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USA #4 – Fall Colors in Vermont

Dear friends, I have long wanted to see the fall colours in Vermont and it turns out that I was there at the optimum time to glory in those remarkable colours and bright landscapes.  How great to have my friend Lois who lives near Duxbury, between Montpelier and Burlington, to take me through some stunning [...]

USA #3 – Lake Champlain and the road trip

Dear friends, It's amazing what you can fit into a week if you are with energetic and generous friends. Rada and Steve have a beautiful house right on the shore of Lake Champlain in Upper New York State, and although I am not generally an early riser, getting up before six am to view the [...]

USA #2 Out and about in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia

Dear friends, Such a lovely week in around Washington DC, staying with my friend Betsy, a colleague from my Geneva days, and meeting up with others from my past, the Ethiopian artist Wasihun (see my most recent journal entry), with Carroll who was UNICEF rep in Myanmar when I worked there for the International Red [...]

Tasmania #2 – Coastlines, childhood stories and convicts

Dear friends, Some more from my visit to Tasmania last month. From Hobart, it is an easy day trip across to the SE Coast and down the Tasman Peninsula to the Port Arthur Historic site, with some interesting natural features along the coast.  We were told by friends to visit Pirates Bay, the Blowhole, the [...]

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 [...]

I’m not much of a cook, but …..

Dear friends, There is no doubt that the Thai kitchen is one of the world's most recognized and appreciated cuisines. Over the years living here in Chiang May, I have sent many visitors to cooking classes although have neglected to do one myself. However, this has been rectified as last weekend I had the opportunity [...]

Madagascar #8 – Chama, Chama, chameleon … and more

Dear friends, I thought this would be my final blog, but realized that there is just to much to show from our last few wonderful days in Madagascar. After flying back from the south and our visits to Fort Dauphin and Berenty Private Reserve, we had an overnight stay in Antananarivo, and then set off [...]

Oman #8 – Castles, crystals and camels

Dear friends, My final story from Oman comes from the wonderful southern city of Salalah where we spent three days in and around the city, visiting the beautiful coastline where there were more camels than people on the long white beaches, learning about the ancient trade in frankincense, seeing the tombs of holy men, relaxing [...]

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 #5 – A Fort, firearms and flowers

Dear friends, After the fascinating morning at the goat market I wrote about in the last blog, we also spent time in the wider market and then visited the Nizwa's Round Tower Fort. Later, we walked through a fascinating hillside village and then settled into a wonderful 'eco-luxe' hotel for the night called 'The View', [...]