Music

Kendal call me call me anytime call me

 

Kendal Calling won best small festival of 2010 and in 2011 it was still small and perfectly formed. I much prefer small festivals, so that everything you do is not a mission … as is the case at somewhere like Glasto. Although the weather was scorchio on Friday and Saturday, being in the Lake District it inevitably became chilly with nightfall but it only took us 10 minutes to walk from the main arena to the tents to pick up the evening’s accessories.  Besides the main stage, hosting diverse acts like Blondie, the Lancashire Hotpots and Chase & Status, there were tents catering for drum and base, urban jazz, comedy, house, kiddie activities, and my highlight – a northern soul dance class. Plus food from every corner of the globe had made it to Cumbria so at lunchtime I picked a spot in the sun overlooking the main stage, which I didn’t have to fight for, and enjoyed a plate of nasi goreng, or falafel, or a full Indian thali, which I barely had to queue for. 

Benvenido a Miami

 

Will Smith’s party tune, Welcome to Miami, became my personal anthem for our big American road trip.

I sang it silently in my head in the queue for the aeroplane, hummed it as we picked up the Mustang and sang out very loud as we drove along en a 2000 mile route towards Miami.  Will told us to: ‘Party in the city where the heat is on. All night on the beach ‘till the break of dawn’. And we took his advice!

N’awlins – that’s New Orleans to you and me

 

Apparently I am a disgrace, terribly unpatriotic and should be drowned in the Mississippi….. for leaving my country on the day of the biggest and most important wedding in history. A debatbale point of view but one which many Americans were quick to share with me because, on 29 April 2011, I was in New Orleans for a wedding much closer to my heart; that of my friend Erin (we met on the terrace of a bed bug-ridden filthy hole-of-a-hotel in Taipei and consoled ourselves, for having trusted Lonely Planet’s recommendation, by drinking enough tall boys until we didn’t mind that you had to put your hand right inside the grimy cistern in order to flush the toilet). And I think Rosy’s Jazz Hall is a much better location for a wedding than Westminster Abbey anyway.

London that won’t break the bank

 

Magnificent Nunhead Cemetery

London may be known for being one of the most expensive cities in the world but what a lot of people don’t know is that there are loads of totally free activities to fill your days and nights, leaving you with more pennies to save for your next trip. London’s museum and galleries have been free for some time now but there are lots of other cheap, cheerful and less-well known attractions just waiting to be discovered. So here it is: an insider’s top five tip-off to get you started (and when you’ve got through these, pick up one of the many free newspapers given out on the underground to give you even more ideas).

Great ideas for a bank holiday in London

 

The UK has so few national holidays that we treasure those 8 bank-holiday Mondays sprinkled throughout the year; and, with May having a greedy 2, you have to make sure you make the most of your long weekends – even if it typically rains, as we all know it will!

As the Spring bank holiday is only few days away here’s what we did on the last May Day bank holiday to give you a few ideas for what you can do with yours: