Mini-returns and unfamiliar ‘homes’

Photograph of Gardens by the Bay

Towards the end of last year I went on a wonderful three-week holiday to Australia. It is one of my favourite places, if it is fair to think of it as one place – in three weeks I saw just a tiny fraction of it on this visit. My parents lived in Melbourne for a … Continue reading

Stolen bicycles and homeliness

My few ‘regular’ readers might have noticed that I have not posted anything on here for a long time (if indeed they have not completely lost interest!). The Autumn of 2013 produced two unexpected challenges to my new found love of cycling, the subject of my previous posts (on commuting and on bike personalities). The … Continue reading

Work-life balance and commuting by bike

I have posted before about some sights from my London commute via train and tube (both people and places). Despite these positives takes, I have never been much of a fan of my journey to and from work. I have become a much bigger user of mobile technologies and e-reading to make the time productive … Continue reading

Home climates: snowdrops and falling leaves

Tree in autumn

I’ve been reminded by a mild spell and the sight of the sunshine that the weather makes a huge difference to how I live and how I feel about it. I do like to see the change in seasons, although I prefer all other changes to when it gets darker and danker. I lived once … Continue reading

Tips for successful repatriations

[This post originally appeared over at Move Guides.] In my earlier Blogger’s Q&A for Move Guides, I was asked about the three tips I would give to any repatriates before journeying back to their homeland. I said, ‘Be positive, plan (from before you move abroad if you can) and do not expect it to be … Continue reading

Shopping malls

China Town plaza

Looking at my globe often makes me think not just of other distant places, or of a well-chosen gift, but of the shopping centre it came from. This was a welcome sanctuary on returning to the UK: a brand new air-conditioned mall with chain stores, a food court and a familiar, inside-outside light filtering onto … Continue reading

The smell of home

Chinese soup spoon

Reading about the salmon in my last post I learnt that apparently salmon are guided in their return migration by the smell of the stream where they were born, and that is how they know how to get home in order to spawn. The sign in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (written by the city’s aquarium) asks, … Continue reading

A little homemaking on the prairie

I have recently returned from a big holiday treat, crossing Canada by train. So wrapped up was I in what I would see and how it would feel to have traversed such a huge landmass, I did not really think about what it would be like to spend four days on a train, with just … Continue reading

There and back again: a hobbit returns home

Source=http://flickr.com/photos/96147639@N00/338143312/ |Author= Rob Chandler

I have just finished re-reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit, inspired to return to a childhood book by the forthcoming film. This reminded me that Bilbo’s journey and subsequent memoir are a perfect depiction of what it means to return home after living abroad or, as in The Hobbit, after an extended trip away. Since this is … Continue reading

Scrapbooks

Scrapbooking experienced a resurgence a few years ago, with an effervescent range of electronic and paper options becoming available to the new and experienced conserver of memories. This is a practice with a long history and in the modern era, women in particular have been responsible for preserving and arranging their family histories: trials and … Continue reading