Here we are again at Basel Art Fair. We are lucky this time in that we have Art First doyenne Clare Cooper to guide us. Continue reading
Our son Tommy has bought us a weekend break in Budapest as a 60thbirthday present. He has chosen the hotel, devised an itinerary and booked a Michelin star restaurant for the Saturday night. Continue reading
The Dents bathed in sunlight under the watchful eye of the full supermoon
This season saw some of the best snow for almost a decade, but also some of the worst weather. For us weekenders, we were constantly frustrated by the enthusiastic reports of sunshine and fresh powder on weekdays, while we were rained off for two consecutive weekends! Somehow these photos don’t reflect that – who takes photos when it’s miserable? Continue reading
The alarm goes off at 3 am. Quickly we pull our clothes on and rush to catch one of the few buses that are operating at this time of the morning. We are here to witness the famous Morgestraich, the first event of the world-famous Basel Carnival or Fasnacht.
We have always spent Christmas and New year in Champery since my mother died in 2009. There seemed no need to remain in England after that; and even less so after Louise died in 2011. The three of us come here and try and avoid the madness that overtakes even rational people at Christmas time. The only presents I give are to Ross and Tommy; friends may receive small tokens from our travels, Christmas biscuits from the Basel market or home-made chutneys, if I’ve made any! Continue reading
We leave lovely Ometepe by the ferry, and arrive at the border after an hour or so. Here we say goodbye to Bayardo, our driver for the past 10 days, and lug our bags through the Nicaragua border formalities – all smiles – and into Costa Rica – all grumps. It’s blazing hot and there is no sign of the rental car, which Diego has nobly volunteered to drive (great job Diego!). We mooch around in the scant shade looking in wonderment at the massive pantechnicons which ply the Transamerica Highway from north to south. Their line to cross the border is at least 1-2 kms long. Awful. Continue reading
The drive from El Jaguar to Léon, Nicaragua’s capital (founded in 1524) until Managua took over, takes us through fields of maize, legumes (the famous red beans for the staple dish of pinto gallo – or rice and peas) and the usual motley array of horses (sometimes with dashing gauchos astride), cows, dogs and pigs. Round here where it is poor, they are all a bit thin, ribs sticking out, apart from the pigs who root around contentedly. Sometimes the animals are tethered, but mostly not. The houses are as poor as ever, with the occasional school, and people going about their daily business. Religion plays a huge part in daily life – and the bigger churches are full of effigies of saints and, of course, the Virgin Mary. Continue reading