Category Archives for Mishaps


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 […]


The Longest Night

Detail of MRI scan output.

After Zac’s epic and terrifying reaction to Stemetil, I am now quietly confident that everything that could go wrong already has. After a refreshing cigarette or five, I locate the floor that has free coffee and make myself some, then rejoin my spawn and his father in the quite ludicrously sci-fi basement of the Union. […]


What Else Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Zac in MRI Scanner

The Union hospital stands tower-high among the green hills of the Sha Tin district in Hong Kong’s New Territories. Jungle winds between luxury condos, car lights wend their way to glittering mansions, the neon of the city shines below us in the velvety dark. It’s harder to find a bigger contrast to our normal Hong […]


Air Ambulance to Hong Kong

Land ambulance and air ambulance on tarmac.

It would be a strange — or very wealthy — person who wasn’t excited about travelling on a private jet. Sure, in our case, said private jet is an air ambulance, and said air ambulance has been preceded by a broken arm and rising five days of logistical hell, of which helicopter evac was only […]