Wednesday, 29 August 2012

5 Things About Vienna the Guidebooks Won't Tell You

I have always been a believer that holidays are best when you go somewhere new. Why go back to someplace you've already been? There are so many places to experience. Real travellers keep seeking new destinations. Don't they?

Well, I'm ready to revise that statement. In fact, I'm ready to revise a lot of my so-called firm beliefs about travelling. I think this says as much about travelling as it does about me, but for today, I'm going to focus on why Vienna is definitely worth another look. The other half and I loved it when we were there in 2007 and recently, we got an invite from dear friends of ours from Toronto to meet them there for the weekend. We were a bit worried we'd be crashing their holiday given that we'd already seen the highlights of the city. Of course, we hadn't even scratched the surface of Vienna.

Here's what I reckon we missed the first time around.
Octopi graffiti doesn't generally make the hop on - hop off bus tour

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Beckham (Olympic) Legacy

In an exciting development, I am thrilled to introduce you all to the very talented Lisa Davison today. She has been as swept up with the Olympics as I have, but has an interesting take on it all. I hope you all enjoy her guest post today. If you do, check her out on Twitter @LisaJaneDavison . If you'd like a taste of her excellent fiction, you can get your hands on her very creative prose response to Wendy Cope's 'After the Lunch' as part of the Ripple 2012 Anthology. And now, on to her Olympic ruminations.



As the warm glow of the Olympic Games continues to pulse and talk of capturing that fuzzy feeling on a more permanent basis buzzes around politicians and media, something about all this has started to bother me: David Beckham.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Olympic Hangover

It's all over. No more Olympics. The medals have been won, the tears have been shed and the BBC has set it all to a never ending soundtrack of Chariots of Fire. We saw Jessica Ennis, the showjumping team, Mo Farrah, Sir Chris Hoy and over 20 other athletes win gold medals while Victoria Pendleton, Christine Ohorougu, Rebecca Adlington and over 30 other athletes won silver or bronze medals. Wow. That's a lot of medals for Team GB. Over 65, in fact. Were there any left for other countries?
You probably can't see, but, I promise, it's Jessica Ennis.
Well, from the way the BBC covered it, no. In fact, the way it's been reported, it seems like the only reason for the other countries being here at all was to lose to Team GB.

What's Your Favourite Post?

Dear Readers,

Today I have very exciting news: This little blog is up for several awards from Blog Awards Ireland! I need your help, though. You see, I have been nominated in the Best Blog Post category, but I have to narrow it down to one post to submit for final consideration. This is where you, my loyal readers, come in:

Tell me which post you liked the most!

It can be serious, funny, somewhere in between, travel, current events, arts etc. Just anything you enjoyed reading, but it has to have been published before August of this year. Nothing after 31 July 2012. You can see my older posts by clicking on the archive links on the right-hand side of this page.

I can't even describe how much it would mean to me to have your input on this one! So please let me know what you think. You can use the comments box on any post, email me, tweet me, Facebook me, whatever way is best for you. Just let me know ASAP as I have to submit this post this Friday morning.

Thank you all for the help and let me know if you have any questions!

Your faithful blogger,

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Fear of Breathing

Last week the other half and I went to a fascinating play at the lovely Finborough Theatre by Earl's Court in London. And firstly, I must say what a great location the Finborough is. Intimate doesn't even begin to describe it. Tucked away above a wine bar in a residential neighborhood, the theatre is a blackbox with (as I discovered this visit) moveable seating. When I first visited the Finborough to see Don Juan Comes Back from the War a couple of months ago, the seats were positioned on three sides of the stage, but for The Fear of Breathing, it was a more traditional set-up. The stage and creative teams really use the unique space, nestled in the tip of a corner building to amazing effect and with limited seating, you're never more than a few rows back from the action.

The Fear of Breathing brings to life the current war in Syria, but in an amazing creative twist, this production bridges traditional drama and new journalism. In fact, this play has no playwright. It has an editor. Zoe Lafferty has cut together real interviews with people on the Syrian frontlines that she conducted along with Ruth Sherlock and Paul Wood. The result is a visceral, intense experience of a current event told in the verbatim words of the people living it today.
The Fear of Breathing - Finborough Theatre.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

An Olympic Effort

As we wandered through the Olympic park in yesterday's afternoon sunshine (I know, awesome, right?) the other half and I were stopped by a man from a US radio station. He asked us the following question:

"The US basketball team beat Nigeria by 83 points last night do you think that was in the spirit of the Olympics?"

My very kind, polite and infinitely fair other half said, "Well, you never want to humiliate anyone, but I think you still have to play your best."

How balanced, how fair, how well-spoken on the fly. I, on the other hand, blurted out, "Well, it's better than not trying at badminton."

So what does it mean to embody the Olympic spirit? Do tactics have a place? Does mercy? With the benefit of a little time to think it over, I think I have some slightly less flippant thoughts on the matter today.

Olympic flame, symbol of all that the games represent...and hidden in the stadium

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

New Publication

Short one for now, as am knee deep in revisions of a section of what one day might be part of that elusive/illusive book. But, really, there's nothing like a little shameless self-promotion at 11am on a Wednesday morning.

My short story, Hot Heat Love, is in print this morning in What the Dickens? literary magazine. You can get it for free online at or spring for the e-reader edition on Amazon. The magazine is 100 pages of literary and artistic interpretation of the theme "sunflowers". My story is slightly less cheerful than some of the other interpretations, which must say something about me.

Hope you enjoy and I'd love to hear your feedback! - $2.41 USD - £1.53