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 →
Finally we have a day to remember, one where we see no other tourists, western or otherwise. We are headed for the monastery of Tenduling (Dondrupling in Mandarin), founded the same year (1667) as Ganden Sumtseling in Shangri La. It’s a good 100km, and the spanking new road cuts swathes through the rugged landscape – criss-crossing bridges over the Yangtze gorge, suspended on monolithic pylons and viaducts, boring through impenetrable hillsides with 3 km long tunnels. Everywhere roadside kiosks are springing up to cater for the long-distance lorry drivers – and the Chinese tourist. This is the main road to Lhasa. It is breath-taking and impressive. Whatever you say about the Chinese, they are single-minded masters of road-building and engineering. Continue reading →
Day 5 and so to Lijiang. Now thoroughly alarmed at the mass tourism we have seen so far in in Yunnan, I am relieved that we are staying in a nearby village, Shuhe. But we are proudly told it is, guess what, a mini version of Lijiang! Yes, you got it – more tourist shops and restaurants, nothing old, just on a smaller scale! Wah! Continue reading →
Day 3, Xizhou, and we meet Hom, our Bai guide for the next three days. He takes us to the market, where we get our first glimpse of Bai women in their national dress, selling all kinds of magnificent fruit – huge green mangoes with bright orange flesh, bayberries, redcurrants, mulberries, large crisp red apples, nectarines and peaches, as well as all the greens – pak choi, choi sum, kai lan, cabbages of all shapes and sizes, red and green spinach, spring onions and chives all shapes and sizes,the list is endless. Plus the more revolting sights of a woman beheading chickens, fly-blown meat, fish, eels and frogs in tanks – we are in China, after all. Continue reading →
Union Jack scooter in Dali: better than a horse these days!
So here we are on our long-anticipated jaunt to Yunnan in SW China. We will be following the ancient Tea Horse Road from the pu-er tea growing areas in the south-east of the state right up to Shangri-La on the Tibetan border; Yunnan’s other neighbours are Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. Continue reading →
I have been having a very health conscious couple of weeks – more acupuncture (agony this time) for the shoulder which six months on is still not better. I am also aware that my 18 month check is due, and my bad leg has also been twinging – whether I banged it diving or, as Mrs Ang (Prof’s wife) says as she gaily sticks more needles into it to kick start the system (the old ‘No pain, no gain’ mantra ringing in my ears), my circulation is not good enough, I don’t know. Whatever…
So I decided to look at the healing properties of coconut, which I published first on my http://www.healthylivingwithcancer.co site. My findings have excited me so much that I am sharing them with you all.
I can see you all rolling your eyes and thinking this is just another crackpot health claim. I thought so too until I read the book, Coconut Cures by Brice Fife, that a kind dinner guest gave me recently. Now I have substituted coconut oil for all others in my cooking (and changed all the recipes on this site accordingly!), am adding 2 tsp to my daily granola and fruit, and dressing my lunchtime salad with it (plus balsamic and lime). Soon I daresay I shall be rubbing it in to my scalp where I have pre-cancerous sun damage which freezing has failed to cure and using it as sun tan oil instead of Nivea or Ambre Solaire.
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 →
peering through a window in the reef, current surprisingly strong so quite difficult!
In front of the Dewi Nusantara, sails unfurled
The 10 days in between the two Indonesia trips has passed in a flash and suddenly we are boarding a plane to Bali where we spend two nights. The hotel, the Puri Santrian, is rather tired, décor definitely more 90s than noughties, but the people are friendly. But we hit lucky with the taxi they book to take us to the ancient temple of Uluwatu. Widi speaks good English, but even better Japanese. He tells us he spent four years in Japan working in a factory. When he returned he had enough money to build a house, buy two taxis and start a business, plus educate his four children. Now he wants to go back so he can put them through university. His wife gets up at 3.30 am to go to the market – every day! He is a good guide, and even helps some silly tourists who have their prescription glasses stolen by the notorious temple macaques. We are forewarned and he is forearmed with a big stick!
My recently re-acquired routine – exercise, writing, physio, acupuncture – has been rudely shattered by yet another health scare. Can you believe it? Only a week after seeing my lovely Singapore GP, Dr Foong, about routine things, like B12 jabs, next scan dates, HRT etc – she is surprised to find me back again. Continue reading →