Paris – Musée des Arts et Métiers

The Musée des Arts et Métiers is one of my absolute favourite museums in Paris. How often have you looked at a piece of technology and wondered how on earth someone came up with that? I have always been interested in the precursor technologies that led us to where we …

British Museum – a perennial favorite

The British Museum is one of my all-time favorites – a place I visit every time I go to London. Each time there is something different that catches my eye or interest. I suppose this reflects my changing interests over time. But really this place has something for everyone. There …

Britain’s wartime legacy

The Old War Office in Whitehall, London was built in 1906 – surprisingly recent given its architectural roots, and stands today, much as it would have looked in the days when T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) would have Parked his Brough Superior motorcycle out the front during and immediately following WWI. …

Why you should see a concert in St Martin-in-the-Fields

Iconic on the outside, the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields is also a bit special inside. And not because of what you see. This post is about what you can hear when you venture inside. First, a bit about the building. The earliest reference to a church on this site is …

Shrek’s Bridge in Bristol?

My first thought on seeing Pero’s Bridge was that Bristol had a tide-driven sound-sculpture. Either that or Shrek was the chief designer. But it turns out that the horns were functional in a different way; as counter-weights for the bascules. This is a bridge that can be raised to allow …

Christmas steps – a hidden gem in Bristol UK

Bristol is a fascinating place with a unique history in Britain. The tours will tell you about Brunel and the Clifton Bridge or the SS Great Britain, but we were introduced to one of Bristol’s lesser-known hidden gems by our local guide and friend Jules Woolford. It involves a staircase and …

Rijksmuseum – The well-stocked kitchen

The Well-Stocked Kitchen – painted 1566 In 1566, the painter Joachim Beukelaer warned us about the dangers of Facebook, Pokemon-Go and distractive technologies. Perhaps not literally, but he illustrates the point beautifully in his painting: The Well-Stocked Kitchen. In this painting, we are drawn first to the kitchen maids in …

Amsterdam Segway tour – the other 2 wheels

Amsterdam is very bike friendly and you can hire bikes at reasonable rates – or buy a used one from €50 – and maybe sell it at the end of your holiday. There are special lanes for bikes (which are also used by motor scooters(!)) and they seem to mostly …

Singapore’s Colourful markets

You can taste the air, thickly laden with moisture and heat and frangipani, as soon as you step off the plane in Singapore’s Changi airport. It was quite a contrast with the minus 3C we experienced flying out of Canberra’s Winter chill. Singapore is ideally placed to be a global …