I was prepared to be underwhelmed by Basel, having lived in Geneva for three years. There’s nothing wrong with Geneva, it’s pretty enough, and we had lots of lovely friends, but it is just a bit grey in all senses of the word – culture and architecture. So I am pleasantly surprised by how pretty Basel is, and absolutely stuffed with excellent art galleries.
Here I am sitting among boxes as I wait for the packers to remove our final belongings as we prepare to leave Singapore. It’s been an experience, mostly wonderful. We came here as refugees – from the emotions surrounding the loss of our daughter Louise and the wish to mourn in a private and fulfilling way, by adventuring and ringing the changes. The deep sense of grieving never goes away and, as I have said many times, time is NOT a healer; but it is possible to fill your mind and your heart with happy experiences that take the raw edge off that insistent nagging realisation that every day you wake up is another without her. Continue reading
I am gliding over the coral reef, like superwoman. Fan corals stand proud from the reef wall, pink and purple, hiding their pygmy seahorses, while the hard stag corals resonate in blues, oranges and greens, interspersed with waving fronds of anemones, complete with their Nemos, guarding eggs. Butterfly and surgeon fish dart in and out of the intricate fretwork and shoals of fusiliers dart by in a flash of silver before disappearing into the blue.
A few days ago I outstared a tiger and gazed into the blue eyes of a leopard. For the past seven years my friend Cindy and I have been trying to find the mythical blue-eyed leopard of Mana Pools, Zimbabwe, only to find he has moved to India. Seriously, the blue-eyed leopard is extremely rare and seems to be found only in India, which is where we came across Nilu (blue in Hindu) and his yellow-eyed twin, Pilu. Continue reading
WordPress.com prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog. In sheer size of viewing numbers they surmise that the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people; vickygoestravelling was viewed about 18,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. That’s quite a good feeling! Keep clicking please…
Here are the most viewed blogs, illustrating the ups and downs of the year – which has ended nevertheless on a high! Clear health, on my skis again, despite being taken out TWICE in one week by beginners, and now having a duvet day to try and rest my poor old back, bum and shoulder, which are all covered in bruises! But I will not be deterred and will venture out when it’s quieter tomorrow, New Year’s Day, when everyone is hung-over! Continue reading
On Monday 15 December I had my check up with the Prof. I had flown in the day before and had spent the day with Tommy, first at the Bench, with a late birthday tribute to Louise (always in our thoughts), and then in the pub with some of Louise’s friends watching the football. Consequently felt not only anxious about Monday’s appointment but also rather hung-over! Continue reading
We spend our last few days in Myanmar on the magnificent Ngapali beach. We are right up one end, staying in the Bayview Hotel, supposedly a boutique hotel, but like the majority the hotels on this beach it caters for mass tourism, with nice rooms all cheek by jowl, on a small plot. Worst of all, it suffers from sunbed–towels-at-dawn syndrome, trade-mark of the German tourist, the majority of the guests here. Continue reading
Surely it can’t be almost a whole month since I last wrote a post? But I check the blog and it is a fact. And, no, its not because I have been doing anything fascinating; rather more prosaic than that – just head down, writing, getting an agent and finishing the book!
I had two offers on the table and was weighing up the pros and cons of each, when the little voice in my head (ie the Society of Authors and former agent and friend, Jo) kept niggling at me to give the agent one more try. So I sent off an email and received one by return saying he would take me on. Ian Drury at Sheila Land, v respectable agency. So now we wait…it’s the story of my life!
Also been busy putting the finishing touches to the website, with Ross’s help of course, www.healthylivingwithcancer.co which I launched about 10 days ago. It’s a slow build and I keep it out there by publishing a recipe every day. It will be word of mouth, or click, and I think it will gradually grow as nothing gets people going like cancer. If you haven’t looked at it already, click and see. Would love to hear any feedback. Continue reading
Five days in Bangkok leave me breathless, yet full of energy! We are here to meet up with Dr Fi and her family, and also to catch up with another old uni chum, Patrick Brooks, who has been living a Somerset Maugham-type of existence for the past 30 years or so (actually an ex-dip and now consulting for the EU, trying to teach them diplomacy – the EU that is, rather than the Vietnamese or the Thais, who seem perfectly good at people skills if you ask me). Continue reading
Two national parks within a week, four days to be precise! From Mana Pools, Zimbabwe to Bunaken island, North Sulawesi, via Joburg and Singapore! I barely had time to unpack before taking advantage of the long Eid el Fitr weekend and setting off to chart new territories. Continue reading