In the second part of our journey we travel from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang, via Nam Tha and the ‘Green triangle’ of the hill tribes. Continue reading
We arrive in Vientiane after a disaster of a start to the holiday: first Ross can’t find our tickets online so he rebooks them, and then he gets shortchanged on arrival at the airport. But bad humour is soon dispelled by cousins Christine and Diego, who are waiting at the hotel, and the arrival of G&Ts and beers. Continue reading
Nicholas meets us at the airport. He is our Iban guide, descended from the legendary headhunters and heavily tattooed in traditional fashion. He will be looking after us for our few days in Mulu, in the heart of Borneo, bordering Brunei. Continue reading
Sorry for the long silence! Nothing amiss just…travelling back to London and Switzerland has proved extremely exhausting. I know it sounds curmudgeonly to complain – and I’m not really moaning – but being homeless while our house is being renovated is unsettling to say the least. We are turning it into two flats, one of which we shall rent out, but it involves the whole house being re-organised as you can imagine. Continue reading
The second part of our journey will take us to Banlung, the hub for the 23 Ratanakiri schools and where the UWS journey began. Maxine and John have gone on to Siem Reap, so we are now five. It’s a 3 hour drive from Siem Pang to Banlung, and after an hour or so on the pitted murram the road returns to tarmac, and the scenery changes from scrub to row upon row of rubber plantations – the ecocide that has destroyed the rainforest and scarred the landscape forever. In between are cassava plants which leaches the soil so it’s all in all a no win situation for the future. Continue reading
This blog is dedicated to the memory of our darling daughter Louise, who would have been 26 on 7 December. Her spirit guides us in the work we do for UWS
Six months ago I became involved with a charity United World Schools, whose strap line is ‘teaching the unreached’. We build schools and provide basic reading, writing and counting skills to the world’s poorest children in Cambodia (30 schools). Myanmar (5 schools) and Nepal (5 schools planned). We aim to have 50,000 children in school by the end of 2018. Continue reading
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 won’t ski if the conditions are bad,’ I promise my well-meaning friends who, anxious about my continuing whiplash, are disapproving of my Easter holiday plans. This is easy in the first three days as the mist clings to the valley and the rain seems never-ending. The boys (husband, son and friend) are all gung-ho and of course sally forth daily, although a lot of time is spent in mountain restaurants. Continue reading
So here we are, four years on, and I need a new challenge.
Writing the book about my mother and her war (Love and War in the WRNS, to be published in June) – one of the best periods of her life of which she was justly extremely proud – provided solace and therapy after all the bereavements and stress we have suffered over the past few years: the deaths of my mother, father and Louise, plus both Ross and I being diagnosed with cancer. Continue reading
‘It’s the worst season for 12 years: no decent powder since December.’ Not what European snow refugees want to hear of Niseko, Japan, the powder Mecca of the world!