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Tasmania #1 – MONA, a museum like no other

Dear friends, Last month I spent a short week with my friend Verity in Tasmania and what a great few days it was too. I am sure that none of you need be reminded that Tasmania is the island state of Australia and lies off the coast almost directly south of Melbourne across Bass Strait. The [...]

Summer in Europe #1

Dear friends, Lucky me to spend 6 weeks in Europe from mid-June to early August, visiting friends in the UK, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Everywhere the weather was beautiful, the friends welcoming and the weeks passed so quickly in a whirl of delightful meetings, delicious dinners, gorgeous scenery and a few special treats [...]

Visiting Patara Elephant Farm

Dear friends, Just a 40-minute drive from my house is one of the best-managed elephant camps of the many, some 60 in fact, in the area around Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. As part of my own continuing education about the welfare of captive elephants, I spent the morning there, observing, talking with the [...]

Oman #6 – Fourth wife, falaj and food

Dear friends, We spent a couple more days in and around Nizwa and Al Hamra in the interior of the country and visited the magnificent 17th Century Jabreen Fort, palm plantations and Wadi Nakhr, the hanging villages of Al Aqor and Al Ain on the Sayq plateau, walked along the ancient irrigation (falaj) channels and [...]

Oman #3 – Dishdasha, desert and dunes

Dear friends, The day we made the Wahiba Sands crossing was wonderful - the stark beauty of the desert, a few camels, a little excitement and thrills as we did some 'dune bashing', sunset on the dunes, dinner under the stars and a full moon, with music and chilled wine. Ancient and modern, practical and [...]

Bromont, Quebec, Canada #1

Dear friends, One of the highlights of my North American trip was to be able to attend the wedding celebrations of a dear colleague and friend Andrée to her charming partner Denis.  Together with a few other Red Cross colleagues we spent several days with Andrée and Denis at their home in Bromont, Quebec, and then joined [...]