Monthly Archives: November 2013

V is for Volcano

Elemental forces are at work again this week. In Sicily, we saw dramatic video of locals sheltering beneath umbrellas as rocks fell from the sky. Mount Etna is on the move. Meanwhile, speculation mounted as high above our heads, a mile wide lump of ice and dust was apparently vaporised when it passed too close […]

Happy Birthday Doctor Who

I like that Doctor Who traverses the generations; and that each of us, however old we are, has our own Doctor and our own stories. This evening I went to the cinema with my adopted son J and his cousin E and we watched the Day of the Doctor in 3D, which is the Doctor’s […]

Essaouira, Morocco: Snail soup at sundown

Every evening, at sundown, the snail soup seller set up his stall on the main square. We watched him from the roof of the only bar in town which would sell me a beer. It was Ramadan and the street hawkers were doing good business in this ancient fortified town on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. The […]

New York NY: Splashing around on the Hudson

The Downtown Boathouse at Pier 40 on the Hudson River was the unpromising location for an early evening out in New York. Friends had whispered that this section of the decaying waterfront was home to one of New York’s best kept secrets. All summer long, and weather permitting, volunteers organise free kayaking for New Yorkers […]


Putting up barriers against the outside world is very easy…. Taking them down isn’t.

Neglected, abandoned or hurt….

A full colour picture of my adopted son, then aged 5, featured under this headline on the front page of the Sun newspaper during the UK’s National Adoption week in November 2004. Inside, his sad face filled the centre spread, where Sharon Hendry, the paper’s Woman Editor, described him as a “lively chatty boy, full […]

Cycling in Moraira

Calpe, Spain: an adventure in super shiny cycle shorts

I don’t own a bike, and to be honest just the thought of cycling in London gives me the heebie jeebies. But J and I often hire bicycles for a few hours when we’re on holiday. Some of our best times together have been spent ‘bagging’ chateaux by bike from our campsite in the Loire […]