Countries, Culture

Vive La Republic of Barbados

I must have been one of the very few kids in Glasgow to be lullabied to sleep with old Republican songs… and because of that and my own journey I’m an avowed internationalist republican which is why today I say Vive La Republic of Barbados.

Now you’ve heard me wax lyrical already many times about the magical island of Barbados and my Kiss With Rihanna  and Rumba  there.

And Bim, as it is affectionately known (hence me being known on the island as Bim Jim) is the talk of the Scottish and British Travel scene with the Bridgetown route rolling out from Edinburgh next month.

Now to celebrate Barbados becoming the latest country to throw off the shackles of monarchy and go out on their own, here’s to all those nations who have taken their destiny in their own hands.

And decided to be governed by one of their own.

Now a true republic, just like a true democracy or a true anything these days in double speak, is a moveable object.

But you’ve got to start somewhere which is why we’re going with 160 (now Barbados have signed up).

All republics lead from Rome

And if you know you’re Classic History, and my Latin is better than my Ancient Greek then you’ll know that republic derives from the two Latin words res and publica (public thing).

So that’s one of the famous things that ‘the Romans did for us’ although, of course, if you’re British then it’s an experiment from which we’ve run far away.

Apart, of course, from a brief period from 1649-1660 when these islands of Britain and Ireland entered into a Commonwealth which was really a theocracy.

But while Westminster claims to be the mother of all parliaments (doubtful, and Europe’s oldest in Iceland might have something to say about that).

It’s Rome which is the mothership of all republics, and we have the good fortune that the Forum, the hub of Roman public life is still there.

No fools those Ancient Romans though with their togas as I found out when I almost fainted in the Eternal City heat in my modern clothes.

An Italian fixture

Venice: And let’s catch a gondola back to Padova

Now where Rome led the rest of Italy followed.

And chief among them was the 1100-year Venetian Republic which still styles itself thus and is hewn into every gondola and the very bricks of the Campanile.

Florence, Siena, Amalfi, Pisa and Genoa all saw what the Doges were doing and how fetching their hats were and followed suit.

But the republicaniest of all the republics and the longest-standing is San Marino.

And so what they lack in football skills (0-10 v England) they more than make up for in their political skills.

La Republique, mais oui

Je suis L’Empereur: Napoleon

Ah, yes, the French. like so much, would have us believe that they are the shining light of Republics.

So much so that they have had five of them ever since Corsican Napoleon got le ball rolling.

Notre ami soon decided though that L’empereur sounded so much better…

And he did that with one arm behind his back (or affectedly tucked in his jacket then).

It must be a poncey royal thing because the UK’s Prince Charles who very graciously decided to attend the signing-over papers to the Bajans (and bag himself some sun at the time) does pretty much the same thing.

And on a tangent we’ll not say anything about the carbon footprint, Prince Save The World.

None of us are perfect, of course, it’s just the rest of us don’t bleat on about it and preach to the rest of us who do hop on planes.

Middle Ages and Middle Europe

žCan I be trusted on a bike? In Amsterdam

The breeding ground for republics in the Middle Ages was what we now know as Germany.

And a quick count chronicles 62 in the northern European powerhouse.

All of which would be a good exercise and excuse to traverse modern-day Germany with a Michael Portillo type notebook.

I’d have to start in my favourite German city Hamburg first of course.

There are some who have gone the opposite way to the Bajans and jumped from republic to monarchy like the Dutch.

Others who have had a brief dalliance with republicanism, Catalonia, and still have hopes of a return to those halcyon days.

Battle hymn of the Republic

Southern men: At the statue of Stonewall Jackson at Manassas

Yes, their eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

And while the North eulogised its Republic, the South too held its close to its bosom, albeit for just five years.

That said the Confederate States of America still exist in the hearts and minds of many in the Deep South.

As I found at the Manassas memorial to Stonewall Jackson in Virginia.

And you don’t need me to tell you that that was the first battle of the US Civil War.

Post-colonial

Cool for cats… in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

There were, of course, a rash of republics in the post-colonial world which is where Barbados join us now.

While in Africa and Asia the cry went up for the ‘public thing’ which alas all too quickly became the ‘dictator thing.’

And because of these precedents it ratchets up our hope that the South African Rainbow Nation experiment proves successful despite its challenges.

And the USSR and its satellites

The voice of Dresden: With Ingrid in Dresden

Dogmatic ideologists, of course, think nothing of hijacking the word republic for something that looks nothing like it.

And hovering up previously self-governing nations, which is where Russia came in and formed the bloated Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic.

Unless I find me a time machine a trip back to those days will inevitably elude me, although that’s where museums and heritage come in.

And you can still immerse yourself into the spirit of those days on any trip out there.

Which is exactly what you get when you visit the old DDR.

Now we all know of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie but more of us should visit the mural to communism which stands as a reminder of Russian misrule and occupation in Dresden.

Irie, Barbados

It’s a republic, now: With Ruby in Barbados

And so good luck to the incumbent President of Barbados. Sandra Mason, incidentally also the last governor-general.

Vive La Republic of Barbados.

I’ll raise a glass of rum punch to you on the official date of handover tomorrow.

Which is a shared holiday, Barbados’s National Day, and Scotland’s too.

In Scotland, Barbados: Honest

And until my own native land becomes a republic (I’m not holding my breath) I’ll. mark yours, and America’s and France’s.

And the whole lot of you, 160 or so, who have taken the revolutionary step of deciding that you wanted to be ruled by someone of the people.

 

 

Asia, Australasia, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Mothers-in-Law Day

It’s a problem worthy of United Nations arbitration so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that we honour both today with their own day, the United Nations Day and Mothers-in-Law Day.

With those esteemed institutions being deemed worthy of their own official day.

Now I wouldn’t for one minute begrudge Angela her day off today as she IS heading into Halloween, obviously her busiest time of the year.

In truth, I’ve always tried to keep a couple of steps ahead of Mother-in-Law, or Sir as she insists I call her.

The outlaw Angie

Mother and daughter: Angela and My Scary One, Sarah

And so we’d find ourselves living away from Chez Angela.

So she has needed to be a visitor to our billets on our adventures around these islands.

In Aberdeen, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Co. Wicklow in Ireland.

Greening it up: In Ireland

And that has allowed us the opportunity to show off the charms of some of our favourite places on these islands.

An inveterate traveller herself, she decamped to Australia with the family in her 20s.

And embarked on a round-the-world boat trip back to England.

Taking in New Zealand, Tahiti and the Panama Canal… and a lot of Pacific and Atlantic Ocean and all its choppiness.

Globetrotting Ma-in-Law

A horse a horse: My queendom for a horse

But she has also benefited from old Casey Jones (that’s the Father-in-Law).

And his love of train travel to span France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and much else of Western Europe.

One unexplored world and one I know she has long hoped to visit is the New World, the USA.

And it is my hope that we can get her out there to New York with her daughter, my very own Scary One.

And I know that she has got her own broom!

Have a Great Day Angela on this United Nations Day and Mothers-in-Law Day.

 

Countries, Cruising, Deals, Europe, Ireland, UK

Irish Ferries across La Manche

You won’t be the first Irish to cross the sea from England to seek a fortune but will be the first on Irish Ferries across La Manche.

The Irish have a long-standing historic friendship with La France.

From the Flight of the Earls from Donegal to France.

To Napoleon sending his troops to help one of those ill-fated Irish rebellions.

The Wine Geese

Best seat in the house: Isle of Inishmore

And the Wine Geese, the Irish wine manufacturers who made their millions in France.

And the next time you’re cradling a glass of Hennessy then toast Corkonian Richard Hennessy who conquered the French and global market.

Irish men of letters too were drawn to France with James Joyce and Samuel Beckett domiciling there.

Men of letters

French style: On the Riviera

With Beckett’s signature play Waiting For Godot originally written in French as En Attendant Godot.

While WB Yeats spent many un jour in France most notably at his muse Maud Gonne’s chateau.

And spent his final days in the Hôtel Idéal Sejour in Roquebrune Cap Martin on the French Riviera.

Where we’re told his wife George AND his mistress Edith Shackleton Heald are said to have took turns at his bedside.

Ooh-la-la. It’s the French way.

And so when we learned that Irish Ferries would be sailing across the English Channel we hoped WB Yeats would be taking the journey again.

WB Yachts

Lyrical: The WB Yeats

WB Yeats being the pride of the Irish Ferries fleet, its most recent acquisition which they invited their passengers to name.

And which I’m still smarting about not winning my lifetime of free journeys with my suggestion WB Yachts.

Fear not though you will be sailing on the newly refurbished Isle of Inishmore.

Fares are from £69 one way for a car and up to nine passengers, with up to ten sailings daily.

Channeling my inner mariner

Shoo till you drop: On the Isle of Inishmore

As impressive a feat of engineering ingenuity as The Channel Tunnel is tunnels have their place.

And it’s romantic to consider that we are sailing too in the ripples of all these great Irishmen and others.

I’ll maybe leave out that the last time I sailed La Manche I couldn’t keep my baguette down.

But that was more down to overindulging on Belgian beer.

So here’s to Irish Ferries across La Manche.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Europe, Music

Song for Europe

Eurovision, the World Cup and the Olympics were the gateway to the world for all us Fiftysomethings.

So tonight’s renewed Eurovision Song Contest from Rotterdam is fertile ground for travel writers.

Where we can reference every country on the continent… and even further afield now to Israel and Australia.

Malta teaser

Making headway on my Segway in Gozo, Malta’s wee sister

Colours to the mast here… The Scary One and I (or me, I never know which is right) are right behind Malta.

It’s always been our island – we got engaged there.

It’s an island infused by the many peoples who have passed through… of course the wise ones stayed.

And their entry this year, Destiny’s Je ma casse is a funky upbeat dance tune with a statement of female empowerment.

The liberating sentiment in Je ma casse ‘I’m Outta Here’ should be popular with the judges.

Destiny is calling

Destiny child: Malta’s entry

Destiny’s ditty, both in terms of its lyrics and sound, feels like a nod to Aussie house duo Madison Avenue and their hit Don’t Call Me Baby.

For Destiny’s ‘So if I show some skin Doesn’t mean I’m giving in, Not your baby (je me casse) take Madison Avenue’s original…

‘You know I don’t belong to you, it’s time you knew I’m not your baby. I belong to me so don’t call me baby.’

Anyhoos, it’s not the only thing about Destiny that feels familiar.

For real Euroheads you might know her as a former Junior Eurovision winner while fans of Britain’s Got Talent may recognise her as a beaten semi-finalist.

While Ibiza is lauded as the party island of the Med and is certainly bopping Malta has my vote.

And that of all the ravers who go there annually for its sets and festivals.

Roman rock gods

I’ll be back: The Trevi Fountain in Rome

Its big neighbour to the north and which you can enjoy a day trip to, Italy, is joint-favourite to be the Song for Europe this year.

Rock and pyrotechnics… don’t worry this isn’t pastiche Lordi but flash Maneskin (no, us either).

If it’s goth rock energy you’re after this Roman four-piece and their anthem Zitti E Buono (Shut Up and Behave) should get your vote.

Voila, c’est La France

Bravo: On World Cup final day at the French Embassy in Dublin

The third co-favourites, France are of course European heavyweights. Voila!

No, that’s the name of Parisienne Barbara Pravi’s offering.

Naturellement as a chanteuse Barbara channels her inner Edith Piaf and .

And while it’s perfectly charming La Belle Babs lacks that va va voom we’re looking for as our Song for Europe.

As for the Oo K? Well, James Newman from Settle in Yorkshire, a village we know well and a county too with Casey Jones, the father-in-law, emanating from thar.

A poppy sound Embers with a strong hook, we’re not pinning our money on it though.

Have a good Eurovision…Je ma casse, I’m outta here!

America, Countries, Food, Food & Wine

Murty Gras in Orlando

I’ve a Gra for Mardi Gras… ask your Irish friends. Or a Murty Gras if you like.

Forget the soggy pancakes, you guys in the Americas and the Caribbean have got it right with your dancin’, drinkin’ and dinin’.

But if you can’t get to see how they do Mardi Gras around the world just now then why not let our Travel friends bring the world to you?

Murty Gras In Orlando

And who better at it than Universal Orlando?

Universal is serving up a real treat with its International Flavors of Carnaval from February 6 to March 28.

Eat around the world

When it will showcase dishes from New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Brazil, Spain and er Germany (who knew?)

Glasgow Bar with owner Karl in Tobago

Of course carnivals have long been choreographed to the minutest detail so you’ll not even notice social distancing.

There will be floats throughout the park and a Big Easy Bash.

Jambalaya mia my-oh

And from personal experience it is the done thing to start at breakfast time with Jambalaya, a Sazerac and a jazz brass band.

You want a taster of some of the other culinary delights.

Moe’s and Jimbo’s

  • Cajun cuisine from New Orleans, such as a Crawfish Boil, Jambalaya, Beignets and other Big Easy delights.
  • Classic Carnaval dishes from the islands, such as Pernil & Mofongo from Puerto Rico, a vegan Pholourie from Trinidad & Tobago and Jerk Chicken from the Bahamas.
  • Pork Schnitzel Sliders and Bavarian Pretzels from Germany, iconic Paella Mixta and Leche Frita from Spain and Belgium Liege Waffles from Belgium.
  • Other flavours from Brazil (Moqueca de Camarao), Canada (Beef Short Rib Poutine), Colombia (Carnitas Arepas), Cuba (Cuban Sandwiches), Italy (Caneloni), France Poached Pear Creme Brulee Crepe) and more.

Can you give me some Spanish pulpo please?

There will also be themed menus on CityWalk and at the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels while there are rides aplenty.

And isn’t it just what you need? A bit of escapism, either Harry Potter’s Wizarding World or The Simpsons’ Springfield.

 

 

Asia, Europe, Flying, UK

Flyday Friday – Flight to the Promised Land

God’s people had spent years in exile, facing down plague and pestilence to get to the Promised Land.

Sound familiar.

But they got there… and so will we.

The Holy City

Pegasus www.flypgs.com are resuming flights from Wednesday (three times a week) from London Stansted to Tel Aviv via Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen.

From €244.99 one-way or on the Pegasus mobile app.

And like the Chosen People I have waited for this.

G force

From the moment I was invited by G Adventures https://www.gadventures.co.uk/on a Jordan http://uk.visitjordan.com/mobile/Home.aspx and Israel two-week cultural trip.

Lie back and think of the Middle East

And herein a lesson to us all. I altruistically opted for the alternative Jordan trip rather than leave my workmates to cover me for another week.

It did allow me to empathise with Moses when he reached Mount Nebo and looked over The Promised Land but was forbidden to enter because of a row with God.

I’ve been trying to get on God’s good side praying furiously in lockdown… I don’t want to give HIM any reason to block me.

Auld Greeky

Echoes of Athens in Edinburgh

And this one you’ll get if you’re from Edinburgh or are a fan of the Scottish capital.

The city was known as Auld Reeky on account of the smell which came up from the lochs, or lakes, across from the Old Town.

Which was dredged and made into today’s Princes Street Gardens with bridges put over the new land to the newly-built New Town.

Athens of the North

And the architecture inspired the name Athens of the North.

And why am I telling you this?

Athens of the South

Because Edinburgh Airport is resuming flights again to Greece https://athensattica.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/europe/my-greek-odyssey/.

And France https://www.google.ie/amp/s/about-france.com/mobi/index-amp.htm, and Italy http://www.italia.it/en/home.html.

And here’s how I see it… The Boat D’Azur and The Lourdes prayer. And https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/11/padova-city-of-frescoes/amp/, Small roads lead to Rome and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/.

What a difference a year makes

Service with a smile behind the mask

I’m reminded that this time last year I was being entertained by Etihad www.etihad.com on board one of their planes in Dublin Airport,

And although none of us knew then what was coming down the tracks I was struck by how adaptable and innovative Etihad were.

And it will serve them well as they set out their plans for flying to more than 50 destinations worldwide.

The way it was: Etihad last year

Now with flexible fares and the opportunity to change the date of your flight for free if you need to.

Well, well, well

I’ve already told you about their Wellness Ambassadors at every point of your journey. And a wellness kit.

All’s well then!

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

Africa, America, Asia, Australasia, Canada, Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Green for go to these countries

And I’m already swotting up on New Zealand www.newzealand.com Thailand https://www.tourismthailand.org/landing and Vietnam https://vietnam.travel/home.

The UK is putting in a traffic light system for countries as we ease out of lockdown.

Greece is the answer to our prayers

And my favourites are all green-lighted for return:

Austria https://www.austria.info/en Barbados https://www.visitbarbados.org Croatia www.croatia.ie Germany https://www.germany.travel/en-mobile/index.html and Greece http://www.visitgreece.gr and https://athensattica.com are all go.

Out of quarantine

Translated that means returning travellers need not quarantine for 14 days.

I’m just glad Home Secretary Priti Patel finally listened to me.

Just swimmingly In Tenerife

You won’t have to be an amber gamblers either if you’re visiting a country on this list:

Australia, Belgium, Canada and Denmark France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and Spain.

Or cycling in the French Pyrenees

The hit list

And there’s been more than a sprinkling of love from most of them… https://visitbelgium.com, https://visit-canada.ca, https://www.visitdenmark.com, https://about-france.com/visit-france.htm, http://www.italia.it/en/home.html, https://www.holland.com/global/tourism.htm, www.visitportugal.com, www.myswitzerland.com and https://www.spain.info/en_GB/ https://www.spain.info/en/informacion-practica/oficinas-turismo-embajadas/turismo-exterior/oficina_de_turismo_en_dublin.html.

Bad luck though if you’re stopped at red:

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, India, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and the US.

With the last two turning my clown into a frown.

Having set in train all my trips this year around these countries I’m having to make do with North Berwick beach these past couple of months.

Barbados hotpots

You see I don’t fancy much being one of half a million on Bournemouth beach.

Give me one of Barbados’s beaches, and I’m reminded now of a tub of chicken stew and bottles of Banks beers in Bathsheba, St Joseph East… Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

Of course the beach is a Bajan’s dining room where the locals put up bars like we do brollies.

And where the flying fish jump out of the sea and onto your plate.

Fish of the day

There are many different varieties of cutters including liver, cheese, ham, egg and more.

Clubbing together: Club Barbados on the Platinum Coast

Or even easier are their fish cakes… do like a local and order a ‘bread and two’. On a bun.

The Bajans will be only too happy to show you how to cook up a treat…

And if you like it hot then here’s how they scare up a Pepper Pot… https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCUwplS8uhaieGiL_50XhJCg.

Countries, Deals, Europe, Ireland, UK

Flyday Friday – Airlines to sue British Government

Quarantine used to be something reserved for pets…

And don’t you just feel like you’re being treated like a dog by our UK Government?

So it’s good to see Ryanair, British Airways www.britishairways.com and EasyJet https://www.easyjet.com/en taking it to bungling Boris Johnson and the preposterous Priti Patel and threatening legal action.

Change is good at Ryanair

We’ve all been there when life gets in the way.

Or you just muck up your booking by not reading the times properly. OK, that’s just me.

And yes I’ve heard the horror stories of how you can never get through to a real person in customer support.

And when you do you’re more likely to get blood out of a stone.

Just the ticket

But when it came to it and I needed to transfer my booking to Tenerife, and it was entirely my fault, Ryanair www.ryanair.com came good.

The low-fare airline has a summer sale on with 100,000 seats from €19.99.

But it does have a deadline of tonight, June 19.

And there are no flight change fees for July and August.

Barceloner!

This time last year I was moving through the throngs in Barcelona https://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/ and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/24/messi-around-on-the-water/amp/ on the hottest day of the year.

You’ll maybe not have La Rambla all to yourself but you will have room to run around.

AerClub together

We all love our club.

It might be Celtic, Chelsea, Barcelona, Ajax, Roma or the Boston Red Sox. Me? It’s AerClub.

And they’re offering the chance to win a €250 SuperValu voucher.

Or 10,000 Avios points which is enough for return flights to Paris, Amsterdam or London.

All cities I have taken you around… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/16/mother-of-god/, Pictures of Amsterdam, George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel. And The London life

Our friends at the national airline carrier www.aerlingus.com have even thrown in some free recipe ideas.

To get us in the mood, from French ratatouille to Italian pizza to Spanish tray-bake.

Bonjour, s’il vous plais attendez

Brevement, if you’re a true European, or live in one of those idiosyncratic countries like the Vatican State, Liechtenstein, Andorra and San Marino among others, you’re welcome in France.

If you’re say Spanish then you’ll have to wait until Sunday.

Then you’ll get back over the border without being put into a 14-day quarantine.

Bordering on excellence

The French-Spanish border is one of Europe’s oldest continuous dividers.

Although not as old as the Andorra frontier with France and Spain which dates from 1278.

Of course there being Basques on both sides of the north-west corner of Spain and south-west of France there’s only one thing for it.

Get out there and put one foot in each.

Visit www.france.fr, https://tourism.euskadi.eus/en/The Lourdes prayer and Water way to go in Biarritz.

If you’re British then you’ll have to make do with a good book or film or your holiday snaps.

Until this UK quarantine lunacy ends.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, Food, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Dans La Rue en France

La Scary One does all the driving from Chez Murty.

She grabs hold of the inside lever on the door as soon as I turn the ignition on.

So as not to hurt my feelings she says it’s because she taught me how to drive.

Red-hot

The owner of the French Fiat 501 firm in Mandelieu-La-Napoule was less diplomatic The Boat D’Azur.

Does this car look big in me?

And after I’d stalled his car in the car park for the third time, with its gearstick on the dashboard, he put his hand out for the keys.

There was a frosty drive around the French Riviera until we met up with our hosts again.

A pool all to yourself?

All of which circuitous route from A to B brings me round to Airelles’ three and seven-night road trips in the South of France https://www.france.fr/en.

Chateau living

Where you’ll stay at Airelles Gordes, La Bastide in the hilltop village of Gordes, Château d’Estoublon, a stone’s throw from Les Baux de Provence and Château de la Messardière, a stone’s throw from Les Baux de Provence and Chateau de La Messardiere in St Tropez.

Al Fresco dining

Airelles is naturally flagging up the culinary delights of France and its spas which Le Scary One would be all over.

A week to remember

But as thoughts during lockdown turned to dream trips she did put in a request for lavender fields which is just what Airelles is offering.

And drinking

The seven-night road trip breaks down into:

Two nights in a Superior Valley Room at La Bastide, Gordes,

And a further two nights in a Residence at Chateau d’Estoublon, Les Baux-de-Provence.

Room with a view

And three nights in a Superior Seaview Room at Chateau de la Messardiere, St Tropez.

From €7,000 (£6,250) based on two sharing. Full board (excluding drinks).

Un jardin to yourself too

Three-day trip

The three-night road trip includes:

Enjoy one night in a Superior Valley Room at Ka Bastide, Gordes.

One night in a Residence at Chateau d’Estoublon, Les Baux-de-Provence.

And another night in a Superior Seaview Room at Chateau de la Messardiere, St Tropez.

From €3,000 (£3,125). Full board (excluding drinks).

Food for thought

And they’ll throw in daily picnic baskets with lots of goodies in them. The trip is flexible around your needs and dates. Visit experience@airelles.com.

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

My Sporting Weekend – Golf and social distancing

Because I’d often be deep in rough when my playing partner was down the fairway – yes, golf is the best sport for social distancing.

And also because nothing makes you want to keep your distance more than having to listen to your boss on the course talk about his share options or his new car.

Ir’s not that I dislike golf, or professional or amateur golfers. In fact I used to cover golf.

And was happy to revisit the Open when it returned to Northern Ireland www.discovernorthernireland.com last summer for the first time in neatly 60 years.

And even joined the legendary Gary Player around Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, as he played a round of golf for Japanese television.

North Berwick

It’s just social golfers that I try to avoid like the, er COVID-19.

Not the social golfers like my Dear Old Mum and Dad, you understand, who used to play on my Dad’s half-day.

The Golf Coast

Not that my Dad seemed to enjoy it all that much… he’d mutter away to himself and shake his head all round.

Here in North Berwick on Scotland’s Golf Coast https://scotlandsgolfcoast.com and www.visitscotland.com. you can play on 21 of 30 coasts.

Another home of golf

There was little that my Dear Old Mum and Dad liked better than playing golf in my Mum’s homestead of Co. Donegal www.visitdonegal.com and www.tourism.com.

While my old stomping ground of Co. Wicklow www.visitwicklow.com is more than a match.

If you like your golf then join me as I swung my way through…

The Old Course in Mandelieu-La Napoule in the French Riviera www.france.fr and The Boat D’Azur.

And at the Paul McGinley Golf Academy in Quinta do Lago www.quintadolago.com and www.visitportugal.com.

Just off the Strip in Las Vegas www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic.

And in the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge of Istanbul Airport www.turkishairlines.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam

MEET YOU ON THE COURSE… AT A SAFE DISTANCE

#DontCancekPostpone.