At Home With Mum In Scotland In The Springtime

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The back of the house, with conservatory and courtyard suntrap.

I’m feeling so lucky and so very grateful to have been able to come over to see my Mum in Scotland this past week.

Mum’s hip replacement seems to have gone well and she is getting about on crutches OK.  I’m here to report that looking after one not very mobile older lady is a piece of cake compared to wrangling the household in Sydney.

Would you care to join me on a tour of my Mum’s lovely house in the countryside of Scotland, just 12 miles outside Edinburgh?

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Escape and Explore – Sydney, Bali, Botswana and A Blog

Club Med Bali pool-1 Club Med Bali Upgrades

Have you been to Club Med Bali too? My twins and I had a lovely break there last year, and now I’m foaming at the mouth to get back to check out the resort’s latest luxurious improvements.

The adults-only Zen pool has been completed and these photos of it are courtesy of Club Med Bali. I can just picture myself spread out on one of the day beds enjoying the sea views.

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Escape + Explore: Australia’s Best Family Travel Blogs

Going Anyway copy

The Going Anyway family on the Great Wall of China.

This Friday’s holiday and travel inspiration comes courtesy of some excellent Aussie family travel bloggers. Check out my list below and you will find literally hundreds of ideas, with very practical information for families.

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Escape + Explore – Family Travel Ideas in South Australia and Beyond

WordsToGo 4

Well I’m just back from an all-too-swift visit to Adelaide for the Tasting Australia festival of South Australian food. And I’m desperate to get back to South Australia, not just for the grub but to experience some of the fantastic animal encounters I heard about.

I was one of the lucky bloggers invited to attend ‘Words To Go,’ a day long conference for food and travel bloggers. We heard such interesting talks from many people, including Greg Snell, the young Canadian who is currently holding one of The Best Jobs In The World, that of Wildlife Caretaker for South Australia.

WordsToGo Greg

Greg showed us some of his videos and many photos and I quizzed him later about the trip I’d most love to do with my kids.

Snorkelling With Sea Lions off South Australia

Greg said that swimming with sea lions was the most interactive animal experience he’d had in his life. I’m keen to jump into the water and come nose to nose with these beautiful sea mammals. Greg recommends  Adventure Bay Charters in Port Lincoln and Baird Bat Eco Experience.

Here’s a photo of Greg from his blog Greg Goes Global. Pop over and check out his photos and videos, you’ll love them

Greg sea lions
And where are these places? No idea! Here’s a Google map of Port Lincoln. Doesn’t look too far from Adelaide at all. Can’t stop… off to pack up my snorkel, kids, flippersand wetsuit.

Responsible Tourism 2

I’ve been reading a bit more about Responsible Tourism. Can I introduce you to a couple of organisations:

The World Tourism Organisation -   the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

 The Ethics and Social Responsibility Programme (ESRP) of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) –  is tasked with the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

I read a blog post in the marvellous Going Anyway blog about hill tribes in Thailand, and it sounded like a good example of responsible tourism. Read it here. 

The Going Anyway family organised their stay with a company called Natural Focus, so I had a look at their website and liked what I read:

‘We believe that Community Based Tourism provides an opportunity to exchange knowledge and understanding between visitors and the local community, and promotes local cultures and the natural environment.’ 

So much to learn, about responsible tourism and about this big, wide and beautiful world we have the privilege to inhabit.

I’ll leave you today with a quote that I read this week and just had to immediately write down. A sailing analogy always goes down very well with me. I spent my childhood and young adulthood mucking around in sailing boats.

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Sail away smaller

Do you have constant itchy feet like me?

Hope you have a happy weekend.

Safe travels.


Escape + Explore – Aussie Family Holiday Friday


Kayaking in Southern Queensland Country – so much to explore.

Happy Anzac Day to all the Aussies and Kiwis, hope that you are having a restful day today, and thinking, as we are, of our servicemen, living and passed away. Great gratitude from this household.

Ah, where shall we wander to?  Where do you fancy?

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Escape + Explore – Aussie Family Holiday Friday

Maria 2 Oh who doesn’t adore a bit of escapism?

I may spend a lot of time doing the dishes, but that never stops me dreaming of… Sydney, Australia, Asia, the wide wide world!

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Aussie Family Holiday Friday – News, Ideas and Inspiration For Your Family Holiday


Hello, it’s Friday, thank goodness and here’s my weekly round-up of news, tips and hot travel topics for this week.

My first question is, do you go with the family to foodie festivals? Would that work with your family? Read on for news of two food festivals that are coming up.

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How To Have A Real Scottish Holiday – A Guide For The Misguided

Real Scottish

On Tuesday Beth from Baby Mac innocently asked whether any readers had been to Scotland and where they’d recommend she and the family visit when they go in June this year.

Cue a deluge of excited comments suggesting lovingly remembered places and times.  We all love a chance to share about places in our heart, don’t we?

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Aussie Family Holiday Friday – Travel News, Ideas and Inspiration for Aussie Families

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Sunrise over Point Perpendicular at Jervis Bay last weekend – click to see photo at full size.

Happy Friday to you!

Here’s my weekly round-up of news, ideas and inspiration for Australian families planning a holiday.

Or a visit, or a school holiday activity because Easter is coming very fast. Can you feel it?

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What I Did On My 50th Birthday – Bay Of Fires Lodge Walk Day 3 Kayak and Beach Walk

Bay of Fires-lodge walk kayak How lucky was I?

Not only did I get to turn 50… some of my dearest friends would have loved to have had that chance…. but my birthday was spent at one of the most beautiful places in the world: Tasmania’s Bay of Fires.

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Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai, Our Family Review – The Rooms, Suites + Villas

untitled-002-blog Good morning! You’d better put the kettle on and make a cup of tea as this post is a bit of a long one.

I went a bit mad with my new Lumix GM1 mirrorless camera when we stayed at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and you’re about to get a VERY good idea about what a stay there is like. Stand by!

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The Banyan Tree, Phuket – Family Holiday Review

With Tiger

My eldest lounging with a tiger at Tiger World, Phuket

School holidays are over… so it’s clearly time to think about booking another family holiday… our inspiration for you today comes from Simone Pietschner. 

I nearly passed out when Simone sent me the photos to go along with her Phuket family holiday review.  Both the tiger and Simone’s son look very relaxed, but it sure gave me a shock.

And a sudden urge to get over there with the kids and have a cuddle ourselves.

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Guest Posting Over At Out And About With Kids


Puffins are far and away our favourite Scottish Seabirds.

The Scottish Seabird Centre is a really cool family tourist destination, an easy day trip from Edinburgh.

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Beautiful Beaches of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides – A Guest Post From My Sister Morag

I’m thrilled today to have a post sent over from Scotland by my younger sister, Morag.

Mo, her husband and wee boys and my mum went to North Uist for their summer holidays in late July this year.

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Five Fab Family Holidays – That We’re Not Going On!

Oh it never hurts to have a dream, does it?

To check out a few pretty pictures.

We’ve had some great overseas holiday in the past few years, great overall that is.

There’s always been some dramas and explosions, some tantrums and traumas along the way.

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Nine Days In Nigeria With Rosie

Settle in, dear readers, for some armchair travelling.

Have you been to Nigeria?

Me neither, but luckily my friend Rosie, has sent her news from a recent trip.

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Can’t Stop, Got A Plane To Catch

Just dashing off to the airport, can’t stop.

We’re off to Fiji for a week of sunshine and snorkelling,we hope and pray! Will selflessly report on hotel, activities etc etc

Five years ago we HAD A BAD HOLIDAY in Fiji.  It was terrible! 

But that was then and this is now… fingers crossed this one will be good.


Have you had a terrible holiday in a fabulous location?

Nine Days In Uganda With Rosie

My old uni pal Rosie has travelled all over this little planet of ours, she’s always been a zoologist on a mission.

Rosie’s job is director of the Tropical Biology Association.

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Kakadu with Kids – Photos for Wordless Wednesday

My son Dexbox11 and I were so lucky to be able to spend a couple of nights in Kakadu National Park recently.  He was a great age for this trip, asking lots of questions and learning a lot.  Here are some photos from the trip.

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Off To Darwin for an Autism Info Day

Just a quick hello and goodbye from me today.  I am flying up to Darwin with a group from the charity Autism Awareness to speak at tomorrow’s Autism Info Day.

Aussie Helpers Children’s Fund has been sponsoring Autism Info Days in regional centres.  People really appreciate a day of talking and sharing, and the Autism Awareness team always focuses on really practical support.

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