Every Picture Tells a Story: Lake Menteith in the fading light of a winters night

Travel Poetry: The Crackling Thunder of Frozen Lake Menteith

I wrote this poem in 2011 during a particularly bewitching snow-storm on Lake Menteith in Stirlingshire, Scotland. I had borrowed a pair of old, worn out and blunt ice-skates that were a size too small. And together with my friend, we set out to skate on the lake and also record the audio of the…

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The Berlin Wall Redux: A punk of leisure on the shores of the Spree river

Travel:The Berlin Wall Redux: A punk lady of leisure 

Copyright Content Catnip 2010 In 2008 I lived in Berlin. It's a vast adult playground of earthly delights, diversions and shiny, distracting baubles. Its maddeningly vibrant during the summer. It's as though life is amplified to full volume and there is no dimmer switch. The sky sits very high up and the sun is beaming…

Ride or die: Scooter riding in Taiwan

Travel: A scooter swarm and the dance of life and death in Taiwan

Among the chaos and the streaming lights there are tiny rockets moving between buildings and jostling people out of the way as they walk into the street. In South Korea, Japan, Thailand and China these pocket rockets roam through the night, comandeered by a mixture of salarymen, young punks and mums with kids strapped to…

Mysterious cat in Chefchauoen

Travel: The lost and hungry felines of Chefchaouen, Morocco

Seeing you sprawled on the ground in a doorway in Chefchaoen, Morocco, something broke inside of my heart. I found myself so immensely concerned for your safety. From your gaunt and shabby physique and milky, clouded eyes I worked out that you were severely malnourished. I attempted to pick you up gently but my Morocccan…

Where to eat in Taupo? 

Travel: The best places to eat in Lake Taupo, New Zealand

On a recent trip to the beautiful Lake Taupo  with all of its athletic pursuits such as MTB there is nothing better than chowing down on some superb and hearty food. Taupo has some great options which we tried and loved. For a quick and reasonably priced brunch, try Cafe Baku which has a relaxed…

Words and Music: Miss Hollywood & Shanghai

Words and Music: Dave Clarke’s World Service & Shanghai

I wrote this poem because I came across an album I hadn't heard in years, it reminded me so much of Shanghai where I lived briefly as a teenager that I had this all rush into my head and I needed to get it out. So here is a memory purge of my time in…

Luminous Edinburgh during Christmas time lit the way for work-weary me

Travel: Luminous Edinburgh during Christmas time lights the way through winter 

Edinburgh is bewitching at all times of year but arguably the most captivating time is before and during Christmas. From early December the area in Princes Gardens is turned into an enchanted frozen amphitheatre. The faerie wonderland buzzing with a German Christmas market and overflowing with handmade, wooden and delicate trinkets, along with carnival rides…

Book Review: The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

Book Review: The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing is a mixture of reportage, biography and creative non-fiction. Weaving together strands of history, philosophy and art, Laing explores one of the last taboos of humanity which is loneliness. This is an alarming and at times uncomfortable book to read if you have been or are now lonely. Yet…

Scotland's Momentous Decision on September 18th

Travel: Five Brilliant Off the Beaten Track Restaurants Around Edinburgh

From writing for several years for the Edinburgh Food and Drink Guide I have gathered together some personal favourites of the Athens of the North. Here are a selection of Edinburgh restaurants that require some pounding of pavement often through beautiful scenery to get there. These eateries are worthy of recommendation because of their beautiful ambience,…

Thibaut Kinder's exhumed photographs from abandoned SD cards

Thibaut Kinder’s exhumed photographs from abandoned SD cards

What happened to reels of photos from old Kodak cameras of the 80's and 90's? They very well may end up in an Internet K-Hole, I've written about that strange website before. It's a repository of old photos from people's personal and public collections that squashed together and left to coexist in a creepy digital…

Book Review: Today, Tomorrow and Everyday

Book Review: Today, Tomorrow and Everyday by M.H. Clark

You know how you sometimes have those days, or even weeks or months when you feel un-moored to the shoreline and adrift in a lost world, floating aimlessly, feeling sad or morose? This is the kind of book every woman needs to feel found again. It's that miraculous book that brings you right back to…

The Enchanting Ogród Botaniczny of Kraków

Travel: The Enchanting Ogród Botaniczny of Kraków

The Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University (or as they are known in Polish: Ogród Botaniczny Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego) is a botanical garden that was founded in 1783 in Kraków. The ogród covers a lush expanse of 9.6 hectares, featuring lush landscaped gardens, several glasshouses and conservatories and exotic plant collections like orchids and even different types…

Krakow Summer Opera Season at Wawel Castle

Travel: Krakow Summer Opera Season at Wawel Castle

In the walls of Wawel castle on the night of midsummer, an atmosphere of enchantment abounded. The mauve and violet light of the sky melted into the golden lamps that fell onto the cobble-stone pathways, this skimmed and bounced across gabled iron rooftops of the castle. The light from the opera ballet performance stage shone…

The Epic Story of Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland

Travel: The Epic Story of Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland

Inside of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a thousand steps seem to guard you from the surface of the world. A thousand false ceilings seem to call out and confuse your senses. So far away are you from the grounding blue of the sky and the sensation of dirt under your feet. Inside of this mine…

A Journey into Childhood Nostalgia at the Muzeum Zabawek in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland

A Journey into Childhood Nostalgia at the Muzeum Zabawek in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland

Kudowa-Zdrój is a border town between the Czech Republic and Poland. Traditionally over the centuries, the area has been a  spa town for convalescence, attracting visitors from all parts of Central Europe who come to enjoy the abundant mineral springs and fresh mountain air. There are beautiful landscaped walks through forest and woodland here. As the…

Polski jedzenie/ Polish food: My om nom nom nominations

Polski jedzenie/ Polish food: My om nom nom nominations

Polish food could be considered similar to many other central European traditional dishes. There's a sprinkling of a German, Czech, Slovakian, Ukrainian and Russian influences here. Although any Pole worthy of his or her passport will patiently explain to you that while there are similarities, Poland are the original creators of some of the most…

Poland's Chapel of Skulls is a Monument to the Ever-Present Spectre of Death

Travel: Poland’s Chapel of Skulls is a Monument to the Ever-Present Spectre of Death

For a completely off the beaten path look at the more macabre and dark past of Poland, then you simply must visit the Chapel of Skulls located just outside of the popular spa town of Kudowa Zdroj in Lower Silesia, Poland. You only need scrape the surface of history to find that Poland has had an…