Asia, Countries, Deals

Holy Cow India’s back

My Dear Old Dad loved to tell the story of the driver getting out of his bus to dump on the street… Holy Cow India’s back.

When a moo-moo had decided to stop in the busy thoroughfare, presumably for its own business.

And the Holy Lower could not be disturbed and all the traffic had to drive around it.

So India is famously chaotic but it’s that hustle and bustle and colour and life which marks it out as one of the great bucket list trips.

Wu, Wu

Wendy crew: Our old friends Wendy Wu

And our friends at Wendy Wu have marked the occasion of India’s travel regulations having been lifted for the fully vaccinated.

They have just released their new India & Central Asia brochure.

And yes, it’s true… we don’t go to India for the cows, we get plenty of them at home.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

We’ve got it licked: The tigers

Our pal Wendy offers us Taj, Temples & Tigers, ten days from £2,040pp which is a saving of £400pp.

And they precis their longer spiel by saying:

‘You will have the chance to experience different sides of Indian culture; from the contrasts of Old and New Delhi to the historic city of Agra.

‘You’ll be trying to spot the tigers in Ranthambore and exploring the beautiful palaces and architecture of Jaipur.’

What’s that you say? Tigers? 

Well, seeing a big cat in its natural environs is one of the great Travel experiences.

Just don’t get too close which we guarded against with our Ranger in South Africa when we tracked a cheetah with her new cub.

Wendy’s treats

Love conquers all: At the Taj Mahal

Yes, you’ll see the old faves of Delhi and the Taj Mahal. 

But Wendy goes further than that and you can look forward to…

You can learn astronomy the ancient way too at Jaipur’s fascinating Jantar Mantar.

It’s an 18th-century observatory full of old instruments used to measure the distance and positions of celestial objects.

I can even offer some expertise if you need someone to tag along, having learned where the stars and Uranus (behave) are on my Walk through the Ages in Tenerife.

Rickshaw is a sure thing

Spice it up: Old Delhi spice market

And if you’ve ever wanted to take a rickshaw ride then here’s one through Asia’s largest spice market in Old Delhi.

And you’ll absorb the heady scents and colourful sights of some of the world’s most exotic powders, leaves, roots and seeds.

It’s easier too to get around that moo-moo on a ricksack.

And for the driver to get off to have a No.2.

Yes, Holy Cow India’s back.






Asia, Countries, Culture

Yoga-dabba-do – International Yoga Day

I’ve come out of my Downward Dog to fulfil my promise to bring you my Part II of Yoga around the World – its homeland, Asia.

The theme of this year’s Yoga Day is Yoga at home and it helps, of course, when your home is an embassy.

And word reaches us that they’re all Zen-ed out from China to Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Yogi are urging us to use it to cope with the stress of COVID-19.

And who are we to disagree.

Addressing an event to mark the International Day of Yoga in India Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said:

‘Yoga is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving health and its full potential must be harnessed.

And here’s where we want to go when we can get the mat back out out there.

Tahiti treatie

Practise under the palm trees in Tahiti: Oh, go on then. It’s a pretty secluded island so there won’t be anybody there who knows you.

Yogis can enjoy a coconut after you’ve gone through your stretches straight from the tree.

And perhaps a dip then in the South Pacific.

Try the Ohana Yoga School Tahiti who offer both classes and full courses. And visit

Buddha, can you lend me a mat?

Practise yoga in a Buddhist temple: If you want something a little bit different from traditional yoga to hot yoga then this one is made in Japan.

It’s shin-shin-toitsu-do.

Which I know you know is the way of mind and body unification.

This yoga dates back to the 20s and is still pretty much confined to Japan.

Go the whole hog and take a retreat in a Buddhist temple.

Where you can also dabble in meditation sessions and other Japanese ceremonies.

Many are offered with English-language instruction.

See and

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

Holiday Snaps – booze brothers

The news that they will pour away 70m pints of spoiled beer down the drain would merely have been an invitation to The Sesh.

Our drinking fraternity at Aberdeen University have scattered to the four corners of the world – funny when many couldn’t be raised from their scratchers.

My Best Man Andy is in Singapore, Jevan is back home in the West Indies, My kiss with Rihanna, Let’s rumba in Barbados and Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago/.

While some of my English pals, Wee Jon and Micky, and Gaelic emigrees Alan and Anna went to the bright lights of London and The London life.


And those flatmates that were foisted on us such as Grumpy Vangelis (no, seriously) My Greek odyssey and the cheery Ibohal Singh (song) are doubtless back where they belong.

It’ll be 40 years in a couple of years since we first bowled up in Aberdeen so I feel a reunion in the making.

And we’ll need more than 70m beers for that… and Aberdeen – a light in the north.



Aberdeen University’s other great gift to the world, after me, is of course Blair Bowman.

Blair Whoman? Yes, Blair Bowman, who only gave us World Whisky Day.

Surprisingly this celebration of uisce beatha has only been running since 2012.

The organisers say that 250,000 people participated in registered events in 2014.

I don’t know the figures for the last few years – I guess they’d overdone the golden liquid!


To the pantheon of greats who graduated from Aberdeen Uni, Alex Kapranos, Alistair Darling and Nicky Campbell add Jevan Jutagir.

A proud half-Scots, half-West Indian who is one-third of the Barbados Whisky Mafia.

And who if you’ve got an in will crack out the good stuff before Foreday Morning at Crop Over in Barbados, My kiss with Rihanna and Turtle recall.

Free Ireland

Kudos to Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar whose example some across on this side of the Irish Sea would do well to emulate.

You don’t have to be a doctor like Leo to have known that testing and tracing is key but it doesn’t do any harm.

Leo has been outlining how the nation will come out of lockdown.

Which means that the Office of Public Works has opened up certain outdoor sites within social distancing rules.

And that oft-forgotten section of our society, the Cocooners, are being prioritised;

10am to 1pm

Emo Court, Co. Laois



10am to 1pm

Fota Arboretum, Co. Cork

Pleasure Garden & Walled Garden

10am to 1pm

Irish National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, Dublin

Rose Garden.

10am to 1pm

Iveagh Gardens, Dublin

Full Garden


10am to 1pm

Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny

Rose Garden

10am to 1pm

Nenagh Castle, Co. Tipperary


10am to 1pm

Portumna Castle, Co. Galway

Walled Garden.


10am to 1pm

Phoenix Park, Dublin

Visitor Centre Walled Garden

10am to 1pm

Roscrea Heritage, Co. Tipperary

Grounds & Walled garden

And Ryanair are flying high

Few things say summer quite like a fleet of blue and yellow Ryanair planes taking to the skies.

Which is why the news coming out from Michael O’Leary Towers that July 1 is the start-up date for us to get flying again.

With 1,000 flights across Europe from €23.99. And new health measures.

Faro, the gateway to the Algarve comes in at that starting price… and

London The London life and Amsterdam Pictures of Amsterdam comes in at the same price.

For the full range visit