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I won!

30 Sep

Back in the mists of time, do you remember me asking you to vote for me?  It was a blog award type thing called the MADS, I was nominated in the Travel category, obvs.  Well I won!  I got a glass trophy thing, some lovely flowers and a £500 travel voucher for Home and Away.  Brilliant huh?

If you voted for me, thank you very much.  If you didn’t, I shan’t hold it against you, because I’m nice like that.

Living without a car

11 Sep

When we came home from our round the world trip a year ago, we decided not to buy a new car.  We live in London’s Zone 2 and have pretty much everything we need on our doorstop, from schools and libraries to shops and doctors.  We also have a car club, which we’ve joined and make use of every couple of weeks.  We weren’t saying we’d never own a car again, but it seemed very achievable to live without one for at least a year or two.

We then unexpectedly became the owners of a large, quite bouncy dog.  I wondered whether our no car policy would be tested, I had no idea whether the car club allowed dogs, and she’s a country bumpkin who’d never been on public transport.  But a year later, it’s going well.  The dog squeezes herself quite happily into the back of the Zipcar VW Golf for days in Richmond.  She’s sits, not very patiently, on the bus, attempting to leap out at every stop, for trips to Battersea Park.  And she has even travelled by escalator; paws splayed, alarmed look on her face as the wall moves next to her nose.  It helps that she rarely barks, loves people, and is very calm when she’s on the lead.

We’ve taken her on holiday by train a few times now.  People always ask us if we have to get rail tickets for her too, but dogs travel free.  I think she quite likes the train, she tends to be a minor celebrity with everyone stopping to stroke her as they make their way to the buffet car.  She’s so friendly that people can’t help but smile. Apart from the horrified family who were supposed to be sitting next to us but hurried away to another table saying “what if she does a poo.”  Honestly.

We’re generally considered odd, for choosing to live without a car in this day and age, but I think more people should try it.  It’s good for the environment, which makes me feel better about my hot bath addiction, and it’s really not as difficult as most people seem to think it is.  Even with a dog.


28 May


Another old post for your delectation…

Originally posted on It's a small world after all:

Water drips in fat splashy drops from every leaf of every tree.  It stopped raining half an hour ago, but it’s never dry.  Won’t be for months.  We’re right in the middle of the wet season, after the humid, temper-inducing build up, and before the violent storms of the knock ‘em down season.  Over a couple of months, the heavens are dumping their annual load of rain on Australia’s tropical far north.  We fall asleep to the thundering of torrential rain on our canvas roof, which almost, but not quite, drowns out the crickets, frogs and other noisy nocturnal creatures.  We wake up to the gentle pattering of drops on the deck outside.   Throughout the day, rain comes in waves, sometimes a fine mist that settles on your hair like dew, sometimes so heavy that it’s like standing under a dinner-plate sized shower head on the needley setting.  Occasionally, the…

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It’s begging time again

13 May

Do you remember that a while back, I asked you to vote for me in two separate blogging competitions?  Well it appears that someone was actually listening, as I’ve reached the finals of both!

The Brilliance in Blogging awards are now decided by a panel of judges, so we’ll just have to wait and see on that front, but the MAD Blog Awards are decided by you, the readers of blogs.  If you could kindly see your way to voting for me AGAIN, you could have the satisfaction of being friends with an award winning blogger.  Which is surely too good an opportunity to miss, isn’t it?


10 May

Originally posted on It's a small world after all:

We were on Hawaii’s Big Island when it started snowing in the UK.  Sleeping in the jungle and being eaten by mozzies.  The children were disappointed that they were missing out on a snow day in London, remembering the wonderful day two years ago when the city stopped and the whole neighbourhood congregated on the Common to play.  We pointed out that they were missing nine months of school, which mollified them somewhat, but over the last month their one true complaint, has been jealousy of their friends on the snow front.

We’d always planned to see glaciers in New Zealand, but when we actually sat down with a map and tried to work out how to squeeze everything in, we decided that it just wasn’t possible.  But after an amazing first couple of days in Dunedin, during which we saw two types of penguin, albatross, seals, sea lions and…

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