Monthly Archives: June 2012


French Conversation

Tubing in yellow ring

The resort beach at the far end of town has some rather fine windsurfing on offer, and I figured that, with the water relatively warm and the wind relatively low, here would be a good place for Z to learn.. So, of course, did Z. Until he got there, obviously. “WOW!” says Z. “Banana boats! […]


Is This The World’s Most Antisocial Flight?

Sinai Sunset

I was going to start this post by badmouthing my babyfather, always a classy move online, for putting Z on the world’s most antisocial flight, EVAH. The time change between London and Egypt is two hours. The flight time is approximately five hours. Z is firmly nocturnal, and likes nothing better than to spend his […]


Grief in the Digital Age


The other day I shared a blog post that moved me deeply. Moved me to tears, in fact. And other people cried and shared it too. Then I saw a status update from the author of the post, satisfied that 38,000 people had seen it, and I felt, well, uncomfortable. Now, 38k page views is […]


Friday Photo Essay: Lebanon Flowers

Red and gold poppy

In spring and summer Lebanon flowers. The countryside bursts into bloom. There are flowers in the ruins, flowers on the razorwire, flowers in the souks… And they’re just plain old-fashioned gorgeous. To be honest, these photos look a bit tired now I’ve seen what I can do with my lovely new lenses. I’m finally upgrading […]


House-Hunting in Dahab

Free Palestine Chicken Coop

This is my third time looking for a house to rent in a foreign country, and I’m beginning to feel quite fluent in it. Plus, what with the politics, the kidnappings and the general chaos in Egypt at the moment, it’s not as though Dahab rentals are going to be thin on the ground. But […]


Egypt?! What Was I THINKING?!


I was less than sanguine about returning to Dahab. Sure, I love Dahab. And as a quiet, beautiful, cost-effective place in which to work with minimal distraction, it would be my top pick in the Middle East. That doesn’t mean I was happy about it. Because, even before the recent flawlessly-timed coup, I was more […]


Yep, Definitely Time To Leave This Town


This post is REALLY family-unfriendly. The next one will be perfectly fragrant, I promise, but in the interim here’s a post on the life lessons kids learn from travel, one on Singapore Slings and one on a nuclear test village in the Outback. I arrive at the bar in a state of high dudgeon, not […]


Dear Reader, I Am Extremely Out of Practice


A spectacularly family-unfriendly post, I’m afraid, dear readers: here’s one on a Chinese supermarket and another on a very bad road in Indonesia. Younger readers, steer well clear: here’s one on things to do in Bali with kids and one on things to do with kids in London. In Z’s absence, relieved from the responsibilities […]


Coming to Terms with Facial Scarring in Beirut

Sign reading bar open

Even by my standards, this post is not very family-friendly. You might want to try this one instead. Younger readers: this is going to be really, really boring and utterly incomprehensible to you for several decades. Why don’t you read about this amazing rollercoaster? I’ve spent the last few days bar reviewing in Beirut, solo, […]


A 12-Step Guide To Driving in Lebanon


Driving in Lebanon can be, well, challenging for folk who are used to driving in places with road rules. The Lebanese drive with a verve, panache and flexibility that is often just plain terrifying, especially when driving in Beirut. On the plus side, car hire is cheap (Advanced Car Rental offers new, fully insured little […]