Fathers Day Weekend – 2019


  The 2019 Fathers Day weekend was spent in London. On Friday, we took the A1 from Harrogate to London, stopping in Blythe for lunch. It was a warm and sunny  in London, a perfect evening to sit on the terrace and drink G&Ts (London No.1), munching long, thin Catalan sausages. Lamb chops, asparagus and…

Dimbulagala Rock Temple


Dimbulagala near Polonnaruwa, the 12th century capital of Sri Lanka, has been a Buddhist monastery for well over 2000 years. Meditating monks have lived in caves in the rocky outcrops here since Buddhism was brought to the country in 3rd century BC. Today, the focus is on a flourishing modern temple at the base of…

Wasgamuwa National Park


Wasgamuwa National Park in Sri Lanka was created in 1984 as a refuge for wild animals displaced by the Mahaweli Development Project which was a government scheme for generating hydroelectric power, controlling floods, making irrigation facilities for dry zone cultivation and developing physical and social infrastructure for human habitation using the waters of the Mahaweli River. The…

A Day At Gal Oya


The park gate was locked, the park office was closed and there was nobody in sight. It was six thirty in the morning. Irate telephone calls to the National Parks head office were made and an hour later, a ranger appeared and sheepishly opened the gate We left Hotel Monty in Ampara at 5.30 in…

Caldo Verde


  We made Caldo Verde  for lunch today. Caldo verde or green broth is the most popular soup in Portugal. It has its origins in the Minho region in the North of Portugal, but today Caldo Verde is considered by many to be Portugal’s national soup.There are many versions of it but the basic ingredients are potatoes, shredded…

Boxing Day 2018


It was like no other Boxing Day We were in the little wine village of Kleinbottwar in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.  It was 3 degrees below zero that morning but the air was still and there was no snow. Some from our party drove across the border to Austria to ski. The rest of us walked along…

Remembrance Sunday 2018


  It was a cold, crispy day in Harrogate and autumn leaves carpeted the Stray. One man’s greed engulfed Sri Lanka – the land of my birth, in the most serious constitutional crisis since independence from. British rule in 1948. It was also my birthday but there was no mood for celebrations. As tradition demands,…

The Bottomless Well


    The Nilavarai well in Jaffna, in arid northern Sri Lanka, is said to be bottomless. It provides an endless supply of fresh water even during severe droughts. Legend has it that the well was created by the Hindu god Rama by shooting an arrow in to the ground to provide fresh drinking water…

Casuarina Beach


  The best sandy beach in Jaffna, Casuarina is in Karainagar, on Karativu Island in northern Sri Lanka, about 20 km from Jaffna town. Ponnalai Causeway (AB17) connects the island to the mainland. Casuarina trees form a coastal forest next to the beach. There are changing rooms, a fresh water well and a cafe on…