Stop Press!

Trying to finish Cyprus trip. Four new videos uploaded into previous posts.

After trotting around Southeast Asia over the summer, I'm now back in the UK - Cambridge to be exact. Am trying my best to update as frequently as my clinical course will allow.

Entries on Italy and France two winters ago have been put on hold indefinitely. Read: possibly never. But we shall see.

Entries on Greece and Turkey last winter have also been put on hold for the time being.

Don Det (Laos), Don Khone

Places yet to blog about:
Ban Nakasang, Champasak, Pakse, Tha Kaek, Vientienne, Vang Vien, Ban Phoudindaeng, Luang Prabang, Khon Kaen (Thailand), Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), London (England), Cambridge

Sunday, 12 January 2014

House of Cold

The thermostat reads twelve degrees. I like my house cold. It rescues me from the Sirens in my head, luring me to my Doom. Shields me from Pandora's wraiths that claw away at my heart. People should wear more layers at home anyway.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Offords and Buckden

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Well, I'll tell you, Heather: The weather was really nice so Claud and I went on a ride to the Offords - two villages a couple or so miles from where we live. The road was mainly flat and traffic was light so cycling wasn't too bad.

It didn't take us long to reach our destination so we explored the Offords before deciding to push further on to Buckden - another village a couple of miles away. By the time we arrived at Buckden, it was getting on lunchtime and I was starting to get hungry. That didn't stop us from following a walking path back to the Offords across a couple of weirs. 

We stopped for lunch at a pub called The 'Shoe in Offord D'Arcy which served up a mean Sunday roast: a steadfast British institution and a long-standing British custom. A scrumptious book completed the meal; all washed down with tea. I couldn't have asked for more but a cycle home with a full stomach and the sun on my back.

Looking on the map, Buckden isn't really that far from Grafham Water and I know there is a cycle path around the lake from the couple of occasions I've been. So note to self: 1. must go sometime, 2. must bring friends ± bikes and 3. must introduce pub.


Other achievements include laundry, cleaning the living room, shopping for groceries and preparing lunch for tomorrow - all that before dinner. Boom!

Heather would indeed be proud.

Friday, 13 August 2010


It's only been six hours since we took off from Guate and I'm already missing Central America. I'm sitting next to a middle-aged woman who thinks she owns the plane just by having paid for her ticket: she's reclined her seat and won't straighten it for meals, take-off or landing (despite being told to do so by the stewardess). Then there's the girl sitting in front of me who violently shoved her way past another stewardess who was distributing newspapers down the aisle. I'm sorry, but if this is how the Spanish behave, I have even more reason to push Spain further down the list of places I'd like to visit. God forbid, you'd never see this sort of thing happen in Central America.

Note: On flight bound for Madrid


In El Salvador - particularly big cities like San Salvador, houses are surrounded by thick, high walls (one of the factors that would lead me to almost lose my mind). Neighbourhoods in turn, are closed off by barbed wire fences, cement or concrete walls. Then there's the craze for machete- and rifle-bearing security guards - you can find one in almost every business establishment, even small ones like the nearby restaurant (not unlike Malaysia's late-night mamak restaurants) that I frequented for meals. For $10 per household per month, our neighbourhood - Residencial Santa Margarita - hired a security guard to keep watch over it (ours was not fenced in). Our guard wielded a machete but the one guarding the neighbourhood just across the road from us had a rifle.

But despite their impermeable walls (a reflection of the country's social security), Salvadorenos are quick to let you into their lives - the English-speaking ones even quicker. And they always appear at the most unexpected moment: sitting at the next table in a restaurant or standing next to you at a bus stop. I can still remember the night the security guard at the aforementioned restaurant spoke to me in English (as perfect as American English can be) of how he had grown up in the States but had been deported back to El Salvador as a teenager following some 'bad business'. And my first proper conversation in Spanish was with this woman who had brought her elderly father to Boqueron for the clean fresh air of the mountain. Wheelchair-bound, he was dying from metastatic disease and the doctor had only given him another month to live.

I've also never encountered a people so keen, so ready - almost as if anticipating - to help. They'd patiently explain the menu and help you with the order. They'd answer your questions and show you the right way, sometimes leading you to the correct place or bus. Or even give you a lift if it's on the way or up a tree to get a better view of a procession. In a few moments, we'll be landing at Heathrow (I'm writing this between Salman Rushdie's The Jaguar Smile and sleeping) and I'm not holding my breath yet for someone to help me with my heavy rucksack.


England welcomes me home with rain at 14°C but my heart is still in Central America.