Category Archives for Mishaps


So I Found a Cobra in My Bedroom


I’m normally fairly sanguine about snakes. Well, about as sanguine as a Briton can be. We don’t really have snakes in Britain, by which I mean that few of us ever encounter one outside a zoo, and I’ve never heard of anyone seeing one in London, where I’m from. Further, the snakes we do have […]


Bali Stories: Winnie Part 2


By now, my voice is more than familiar to the woman at the vet’s. I dial in of a morning, not really expecting an update – poor little Winnie’s head has been sent to a government lab, and the wheels of Indonesian bureaucracy rarely run rapidly, even when oiled. ‘Hello!’ I say. ‘It’s Theodora. Do […]


Bali Stories: Winnie (Part 1)

Puppy looking terrified on the beach.

In Bali, one often acquires a pet without really thinking about it. In fact, once known in the neighbourhood as a soft touch, folk can land up with five or six, as unwanted puppies are abandoned on the doorstep, or close to. That’s because most Balinese don’t have the money to buy surgery for granny, […]


Different for Girls

HDR motorbike by Bev Goodwin on Flickr's Creative Commons.

There comes a time in every woman’s life when you realise that travelling just IS different for girls. For me, this little epiphany happened en route to Lombok’s Bau Nyale festival. Because I’m cheap, I took the slow boat. Because I’m an incompetent fucktard who shouldn’t be allowed within miles of a child, I switched […]


Settling Down, Take Two

Black and white retro burglar alarm.

The first week of school passes mainly in a frenzy of house-hunting. That is to say: stabbing at the Facebookz like a starving lab-rat, visiting messageboard after messageboard, scouring the small ads in the various bits of local press, and dealing with sundry South Bali middle-boys and girls. Practice makes me fairly fluent. I can […]


Why Every Parent Who Dives Should Do a Rescue Course

Zac hanging off the descent line by his knees.

It’s easy to over-hype any form of diver training, particularly the ones that PADI provides – CMAS covers several of the skills PADI teaches in its Rescue Course during its Open Water (1*) course, and all of them during its Advanced Open Water (2*) course. Still, assuming that, like most of the world, you learned […]


Death Drop in the Blue Hole

The Blue

With hindsight, it was not the best idea to take my 12-year-old son into Dahab’s Blue Hole, a dive site which claims the lives of adults regularly – albeit usually adults diving way beyond recreational diving limits without the required equipment or skills. Yet, as The Whore, Zac and I set out with X on […]


Fit to Fly?

Sign reading YES made with yen, euro and dollar signs - TST, Hong Kong.

It’s an indulgent buckshee week in Hong Kong. Zac and dad head to the movies, to the arcades, barely surfacing from the air-conditioned tunnels and plazas that link one mall to another, except to indulge in Adventure Time marathons on Cartoon Network. Me? I engage in that mixture of pissing around on social media and […]


No Stress

Zac and Dad colour

Zac emerges from his anaesthetic quite comically belligerent, a state that isn’t helped by Helen, the anaesthetist, and Doctor Wong, who are standing beside him giggling. “GET THE BLOODY NURSES TO TAKE ME UP ALREADY!” he bellows. “No! I want to go up! And there’s no space for my arm on this thing!” “He won’t […]


Good to Go!

Zac being prepared for surgery in Hong Kong.

There’s a bustle in the room when I snap awake, an orderly cluster of pastel-dressed nurses, neat in pink, apricot, mauve and chocolate, emitting the sort of gentle efficiency that, as a convent school girl (insert your own joke here), I still associate with nuns. Zac is still sleeping the sleep of the dead, but […]