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Buddhist retreat in the City

A tranquil retreat with lovely people

Firefighters

The Firefighters statue near St Pauls Cathedral is a moving tribute to the bravery of this emergency service

Lewes Castle

Lewes Castle is a striking reminder of the town’s medieval heritage

Recent Trips

Have Wheels, Will Travel

Our Satnav Madeline is our new best friend.

Dreux: Not exactly Paris, but not far off

First stopover, Dreux. Diverse, delightful but mainly shut

Driving South

Banilles: Let’s do the time warp again

Aurillac and onward

Street theatre, a traffic jam in the precinct, punks with dogs

Down through the Gorges

The drive down to Soubes took us through the valleys of the Lot and Olt

Soubes: View from the Terrasse

Waking up with the old, familiar view

Lodeve Market

Fresh bread, tomatoes, local produce, bric-a-brac and plugs

Lauroux

A quiet village with fresh water and fig trees

Lake Salagou

Lake Salagou and a disastrous meal at Octon

Cirque de Moureze

Dolomitic rocks and the taste of prehistory

Soubes en Fete

The village has a new farmer’s market and several summer festivals

Beziers

Not so sweet for Cathars

Lazing Around

Sunny days doing very little

Treves and Nant

Wild swimming under dolomitic rocks

Clermont l’Herault

The book quest stalls, but a good market

Painting the Garden Red

A new palette for the South

Autumn Rumbles

The weather gets cooler as the calendar turns a page

Pezenas

Flipo Chic and a Glass Fish

St Michel de Grandmont

An ancient Priory in the hills outside Lodeve

Sad But True

We spent more time than expected at les Supermarches

Car Travails

French garages are so good with French cars

Pont Du Diable

One of many Devil’s Bridges around the Languedoc

Vendange at Montpeyroux

The town was buzzing with tractors and smelt musty as an old barrel

St Jean de Fos pottery

A pottery village breaking with tradition

Daumas Gassac

Last time they thought we were farm-hands. All is forgiven

Wine Drinking

Rose, and more rose, and some very good reds

La Borne Pottery Village

Wood-fired kilns fed by the local forest

Menetou-Salon

Fresh Pinot Noir and an amuse-bouche from heaven

Back on the Ferry

The Canadian memorial beach at Dieppe

Firefighters

The Firefighters statue near St Pauls Cathedral is a moving tribute to the bravery of this emergency service

Lewes Castle

Lewes Castle is a striking reminder of the town’s medieval heritage

Saudi Here We Go

Riyadh turned out to be much more interesting than expected.

Destinations

Visiting Hope Gap

Visiting Hope Gap

From the beach you can see the Seven Sisters stretching all the way from Cuckmere Haven to Beachy Head.

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...

Visiting Soubes

Visiting Soubes

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

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.

Iceland

Iceland

Far enough north to see the aurora borealis, you can bathe outside in the coldest winter

Haw Par Villas

Haw Par Villas

A slice of madness in the business-focused Southeast Asian financial capital Singapore

People and Events

Halloween

Halloween

The Celtic festival of Samhain is a highlight of the pagan year

Totensonntag

November 17 in Germany is a national day of mourning for everyone who has died in war or as a result of tyranny. The "national day of the dead" is respected across Germany as a stiller tag -- a day of quiet where it's not okay to play loud music and where, in some...

Diwali

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the Hindu festival of lights. The festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness and symbolically, of good over evil. Diwali is an autumn festival in the northern hemisphere, and isassociated with firework displays as well...

Festival of Saint Nicholas

The Christian festival of Saint Nicholas is observed on December 6 throughout western Europe and in some eastern European countries including Romania and Hungary. Saint Nicholas is the prototype for Santa Claus, and he has for centuries been associated with being a...

Krampusnacht

As a child, I remember the Krampus in Bischofstetten, my home village in Austria. He was a scary figure. On Krampusnacht, on 5th December, the Eve of the Feast of St Nicholas, we would get to meet him. Oma and Opa, my grandparents, had a hayloft with recesses stained...

Burbura

People across the Levantine Middle East eat a heavily-scented porridge called Burbura on 4th December, to celebrate the feast of St Barbara. The Eid al-Burbura is celebrated in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine, as well as parts of Russia and Turkey. The...

A simple breakfast

A simple breakfast

Muesli, skyr and blackberries. Couldn't be simpler and couldn't be better.

Day of the Tiger

International Tiger Day is an annual celebration that aims to raise awareness of the precarious position of tigers in their habitats, and the need for efforts to conserve tigers in their natural environment. Tiger Day started in 2010 when the Saint Petersburg Tiger...

Saint Anne’s Day

Saint Anne is a saint celebrated in both Christianity and Islam. Apocryphal writings in both religions say that Anne was the mother of Mary and therefore the grandmother of Jesus, although she is not mentioned by name in either the Muslim holy book The Quran or the...

Obon お盆

Obon  has been celebrated for more than  500 years across, although  it takes place at different times in different regions. It is a Buddhist festival to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. This custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people...

Sustainability

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.

New energy

How energy is produced and how it is used are about to change forever

MY E-BIKE BLOG

The listings below contains blog updates on my initiation into cycling and the stages of my e-bike journey.

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