Monthly Archives: February 2013


Top 10 Things to Do in Egypt for Kids

Sign reading - 'Don't climb the pyramids.'

Egypt doesn’t necessarily spring to mind as a place to visit with children, which is weird given how scarily obsessed some kids can become with Ancient Egypt. Yet whether you’re staying in a Red Sea resort like Sharm, with the full range of international watersports, grabbing culture in Cairo and Luxor, or getting off the […]


Ocean Park! Woot!

Mine Train Ocean Park

If there’s a better place to celebrate FINALLY scoring a Chinese visa than Ocean Park Hong Kong – at least when you’re a single mother and a twelve-year-old boy – I’d like to hear about it. OK, so I had my eye on the very reasonably priced lunch buffet at the Shangri-La, — with, fact […]


And to Hong Kong We Go

My child goes ape with the kung fu weapons. Excellent.

By now, we should be in a flat in northern China, with Zac in a Chinese school, plotting a sneaky bit of skiing over the upcoming school holidays while I get on with some work. But we’re not. We need to head 2000k south from Beijing to Shenzhen, cross the border into Hong Kong, get […]


A Few Things You Might Want to Know about Being a Freelance Writer

Old-fashioned typewriter on grass.

Ah! Freelance writing. It’s a glamorous, wonderful career, right? As a freelance writer you can get paid to travel, eat, drink or go to spas (BUY MY EBOOK HERE!). You can work all the hours you want and no more. And industry standard rates are a dollar a word. Right? Uh, wrong. For most of […]


In Which Things Fail to Go to Plan in Beijing

The Forbidden City in Beijing.

After a week spent sorting out Chinese visas in Kathmandu, plus getting stuck in Lukla on the back of Everest Base Camp, my projects for Beijing are, pretty much: * see friends and do kiddie stuff with them * sort out Chinese visas * do some work * eat my bodyweight in Beijing duck * […]


Ice Skating in Beijing

Ice Skating in Beijing-13

When it comes to ice skating, like everything else, the Chinese do it differently. Very differently. And ice skating in Beijing is really something else. Especially on Qianhai Lake. It’s not just the unavoidable presence of the PLA, whether riding ice dodgems, guarding ice bikes, administering the ice slide or guarding the ice skates. The […]


Welcome to China

View of the arrivals hall at Kunming Airport.

Despite the wonderful view of the Himalayas unfurling below us, I am not particularly optimistic about the next stages of our journey. I hate flying at the best of times, and today, so far, has not been the best of days. My spawn, mystifyingly, is genuinely looking forward to sleeping at Kunming Airport. So much […]


Pictures of Nepal

Pictures of Nepal: Prayer flags over the Boudhanath Stupa.

I may have spent the last few posts bitching and whining about Kathmandu, but… We did, honestly, love Nepal. So here’s my favourite pictures of Nepal. The alpenglow catches Everest behind Nuptse, seen from Kala Patthar. A man selling coloured powders for ritual purposes in Kathmandu. And an offering to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, made […]


How to Find Accommodation in China – in Association with Wimdu

Accommodation in China: view of YHA hostel in Xian.

Over the months we’ve spent in China so far, I’ve had more experience than I’d like in finding different types of accommodation, from short term to long term. And I’m pleased to say that Wimdu, who provided our lovely flat in Istanbul, are helping me bring you this overview of how to find accommodation in […]


Farewell to Kathmandu

Plane wing flying over the Himalayas.

Having neglected most other parenting duties over the last few days, I figure that today would be a good day to continue Zac’s ongoing masterclass in how to navigate airports. The internet seems to think our flight is two hours late, but I figure it’s a good idea to get to the airport on time […]