Nobody Expects The Orkney Haar

Surely my eyes have blown a fuse. The world is blank – not a hole (because holes areĀ *in* something) but a total absence, a blackness filled with light. Vertigo sweeps over me. And…that strange muddled sense of depth, like when you’re drifting off to sleep in a darkened room and suddenly you can’t tell if the ceiling is a million … Read More

Megabus: No-Budget UK Travel (If You’re Tough Enough)

I’m hollow-eyed and bleary today, and I haven’t had enough coffee. A little later I’ll be pootling round York, picking up travel essentials and converting my Brit money into Euros before jetting off to Austria tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow will be my second visit to London in 3 days, and yet again I’m using the train. If you know what rail … Read More

Balderdash! – Busting 5 Myths About England

Ah, England! The mist-shrouded Arthurian ruins, the rolling green hills dotted with sleepy hamlets, nuns on bikes free-wheeling over cattle grids, tankards of warm beer, castles and orchards, jodhpurs and shooting-sticks, where monocles legally replace spectacles and more than two people will automatically form a queue, where everything is quaint and quintessential and steeped and… On and on. Planning a … Read More

Commercial Travel Needs Attention-Seeking Idiots

If you’ve recently flown on a certain Cebu Pacific service, you’ll remember the air safety demonstration. And how many flights can you say that about? What first struck me about this was how hot the stewardess nearest the camera is how much fun the cabin crew are obviously having. And you can’t see the passengers’ faces, but presumably they’re enjoying … Read More

A Scilly Swim (But Not Yet)

The approaching shoreline is an arresting one. A few yards up the cream-coloured beach it’s England – well-kept hedgerows, chalk-dust paths, everything with that tamed look so welcoming to Anglophiles. Except this is the Atlantic. All around, the UK continental shelf is having one last fling with the open air – a scatter of low granite islands, nibbled inwards with … Read More