Celebrating Christmas around the World

Every 25th December my family come together for the most important meal of the year, Christmas Day lunch. Curious to know how different people celebrate Christmas I asked a few friends from around the world what they traditionally eat for their festive feast.

read more

An upcountry adventure with the Jola Tribe

A traditional Jola Festival is the subject of my 3rd podcast from The Gambia with the transcript and plenty of photographs here on my blog. "Unnerving but fascinating to watch, they used everything from cutlasses and razor blades to energetically strike their bodies...

read more

The magic of Brussels at Christmas, Part 2

Christmas market stalls, spectacular ice-skating, scrummy chocolates and a delicious glass of Delirium or two! Having fallen in love with the beauty of Brussels’ Grand Place, I already felt our brief visit to Belgium's capital was more than worth it. The main reason...

read more

The magic of Brussels at Christmas, Part 1

Decadent Wittamer hot chocolate and the beauty of Brussels' Grand Place... I've recently returned from a wonderful weekend exploring Brussels in all her Christmas finery. For many years now I've been longing to visit Belgium but I had never quite made it there, other...

read more

Salon du Chocolat visits London… oh my!

  When I was given a pair of tickets to visit Salon du Chocolat in London, how could I refuse? This world famous chocolate show visited London for the first time last weekend bringing together the best chocolate companies from the UK and around the globe such as...

read more

On the trail of the mythical Kumpo of Kanuma

When I heard (on Twitter) that a kumpo, a mystical character of the West African Jola tribe, had been spotted near the village of Kanuma, just a few hours drive from where we were staying in The Gambia, there was only one thing for it; I was determined to arrange an...

read more

London at Christmas

London at Christmas really is a wonderful place to be. The Christmas lights in town look stunning and shops such as Harrods and Selfridges are famous for their seasonal window displays. Everywhere is hectic but there's a feeling of celebration in the air. One of my...

read more

Winchester Christmas Market

Winchester Christmas Market, which has been running since 2006, has established itself as one of the best in Europe. Inspired by traditional German markets, all the stalls are in delightful wooden chalets in the grounds of the city’s majestic Cathedral. If you live or...

read more

A Victorian Christmas Festival

For one weekend every year the historic docklands of Portsmouth are transformed into a scene straight out of a Dickensian novel! Singing street urchins, chimney sweeps and ladies of the night (hold on to your husbands girls) are among the many characters in costume....

read more

A typical English fete with a twist

Last summer I discovered the Weed and Wild Flower Festival in a little village in the Sussex countryside. A wonderful fantasy woodland had been recreated inside Bignor's ancient church. I can't imagine how long it took to build (or clear up!) but the effect was...

read more

Smiles, from the smiling coast

The Gambia is known as the smiling coast of Africa for good reason and I love the smiles of this brother and sister playing around together at a Jola Festival where the brother was initiated. You can read about the fabulous day I had and see more photos on my...

read more

New Year’s Eve at London’s Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park was a magical way to spend the afternoon on New Year's Eve 2011. Exploring the pretty craft stalls, listening to the shouts of joy from the ice rink, which looked particularly beautiful at dusk, tucking into delicious German sausages and...

read more

Happy Tobaski!

Once a year, about 70 days after the end of Ramadan, virtually the whole of The Gambia holds a barbecue! This is the festival of Tobaski (also known as Tabaski or Eid Al Adha) when Muslim families ritually kill a ram in commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to...

read more

Zombies and protesters clash on Brighton seafront

Locals and tourists alike looked on in horror as Halloween arrived early to the normally easy-going and friendly seaside resort town of Brighton on the south coast of England this afternoon. Thousands of zombies appeared from nowhere, to the dismay of many a bemused...

read more

Images of la Balagne, Sounds of A Filetta

In my last post I shared with you my experience of the wonderful festival held every September in Calvi Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques de Calvi  hosted by the polyphonic singing group A Fileta. For those of you not familiar with this form of singing here's a bit...

read more

Calvi Jazz Festival… not just jazz

Held every June (21st to 26th June in 2011) the Calvi Jazz Festival is a wonderful time to visit Northern Corsica. I came across the festival by accident during my first visit to Corsica many years ago. I fell in love with Corsica and the Jazz Festival. Here's why!...

read more

Gospel@Valenza 2011, with the London Community Gospel Choir

Wow! I just had the most amazing weekend in Valenza,  Italy - 2 days of workshops with the London Community Gospel Choir culminating in a concert on Sunday night. It was a real privilege to be a part of this wonderful weekend. Friday evening was club night and we all...

read more

Singing the Forest Awake

Last month I felt I needed a bit of a boost, having just come out of a 12 year relationship feeling emotionally battered and bruised. Thinking a change of scene would do me good, I asked some friends if they fancied going to the New Forest for a few days camping. I...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest