Sri Lanka- 2008

6 Aug

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Since when was peeing so artistic?

24 Jul

One peeing statue is just not enough for the Belgian city of Brussels.


‘Manneken Pis’ is a famous statue of a little boy peeing which attracts thousands of visitors each year. The English translation for it is ‘little pee man’.

The statue, which is about 60 centimetres tall and located a short walk from the Grand Place, was made by local sculptor Hieronimus Duquesnoy back in 1619.

Sightseers are keen to squeeze in for a selfie in front of the tiny man even though it is not the original statue anymore- that one is now safely on display at a nearby museum.


In the name of sexual equality, there is fittingly a more modern, peeing statue.

Jeanneke Pis, a squatting female, is not far from her male counterpart and was created by sculptor Denis-Adrien Debouvrie in 1985.

This statue is about the same size as the original and also pretty popular.

She can be found down a little lane in the heart of the city.


Head a little further from the Grand Place and you’ll find Zinneke Pis.

On the corner of a trendy shopping street in Brussels is this statue of a dog peeing against a street post.

It was installed in 1998.

Strangely enough, this is the only of the three that is life size.


Click here to find out more about Brussels.

My one Prague regret

15 May

I only have one regret about my trip to the capital of the Czech Republic last year; not riding the paternoster.

You may not know what a paternoster is, that’s okay, either did I until we walked past it on a walking tour of Prague.

A paternoster is an old style elevator- this one was off to the side in a little arcade off Wenceslas Square.


It is a two sided, open lift that operates on a loop, with one side going up, while the other goes down.

A paternoster is continuously moving, so users have to be quick to step in at the right time and off again at the right floor as there are no buttons with floor numbers to be pressed.

This one was also pretty small, if you jumped on with a stranger you’d be getting pretty up-close and personal during the short ride.

I was so intrigued that we returned to take a look the next day.

Unfortunately there was a security coded door in our way and a sign warning that the entrance was for residents only.

When someone pressed in a code and went in, it was my curious side urging me to follow, grab that door and head on in but it was my partner’s less adventurous side that verbally warned me against doing so.

To this day, I’ve never been on a paternoster.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see another paternoster, there aren’t many left these days- apparently they don’t fulfil a lot of OHS standards.


Nana’s stories: Nuns and their questions

12 May

I’ve been helping my nana with musings from her childhood- here is a small glimpse into her childhood from about the last half of the 1930s…

One day while in the playground a nun came up to me and asked if I was going to be inoculated. Now this nun was in full habit, white wimple, with all the bells and whistles and chains and she seemed to be at least eight feet tall. I was frightened of her. Anyhow I said I was, not knowing what she was talking about, I thought it might be good, she gave me papers for mum to sign. When I gave the papers to mum, she said, “you’re going to have a needle”. “Oh no, I’m not, I’m going to be inoculated,” I said. I was only five, how was I supposed to know what it meant?

The beauty of Laos

5 May

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Back in 2008 I spent some time in Laos, I loved the place. The country only really opened up to tourists in the 1990s and at least when I visited, it was so far untouched by global corporations like McDonalds and Starbucks, which was nice.

I especially enjoyed my time in Luang Prabang. pictures 116-1

One of the things I was able to do in Luang Prabang in between sightseeing was to help local students with their English as part of a program called Big Brother Mouse. Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands), in the Mekong River was also an amazing place to explore, I still remember all the locals saying “sabaidee” (hello) as I wandered down the small paths around the islands. I’d love to go back and would be interested to see if much has changed.

48 hours in the Margaret River region

7 Apr

Margaret River is a well known tourist destination but the town named after a nearby river is just one part of an amazing region in West Australia’s South West. Within a short drive there is plenty to do, see and eat…


Nana’s stories: motoring

3 Apr

I’ve been helping my nana with musings from her childhood- here is a small glimpse into her younger days in the 1930s/40s…

The first car we had was a Studebaker, at a guess I would say it was a mid 1920s model. Dad was always having trouble with punctures. Of course not many roads were bitumised, they were mainly just gravel. The next car was a two seater with a dicky seat at the back. Mum and dad and Aileen had the front seat and I had to sit in the dicky seat when we got into town I would shrink down as far as I could, oh the shame of it…

Some time later, we had a Harley Davidson motorbike with a sidecar. When we went anywhere I sat on the pillion. Mum and the two kids (my younger brother and sister) sat in the sidecar. This was alright for a while but as the two kids got bigger the sidecar was not big enough. Dad took the side car off and made a bigger wooden one. It was much roomier and held a big suitcase as well.


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