While much of my time in London was spent helping my friend, my fellow Australians and I did manage to visit the big three museums - the Museum of Natural History, the Victoria and Albert, and the British Museum.

This looks more like a cathedral than a museum. It's a monument to the adventurous scientists of the nineteenth century.
This looks more like a cathedral than a museum. It's a monument to the adventurous scientists of the nineteenth century.

I refuse to use the word iconic as it is so often mis-used these days, but these three museums are the ultimate anywhere in the world. How often do we hear, or see, "It's in the British Museum"? These museums really are the top of the tree, the standard by which all others are measured. ...continue reading "London from a Reno Point of View (Part 2)"


Waterlow Park on a Sunday afternoon in autumn.

As I write this my two latest charges lie on the carpeted floor next to me. Maddie and Gracie are bearded collies, and I'll be taking care of them while their owner is away for a while. Their home is a gated estate a few miles out of Reno, Nevada, USA.

A church in Highgate. Note the red door.

Sometimes I stop and wonder how my life got this crazy. I'm currently living in a delightful four bedroom, three bathroom home filled with antiques. Last week I was in London, sleeping on the lounge room floor of a one bedroom flat in Islington, an inner suburb of London.

All part of my philosophy of going wherever the road leads me. I'm not sure what the future holds at the end of this house sit, I'll see what lands in my world.

Back to London. ...continue reading "London from a Reno Point of View"

Beach hut.
I asked these people if they minded if I took their photo. They were fine with it, but the little boy was intrigued.

I almost called this post "Travelling Cheaply - Part 3". I'm off on a new adventure in a few weeks, and I had an interesting experience booking my airfare. I was using SkyScanner to find a cheap fare. Every time I went into the site the cheapest fare seemed to increase a little. A friend told me that this is intentional. The customer assumes the price has gone up because of time and other factors, and buys the ticket anyway. However, if you use several sites in conjunction with each other, you will see this isn't the case.

Beach Hut 2
This shot I took from a distance. I would not have wanted to disturb her - she looked so comfortable. Even the lamp posts are beautifully painted.

The moral of the story is to use one site to search for available routes and prices, then, when it comes time to book, use another. I just saved around $A400 by doing this. Going back to the original airline site is another option, cutting out the fee they have to pay to SkyScanner, Momondo and the like. I did this when I left Ireland for the UK in June and saved a few Euros. Every little bit helps!

Now to The Train Line for my ticket to London... ...continue reading "The Seaside a la Bournemouth"


Cafe in Poole
This cafe in Poole was a lovely shade of pink, with matching umbrellas.
Poole shop.
A cute shop in Poole.

If you want to stay somewhere and not pay anything at all for accommodation, try couch surfing. There are various sites on the web, mostly, but not exclusively, aimed at the younger end of the market. Usually you're required to contribute in some way - sing and play an instrument, cook, garden - but by definition it doesn't involve money. I was a couch surfing host when I lived in Hobart, Tasmania when my son was young, and we had many delightful guests.
Hearing people's stories was a way of travelling without travelling.

If you're happy to do some work in exchange for food and a roof over your head, try WOOFing or conservation volunteering. Again, there are many sites to choose from. Usually a set number of hours' work is required, then the rest of the day is yours.  The positions are often in rural places you may not otherwise see. Be careful though of people who treat WOOFers and backpackers as a source of unpaid labour and give little in return. This is not a labour contract in any country, and you are not required to stay if conditions are inadequate. Friends have told me about being poorly fed and housed, right through to the other extreme of being treated as part of the host family. ...continue reading "Travelling Cheaply – Part 2"


All cheap travel advice - I don't care where you read it - has one underlying principle. Be prepared to think outside the box.

Apple tree
Ripe apples on an old tree near the gate of the cottage at Everton. The apples were delicious. Nothing tastes quite as good as a ripe apple plucked from the tree.

Let's look first of all at what's inside the box.

  • Limited time. You have two weeks' annual leave, you can't change the dates much, or you have to travel during school holidays.
  • Limited accommodation. For various reasons (I can't actually think of any right now), you can only stay in hotels or similar.
  • Limited destinations. You want to travel to a particular place for a particular reason.

...continue reading "Travelling Cheaply"