Happy ever after in Santorini

IMG_2835

When it comes to travel, the Badley family have a pretty decent track record. Members of the clan have at one time or another, lived an expat life in Australia, Germany, the USA and Ecuador. One of our own currently resides in France and here we are in Dubai.

Even those that are at home in the UK are either planning the next overseas trip or returning from it. So when Matt and Nicole decided to tie the knot, it was an even bet that it might involve a flight somewhere. The nice surprise was that they invited us along to the festivities – in Santorini. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

What’s cookin’ in Kiev?

IMG_2620

My dinner has arrived and I’m nervous. It’s Chicken Kiev. I am dining at one of the city’s best known traditional Ukrainian restaurants and I have ordered a dish I last ate in London in the late 70s. The recipe is well known and comprises a chicken breast, flattened to accommodate a garlic butter and parsley stuffing before being rolled and sealed with an egg and breadcrumb coating. The flavourful butter ensures the meat stays moist during deep frying.

Someone should have warned me back then that chef has a tendency to overdo the garlic butter stuffing. My knife went in at just the right point to release a volcano of foaming fat. I just had time to notice the garlicky aroma before around 250 ml of boiling butter sprayed onto my chest, completing its journey down my front in meandering rivulets. Nice. No wonder Chicken Kiev makes me nervous. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A break in Bulgaria

IMG_2474

The Eid holiday that follows Ramadan offers an opportunity for a few days away, but where to go? Bulgaria, it has to be said, wasn’t our first choice.

We thought about North India but at the start of the rainy season maybe this wouldn’t be such a good idea. A Korean colleague of Tim’s encouraged us to consider Seoul but again, the potential for heavy rain there at this time of year put us off. On paper, a five hour flight from Dubai to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, ticked a lot of our boxes. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

All Shook Up

Bregret-regreting-voting-for-Brexit

It’s been a horrible few days in my home country. I’m not sure which is worse – hearing about the fall out following the shock result of the EU Referendum from afar or being in the thick of it, so to speak. In a few years’ time perhaps one of our great comedy writers will devise a series showing us the laughable, you-couldn’t-make-it-up chaos surrounding the shock Brexit result but right now there doesn’t seem to be too much to smile about. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Tales from the Riverbank

IMG_2353

Back in Dubai, after a two-week, high octane visit to the UK and France it’s no wonder I’m feeling discombobulated. You what? Until this week, ‘discombobulated’, meaning ‘disconcerted or confused’, is a term I have only ever heard used in a comic context.

Listening to a heart-rending exchange on BBC’s Radio 4, the presenter chose this word to describe an interviewee’s state of mind following a particularly harrowing experience as a child. It jarred with me, as being merely ‘discombobulated’ did not come close to covering the situation being recounted, so I am now appropriating the word (thanks Woman’s Hour) for my own use.
(more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Three days in Budapest

IMG_2097

With elegant cafés, stunning architecture and history around every corner, there are a million reasons to visit Budapest. Our visit to Hungary’s esteemed capital city was a chance to catch up with old friends in a fabulous destination. By good chance, flight times to and from Dubai and the UK worked out, giving us a three-day window to get a flavour of what makes Budapest special. We knew we wouldn’t see it all but we could give it our best shot. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Write that book!

IMG_1036

I’ve been playing with the idea of writing a book for the last year so I thought it might be worth sharing a few tips on how I finally stopped talking about it and made a start. There used to be a sort of hushed reverence around announcing this kind of activity but in the age of self-publishing and blogging, writing a book is an achievable goal for pretty much anyone that has something to say. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Visit to Kerala (Part 2)

IMG_1910

Kerala’s herb and spice trade dates back hundreds of years and even today the international market for these ingredients is a key driver of the regional economy. Locally grown pepper, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, tamarind and curry leaves are highly prized both for their flavour and beneficial medicinal qualities.

Everywhere we went we had to reassure anxious waiters that, contrary to popular belief, many Europeans do like spicy food, so please bring it on! Tasty, with spice, rather than hot with chilli was our experience of the Keralan vegetable and seafood dishes we tried. (more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather