A Victorian Christmas Festival

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...
Daughter of the Jola Tribe

Daughter of the Jola Tribe

Back in 2007, I spent a wonderful day at a Jola’s initiation festival in The Gambia, West Africa. While taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the festivities, sitting on a rug under the shade of a tree with friends, one of the girls asked if she could...
A typical English fete with a twist

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...
Smiles, from the smiling coast

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 post An...
Happy Tobaski!

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...
Zombies and protesters clash on Brighton seafront

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...