Vanishing into Russia

Charlotte Hobson reminds me of a good friend who hails from the same Cornish corner of England where Hobson lives. They are both tall, have similar mannerisms, and are skilful storytellers – using softly expressive, very well spoken voices (quite posh). Both make you want to listen. I feel tempted to ask if they are acquainted … More Vanishing into Russia

Bis gleich, Berlin

Crikey, today we go. Time to make a plan. Three nights in Berlin with two (too cool for school) 15 year old boys (men?) and my brother. There is much ground to cover – Berlin is a big city (population 3.5m) with a complicated, turbulent history (not just 20th century), and a 21st century reputation for creativity and innovation. David Bowie … More Bis gleich, Berlin

24 hours in London – chat, clues and comedy

By the time we reach the River Thames, No. 2 has taught me everything I need (or want) to know about sharks (we’ve been travelling for just 35 minutes). A chill wind whips up, so I tug my scarf tighter. My son stands at the river’s edge, moving breezily on to the subject of the seals which (apparently) splash in the murky dark depths below us. So start … More 24 hours in London – chat, clues and comedy

A Spring in his Step

Today No. 4 met me from school with a spring in his step and a “How are you, Mum?” “Fine, thanks.” I smiled. His thoughtful theme continued, “Did you have a good day?” “It’s getting better … ” I laughed. My boy’s line of questioning is a rare and wonderful thing, especially in these latter days of winter. … More A Spring in his Step

The Google Maps Game

Cons: it can be noisy, and causes occasional cries of outrage. Pros: it’s super simple – a global travelling adventure from the comfort of your own home (or office). Born from yet another session of me scolding my kids for being addicted to their screens, they outwitted me by devising a game of which I would approve. The Rules Two … More The Google Maps Game

No Paella in Valencia

It’s not all about paella in Valencia – arroz (rice) can be rustled up a hundred different ways. And Paella Valenciana will be adapted to suit the season and region – and kitchen. But we eat none of it, much to our surprise. Because we stop in these places instead: Bodega Casa Montaña (for the ultimate classic tapas) Ubik Café (for a bit of … More No Paella in Valencia

Café Sant Jaume

It’s a good feeling when you stumble upon a travel gem without even trying. Café Sant Jaume is our small find in the old quarter of El Carmen – only later do I read of its enviable reputation as one of Valencia’s best bars. On the café terrace in the late winter evening, people sip cocktails, cervezas and wine. We step … More Café Sant Jaume