Adventure, Africa, Countries, Culture, Food, Food & Wine

Los Lounges Story… and other word games

Don’t worry about me, I’m enjoying the Los Lounges life… in my boardies, pulling my surf stunt, with my Beach Boys music on, and a Strawberry Daiquiri waiting for me.

They are memories and pictures that I can pull up to transfer myself to a favourite place.

And just one of the distractions to being holed up indefinitely.

Surf’s up: In Surf City, Huntington Beach

Which has at times happened on my travels.

West is best… West Hollywood

Obviously when I’ve been struck down like the time when I got food poisoning on my LA break and and and had to stay in bed for a day.

Peerless: Kimpton La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood

With diversions to the toilet.

Still if you are forced to remain in barracks then I’d recommend the Kimpton La Peer Hotel In West Hollywood

While, yes. I missed that day’s itinerary which had involved a trip to the Warner Bros Studios and their sets

Budge up Sheldon

And the chance to sit in Sheldon’s spot but I did get to do just that when Hollywood My Weekend With Marilyn came to Anaheim for the American Travel Fair, IPW.

And to check out Disneyland’s newest residents Stair Wars.

Formidable Four: With Mark, Issy ad Rachel in South Africa

It won’t surprise you that today’s conversation has gone off on a tangent… a bit like Alan, one of our coach drivers snd guides in the Eastern Cape in South Africa…

Alan’s magical mystery tour

Of course with five wordsmiths in the coach we were never short of a word game or two to while away the time we spent lost in the South African national park…

And enjoyed the delights of South Africa What’s new pussycat?. And Day in the life of a township

Those arrows should point upwards: In Tenerife

While in Tenerife A walk through the ages… Tenerife we ratcheted it up after stumbling upon a Franco-themed pub in Afur.

Franco and the dictator grocery game

At the end of a particularly challenging climb on our trip….

And started a game of ‘supermarket dictator’ after I’d suggested somebody ask the owner of the Franco pun is he had any Tito crisps.

By hook or by crook: In Tenerife

The best of our offerings came from our friend and host Maria with… Lennoncello.

So let me know your suggestions for our parlour game of destinations around the house.

My Finnish pal Paula from our trip to Orlando Why I love The Donald and got us going on this one… with Los Lounges.

I weighed in with Ayia Crapper..

Now it’s over to you. Tell me your favourites.


Lighthouses – the ideal getaway

Lighthouses have always been a rich mine for storytellers.

I remember being captivated by the poem Flannan Isle by WW Gibson.

About three lighthouse keepers in the Outer Hebrides who disappeared without trace.

It was probably because I had to learn it by rote.

Rather than put me off though it merely infused my enthusiasm to stay in a lighthouse one day.

That day has still to come. But to get you in the mood you can always visit Hook Lighthouse in Co. Wexford.

Hook. the world’s oldest operational lighthouse, at 800 years, is taking part in the National Culture Night Celebrations on Friday.

Beacon: Hook, the world’s oldest intact operational lghthouse

There will be free 45-minute guided tours of the medieval tower, all 115 steps, at 5.30, 6pm, 6.30 and 7pm.

Complete with historical characters.

Each of the free places must be booked in advance on

And one I prepared earlier

My first morning in the Eastern Cape in South Africa was a surprise, spent doing a tour of the Port Elizabeth lighthouse where I scaled the winding steps.

And built up a thirst… they had laid out a lovely picnic and wine on the ground floor.

For a Cape Recife, Lighthouse and Grysbok Nature Reserve 4 x 4 Tour then it’s And for another tour of the Eastern Cape, read my thoughts

And one for the Donald and the Angela

Now unless you’d been stranded out on a lighthouse then you’d have known that the G7 met in Biarritz last weekend.

Which means the Donald, the Angela, the Boris and the Emmanuel.

They would, of course, have stopped to look out at the frame-setting lighthouse.

And I don’t know for sure that they didn’t visit.

The lighthouse which was built in 1834 has 248 steps.

And it is worth it when you get to the top as it provides spectacular views of Biarritz and the Basque hinterland.

You want more spectacular impressions on the French Basque Country… you’ll want to read my review of Lourdes and the Pyrenees

And visit the site

And one with spider history

Rathlin in Northern Ireland

I think my kids would be resilient enough for the lighthouse life.

They passed the first test when they bounced back quickly from a choppy passage across to Rathlin Island from the North coast of Antrim.

Did we tell them to lay off the fizzy drinks and the chocolate yes.

Did they listen. They’re kids, so of course not.

But by the time we got on the island and picked up our bicycles they were back on track.

You’ve got to keep it tidy. Picture Bernie Brown/Tourism Ireland

We cycled up to the West Light which shines 23 nautical miles out to sea from a quirky upside down lighthouse built into the cliff face.

And the spider bit. Well, Robert the Bruce is said to have taken inspiration from a spider weaving a web in a cave nearby.

Whether he said ‘if at first you don’t succeed then try, try, try again’ is questionable but it is writ into Scottish legend.

What is a matter of history though is that he pushed the English out of Scotland and reasserted Scottish independence.