Tag Archives for Travel


We Learn to Make Pasta in Bologna

Learning to Make Pasta

“My great-grandfather bought this farm just before the Second World War,” Federica explains. “He was an industrialist, importing vegetables from Egypt, and he could see that the family would need a place outside the city.” Her farm, Podere San Giuliano, is no longer a farm. It’s a restaurant and agriturismo, a hybrid farm and tourism […]


In Which the Boy and I Do Some Overdue Travel Planning

World in Hand

“Europe” as a destination might seem quite intolerably vague. I know it always does to me when Australians and Americans plan their month-long vacay to “Europe”. It’s a fucking continent, not a country, y’all! But still, as it so happens, after rising three weeks in Blighty, all we’ve really got is “Europe”. So, sitting in […]


Top Ten Things to Do in Hong Kong with Kids

Top Ten Things to Do in Hong Kong With Kids

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Hong Kong by now – it’s actually a great place to visit with kids — and yet I’ve barely written about it. So, in the spirit of public service, here are my top picks for things to do in Hong Kong with kids. Go to Ocean Park […]


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. […]


Pizza, X-Rays and the Waiting Game

X-Ray of Zac's broken arm, showing displaced fracture of humerus.

The ambulance driver indicates I should buckle my seatbelt, which seems a little conservative of him until he hits the road. More than half the population of Mongolia lives in Ulaanbaatar, most of them appear to have taken their four-wheel drives out for a constitutional tonight, and their no-compromise driving style would make Chinggis Khan […]


Helicopter Evac – Way to Go!

Zac on the helicopter over Mongolia.

Morning dawns and both Zac and I are quite childishly excited about the prospect of a helicopter evac. You see, neither of us have actually been on a helicopter before, although we did firmly believe we were going on one for several strenuous days while stuck in Lukla… And a helicopter evac, even if rather […]


Disaster Strikes

Horse on Khovsgol Nuur

We know it’s going to be a brutal ride out from the reindeer people – six full days, seven hours a day, riding fast as we can over the boggy terrain. And we’re making relatively good time when we break the summit of the last valley before the taiga, the woods disappear, and the landscape […]


Best… Ger… EVER

Horses, mountains and fresh grass en route to the Darkhad Depression, Mongolia.

This is the view from the best ger ever, a herd of horses passing by, untrimmed manes trailing in the breeze. It is, in fact, the classic Mongolian ger. And this is the ger itself, complete with truck. Like most larger vehicles in rural Mongolia, it seems to be more for the chaps to tinker […]


Crossing the Pass — and Mongolian Horses

Zac plays in the snow in the pass from Khovsgol Nuur to the Darkhad Depression.

The mountains that divide Khovsgol Nuur from the Darkhad Depression aren’t terribly mountainous. They’re misty, sure, and a little forbidding, but rather rounded compared to the jagged and snowclad peaks that mark the Russian border to our north. But it’s a pleasant ride up to the pass, the wildflowers shading as we ascend from bright […]