I had a feeling you might ask that.
I am a travel enthusiast who’s blessed with a job that can be done on the road. In the archives of this site you will find content from two older blogs of mine (please excuse any formatting issues, caused by the import process). They discuss previous trips, most notably South America in 2011 and Singapore, Australia and Tasmania in 2013.
When I write, it’s really me talking about what I’m doing, what I’m learning and where I am. The latest trip is six months on the canals of England, starting at Norton Junction in Northamptonshire and finishing who knows where. On the way I’ll be taking in towns and cities and beautiful countryside. There will be pictures and comment, some of it humorous. I’ve blogged like this in the past, in fits and starts and sometimes had the feeling that readers are sitting at home but would like to be out there with me. This season of blogging comes with a challenge – the same one I give myself – change your daily living and reap the benefits.
These are just a few shots that I’ve found on my phone. Sadly not completely representative of the wonder that is the Thames in springtime!
Dad looks after Day Dream in a Thames lock
I didn’t know we needed one of these! Saves valuable table space
Hiding Day Dream so that I can leave her for a day, near Appleford
DD barely visible on the bend at Caversham
My first Black Swan event
Henley at night
The folly at Henley
Day Dream goes to Marlow – Higginson Park
Stewart looks after Day Dream in Marlow lock
By a royal park
Our jaded Singaporean friends at dinner on Saturday had advised us to use the Number 2 bus as a sightseeing option, and to take it to the end of the route, Changi Village, near the airport. This was the site of the infamous Changi prison, controlled by the Japanese during the war and where many atrocities were committed. Changi itself is now home to a Singapore Air Force base and the international airport as well as Changi prison, which is a very large new and high-tech facility, but Singapore deliberated oversized it and it is currently only a quarter full. They are intending to move many prisoners here from other places around the island. prison. Changi is also the jumping-off point for a number of boat tours, but the Singaporean anti-enthusiasts had rather dampened my enthusiasm for visiting Palau Ubin, (the famous “granite island” and home to some villages not unlike those of the 60s, before the mass expansion of building on the island of Singapore).
We emerged after an hour of travel on an air-conditioned bus into the most oppressive heat, right opposite the hawker centre. Neither of us was hungry, so we wandered through before crossing the main road and checking out a parade of cafes and restaurants. Mum espied an older, British couple chatting to a Singaporean man outside a small, but smart looking restaurant. We discovered that “Charlie” owned and ran the bar and he gave us helpful tips as I sat and drank exorbitant (as we discovered) imported beer. he advised us to take the 29 bus to an MRT (metro) station nearby and take a train back into town. After a sizable lunch in the hawker centre, we waited for a 29, letting many 2’s go by, though they probably would have been as good. I stood and chatted with a lady called Janice a former nurse, originally from Saskatchewan, now of Edinburgh from where she is sent worldwide to lecture on nurse management. We finally made it to the MRT station complex and after a little exploration found the platforms and pushed down to Harbourfront – the gateway to… Sentosa!
I’m sitting outside a shack-like house, listening to animal noises from the bush, maintaining my phone (backups and upgrades), drinking homebrew (with proper printed labels), waiting for Rotary dinner. Mum is naturally appalled by the location, which is running damp (there’s a small creek eight feet from my chair as I type) but I think it’s really rather fun, and much nicer than our noisy near to Central Station, Sydney. It’s well-located but far from plush. Everything is so expensive, from accommodation to food.
Sentosa is a beach resort on reclaimed land, easy dashing distance of Singapore’s municipal centre. It offers such delights as a viewing tower, indoor skydiving centre, marine life centre and two beaches. Inexplicably, the place is highly recommended everywhere and is accessible by a variety of methods in ascending order of expense: a “boardwalk”, monorail and cable car.
What they don’t tell you about Sentosa are all the things you rapidly learn when you arrive. Yes, there are beaches, but they were delivered on a truck at some point in the 90s. The sea looks none too clean, but then raising one’s gaze causes it to fall apon what looks like a substantial industrial shipping port across the bay, so that is far from surprising. Existential delights, like “the southernmost point of mainland Asia” and a number of dubious takeaway restaurants await the weary traveller