Taiyaki – Japan’s delicious fish-shaped street food!

Japan has lots of wonderful sweet treats that you can find in markets and shops. Glutinous mochi with red bean paste, leaf-shaped momiji manjū, humble dorayaki. But there’s one which is my particular favourite – the fish-shaped taiyaki. Taiyaki translates to ‘baked (yaki) sea bream (tai)’, hence the way it is traditionally served in the … More Taiyaki – Japan’s delicious fish-shaped street food!

The Grave of Victor Noir – Is This Paris’ Sexiest Tomb?

The grave of Victor Noir is one of the most unusual resting places in Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery. The effigy of Noir is lying on his back, and while normally a greenish-bronze, he has a brightly polished crotch and lips from frequent rubbing. In modern times, Noir’s unusual tomb has become a symbol of fertility and … More The Grave of Victor Noir – Is This Paris’ Sexiest Tomb?

Why don’t Dutch people close their curtains?

When I was living in The Netherlands, I was intrigued by one minor aspect of Dutch living. Why don’t Dutch people close their curtains? I am not alone in wondering what’s going on here. After some Google searching, it looks like others have tried to explain this habit. While obviously we can’t generalise about everybody, … More Why don’t Dutch people close their curtains?

Sketching Nikkō, Japan’s UNESCO Temple Town

Something strange happened when the clocks hit 5pm in Nikkō. The town suddenly fell quiet, the people disappeared, the shops shut their doors, and restaurants turned their ‘open’ signs around to ‘closed’. The sun went down in a haze of muted oranges and purples, a chilly evening began to creep in, and we were left … More Sketching Nikkō, Japan’s UNESCO Temple Town

Vandalism of the Little Mermaid – One Statue’s Turbulent History

The Little Mermaid is an iconic figure on the waterfront of Copenhagen, a bronze statue sculpted by Edvard Erikson. Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale, it was installed on next to the anchored ships at Langelinie Pier in 1913. But this innocent nude sculpture has had a very turbulent history, full of beheadings, colour changes … More Vandalism of the Little Mermaid – One Statue’s Turbulent History

Loud, Crowded, Frustrating – Why you should skip the Sydney Fireworks

Sydney is proud of their spectacular annual fireworks display for New Year’s Eve. But for the observer watching up close, seeing the show from the middle of the crowd in Circular Quay is a crowded, loud, frustrating experience. There are way too many people, shoving and elbowing to get the best spot. You need to … More Loud, Crowded, Frustrating – Why you should skip the Sydney Fireworks