Confession time. For the past month my body has basically been a walking wreck. Actually, it hasn’t really even been capable of walking me anywhere.
There I was having the time of my life flitting about Central and Eastern Europe, living it up before moving to Spain for a year, when something went dreadfully wrong. Overnight I was robbed of my freedom and confined to bed as I battled the unrelenting agony of a serious back injury.
It seemed so unfair. I mean sure, I hadn’t been eating too well. I hadn’t been resting that much. I’d been shunning water in favour of lunchtime wines. But I’m still young! Surely my body could cope with a few months of mild abuse. Apparently not.Read More
I just love finding old dresses in second-hand stores and giving them a new lease on life with a little trimming and sewing. Most of my makeovers involve the barest of changes, maybe just a hemline lift or sleeve removal that can be completed in a matter of minutes. But recently I ventured into a more daring attempt with this 1980s spotty number found for $30 at Brisbane’s wonderful Endeavour Foundation thrift shop. Of course, I wanted to share it with you. And now seems like the perfect time as unfortunately I’m still down and out with a severe back injury. So, a brief hiatus from my couch surfing tales to show you one of my favourite upcycling attempts.Read More
The first kiss came out of nowhere, such a startling escalation of what mere seconds ago had been a completely innocent situation that I couldn’t dodge quickly enough and so felt wide lips land squarely on my left eye. Lesson learned: ask to take a picture of your Romanian cab driver and the request may just be horribly misconstrued.
The second kiss, a few days later, was a little more furtive; a new acquaintance leaning over for an awkward hug and taking the opportunity to peck the back of my neck. Two surprise smooches in and I began to suspect I was on something of a Romanian rollercoaster. Little did I know just how rough the ride was about to get.Read More
A young woman was abducted and slain here just a few months ago, torn from the prime of her life as she walked home alone in the wee hours of the morning. Then came another attack, another young woman beaten and raped but this time mercifully allowed to escape with her life, the daughter of a local dignitary left bleeding and bruised.
That such cruelty could be acted out in such a peacefully picturesque place as Pécs, in southwest Hungary, seemed almost inconceivable. Locals were shocked, disturbed. And so, one day last week as I rounded a corner and stepped into Pécs’ main shopping street, I happened upon a peaceful protest, perhaps more a show of solidarity, dozens walking quietly en masse bearing sombre banners urging the city’s population to take care of each other.Read More
It’s a small city with a smaller centre, the once-sizeable historical old quarter torn down in great swathes by utilitarian Communists and replaced by vast, featureless cubes. So, after a few days ambling the curiously contrasting streets of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, I felt I had seen most everything and was ready to move on. Then I wandered into a temporary bookstore.Read More