Spring is here part I: equinox

Welcome hither, As is the Spring to the earth. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare (Act 5, Scene 1) Today is the first day of spring, the spring equinox. In the UK it’s also Census Day, if you needed a reminder to send yours in! As usual with days like this, it led me toContinue reading “Spring is here part I: equinox”

Viking Shetland

Up Helly Aa – the festival celebrating Shetland’s Viking past – would, in a normal year, have taken place last Tuesday in the island’s capital Lerwick. But it is not a normal year, and so it has been delayed until 2022. I was lucky to discover some of Shetland’s Viking history back in September, soContinue reading “Viking Shetland”

Feel the Burns

Last week, as I was mulling the approach of Burns Night, wondering whether to add a haggis to the food shop, up popped an email from National Trust for Scotland, entitled, ‘who was Robert Burns?’. It was then that I realised I really didn’t know that much about Burns, or the night dedicated to him.Continue reading “Feel the Burns”

Museum openings worth planning holidays for

Ordinarily, this is the season for spending lots of time indoors in museums and galleries, exploring new exhibitions and shows. As that obviously can’t happen at the moment I thought I would share some 2021 museum openings from around the world that I’m most excited about, as well as some culture fixes you can haveContinue reading “Museum openings worth planning holidays for”

It’s Christmas, again

No, I’m not in denial, and you haven’t overslept. If you read my piece last month about Christmas traditions around the world, you will have spotted an entry on the Orthodox Christian Christmas taking place in January. For most, that day is tomorrow, January 7th, in fact. And that’s because Those of us who celebrateContinue reading “It’s Christmas, again”

Times like these: Hong Kong in a hurry

Until last night, I couldn’t remember when the clocks go back and when they go forward. Well, now I know: spring forward, fall back. If you’re in the UK, I hope you got a lie in on Sunday morning with the clocks going back, or that you did something nice with your extra hour. IContinue reading “Times like these: Hong Kong in a hurry”

Ten things I’ve learned about Orkney

On 10th September we set sail for one of the UK’s more remote spots, the Orkney Islands. Though situated only about ten miles from the Scottish mainland, Orkney has a Scandinavian past that makes most native Orcadians a quarter Norwegian. Since arriving we’ve had a crash course in life on the Orkney Islands, as we’veContinue reading “Ten things I’ve learned about Orkney”

48 hours in Inverness

** As of Monday 14th September, the ‘rule of six’ has come into effect across Scotland, meaning that no more than six people across two households can meet up (with some exceptions such as sports activities and church services). So it almost goes without saying that some of my below recommendations may now be subjectContinue reading “48 hours in Inverness”

Awesome island getaways

Would you rather be sat where you are right now, or on some small island far, far away? It’s a no-brainer, right? Sailing away from the mainland towards a speck of rock in the distance and the promise of laid-back island life is about as different from the daily grind and the crowded pollution ofContinue reading “Awesome island getaways”