Speaking the language of plants: a visit to Yamaguchi-san

Never one to be put off by a potential problem, I quickly agreed a visit to Yamaguchi-san’s plant nursery in the hills of Mizunami, despite me only knowing 10 Japanese words and Yamaguchi none! I am forever indebted to Shigeto Tsukie for helping to fill my spare (horticultural) time in Japan this week. His kindness…

Love coffee? Love plants? You’ll love these cafes!

This isn’t quite the article that you may expect. It isn’t about where to eat organic, green food, moreover it’s about where to eat and drink amongst GREENERY! I am super lucky to travel the world with my Plant Geek activities and always make a special effort to track down spots where I can indulge…

Kerala: Time outing 

Day 7- toast The day began with sticky banana, french toast and curry. It was nothing but colourful. I also answered the waiter with’pardon’ five times, before we both agreed it was better that we didn’t try to understand what each other were saying. We had a long journey today, four hours in our wacky…

Kerala: Trekking

Day 3- tea Today was a test day for us trekkers. But, gosh, this trek was like a holiday, compared to the wilds of the Sahara and the wet of Costa Rica. I wasn’t sure how fit I was though, and my trekking kit didn’t fit anymore. I wasn’t feeling very fit either. Although I…

Kerala: Touristing 

Day 1- travel I made my way to the airport in my Italian Uno Qlo duvet coat with my giant kitbag weighing down my shoulder. Ipswich had never seen such a sight. And I wondered if everyone on the tube was wondering where this exotic traveller was heading to.  Once I got to the terminal,…

18 things about India 

With Indians, the very smallest things cause chaos and head waggling. After puzzling for five minutes, I still had no idea how to use the showering device provided in the toilet. Indians like taping things up. Breakfast is cold curry. India is the only place that you might hear a pneumatic drill at night. Cauliflower…

The final 18 things about China!

  China sometimes smells like my Nana’s old cupboards The motorways are like the wacky races. Premium class on a plane means you get a face towel. Escort is a new Ford model in China. Chinese couples can be quite clingy and often wear matching clothes. If you want to shame an overcharging taxi driver,…

Are the English numb?

Whilst travelling China, I couldn’t help but get the sense that the Chinese culture is ALIVE. They eat meat off the bone, they use natural elements to stay healthy, and they keep themselves moving…!!! As an English person, some of this seems quite alien to me! I often prefer my meat pre-sliced and like it…

18 little things about China

  Sometimes you’re just not in the right mood to use a squat toilet. The Chinese can stretch your neck in ways you just cannot imagine. Stretching shops exist. Chatting with your Masseur via Google Translate is kinda cool. Some Dim Sum cannot be picked up with chopsticks. Dumplings with soup inside wasn’t the best invention,…

18 more things that China has taught me

  There are many occasions when I think a fork would be quicker. Do Chinese people have similar concerns over using a knife and fork? I will need to get used to the freedom of being able to spit bones out onto my plate (or table). As an English person, I always make sure my…

18 things I also know about China

  If you think you’re in a ‘queue’ and there’s nobody touching you, then you’re probably not in a ‘queue’. One must always be confident about crossing the road. Historic sites are often cleverly sited near to a Starbucks. When in shops, you will be assigned your own personal shopping assistant as soon as you…

18 more things that I have learnt about China

  The Chinese love noise. In the shopping streets, shop owners are either clapping with their hands, or with a clapping machine. The bowl haircut is on trend. €20,000 for a piece of root (for making herbal tea) is not considered expensive, and to be fair it is cheaper than a box of Tea Pigs….