I just qualified as a yoga teacher… shame the world is ending

I’m writing this blog in a grassy clearing at the top of a jungle-covered mountain overlooking the bright blue Pacific ocean. I’ve just spent the last hour or so climbing some scarily steep, rubbly hills to get up here so I am disgustingly sweaty. I am also, slightly unnervingly, being circled by vultures. Still, I’m…

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My imaginary dinner party guest #4: Bill Bryson

Previously on ‘My Imaginary Dinner Party’… Margaret Atwood’s arrival successfully diffuses the sexual tension broiling across the table between Leonard Cohen and Lana Del Ray. I’m feeling a little bit grumpy because the pasta bake is well and truly cold. Why did I get it out of the oven so early? We’ve talked a bit…

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A trip to Oxford to see some extremely old hair grippies

The problem when I come to write in a public place – like here, in the restaurant on the rooftop of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, is that as soon as I open my laptop to type, a large portion of the English language floats lazily out of my head, along with my impetus to…

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Bumbags and birthdays

“Where did you get that from? Guatemala? Honduras?” I followed the Waitrose check-out lady’s gaze to my crotch area. Ah yes, I was wearing a multicoloured bumbag. Not for fashion reasons obviously, but as a nifty hands-free receptacle for any guinea pig grass I happened to find on my walk (I live in quite a…

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Montenegro’s Herceg Novi through my cheap camera lens

If Herceg Novi were a person, and not a small town located at the mouth of Montenegro’s famous fjord-like Bay of Kotor, it would be a person with multiple battle wounds – perhaps a missing limb or two, definitely with severe PTSD, and a lot of stories to tell. Over the last few centuries Herceg…

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Supermarkets: the beating heart of America

I recently got back from a brilliant week’s holiday in Massachusetts. My friend had her wedding just outside a little town called Groton by a big, quiet lake surrounded by forest. It was beautiful, all of it. The wedding, the lake, the white wood-clad New England houses with their dolls-house dormer windows and immaculately striped…

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Why can’t I be on permanent holiday, and other thoughts

Last week I spent five and a half days in the rural Languedoc Roussillon region of France at the house my grandparents have spent 27 summers restoring from a ruin. 

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Beauty

Croatian people are beautiful. All of them, gods and goddesses. As soon as I stepped off the airport shuttle bus into Dubrovnik, it was like entering a good-looking convention. All the women were slim, tanned, dressed impeccably and wearing glamorous-person sunglasses. The men were tall, dark and chiselled, like living Adonises.

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