It’s already early March (where did January and February go?!) but so far work has taken me to Dublin three times and Barcelona twice. Both excellent venues, but slightly less so when you’re working hard. All the same, I love to travel. Work takes me interesting places and I (normally) get to stay in lovely […]

It looks like we have a bit of an itinerary for this year’s trip to Japan! To avoid overloading ourselves with too many destinations, we’ve narrowed it down to splitting our time between Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa. I’d like to take advantage of the JR Rail Pass and arrange some day trips out of both Tokyo […]

You know, it’s never too early to plan our annual trip to Japan. At least that’s what we were saying when we started looking for flights to Tokyo on this cold and wet January Sunday morning. After last year’s amazing trip, it was pretty much inevitable that we’d have to come back. So we searched […]

We watched the first episode of Joanna Lumley’s new series on Japan last night and really enjoyed it. She’s touring all the way from its very northernmost tip near Russia to its southernmost islands over three episodes. @FrankDJS and I both had several “remember that?” moments as we watched, thinking back to our visits to […]

Back in September 2014, we visited the Arashiyama monkey park in Iwayatama. I’ve been obsessed with monkeys for as long as I can recall, so seeing them up close, wandering free on the mountain top, was an absolute delight. And this morning, I came across a bunch of videos I took on this trip, all safely […]

A very quick panorama taken from the bridge in Arashiyama during our visit there last October. I found the file as I was tidying up my Dropox! It was such a lovely diversion from Kyoto – calm, green, warm and fantastic scenery. We wandered from one scenic spot to another and soaked up the atmosphere. […]

I’ve been lucky enough to take a few trips on Japan’s excellent Shinkansen trains. Last October, we went on a day trip from Kyoto to Hiroshima and the trips there and back were fast, comfortable and – for this train geek – exciting. I’ll admit that going all that distance (about 360km!!) and back in […]

Yes, some people may view ‘end of the year’ posts as either boring, narcissistic or a combination of both, but personally I like to look back on the year gone by and focus on the highlights. A form of gratitude. Reliving the fun and the smiles. I travelled so much in 2015, I thought it […]

As I shared previously, I contracted chicken-pox during our epic trip to Japan. Not good. I went from having some minor flu-like symptoms to full-on body-covered-in-blisters chicken-pox overnight. And boy did I feel bad.

I never had chicken-pox as a child and had mentally filed it away as a minor annoyance. Some itchiness, some tiredness and then bouncing back to good health in a matter of days. For kids, maybe. But when it hits you as an adult, it’s quite a different story.

I’ve spent the past week veering between unable to sleep, then falling into deep sleep at a moment’s notice, running a high fever, having night sweats and aches in all my joints. Just like a bad dose of the flu.

But then there’s the blisters.

Mine came up overnight – I was woken up by the itchiness mid-night and could feel them on my scalp. Gross. At its worst, I had blisters going from the crown of my head all the way down to my toes. Nowhere on my body was spared. Nowhere.

I’ll let that sink in.

Continue reading