“What is the key,” a little voice whispered in my head, “to a good vacation?”Peak District

“Teacher, teacher, me me me, teacher! Ummmm….being able to see with your eyes what you could only envision in the past based on documentaries on TV and photographs?” the star student answered.

Certainly, that is a plausible answer.

“Photographs, for sure!”

No, I'm NOT in this pix!!  Bald Eagle and Jason

Hmmmm. Another good point. I view everything through my lenses, even when they are sometimes imaginary. Like when you wake up from a deep slumber, and the first thing you do is move your finger to the bridge of your nose to push up the glasses which you thought were there. Imaginary glasses.





But of course. The excitement of trying new stuff is always great. Like eating blood sausages and haggis. Mmmmmm. And the fruits are wonderful. I tried, for the first time in my life, fresh figs!! There is some imagery attached to figs (no prizes for guessing what), and no, I’m not telling you. I also loved snacking on physalis, a tiny sweet fruit encased in a papery husk.


pigeon ducks sheep

Ferocious British beasts. Let’s see. I saw ducks that could waddle on you to death, several pigeons capable of tickling you with their feathers till you’re paralised with laughter, and a whole bunch of man-eating sheep. Incidentally, did anyone watch Black Sheep? In comparison, it made Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof highly watchable.

To me, it’s all of the above and one more. People. I’d gladly trade a London Musical with the opportunity to spend time with a friend.

Shepherd's Pie

Cheese Platter

Combine a couple of ingredients, and what do you get? (I’m starting to sound like a cooking show….oh, oh, oh, is anyone else besides me hooked on the Asian Food Channel 703??) People who cook for you! Take for instance, cousin Shobi, who insisted on serving us typical British fare, and she came up with a scrumptious Shepherd’s Pie garnished with chopped leeks. I was touched that she’d do that for us, despite the fact that she was a vegetarian. What an honour to be invited to dinner at her house in Putney, London, to spend a lovely evening with the family.

pork curry

And then, there’s my brother, up in Sheffield, who refused to let me near the kitchen, and whipped up, instead, a delicious pork curry that was not only a welcome sight but which also warmed the tummy. He is fortunate; he possesses a scientific mind, but is more creative than a lot of people I know. Being independent in Sheffield has its plus points. Not being able to taste mum’s cooking because of the million miles between the two countries isn’t. Ouch.

seared tuna with edamame beans

tolouse sausages with mash

We spent a couple of nights at Msiagirl’s beautiful home in picturesque Bath, and we were given the best room in the house where the windows opened out to a view of the entire city built entirely with Bath stone, a limestone that shimmered in shades of gold in the sunlight. And between Msiagirl and her dashing husband, Mr G, they both came up with delicious fare: organic butcher made toulouse sausage casserole in mulled wine with onions, butternut squash and mashed potatoes on the side, seared tuna marinated in soy and wasabe with garlic chilli edamame beans, and tomato and cumin slow cooked organic lamb. Organic food’s a big thing in this home, and one can see the effects of consuming such food, judging from the youth and vitality oozing out of their pores. (Can you tell how envious I am?) The food is certainly oceans apart from that described by Fatboybakes. Organic food, I mean. And never leave England till you’ve tried scones with jam and clotted cream. Absolutely yummy!

scones with clotted cream

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I’m blessed. What did I do to deserve such wonderful people in my life?

For the wonderful people of Abu Dhabi who are unable to view my photos on flickr, click HERE to view pics!