What I Did On My Holidays – Istanbul

I love Istanbul. By now, dear reader, you may have noticed a pattern in What I Did On My Holidays – I do cities.  I vaguely get the idea of going on holiday to the countryside/mountains/beaches/forests etc., and find all of the above very pretty and pleasant in reasonable doses.  But the NHS makes me pay prescription fees for my asthma drugs, and having been born and raised in a city, I now find myself medically incapable of breathing properly unless surrounded by buses, trucks and carbon monoxide, so cities are my destination of choice. And Istanbul is a city…

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Helen

So, I went and saw Helen at Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank.  I even took my big rain coat, and, with the magic of the big rain coat, it of course was a lovely night and completely and utterly failed to rain. Shakespeare’s Globe is another one of those landmarks that I may have to add to the ‘something to talk about at great length later’ category; however, I will take a quick 100 words or something to say that Helen was immensely enjoyable, tonnes of fun and lots of other things besides, as well as a brilliant example…

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Dennis Severs’ House

Nestled away on 18 Folgate Street, Spittalfields, is a place known as Dennis Severs’ House.  It’s a building which contains within its traditional terraced walls various rooms charting the course of one family’s life from the 1700s through to late 1800s, and prides itself on not being a traditional museum, but rather a sort of still life drama, in which every room has the feeling of having just been vacated.  This can occasionally be annoying – a lack of information coupled with occasional notes telling the viewer to ‘feel’ the past grates after a while – but mostly, it’s a…

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What I Did On My Holidays – Verona/Aida

First thing to be said about my trip to Verona is this – myself and boyfriend did very much not go and stand under Juliet’s balcony.   Because let’s face it, the idea is kinda silly.  What we did manage to do was walk for 3 and a half hours in search of a place to stay before ending up back where we’d started.  A word of warning for all potential travellers to Italy – if you’re thinking of going down the Bed and Breakfast route (which we were!) charge your phone and make sure you’ve got credit first.  Verona is…

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Graffiti – European and London

So, I don’t know why, and don’t really know whether it’s an expression of something cultural/political, but as a general impression, I always get the feeling that there is more graffiti in continental Europe than in London.  Sure, most of it – as with most of it in London – is the unintelligable scribble of a mark whose meaning is known only to the painter and a few select friends/rivals.  Some of it is linked to crime; some of it is kids playing, some of it is standard political protest – which in my own quaint way, I sort of…

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What I Did On My Holidays – via Dubai

Not planning on writing about airports as a general principal, but Dubai International deserves a mention, because I have never transitted through such a ridiculous, amazing, spectacular, silly, over the top cultural melting point as Dubai.  Yes, I was transitting, and yes, I was doing it to save cash on my way to somewhere else.   We flew in at night, and from the air Dubai was an orange-stained sandy blur, a darkness punctuated by the occasional pools of brilliant light, sand dotted occasionally with the white blobs of a mansion and the distant burning orange fires of oil wells across…

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