The Last Word From A Lost World!

A Final Blog! We leave Hanoi, the frenetic Vietnamese capital, with heavy hearts and even weightier rucksacks due to the ridiculous oriental trinketry I have unwisely failed to resist! The shopping is amazing here, each twisting lane presenting a cornucopia of merchandise to lighten one’s purse and darken one’s load. I envisage some lively conversations between Mr Kennedy and I as we hit the open road with a few extra bronze Buddhas as travelling companions. Not to mention the deceptively heavy, lacquered ‘Tintin In Vietnam’ picture, which I’ve managed to […]

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The Solo Adventures Of A Forty-Something Teenage Detective!

Dong Hoi I set out from my ‘bijoux’ guest house in the small, provincial, untouristic town of Dong Hoi and headed for the incongruously psychedelic bridge which crossed the Nhat Li river. There was not a lot to see here, the town once being the main staging post for the Viet Cong during the war, it’s environs had been completely razed to the ground. The main sights being the bombed out church, preserved as yet another reminder of yet another U.S. war crime, and the bridge, an excellent example of […]

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A Bright Light In A Grey Hue.

I arrived in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, in the dark, after an arduous bus journey which inevitably took much longer than the advertised four hours! I found a small, traveller’s cafe, where the food was hot even if the local climate was not. It was cold, wet and miserable. I huddled beneath my two duvets, wearing three t-shirts, and wondered if I had made the right decision to leave Andrew in the relative comfort of Hoi An. In the morning, on entering the rooftop, Soviet style breakfast […]

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Two Go To Devil’s Island!

Con Son, also known as Indochina’s Devil’s Island, is the main isle of the remote archipelago of Con Dao, lurking quietly,  far out in the turquoise South China Sea, just off the coast of southern Vietnam. Today, it is mainly visited by northern Vietnamese war veterans, who had once been incarcerated here during the infamous American campaign last century. They come to pay respects to their fallen colleagues and, I imagine, in an attempt to reconcile themselves with the brutality they were forced to endure here. It was The French […]

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I Miss Saigon.

Her crown may be glitzier, her gown may have more sparkle, yet her face is almost unrecognizable. Lifted, filled and bulldozed to make up an entirely different visage to the one I met here, almost twenty years ago. Lucky enough to be sailing and performing on The Q.E.2., we docked here, on the Saigon River,  on two magnificent occasions.  I recall such a colourful connurbation, full of oriental mystery, not to mention some mysterious orientals. My great friend, Becky and I, had a thrilling time, being pedalled around the ancient, incensed streets, by Ting, our trusty rickshaw pedlar. At once engulfed in narrow, smoky, lanes of boiling, mammoth pots containing unthinkable cuisine. Animals pulling carts of exotic produce, and children and chickens and dogs, and what seemed like a million other vibrant and virulent actors all adding to the richly foreign pantomime.  We fell in love, there and then, with Miss Saigon. It was the Saigon I had imagined a few years before, when I saw Andrew at his brilliant best, starring in the show of the same name, at Drury Lane. Exhilarating, unnerving, dissarming.  And like Mr Kennedy, utterly enchanting. And now, I have returned. I have searched in vain for this former enchantress.  The bygone Saigon.  But she just doesn’t want to show her hauntingly, nuanced face. Sometimes, all cosmetic surgery seems to do,  is mask the true beauty, however uncompromising, that was once plain for all to see. […]

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I Miss Saigon.

  Her crown maybe glitzier, her gown may have more sparkle. Yet her face is almost unrecognizable. Lifted, filled and bulldozed to make up an entirely different visage to the one I met here, almost twenty years ago. Lucky enough to be sailing and performing on The Q.E.2., we docked here, on the Saigon River,  on two magnificent occasions.  I recall such a colourful connurbation, full of oriental mystery, not to mention some mysterious orientals. My great friend, Becky and I, had a thrilling time, being pedalled around the ancient, incensed […]

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Fasten Your Seatbelts – It’s Gonna Be A Bumpy Few Months!

Well, we have done it! ‘The Lola Boys’  have booked to go roaming once again. The latest adventure we are to embark upon will begin with us flying to Bangkok and then  making our way eastwards.  We shall journey overland through some of the less salubrious parts of eastern Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, on route to an unpronounceable, unfashionable, and from what I hear, quite unfriendly city, deep in Southern China. To celebrate our newly, almost-planned itinerary and to welcome our new  followers on Twitter and the like – I am re-blogging a couple of […]

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