Anger on a train

I’m just going to vent about personal stereos that aren’t personal. Cheap tiny little headphones that bleed what must be akin to low dosage tinnitus to everyone within five meters. It’s the 1150 Southern service to Brighton and the fuzzy, metallic,maddening noise has now been invading my conscious for the past 20 minutes. As we… Read more »

Blowing into American art

It appears there’s always a treasure or two that one has overlooked. One has never seen it all. Amazingly, I had managed to never visit either the Whitney Museum of American Art or the Frick Collection on previous trips to New York City. The first is housed in a spanking new building with an unknown… Read more »

The Horror of Halloween

Dressing up in silly costumes and letting your hair down or indeed teasing your wig up are alright by me. Even so, I find the frenzied commercial bloodfest that descends on the USA in the run up to Halloween unsavoury. As a child in England in the 70’s, I remember Halloween as the very poor… Read more »

Football comes to Citifield

Finally I have been to a football game in the USA. It was at Citifield in Queens; a baseball stadium and home to the New York Mets. After buying my ticket ($30), I chatted to a couple of NYCFC fans wearing what to me seemed at first glance to be Manchester City tops. The two… Read more »

Stranger on the Bus

New York New York doesn’t let me get too comfortable. Just as I start thinking I knew my way around there is a twist to the system. I caught the cross town bus in mid Manhattan to go to Central Park to meet friends. In Queens, you have to punch a ticket in the machine… Read more »

Fashion in NYC: work it baby!

The fashion industry is a bit of a mystery to me. In my teens, I was a sporty book nerd, a baby dyke and, put bluntly, I was never going to be a catwalk model. Though some clothing companies are now attempting to be inclusive with their ad campaigns, the media in general bombards us… Read more »

New sights in New York

Let’s state the obvious: There is always something new to explore in NYC. If you think you’ve seen it all, you are deluded. Amongst new discoveries for me this trip are a sculpture park and the home of the city’s mayor. The two places sit almost facing each other on opposite sides of the East… Read more »

Oops, back here again

It’s approaching 1am and I’m on the stopping train from Manhattan to Queens. The 7 is clattering eastwards loaded with a cosmopolitan late night crowd. My fellow travellers share an air of having lived a long day. They are also united by diversity. I wonder just how many languages are spoken by those who sit,… Read more »

NYC: Manhattan v Queens

Time changes everything and New York is no different. Two obvious examples: The Village Voice street distributors are now empty, the magazine’s now online only and there’s a new subway line, the Q, descending through Manhattan. Gentrification, like a rampant plant has spread through the streets I pounded in my younger years, even those where… Read more »

The difference a smile makes

Travelling by plane, that magical experience of looking down through the clouds and feeling free as a bird, has had its wings clipped somewhat by modern reality. These days, flights of fantasy are squeezed between the harsh realities of our times. There are queues for baggage drops, long lines at security checks, treks to distant gates… Read more »

  • St Davids v Dale (Part 2)

    St Davids has the coast, a city and a cathedral. By contrast, Dale offers up the coast, boats and an airfield. Both have beaches, islands and birds. The pebbles on Dales beaches are stunning, with a dramatic port colouring. Dale is around 15 minutes drive from Haverford West and we’d booked to stay at Dale… Read more »

  • St Davids v. Dale (part 1)

    Now this really is Pembrokeshire’s version of city versus countryside. But given St Davids tiny size and Marloes stunning beach & airfields is a queer contest all round. Rather than a contest perhaps the best is to do as I did and split a visit across the two locations. Their link? Both are based for… Read more »

  • British weather and camping

    There’s an ever constant topic of conversation to occupy ones time when camping in the UK: the weather. I’m not simply referring to the temperature; that would be far too simple. There’s the chance of precipitation – aka will it chuck it down – wind speed, and even concern over too much sun to consider…. Read more »

  • Lifeboat & ice cream in Mumbles

    There’s something about British seaside towns, alongside the ever present sense of bygone glories there is still a good whiff of modern day pleasures. These pleasures are not so far removed from the seaside delights enjoyed by our Victorian ancestors. After all, what’s not to like about saunters along seafront and onto a pier, slot… Read more »

  • Packing for a Bongo trip

    There is undoubtedly a skill to packing exactly what you need into a campervan. It’s a skill I have yet to master. To be fair, the unpredictable weather of Northern Europe does nothing to help me narrow down my list of essentials. Nor does my desire to have toilet facilities in my small (should I… Read more »