Foraging for Poems

A little over 20 years ago we lived in Norway. I remember arriving in January 1996 and how blue the sky was here after close to ten years in the Middle East. That first weekend we ventured out with the children who stared open-mouthed at the icicles that had become crystal stalactites there on the … More Foraging for Poems

Meeting Meeta

  I expected it to be steamy and hot, deafening with the shouting of orders, the clang of metal spoons against cooking pots and the incessant pounding of pestle against mortar. What I found instead was a haven of calm and happiness. What would you expect to find were you, too, to spend a morning … More Meeting Meeta

Loving and leaving

Suddenly the days have become sunnier and the trees more glossy. The food has become more addictive and the cheap massages and pedicures more tempting. I’m sure you can guess why… it’s because we know we are leaving. Partir c’est mourir un peu say the French. We Brits say, parting is such sweet sorrow. I’d … More Loving and leaving

Finding my homeland

“Some places make you feel more full than others,” said Palestinian author, Nathalie Handal at last weekend’s third Georgetown Literary Festival in Penang. The theme of the weekend was irresistible to me – Hiraeth – a Welsh word that means longing for a homeland that is no longer there. Undoubtedly, this island is a place … More Finding my homeland

Eating Vietnam

We love travel and whenever we visit a new place eating is high on our agenda. As you know, I love everything about food – planning it, shopping for it, cooking it, sharing it and writing about it. Like most people I have more cookbooks and travel guides than any other kinds of books. We … More Eating Vietnam

Who’s ein Berliner?

One of the disadvantages of choosing a lifestyle that forces your children to ‘grow up global’ is that there is every chance they will end up living in a different country from you. One of the advantages of choosing a lifestyle that forces your children to ‘grow up global’ is that there is every chance … More Who’s ein Berliner?

I am not a tourist

When I lived in the Netherlands there was an annual exhibition of this name that was very much a getting-to-know the country event. I often did a talk, occasionally had a stand there but always attended. I loved the title and how important it seemed to me, a foreign resident of the country, to differentiate … More I am not a tourist

Bangkok eatathon

  It was a frightening 27 years ago that Ian and I last visited Bangkok. But when our great friend, Mary, said she’d be in the city for a conference and wondered whether we’d like to join her there the previous weekend we booked our flights in a heartbeat. We knew Mary had lived over … More Bangkok eatathon