The best fun you can have standing up!

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The best fun you can have standing up!

2018 will go down as one of the best Irish summers ever — certainly the best one that I can recall in almost 60 years. Eight weeks of almost unbroken sunshine, warm temperatures and blue skies created feelings of ambivalence in travel people such as myself because the selfish hedonist in me wanted it to … Continued


Want a glimpse into the future? Visit Dubai!

For many years, whenever travel agents received inquiries from clients as to where they should go   at this time of year to be guaranteed some sun, they invariably were limited to the following choices: Head west to the Caribbean Fly south to the Canaries, Madeira or South Africa Travel east and south to Southeast Asia … Continued


I haven’t been everywhere — but it’s on my list!

It’s one of my all-time favourite quotes and it was uttered by Susan Sontag, a writer and political activist who died back in 2004 at the relatively early age of 71. Susan was well known for travelling to and writing about areas of conflict around the world and in particular, Vietnam and Sarajevo and what … Continued


Go West, Young Man!

I love the United States! There, I’ve said it. I may not like its foreign policy and I probably couldn’t see myself ever living there but as a travel destination, it’s very hard to beat. My first experience of the US was way back in 1976 when the country was celebrating its bicentennial year and … Continued


Pietra Dura — the opposite of Naff!

Look in any dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘Naff’ and you’re likely to come up with some or all of the following terms: ‘tacky’, ‘tasteless’, ‘cheap’, ‘duff’, ‘inferior’ or just downright ‘bad’. The antonyms to be found include words like, first-rate, high-quality, exceptional, first-class, superior, fine and excellent. I can tell you all … Continued


Perceptions, assumptions and misunderstandings

Nothing is set in stone. Things change. Reality is fluid and few things in life adhere to a precise and inviolate template. What on earth am I waffling on about this time? One of the biggest mistakes that people make (and I include myself in this) is that we treat everything as gospel. We read … Continued


In India, they drive on the left …

… and the right, in the middle, on the hard shoulder and in the opposite direction — even on dual carriageways and motorways but for some perverse reason, it all seems to work. India is not a country where you simply hire a car to get around. You hire a car and a driver because … Continued


When a man is tired of London …

The full quote is ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford’ and it was written by Samuel Johnson (aka Dr Johnson), who was the author of the ‘Dictionary of the English Language’ which was published in 1755. Johnson was also … Continued


Out of this world!

Isn’t language an amazing thing? Whether we realize it or not, it is a living thing that adapts to its surroundings to reflect the era it occupies, within which, words are used to convey certain concepts and ideas and like all other living things it is wonderfully flawed. Words that originally meant one thing, end … Continued


The fascinating world of micro-climates

When we think of weather, we tend to categorize it in terms of one of two ideals — good weather or bad weather. The former is the category that we associate with positive things; holidays, sun, ideal agricultural conditions and so on, whilst bad weather tends to be associated, understandably enough, with negative phenomenon such … Continued


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