The New London Correspondent for Forbes

At the beginning of January, I took on a brand new position as the London Correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide. The role involves contributing a monthly selection of Q&As on the British capital, ranging from handy hints like best city bars to cultural insights like quirkiest local customs, as well as writing two blog posts on London-centric topics during the month. With my latest blog published today, here are the four I have completed so far.

- Feast On These Ways To Celebrate Pancake Day … (11th February)
- Taking a Fashion Tour of London … (8th February)
- The Most Promising West End Musicals of 2013 … (29th January)
- Where Are The Best Views of London? … (17th January)

I will be contributing content on London every month for the foreseeable future, so you can can keep track of all my Q&A contributions on my Forbes biography page and watch out for my twice-monthly posts on the blog homepage.

Writing for Lime&Tonic London

For the last month or so I’ve been writing articles for the up-and-coming London travel guide ‘Lime and Tonic’, with entries so far covering everything from the World’s Smallest Police Station to the World’s Greatest House Museum.

And there’s loads more to come. You can read all my mini-entries – past, present and future – by clicking right here.

Off Mt. Everest’s Beaten Track

I feel like throwing up. My head is spinning, my stomach churning, my joints throbbing. I suck in a lungful of icy air but there isn’t enough oxygen. Yet still I ignore that pounding thought: ‘turn back, turn back’. After two weeks of physical and mental exertion, with my final destination only an hour ahead, I know I can’t give up now. So I plant a walking pole deep into the dirt track and drag my heavy body onwards. Slowly, I begin to move my legs, bend my knees, pick up my feet, and I struggle on through the white wilderness, closer and closer to the finish line. I’m going to make it.

That’s when it all goes black. Continue reading

The Search for Ischia’s Wild Seaside Spa

A few days ago (on Saturday 4th February, to be precise) I had a brand new travel article published in the leading British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. It’s all about a rather chilly quest to find the secret seaside spring of Il Sorgeto, which is (in turn) on the Italian island of Ischia, and this is how it starts…

““Have you got the eels?” I ask, teeth chattering, as my girlfriend steps off the yacht and onto the deserted jetty. She nods. “And the mullet, too? And the calamari?” She holds the bulging bag of seafood aloft with one gloved hand, as she pulls her jacket tight with the other, and I grin a chapped-lip grin. Now all we need is a scooter rental shop. One that’s open in December…”

If you’d like to read on, you can either view the print version here or take a look at the online version instead. Enjoy!

Sleeping with Strangers in Busan

CouchSurfing provides the perfect antidote to a restless night… another one.

“I’m very sorry” he says, with a deep bow, as the door swings open. “This is all is left.” I look down at my bed for the night – five-feet long, two-feet wide and three-feet deep – and smile. “It’s perfect” I reply, as I unfold my blanket on the tiled floor. “Just knock if you need the toilet.” Continue reading

Travel Guides Now Online

Good news! After putting it off for a disproportionately long time, I have finally, finally, uploaded all the travel guides I have completed in the last year to this very website.

Since the beginning of 2011 I have written dozens of guides, itineraries and reviews on everywhere from Cardiff to Cancun – with particular focus on my joint residences of the UK and the Czech Republic – and they are now available for everyone to see!

Visit my new Travel Guides page here. Or read my GuidePal guide to Prague here.

Bohemian Oddity #3: Mezi Ploty Festival

Prior to the late April release of my new travel article in stalkingElk, I’ll be previewing a few of the Bohemian oddities that will be featured. This final post is about Prague’s maddest – in every sense – music festival.

There are some amazing music festivals in Europe. If you were so inclined, you could start the party season at the multimedia, Renaissance subculture festival Netmage in Bologna, take a break at the arty, classical ponce-fest that is St. Magnus on Orkney and then end your summer with the intimately Arctic mish-mash rave of Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik. But for all Europe’s unusual, eclectic music festivals, none come close to the bizarre two-day summer music and theatre bonanza that is Prague’s Mezi Ploty. Continue reading

Bohemian Oddity #2: Two Pissing Men

Prior to the late April release of my new travel article in stalkingElk Magazine, I’ll be previewing just a few of the Bohemian oddities that will be featured. This time it’s an interactive urine-based fountain sculpture. Yes, really.

David Černý is a man who courts controversy. Whether it’s by submerging Saddam in a big tub of formaldehyde or lampooning a continent with a stereoype-fueled European Council installation, the Czech sculptor is always plotting new ways to ruffle the collective feathers of the middle classes. But nothing has got the Prague public talking more in recent years than his bizarre yet poetically-titled fountain sculpture Piss. Continue reading

Bohemian Oddity #1: The Withered Hand

Prior to the April release of my new travel article in stalkingElk Magazine, I’ll be previewing just a few of the Bohemian oddities that will be featured. First up, it’s Church of St. James… and the creepy mummified arm of a 17th century thief.

Here’s how the legend goes. One night in Prague, a rather unsavoury fellow was strolling past the Church of St. James when he noticed that the door was ever-so-slightly ajar. Sensing a rare opportunity, he ventured inside to see what precious items he could pinch… and his eyes soon fell upon the jewels hanging around the neck of the Virgin Mary statue. But as he reached up to unburden the Madonna, she suddenly sprang into life and grabbed his arm, before promptly turning back into cold, hard stone. Continue reading

A Quick Word About Wordle

Words words words... an image of words from Joe Reaney's We Like posting for Red C Marketing, Advertising, Online Marketing and Brand Marketing Agency Manchester & London[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 18TH NOVEMBER 2009 BY RED C MAGAZINE]

I like words. They happify me. In fact, they make me tripudiate with joy. I’m one of those people who take far more pleasure in hearing about a crepuscular splodge than actually seeing one; and would much rather read about a spelunking scrimshanker than go and cheer him on. I get a kick out of the English language and, at the risk of being philodoxical, I think everybody should. Language may be fundamentally a means of communication, in the way that food is fundamentally a means of nutrition, but both offer pleasure far beyond their function. Words should be savoured like a sumptuous steak.

Of course, when I try to convince my chums about the myriad delights of mellifluous language, they call me a ponce. Well, until a few weeks back. All of a sudden, they’re casually dropping obscure words into every conversation. It’s frippet this and proprioception that. And while I love to think it’s down to my strategic nagging, I’m afraid it isn’t. They still think I’m a ponce. But they’ve become huge fans of this website called Wordle. Continue reading