Sleepless at 3.45am

I’ve been awake for a while, although I am trying very hard to be in denial. It’s impossible to calibrate time when you are in that indeterminate fuzzy zone between awake and asleep, floating between reality and dreamland. I try to drift casually back into sleep. It’s like I am lying in a rowing boat…

To Drink non-Disorderly

7th January – and no alcohol has passed my lips for the whole of this year. People are asking me whether I am doing a “dry January”. To which I reply, “I’m not. I’m just taking a break from drinking”. I’m not alone. Many resolve to take a break from alcohol after the excesses of…

A second chance in Amsterdam.

I was in the middle of Amsterdam for one night only. I had to get out and run. So at 6.30am I was stepping out of the hotel into the icy morning air. It felt more like the middle of the night. The cold water of the IJ lay black and and foreboding in front…

Opting out of the wild goose chase

​There are a many situations in life where we run into a sticky problem and have to decide whether to carry on regardless or to back track. At what point does reason tap on the shoulder of determination and suggest an honourable retreat? And will our ego  allow common-sense a fair hearing? I set off…

The Auckland Taxi Mystery

I was checking out of the last hotel on the final day of a week dashing around some islands in the Southern Hemisphere. Three of them to be precise. Australia, South NZ and now North NZ. My colleagues had left at midday, leaving me with a fee afternoon to walk around Auckland. I’d been up…

The Broken Bones of Christchurch

Arriving in Christchurch after midnight was like arriving in a ghost town. We drove quietly from the airport along deserted roads before finding the edge of the town centre. On our left appeared a temporary orange plastic fence behind which something was being cleared or constructed – it wasn’t apparent which. The road narrowed and…

To fly, perchance to sleep

Counting time between proper sleeps – it was 48 hours. From waking up in my own bed in England (8am Saturday morning) to falling asleep in a hotel room in Melbourne (10pm Monday evening). We can argue about the definition of a day. The number of hours between these two times is theoretically 62 hours.…

Half a world away

The most confusing thing about international travel is working out what time it is. Even the one hour difference can trip you up – you can easily find yourself arriving somewhere an hour early or an hour late. On this trip, the difference will be variously 4, 8, 11 and 13 hours. I’ve decided to…

Running with Pablo

I was running along the Atlantic coast in the cool remains of the evening. The sun, tired from its long day’s work was sinking towards sleep, dimming its light, brushing a soft orange glow over the darkening grey ocean. Laying its head on the pillows of the clouds. I ran at a steady pace, my body…

Nice – 86 stars that no longer shine

We didn’t intend to book this hotel in Nice. Not this particular hotel. We just chose the one which seemed to have the nicest pool and rooms. We hadn’t intended to book the actual hotel, directly outside which a murderous 19 tonne battering ram truck was finally halted, having massacred 86 innocent people in 5…