I have been flying back and forth from Copenhagen Airport since the time when Easy Jet and other inexpensive carriers were not even a pipe dream in the collective consciousness. It used to cost £150 for a return weekend trip from London to Copenhagen flying with Varig Brazilian Airlines, which meant that on occasion one would be confronted by Dogs at the end of a Danish Drug Officer's lead #velkommentilkøbenhavn ..... #altså..... #duved #welcometocopenhagen... ##.....##).


My favourite airline was SAS until British Airways flew from the brand new Terminal at Heathrow. Now that was a very nice experience all the way from the tube station, a quick stop at my favourite food shop - Marks and Spencer, then up the several levels in an almost Charlie and the Chocolate Factory elevator. However, now that British Airways has stopped serving meals on their short-haul flights one might as well fly with Norwegian for a great experience, Easy Jet or Ryan Air. The latter two come with complications. Ryan Air are generally the absolute cheapest with £7 single tickets available from Copenhagen and £10 single tickets from London-Luton Airport. Never take the last plane with Ryan air from Copenhagen unless you are prepared for your journey to central London to end at 3am. They are repeatedly delayed in that slot on a daily basis (or so the man who works at the 7'11 near Gate F says). The best way to travel from Luton Airport on flights outside of normal working hours (later than 10pm) is by coach, either National Express or GreenLine. They cost around the same price. It is a relaxing and simple journey to various stops from Golder's Green to central London.

Travelling is great because one usually meets open minded people. There are of course though those who managed to carry their emotional baggage, or inappropriate behaviour and downright unacceptable manners #uncouth. Of course the Uncouth ones pop up in your little bubble when you are tired and just one to go home. Last night, after making way back to London from an early morning flight, I was patiently seated and waiting to board the flight to London. As I sat, the boarding area slowly wound its way closer to the door to the airplane, as instructed by the airline crew. A woman in her late 50s stood before me and demanded that I move so that she could sit down. #hvad (Pardon me, what???!!!!!!????). It was quite easy for the woman to do as other people were doing, finding their own spot on the marble airport bench, not demanding, with an air of "I am older than you, you have to get up now bus I said so".

I respectfully declined by saying "Not where I am sitting".

"Hun er Tyk (she is really big)" responded a man in his mid 60s wearing a camel cashmere-look coat, who was travelling with the woman and two others around the same age.

Tone is everything, and his tone was...."That fat bitch is refusing to move..." and he assumed that I didn't understand Danish and didn't expect a fluent, educated and well spoken response from an assertive female. I stood up from my seat from which the man and his trio of Uncouth women appeared to think that they had some advantage. I was taller than all of them put together. I assertively reminded them that their behaviour was inappropriate, and that instead of trying to continue with a barrage of insults, I stopped the man in his tracks in both English and Danish. I could only conclude that his Uncouth tribe would be doing that Expat thing which while in their homeland, they are very vocal about others doing.... living in their Expat bubble, refusing to integrate into a more open and multicultural society and taking their ignorant and abusive behaviours with them. #invandre #danishpolitics #hypocrites

"I hope that woman and man aren't sitting next to each other," said a young woman to a group of friends, far louder than she thought, and so turned bright red and had that expression of wishing that she could delete that whole moment, never mind disappear into a whole or put that foot of hers squarely into her mouth kind of look on her face when she realised that I had heard what she said.

It so happened that as I sat in my seat as the rest of the passengers boarded the plane. The Uncouth man and two of his trio approached my seat. Their seats were as you have no doubt guessed, right behind mine. I waited until the plane was almost ready for take off and asked to be re-seated. Luckily, there was 1 free seat on that final flight last night, so I was able to remove myself to as far away from the Bad Expats as quickly as possible and continue my journey in peace. All I had was the clothes on my back, my winter coat and passport. I made it home by 12:30am #smilieyface :-)


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What seemed to be the longest spring finally turned into summer in London with two sweltering days of 33-5 degrees. After strolling in the shade to my local Italian Cafe I deceived myself that it wasn't that hot and that I had aclimatised to high temperatures in the Seychelles. A few minutes of the burning sun on my legs showed me how wrong I was so I took my shopping, large latte and made my way back home and melted on my sofa, daring to step outside again during the cooler evening. 

When the short heatwave passed and the schools broke up for the summer holiday, I noticed for the first time, exactly how quiet it can be in this huge city. A trip across town from Pimlico to Portobello by bus was no longer filled with frustrating waits in queues of traffic but was a speedy journey along empty roads that were usually filled with parents picking up their children during the school run. There weren't even any delivery trucks taking up half of the road outside the shops near Kensington Palace. Friday night tube journeys were so quiet that I found myself to be the only person in a carriage at 10:30pm. 

After my trip to the Seychelles, I had what my friend from Guadalupe calls "Hot Foot" commonly known in travel circles as the Travel Bug but decided to enjoy my home town as a tourist. It was quite easy to do this as my lovely home was in a very quite neighbourhood. Aside from holidaying school children playing dare games of knocking on my door and running off, it was like living in the countryside. It wasn't until I heard the different languages spoken in my local supermarket or on the bus, that I remembered that I was living in Central London. Even Belgrave Road with it's street full of hotels was quiet. It wasn't until one reached Victoria that the full buzz of London came to life. Further towards Westminster Square were the throngs of groups of tourists with their tour guides holding up an array of objects to mark their place on the the busy streets. The Guards sitting atop their horses at Horse Guards Parade looked like they were going to melt faster than the Witch in the Wizard of Oz and as though they would have welcomed an Ice Bucket challenge. 

No matter how many times I make the journey across Central London, the experience never gets old. There is always something new to see. Always something that just by looking up at the top of buildings or sideways down a street some new aspect of London reveals itself. A walk from Pimlico tube station to my home fills my view with beautiful widely paved streets, white buildings with pillars decorating the many grand entrances, quiet side streets that look French with their beautiful black metallic balconies. Tree lined, beautiful and almost like a beach town when the surrounding homes are drenched in sunlight and a bright light in the dark during the famous British rain showers. Then in no time at all, I am back, home sweet home, and chilling out in my garden by the River Thames.

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To say that I entered paradise in a rather turbulent manner is some what of an understatement. Heaven sure has a price. When I left my home unusually early for my flight after jetting back from Copenhagen the night before and taking the very long (Oh god why don't they have a bus or a train) walk to my gate at Heathrow Terminal 2, having no time to stop for cash because the message board wash flashing "Boarding", I was glad that I had decided to bring my small carry on suitcase. I had intended to just take my day backpack, but one towel turned into a pair of linen trousers, swimsuit, underwear and a few t-shirts plus books to write in. I decided that considering the luggage allowance was 2 x 20 kilos on the Ethiopian Airlines flight, I could treat myself to a small pull along suitcase and save my shoulders from the extra weight of an over packed bag. 

My innocent traveller behaviour was profiled at Seychelles airport as not a terrorist but a drug mule or something. I was flabaghasted that travelling light in this "Pay for your luggage to be flown with you" industry and my years of backpacking and travelling light plus the somewhat idiotic idea that one could withdraw cash from a cashpoint anywhere in the world could be an issue. That being one of the women who's independent "Throw your hands up with me", kill the spiders and defend for yourself, open-minded happy go lucky type of person would work against me. 

Discrimination against single travellers in Paradise is a strange thing indeed. The Seychelles is an Island that is desperate for tourism, doing projects with Youtubers from the USA to increase tourist statistics but it seems that they only want a particular type of tourist and unless you are wearing Gucci at the airport and dripping in diamonds or able to flash your platinum American Express card or married, you will be profiled and either forced to return home immediately or have your 1 month holiday plans reduced to 5 days. 

Saint Peter said "No Silverangel, you cannot come in without experiencing life for the not so wealthy, £500 is not enough money for your stay. No, we do not accept Air BnB as valid accommodation so we do not care if you are planning to go Island hopping, you should have booked your accommodation for the full length of your stay and have calculated that the expensive hotel that you booked for a treat for yourself.....though you will be self-catering...... is what you need X 30 days. And you have insufficient funds, your suitcase is too small and you are travelling by yourself".

I sighed as Saint Peter continued "Change your ticket and pay £78 to do that. Yes, yes, it is non refundable and non changeable but I am Saint Peter of the Seychelles Immigration and heaven has a price. Either pay up or go home today." He continued "Don't worry, it's not just you, we had an Iranian man who was only staying for 5 days to go to his friend's wedding but he was single and we did not like the hotel he had booked so we told him his booking was illegal and I booked him at Gods Hotel, the most expensive hotel in Heaven, so think yourself lucky.....beeyatch!!!"

I cried as he tried to high-five me and through a waterfall of tears and ensuing migraine, tried to explain that £200 was for a hotel that I had booked on Le Digue but couldn't travel to. That did not help my case at all. Neither did explaining that I would be getting paid on Tuesday. And in fact I got paid far more just a few days later but decided, though after meeting with the Minister for Tourism and then the Immigration Minister on the morning that I should be returning home, I got an apology and a speedy visa extension for the original 30 days that I wanted to stay. I chose instead to save my cash and head home. 

7 days in Paradise was quite enough for a collection of islands that have beautiful beaches, whose streets are well kept, with fewer potholes than in London, with manicured hedges and houses that would make you think that you were in France or Spain. I stayed with a wonderful family for the last 4 days of my trip and spent no more than £1 a day. The public buses are fun and cheap to ride. 5 rupees (£1 = 20 rupees) will get you anywhere on the island for each journey. The family I stayed with served the most delicious creole food I would definitely score them a A++, took me on a trek into the mountains to see the very rare Pitcher Plant, really showed me how life is lived on the island.  

So I had a great time despite the crash landing. I stayed at Yellow Petals hotel for £50 x 3 nights and had a lovely 2 bedroom apartment with open plan kitchen/living room, lovely shower, with washing machine, self catering and a welcome pack in the fridge of basic items. I didn't have much of an appetite and so ate rice with butter for supper.  The owner of the guest house was incredibly warm and friendly. Having heard of my unfortunate experience introduced me to her sister who took me to the Ministers and then invited me to stay in her home. 

Sydna who owns Yellow Petals drove me to Victoria, "The smallest capital in Africa", the next morning. I meandered around the market and enjoyed window shopping in the warm sunny weather. She then dropped me off at Fairyland and I soaked up the sun and floated in the water while watching 3 French men try to open a coconut they had found. One which later they would give up on but I would eat thanks to a very able Finnish man who lives in Sweden with his Seychelles wife. He also served me delicious rose Prosecco :-)


Photos Seychelles: https://www.flickr.com/photos/61110100@N03/albums/72157667722582063

 (copy and paste the whole link :-) <3 )


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​If I have a belief, it is in something I call The Pleasure Principle: Life is long so one might as well do as much as possible to enjoy it. Upgrade your experience, especially if, as some scientists would have you believe, that we are living in a version of the Matrix. 

So, after the end of one chapter in my life, I decided to treat myself and booked a holiday for myself off the coast of Africa, a barely visible dot on the map of the world, so small that the name, Seychelles is bigger than the actual collection of islands that make it up, Mahe being the main island with the smallest capital in Africa, Victoria. 

The photo above is at Fairyland, just east of Anse la Mouche. It is the typical dream of delight, exactly what one would expect though my arrival in the Seychelles was a little more turbulent than the idyllic stereotype that is before your eyes. I am well travelled individual, have hopped around all sorts of corners of the world by myself, starting at the tender age, oh so Cleopatra in her youth, so green and tender, yet wise and open to adventure. My first destination as a single traveller was India, then Nepal, Kashmir, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand and then a year later with my then boyfriend to Australia, Vietnam, Thailand and Nepal again then down to live in Goa, in the village of Benaulim for 6 months by the sea :-) So, you will no doubt understand my surprise when after a long flight from London,  felt my leather jacket melt under the sudden warmth and humidity, had just walked down the steps of the plane and into the arrivals terminal when I was approached by a woman wearing a uniform and asking me,

"Are you travelling alone?"

"Yes," I answered instantly perplexed by the question, but not thinking it would be an issue. But what did my innocent mind know. I just wanted to dash to the toilet and relieve myself of the white wine that had rapidly worked its way through my tired body. 

I had arrived on a cloudy afternoon in paradise, the Heaven on Earth that Bob Marley sang about all of those years ago, and was about to find out that Heaven has a very expensive entry fee. Call it bad administration or consider it St Peter deciding that I had not been good enough after all but most of all call it Level 1 on the journey to passing through the airport. One might even in computer game terms call it an inspiration for a new scene, one where the player has to remain calm while their bags are searched and they are asked the most inane questions

"Why do you only have a small carry on suitcase if you are planning on staying for a month?" asked the Immigration Supervisor. 

"How much money do you have on you?"

"Why do you only have £10 if you are planning on staying for a month?"

"You haven't paid for your hotel boot only made a reservation on booking.com, we cannot accept that"

"Why haven't you booked your hotel for the duration of your stay? Why have you only booked it for two nights?"

"You do not have enough funds for your stay, you need $150 a day including £75 a day for your hotel" 

"You can either stay for 5 days or go home right away but you cannot stay for 1 month, you do not have enough funds! You now need to pay £78 to re-book your return flight".

I kept calm until the point at which I took a toilet break before going to the bank to withdraw the funds for the return ticket, a ticket which according to the booking I made via Skyscanner, was unchangeable and non refundable or returnable yet like Harry Potter magic, the airline showed up in no time at all, without a receipt mind, and took my £78. At the moment that I had a few moments of privacy to myself, the floodgates opened, the damn burst and thoughts of how I had wasted £612 for a 5 day holiday that I could have taken in Portugal or Barcelona for far less didn't help matters and the female immigration officer's calls for me to

"Calm down, stop crying you are going into the public area"

fell upon deaf ears and a protesting voice returned with "Jai mon fu" said correctly spelt phonetically but in English because I was too upset, disappointed and exhausted to remember that I could speak French let alone say anything remotely intellectual.



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Oh how wonderfully lucky I am to live in zone 1 of one of the most popular cities in the world. One wouldn't think it sometimes from my quiet studio flat with a garden facing the River Thames. It is so quiet that I do forget that I live in central London until I step out onto the street and see other people. Come sunshine or of course the infamous British rainy weather, it is as though I have landed in heaven. I tender my garden and watch the sky with it's changing colours and cloud patterns, to its dark hues with stars and am forever fascinated by the sunsets that often call me to the window to make sure that I don't miss the opportunity to take pleasure in its unfolding beauty.

When I do step out, well, it is rare if I have a quiet journey in my own bubble because surprisingly, more people talk in London than one would expect. The reputation of tube journeys filled with passengers staring at the adverts or their mobile phones, blocking out sounds with their headphones is very much true. Anything to avoid eye contact. But on buses, one has the opportunity to interact, especially while waiting for the very un-danish and delayed buses, which for some reason seem to be regularly on some wildly long magical mystery tour of a diversion.

So as a way of showing gratitude for being in this amazing city, I thought that I would share some of my experiences and photos with you. Don't worry if I drift off on some random thread in a totally different direction and start talking about music, politics, philosophy, fashion or film because those topics tickle my fancy too. So hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen and enjoy this journey.

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