Monthly Archives: April 2011


Travels with a Ten Year Old

asleep on bus station floor

Today is Take Your Child To Work Day, so a bunch of lovely folk who travel with a wildly varying selection of spawn — from teens to infants — are putting our collective heads together to talk about the pros and cons of travelling with children of different ages. Now, I’ve traveled with Z since […]


F*ck It. I’m A Tourist.

bangkok dreamworld

Tourist or traveller? It’s a question as old as the first ever travel books. But I don’t like the word “traveller”. It smells of one-upmanship, of smugness. There’s that sense that, just by hitting the banana pancake trail instead of the all-inclusive resorts, the camp site instead of the villa, the traveller is somehow better […]


The Sunday Six: Great Restaurants in Ubud, Bali

Flowers for offerings on sale at Ubud market Bali.

This post is now out of date. Please head on over to my other site for 21 of Ubud’s best restaurants, current as of January 2015. If you want to read more about Ubud in general, click here. The Ubud dining scene has more diversity than you’d think.From vegan to Italian via street food, here […]


A Tough Question

lombok landscape

In Magic Lounge, the drinking den where we sprawl on orange sofas and use their satellite internet after a day on the beaches of Kuta, Lombok, A approaches me tentatively. He has something to tell me. Or maybe ask me. “Excuse me, ibu,” he says. “I have just had a baby!” “Oh! Congratulations,” I say. […]


We Learn to Surf…


We have come to Kuta, in the south of Lombok, to learn to surf. And the beach, Selong Belanak, 20km or so west of Kuta, is beautiful. A vast sweep of bay with white and gold sands, curling surf breaks out at sea, green headlands, pyramid islands and fishing boats rocking on the waves. Learning […]


First Leg. Second Thoughts?

beach, kuta, lombok, indonesia

Struggling to get off the ferry, I begin to wonder whether my wizard wheeze, to ride a motorbike through Indonesia to Papua with my ten-year-old son on the back, was really quite the blinding idea it seemed when he and I discussed it. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been on an Indonesian or […]


Our Next Intrepid Adventure: To Papua on a Motorbike


We have been intending to get to Papua for roughly seven years, ever since Z and I first started talking about travelling together, around the time he turned three. He was that stage in many young boys’ lives where wardrobe is, at best, based entirely around cartoon characters and, at worst, as here, confined to […]


I Get A Driving License!

driving test indonesia

“When is it acceptable to leave the scene of an accident?” the question asks. “A) When you have been involved in a fatal accident and your life is in danger from the victim’s friends you run away fast but report to the police immediately B) You must stay at the scene and give first aid […]


Sunday in Seminyak

a kite in the shape of a sailing ship flies above the surf on Seminyak beach, Bali

We are almost at the end of our time in Bali — and, boy, will we miss it. So what better way to spend our last Sunday than on the beach in Seminyak, beginning to learn to surf? It’s a crazy place, Seminyak. Inland is grubby, scuzzy, dirty, almost indistinguishable from the concrete package tour […]


Happy Birthday! It's Briby Time!

it's briby time

As I set out to collect my spawn from the airport, on my birthday, I am feeling quietly smug about not having paid a single bribe, in three months in Bali. My friends from Z’s school, the ones I met after they attempted to reverse their car over my bike, in the slow motion essential […]