Ok, so we're not really traveling at the moment. We're back in Edinburgh.
From 2005-2008 we were in Asia and based in Vietnam for over two years of the time. There were plenty of side-trips from Ho Chi Minh to neighbouring cities and countries.
P L E A S E T A K E A L O O K !
We've passed through India, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, China, and of course Vietnam on our travels.
To quote the Mighty Boosh:
"If I see a boundary, I eat a boundary. And wash it down with a hot steaming cup of rules."
Enter our world.
August 5th 2009
We spent five days walking near Corrour Station, a station that was made famous by the film, Trainspotting. It is Britain's highest train station and the area between the station and Ben Alder is one of the most remote in Britain. in Trainspotting Tommy explains to Rents, Sickboy, Begby and the ginger one what a great country Scotland is but they wholeheartedly disagree. Maybe they knew something about the midgies nearby but they could have had few complaints about the landscape of lakes, mountain and heather. I'm sure the sheer number of deer would have impressed their drug-addled brains too. Their loss. Edi managed 5 days walking and his 100th and 101st ticks and there were some sore knees on the lovely train journey back to Edinburgh via Glasgow. I managed 4 days walking and 8 ... read more
October 10th 2008
Cian is now a year and a bit old so to celebrate here are some pictures from his earliest 5 weeks: The days before teeth, toddling and tantrums. ... read more
September 30th 2008
In August I went over to Ireland for Sean and Breda's wedding, flying to Dublin, over-nighting in Monaghan and then Enniskillen. I also had 4 nights in Dublin and took the opportunity to wander the streets of the city where I spent almost ten years of my life. It was nice to visit some of my old stomping grounds and see the changes that the Celtic Tiger economy had wrought. I don't know if the sum of all parts is better than when I went to college here but there are many aspects of the city that have improved beyond all recognition. I still have nightmares about asking for a cafe latte in the Kylemore circa 1992. You'd have sworn I'd asked for some kind of esoteric yet obscene sex act to be performed by the ... read more
September 30th 2008
In June - before we left Vietnam for ever - we tried to visit some of the places we'd enjoyed in our time but also some of the places we'd never managed to go. Of course we also tried to meet up with the friends too. Saigon is a great city, full of energy and noise and hubbub. It may not be the most beautiful city in Asia or even in Vietnam but there is more life in a single back street there than in most European cities. In our last days we took the mopeds out around unfashionable District 4 where we lived. We visited a really nice temple there on the banks of the river and the local worshipers made us very welcome. The Jade Emperor Pagoda near Dien Bien Phu is a different ... read more
May 21st 2008
The scene : I am writing this on a dreary night shift in Edinburgh. Oh joy! It's only the end of September but my memory is a bit fuzzy. Outside it is cold and dark and dawn is far away. With the invaluable assistance of Huma I was able to retrieve over a thousand photos taken in the Philippines, Vietnam and Ireland. They were on a camera which took a swim off El Nido. Nice memories... Choices A trip to the Philippines was to be the last leg of our Asia travels. I had two weeks Easter break (even though it wasn't really Easter) and thought that the Philippines (of which I knew little) was the destination. I had lofty notions of island-hoping all over but this never transpired for various reasons. Initially I had booked ... read more
February 15th 2008
Panic Tet (or Chinese New Year to those outside Vietnam) approaches. Panic! The dates on the Lunar calendar lurch this way like some distant (but notorious) relative that Mother has warned you not to get to close to - we decided to get ourselves away the hell out of Saigon. Sofie and myself will fly to Bangkok and meet Kelly there for a couple of days of shopping, eating and wandering. First: I have to get off my chest how p***ed off I was with Thai Customs officials who stamped their little stamp all over my final passport page thereby denying me the possibility of crossing via Cambodia (with it's one page visa) back to Nam. When I get the next passport it will be jumbo all the way, larger than life (well 30 pages extra ... read more
November 20th 2007
National Teachers' Day Vietnam It’s a sign of a good school if they look after you well on Teachers’ Day. Today my school proved this by having a half day and treating us to a staff lunch! On my way to school I saw almost every child and every family on their motorbikes with baskets of flowers and bags full of gifts. Vietnamese culture prescribes a high level of respect towards teachers and the education system, and unlike at home, when you tell people you are a teacher they are really delighted for you. In a lot of the local schools here the children put on a concert for their teachers to say thank you. The parents tend to show their appreciation with the kind of gesture you can fold up and put in your pocket! ... read more
October 30th 2007
Hello! Well, despite numerous warnings about the place (formerly best known as prison camp hellhole) I arrived in Con Dao. The 50 minute flight whisked me over the Mekong Delta and into the heart of the South China Sea for a glorious week. I stayed in a comfortable but good value villa with great sea views at the Con Dao Resort just west of the main town. This meant that I was able to enjoy the solitude of the UNESCO site in extremis. When I arrived I was surprised to be one of only two guests at the hotel. The staff were very friendly. At times though, it was funny to order food and find myself still talking to the waiter ten minutes later as he tried out his English on me. By the end of ... read more
September 22nd 2007
It's been one whole year since Sofie and I had our marriage ceremony in Hoi An and we decided to get out of Dodge and head into the wild Mekong Delta, as far as the bustling Cambodian town of Chau Doc. Chau Doc was a real breath of fresh air in more ways than one. For one, the people are friendly, happy. They're border people like just like me (Warren). It's a long way from here to Monaghan but something in the ordinariness of the place hit home. It's not a tourist town except for the pilgrims who flock to nearby Sam Mountain (we didn't bother!) We stuck to relaxing and ambling and reading and eating to religious extremes that would be considered fundamentalist in other circumstances. So we splashed out on some four or five ... read more
August 20th 2007
Ahhhh, Scotlun'! When will we see your likes agin? Well, on 14th July as it goes and as we touched down on the tar MacAdam of Turnhouse just to the West of Edinburgh thoughts were not on Bastille Day celebrations in France nor were they on my own birthday. Instead I was thinking about the beautiful flight down the Firth of Forth past the volcanic beaches of Gullane and the sleepy villages of Fife and towards and clearing the magnificence of the Forth rail bridge. we were back after almost 2 years. We quickly cleared all formalities and were met by two McArees and a Thomas one of whom was joyfully waving handmade Scottish and Irish flags. Sharon and Joyce and Tommy whisked us away in a speeding car towards Auld Reakie and our adventure had ... read more