I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. It feels more like a commercial ploy to fill the space between Christmas and Easter than a day for people to demonstrate their love for one another. I prefer little gestures throughout the year; bars of my favourite chocolate delivered to my couch, spontaneous weekend lunches, home-cooked dinners and flowers, simply because.
Perched on top of a hill, overlooking the Sintra Natural Park sits the magnificent and exotic Pena Palace. The palace bears a resemblance to the castles that dot the banks of the River Rhine and is said to be a fine example of Romantic architecture. Its vibrant colours – pink, yellow and blue, turrets, vault arches and medley of buildings gives it a fairy tale and fantastical quality. Read more
The days are longer and while it’s cold outside, the temperature is, ever so slowly, rising. I can see buds on the apple trees and the blue tits who have taken up residence in our birdhouse are frantically putting the finishing touches to their new abode. Summer is coming and it’s about time too. Read more
Choosing your holiday destination can reduce your holiday price dramatically, so it’s important to keep this in mind. Yes, you may find a great deal in a 5 star hotel, but keep in mind to eat and drink in the hotel will make a rather large dent in your holiday spending money. With times being tough, people are looking for more for their money, and with weather like this, they need to get a break in the sun. So I’ve put together a list of the best value for money destinations in Europe. Read more
While visiting Kerala in Southern India we were invited to witness a ceremony known as Theyyam, a ritual art form, elements of which date back thousands of years. We knew little of what we were going to see, except that this was a performance with spiritual significance. The ceremony had been going on for some 20 hours by the time we tumbled out of our little minibus at 4am. We huddled together in the darkness at the edge of a field listening to the eerie sound of beating drums and high-pitched chants wondering what we’d let ourselves into. We walked through the field, ducked through some trees and emerged into a clearing dominated by a small colourful temple, before which was a large crackling bonfire. Hundreds of people surrounded the fire, men beating drums, the crowd chanting, as five men dressed only with cloths around their waists stoked the fire. Read more
I speak from experience when I say our creative aspirations are often neglected. How many times have you heard people say “I’ve always wanted to write a book” or “I used to love painting, but I just don’t have the time now”?