A different kind of blur this New Year’s Eve

I have to admit I’ve had some pretty hedonistic New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world, which have left me counting-down to midnight in a bit of a blur. From all-night parties in Amsterdam, warehouse raves in Battersea (London), cartwheeling in the snow in Sheffield, discos in Damascus, a champagne street party for the Millennium…

My Crochet Christmas Wreath made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

This Christmas I have gone a bit mad on recycling (and crocheting). First I made dozens of crochet snowflake decorations using old plastic bags… Then I crocheted some trivets (hot-plate mats) for the Christmas table from some of my old clothes… And finally I crocheted a tropical Christmas wreath using single use plastic bottles and…

Meet Modraniht, the Mewest Member of our family

Sometimes decisions are taken arbitrarily. I made such a decision four days ago, about a little grey kitten. This skinny and scared looking kitten had been found hiding under a car in the car-park of the apartment compound next to us where we live in Nairobi, by some children. But because these children already have…

Crochet Snowflakes from Plastic Bags

I heard a report on the BBC World Service a couple of days ago about a little sea turtle named Kai which made me so sad that I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. Kai had been found floating helplessly on the sea surface because she had ingested so much plastic waste that her…

Matemwe Beach – Far Away in Time

At 31 degrees centigrade and with a hotch potch of people who frequent it, Matemwe Beach is a melting-pot in every sense of the word. Between sunrise and sunset the beach, situated on the northeast coastline of Zanzibar, becomes a hive of activity with scores of Zanzibari women wearing bright coloured kangas wading into shallow…

Celebrating the festive season in Tanzania and beyond.

This is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite time of year. Past Christmases and New Years have seen me dancing until dawn in Amsterdam, drinking champagne on the streets of Coimbra, sledging in Stockholm, having tea with a group of Bedouin women in Petra, visiting Sylvia Plath’s grave in West Yorkshire, raving in…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… or maybe not.

Trying to stay on the shady side of the street in tropical temperatures, my Christmas shopping experience in Tanzania this year has been pretty much the antithesis of any yuletide cliches I’m familiar with. At 28 degrees I headed into the packed markets of central Mwanza to embark on the Christmas shopping for my three…

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

Children from the poorer corners of an East African city received English lessons, food and presents all in the spirit of Christmas. Yesterday after learning English, Maths, ITC, Swimming and Art, as part of an outreach programme at Mwanza’s at Isamilo International School, the young people enjoyed a meal, gifts and a show. Plates full…

Driving home for Christmas, although I’m not really sure where home is anymore.

Driving home for Christmas – although, to be honest, I am not entirely sure where home is anymore, I’ve lived in so many different places: Crewe in Cheshire, Baldock in Hertfordshire, Manchester, London, Katowice in Poland, Coimbra in Portugal, Nottingham, Damascus in Syria, Sheffield, Hong Kong, Cairo, Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, not including my gap…