Mar 242011
Travel as it should be

I’m writing this sitting on a leather sofa, next to tables with little vase where people are playing cards. I’m drinking tea and eating shortbread, and a nice waiter comes over every so often to see if I want anything. There’s an easy camaraderie, with strangers chatting away as if they have much in common and all the time in the world to chew it over. But I’m not in a hotel or a bar; I’m in the lounge of the Caledonian Sleeper, the overnight train from London to Edinburgh, where I’m going for a conference tomorrow. One of the things I have really enjoyed since going to Brussels is Read full post >>

Jan 092011

Not for the first time, it has been quite a while since I wrote a proper post.  Time has been passing, and I’ve been busy.  I spent Christmas home with the folks at their new house in Herefordshire, soaking in the peaceful atmosphere and trying not to freeze solid in the Arctic weather conditions.  The house is lovely – a barn conversion with a big living room, large fireplace, Aga – all the trappings, in other words. I can’t wait to see it in the summer when the white of the landscape turns to green and the flowers are out. Then it was back to London, and flatsitting at my Read full post >>

Dec 062010

It’s probably only fair to turn a little bit of wrath towards Eurostar.  Now I’m not the sort to get frustrated by the snow.  We can’t do anything about it, after all, and let’s face it, we don’t get or need that much practice at it.  So I don’t mind if transport grinds to a halt, and I quite appreciate a bit of snow and ice, as long as I don’t fall over too often.  No, last Friday was occasioned by the snow, but let’s not let that be an excuse for a simple case of fuckwitted management.  Eurostar phone man told me it was first come, first served for Read full post >>

Aug 282010

It’s odd being back, in a lot of ways.  In fact, I have hardly been back at all, and feel as if my life here is in flux just as much as when I was away.  I arrived on Wednesday morning, spent a lot of Wednesday unpacking and shuffling money around from account to account to cover what I spent in Ethiopia, and set off on Thursday morning to see my grandma, having missed my grandad’s funeral last week.  Contrasts keep hitting me: the fact of comfortable, fast public transport; the fact that I had to pay the equivalent of a 10 weeks’ salary for an Ethiopian teacher to travel Read full post >>