cotes de Nuits, the Cotes de Beaunes, and the easier (on the purse) delights of the Chalonnais and the Maconnais. In...

Wine Review: Hebron’s Bubbly

Hebron Vineyard 2018 Sparkling Hebron Vineyard "Silver Lining" 2018 First Release. This white wine is made from Solaris grapes. 13% abv. Made by Paul Rolt at Hebron Vineyard.  Absolutely loved this. It has a strong flavour of elderflower, then grapefruit and...

Wine Review: Cuvée Secrète Organic

Grapes: Merlot / Cabernet Organic red from Jean Claude Mas. Pays d'Oc IGP. 14% abv. 2020.  Subtle organic red from Jean Paul Mas. Nice flavours of red and black fruit: strawberry, black cherry and plum come to mind. Also there was a savoury flavour I couldn't...

Bonfire Night Bottles

Bonfire Night Bottles

Lewes Bonfire usually goes with a bang, and Bonfire 2021 was no exception. We celebrated with a Shiraz from the Margaret River region in western Australia. This powerful, 14.5% alcohol, is from one of Australia's premium wine regions, and one of the few that lie...

Whisky Galore and more

Today I discovered Cadenhead's on Chiltern Street in Marleybone, between Bond Street and Baker Street. This is a small shop selling whisky, and a selection of other spirits. It looks from a different age, with rows of wonderful amber and heavy wooden barrels where you...

Along the Birmingham Canals

Along the Birmingham Canals

We walked along the Birmingham Canals where graffitti artists have made their mark in technicolor

Visiting Soubes

Visiting Soubes

We drove to Soubes in Languedoc for our annual holiday in the south of France.

Our Welsh Jaunt

Our Welsh Jaunt : August 5-8, 2021 I drank my first bottle of Welsh wine chez Richard, looking down from his terrace over the battered greenhouse and the jungle below his garden, behind that the railway that runs from Swansea out to the coast, and behind that the...

Welsh Wines

  August 5-8, 2021 I drank my first ever bottle of Welsh wine looking down from the terrace of my friend’s house in Pwll, a short hop west from Llanelli. Over the estuary, the Gower Peninsula was a luminous green from the late afternoon sunshine. We looked down on it...

The Energy Transition

This post contains information from my training company Resource Economist Ltd on the Energy Transition https://resourceeconomist.com  

Our Dorset Trip

Our Dorset Trip

We visited Dorset in July 2021 to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!

Knock-On Effects

Most of the time, people ignore my efforts, especially family. I don't think this is an unusual situation, and it is one that I have become quite used to; nowadays I actually quite enjoy being an unseen and unsung force for the common good, whether it's doing the...

Packing Plans

6th: I have been trying to think through what one would need to make a journey of two months by bike. Obviously the amount of clothing would depend on the season; a change of underwear, a warm sleeping bag, pillow, some form of mat to lay on, and a tent or hammock...

Route planning

5th: I have been making plans for my first road trips. Claudio Magris’ Danubio and Defoe’s A Journey through the Whole Island of Great Britain have somehow caught my imagination. The trip along the Danube would be around 2,500 km (1,800 miles) and assuming that I...

On Liberty

The first thing I think of when I wake up is my e-bike. Last night I was too tired to do anything but glug back a few glasses of wine, and rustle up a spaghetti with anchovies and chilli, before hitting the sack at around 1 am after having caught up on Emily’s...

Back in Blighty

3rd: Back to UK. For some reason, I arrive in the UK with the soundtrack from the Beatles song Back in the USSR ringing in my ears. The ferry journey has been unusually pleasant, with fewer than usual passengers, most of those on the boat being truck drivers from all...

Driving Back

We drive back via Rouen, stopping on the way at Monet’s garden at Giverny, and then reaching our gite at St Martin de S. at around 7 pm. It has been a long day’s driving, and the glass of Estabel red wine tastes particularly delicious as the sun goes down. The car is...

The Road Less Travelled

31st: Trip down to Gourgas with Luke. Luke is up for the round trip to St Etienne de Gourgas, but at Grandpa’s recommendation we decide to do the side-leg to Gourgas as well. We set off without too much fuss, and we negotiate the steep hill down to the D25 without...

Under the Stars

21st to 29th: We drove down to Montpellier to see Emily off at the airport on the 20th, and then collected Luke about two hours later. He had done the journey from Gatwick and seemed typically unphased. As usual, I buy a copy of La Recherche magazine at the airport....

If at first you don’t succeed

19th: The next day, Jenny has recovered and we set off to do the circuit from Soubes to St Etienne and then back along the other side of the river to Soubes. I admire Jenny for her perseverance, and although the initial leg to St Etienne is a struggle, we manage...

Keeping fit

18th: Now Jenny has decided to “get on the bike”. She has been cycling a few times in Canada and on holidays in the UK, but my impression is that these trips have been at a fairly gentle pace. We decide to take things step-by-step, so our initial effort is to cycle...

First outing

17th: Emily and I select our preferred cycle helmets from the three in the store room. She has chosen the metallic blue model, and I have selected a worn out matt gold helmet. Neither fits very well, but they will keep us safe in the unlikely event of an accident. We...

Bikes in the shed

16th: After a day recovering from the drive down by the poolside, I dig out the bikes lurking at the back of the shed halfway down the garden, nestled between an apple tree and the olive trees all over the plot. They are both sturdy, and three out of their four tyres...

We Make Our Escape

We catch the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry at 9 am, and by 2 pm we are on the road from Dieppe heading south. After days of confusion, we have thrown caution to the winds. Before we made our escape, the French Corona virus infection rate had soared, and there were constant...

Locking up

Insurance finally secured with Cyclesure. A tremendously nice woman called Jan has fixed it up for me, and it gives me protection against theft, as well as liability cover if I am involved in an accident. They even give me a discount if I join Cycling UK, which I will...

Underwhelmed

Jenny and the family are back from Dorset. Sadly the holiday has been spoiled by a theft. A thief or thieves have knocked in the windows of a row of cars parked on a quiet country rode and looted whatever they could get their hands on. Jenny’s bag containing her...

Insuring the e-bike

Insuring the bike has proved much more of a chore than I expected. I had imagined that home insurance companies would be falling over themselves to insure your electric bike, given the virtuous appeal and sustainability of this means of transport. In particular,...

Buying a pump

Today, I walked into town to buy a pump for the bicycles. I was astonished by the overwhelming range of models available. Bike pumps range in price from the basic £9.99 model that I finally settled for to high tech contraptions that cost upwards of £40. It therefore...

Getting used to my new wheels

3rd: Back and forth between home and allotment My confidence has improved and I feel the wind is in my sails. Today I went down the allotment at 6 am, hardly any traffic on the road. Rather than the 45 minutes prep time I needed on previous trips, I am getting used to...

My e-bike journey begins

My e-bike journey begins

My e-bike journey begins. 61st birthday. Down to the allotment. Nothing can go wrong,.

On A Serious Note

Despite growing public concern, carbon emissions continue to rise. My book on Sustainable Transitions in Energy reflects the need to go electric.

The Travel Bug

The Travel Bug

I have worked as an energy journalist all my life. The Covid-19 bug may have squelched my travel plans, but it helped make up my mind to go electric

Beaches

The hot springs at Polichnitou are a staggering 46 degrees C

Hot Springs

The hot springs at Polichnitou are a staggering 46 degrees C

Cave Paintings

Cave Paintings

Hidden deep inside caves, art from 15,000 years ago and even earlier

Porto

Porto

At the mouth of the Douro river, the gateway to a world of food, wine and vibrant culture.