Croatian Independence Day

dan neovisnosti

Dan Neovisnosti – Croatian Independence Day

A week ago, we moved to Rijeka in Croatia, and earlier today, I booted up my laptop to find a very cool Google doodle – Dan Neovisnosti… Croatian Independence Day. The doodle shows the Croatian flag against a backdrop of the Plitvice lakes.

Although independence was declared in June 1991, it didn’t come into effect until October 8th, when the Croatian government passed a bill, severing all ties with Yugoslavia. The day before, the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army – under the control of Serbia) had bombed Zagreb. Apparently, 180,000 JNA troops were in Croatia – a nation of just over four million inhabitants. It doesn’t take much to imagine what that must have been like. Read More

Living At The Dodgy End Of Italy

Pozzuoli Tyrrhenian Sea

Pozzuoli’s beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea

Living in Pozzuoli isn’t really living at the dodgy end of Italy at all but as una mezza Veneziana, I’m (almost) comedically obliged to paraphrase a quote from one of my favourite films (Love Actually). I should point out that I don’t in any way subscribe to the Lega Nord notion of the North being superior to the South but I can tell you that after living here for a short while, there are several marked differences between Puteoli (as the lovely Romans named it) and Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta (Venetian does not use double consonants – La Serenissima is Italian… there’s a difference). Read More


You never know what’s around the corner

Three years ago, I was desperate to go home to Venezia; I’d been living in the same town in the UK for five years – the longest I’d ever stayed anywhere in my life – and I’d learned to despise it. Not our house but rather, the area we were living in, and the feeling of being utterly trapped. I was so unspeakably unhappy but until I got some better-paying work, I felt pretty much doomed to live out my days among small-minded little Englanders. I loathed still being in Britain.

Little did I know that amato mio was about to come home from working at the Red Cross, and ask me how I felt about moving to Thailand. Three weeks later, we were living in Chiang Mai. Read More

Visiting the Acropolis of Athens

Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens as seen from the Agora, near the temple of Hephaestus

In January 2013, as we neared the end of our time living in Morocco, we decided that the next place we would call home would be Fort Kochi in southern India. However, as when we lived in Thailand, we had to obtain visas first, for which we needed to go to London. We thought it would be an ideal opportunity to not only spend a few days in Britain catching up with family and friends but also perhaps to get in a few days’ holiday too. I’d never been to Greece, so for me it was immensely cool to be able to visit places which featured in the Greek myths and legends I grew up with – and have never quite grown out of. I was especially looking forward to visiting the Acropolis of Athens. Read More

Solar Eclipse

March 2015 solar eclipse

Friday’s total eclipse of the sun was a pretty awesome thing to behold… in every sense of the word. For the last solar eclipse, in 1999, I’d climbed to the top of Lee Pen, a large hill in Innerleithen, Scotland – this time, I was among the Alps in Slovenia. Read More

Spring Has Sprung!

At last, spring has sprung!

Today is a glorious 9° Celsius; the central heating is off, the windows are open, the skies have cleared, and we can see the mountains properly again. And there are buds on the trees. It’s beautiful!

Spring 2015 in Slovenia


Wat Doi Suthep’s Golden Buddhas

doi suthep

The rain we’ve been having here for the past few days has washed away the last of the snow (although the mountains are still wearing their white hats), and already there are the first signs of spring. I’ve been going through some old photos from when we lived in Thailand, and as I did so, I reflected that while it may be a little chilly and grey here, it’s nevertheless really good to again live in a country where there are more than two seasons. Read More

Summer Seems So Long Ago

Two days ago we had more snow – quite a lot of it, actually – it’s quite astonishing how the weather changes the landscape so dramatically.

(More images after the break)

kaselj in summer Read More