Saturday, January 29, 2011


She's faking it. Burj Khalifa, Dubai.
So I stumbled on a release recently from TripAdvisor listing its 2011 travel trends forecast.

Lots of interesting stuff in there (Americans, for example, top the lists for both most annoying and friendliest travellers) but it was the reference to Fakations (fake-ations...geddit?) that caught my eye.

It seems the humble vacation has, in recent times, reared some bastard children. First came the idea of the Staycation which the Brits unfortunately sometimes call a stoliday. (For goodness sake, they invent the language and come up with swill like that).

But 2011 is set to be the year of the fakation.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Spice Souk, Deira - Dubai
The sun's out again, at last. For weeks, months maybe, it feels like we've been sheltering from the rain, rarely going out and getting amongst it.

But the sun has brought us out again. And after letting our lawns "go" a bit, the hills around Bangalow are abuzz with the hum of lawnmowers, and the beaches of Byron are heaving with holiday-makers making the most of it.

Rejoining the outdoors has been a pleasant assault on the senses. We're wading through colour and light again. And the air is awash, depending where you are, with the smell of fresh-cut grass and a cocktail of sunscreen lotions, both of which, this week, took me away to places and times long past.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BIG CITY YEARNING POST #1 (And a new inflight catering concept)

I've been out of the big smoke for a while now and have settled nicely into a slightly less hectic environment for life. It's been long enough for a few of our city-friends to visit and take the odd walk in our gumboots. (Goodness knows we need them at the moment. Never seen so much rain.)

I've been asked a couple of times recently about what I miss most about big-city life. As you might expect, we miss our friends, family and familiar things most. But when asked, "Right, but besides that?", I was surprised when I piped up with, "Chinatown and Yum Cha".

The Chinese influence on Australia is wonderfully evident in our big cities and, let's face it, just about every country town has a Chinese restaurant (serving Chinese and Australian meals) or two.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


As anyone who has visited will know, Hong Kong is a city that rarely rests. It's never idle. Full throttle 24-7. Nothing much seems to get in its way.

Mountain in the way? Tunnel through it.

The harbour impedes business and traffic? Tunnel under it. Again. And again.

Need more land? Make some.

Narrow, hillside block? No worries. Up we go...