Adventure, Africa, America, Countries, Culture, Europe

The Old World – a salute to Seventysomethings

I’ve always hung on the words of the old because they’ve got more, not less, life than the rest of us, and that is even more so abroad.

Where the elderly retain more respect than we give our senior citizens in the Ooo K.

And so as the UK wrestles with what to do with its Seventysomethings – and locking them away at home is being proposed…

Here are some of the older people who this energetic 54-year-old struggles to keep up with.

The Tobago touche

Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth: Tobagonians have more uncles and aunties than the rest of us on account that everyone who is old is… it’s a form of respect.

Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth run the Blue Crab in Robinson, Scarborough where Ali wiggles her bum-bum and Uncle Kenneth (and me) make the chicken curry.

For more on Tobago see www.visittobagogov.tt and here’s my take on it Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago.

The Barbados walkers

Geraldine and Betsy; The American sitcom King of Queens has Carrie’s pal Holly walk Arthur… for us it at Club Barbados it was Angela around the Platinum Coast.

That’s me and Betsy from the Virginia Ski Club of America.

An education on Virginia and Barbados and Angela even went the extra mile when she burnt a soca CD for me. See www.visitbarbados.org and My kiss with Rihanna.

Swiss seniors

Brigitte the yodeller, Switzerland: It was a stroll in the park on our summer walking trip around Interlaken.

Where 72-year-young Brigitte put us through our paces, stopping only to let us skim our stones and for her to yodel (no, honestly!)

Visit https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/ and Swhisskey on the rocks.

Prague pensioners

Czech your stride, Prague: I’m just getting feeling back in my legs after My guide had walked the bones off me and my colleague Elise in Prague.

She also had a typically Americanised and underplayed way of describing those who had left a trail of destruction through her city… Stalin, for example, was a ‘bad guy’.

See www.czechtourism.com. And Hope springs eternal.

Over the hill in Austria

Ehrwald Presley: And they’re off… the walking groups from Ireland I trekked with in Austria, bombing ahead up the hills as I was just limbering up.

Before settling down at night for some oompah music with Austria’s answer to Elvis Presley.

See https://topflightforschools.ie.

Vegas neon

Liberace’s pal: Well, it wouldn’t be Vegas without the bling.

And Beverley didn’t disappoint, sporting the jewels given to her when she worked at Li’s gaffe while also telling her lots of tales of Neon City.

See www.lvcva.com and https://www.neonmuseum.org and Strip… the light fantastic.

Dresden’s fraulein

A walk through history, Dresden: Schoolchildren wanting to know about history, and Dresden, would do better to talk to Greta.

Than dig out a history book… because Ingrid and her family straddle the Nazis and the Communists.

Visit https://www.dresden.de/en/tourism/tourism.php and Dresden’s renaissance.

Pioneering pensioners

Colorado: There’s a message on a blackboard at the white-water rafting centre near Boulder, Colorado which flags up a nonagenarian

Barbara was in already to go without that challenge… alas, in the churning rapids. And broke her ribs.

Visit www.colorado.com and here’s my ride through the Wild West… The New Frontiersmen.

Even African dictators

South Africa: And in Africa too where no matter who you are you deserve respect when you are an elder statesman, or woman.

Even when that elder statesman is Robert Mugabe.

Which was our big game drive ranger in South Africa Hewurt’s reasoning for why Robert Mugabe still held power.

While it is always worth stopping people in the course of their work, to ask them about themselves.

Like the charming old hotel worker Amos in Cradock in the Eastern Cape who had fought with the resistance and Nelson Mandela.

Visit https://www.southafrica.net/uk/en/ and here’s a nod to those South Africans who really do respect their elderly…. What’s new pussycat?

Africa, America, Countries, Culture, Europe

Putting these statues on a pedestal

All joking aside about Zlatan ‘The Ego’ Ibramovich being cut down to size.

But is it right that the Sweden soccer superstar should befall the same fate as Lord Nelson here in Dublin and Saddam Hussein in Baghdad?

The fallen Zlatan. www.abc.go.com

Now I’m all for sportspeople, celebrities, actors and even, and particularly, animals to be put on a pedestal.

Because haven’t the aristocracy and the war leaders had their day in our affection and deference?

So here are is my unscientific list of my favourite statues.

And please let me know who I’ve missed out.

Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh

Bobby’s boy: Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh

Well, if Bobby’s tale was good enough for Walt Disney then it’s good enough for me.

Bobby is buried not far from here in Greyfriars Kirk next to his master John Gray on whose grave he slept every night.

And he was then awarded the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh.

You’re advised though not to kiss his nose for luck as many started doing… it’s not lucky for Bobby as it’s wearing away.

For more on Edinburgh and Scotland visit http://www.edinburgh.org and http://www.visitscotland.com.

And, of course, I always like to flag up ma wee hame country. And here’s a wee sample of what we eat and drink…

With https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/19/hungry-and-thursday-whisky-and-the-water-of-long-life/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/26/hungry-and-thursday-curried-christmas-turkey/

Fannie Lou Hamer, Ruleville, Mississippi

A little big woman: Fannie Lou Hamer in Mississippi

Sometimes it’s the design that catches you and stops you in your tracks.

And so it is with this remarkable little woman,

The President of the USA, Lydon Baines, Johnson took extraordinary measures in stopping her saying her piece at the Democratic Convention by having television change its schedule.

Fannie Lou Hamer’s life was extraordinary, born into a sharecropping family and picking cotton from the age of six, she was later forced out of her home, threatened with her very life and beaten.

All because she wanted to sign on on the voting register.

She summed up her struggle in the Civil Rights Movement thus, and of course nobody could say it better: ‘I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.’

Visit www.visitmississippi.org

And why not read my American Trilogy… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-promised-land-martin-luther-king/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/elvispresley-the-king-of-kings/?

Anne Frank, Amsterdam

The flower of youth: Anne Frank in Amsterdam

Us journalists like to think of ourselves as hard-bitten but I had to choke back the tears walking through the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam…. http://www.annefrank.org.

The audio narrative dwelt on a passage in her diary where she mentions that she wants to become a journalist when she’s older.

And what a journalist she would have been… ethical (yes, some of us are), prying and fearless.

Amsterdam is one of the world’s great cities and Anne one of history’s greatest figures… http://www.iamsterdam.com.

And here is proof of that… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/

Piss, Prague

Splash

Statues should be provocative and the Czechs have this one down to a T.

‘Piss’ is the good people of Prague’s commentary on the politicians who have urinated all over their country.

You’ll not see it here but once the water gets flowing they pee all over the map of the country.

The Czechs as well as being the world’s biggest lager drinkers, per population, with some of the world’s best beers, are wonderfully anti-establishmentarian.

Visit http://www.czechtourism.com and here’s some other musings on the Czech Republic https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/24/czech-it-out-2/

Phil Lynott, Dublin

The boys are back in town: With my old pal Paul

There are statues to musical giants all over the world but while former Thin Lizzy lead singer Phil Lynott isn’t the best or most famous singer of them all, try telling that to Dubliners.

It is a tradition now for visitors to Dublin to have their photo taken outside Philo’s statue off the main Grafton Street shopping thoroughfare.

That other statue, the Tart with the Cart, Molly Malone? Well you can leave that to the uninitiated.

And seeing you’ll be in town here is where you want to stay… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-intercontinental-what-a-ledge/

And this site will point you in the direction of other goodies… http://www.visitdublin.com.

Nelson, Bridgetown, Barbados

You can stay: Nelson in Bridgetown

He’s obviously not the only Horatio or the biggest, and as I’ve alluded to already some not too far from here even blew him up.

But he was a survivor, except when he was killed obvs, and he lost an eye and an arm.

Death might even have been a better gig too as he was transported home in a vat of rum… a good way to go and one that the Bajans would have approved of.

Until, of course, his old shipmates drilled a hole in the vat and drunk the rum!

Statues are a controversial subject but my Bajan hosts were keen to tell me that Nelson was part of their story too.

And so ignore the white liberals who like to speak for black people, they’re glad to have him keeping his one eye open on what’s going on in Bim.

For more on Barbados see http://www.visitbarbados.org. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

Martin Luther, Dresden

Closer to God: Martin Luther in Dresden

Some statues can withstand anything.

Martin Luther stood as a defiant symbol of Dresdeners refusal to see their city disappear after the Allies’ firebombing at the end of the Second World War.

The Dresdeners rebuilt the obliterated Frauenkirche sixty years later, after they had got rid of the Communists.

Using as the plans photographs they had asked the public to send in from their weddings.

Dresden was known as the Florence of the Elbe and it is one of the great architectural stories of our age, or any age, to see how the Dresdeners have rebuilt their city to the same grandeur of its renaissance days.

For more information on Dresden http://www.dresden.de and also take a trip through the ages with me with https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/

Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen

With Tom and My Little Princess in Copenhagen

Yes, the Little Mermaid is more visited, but personally I prefer the top-hatted Hans in the heart of Copenhagen.

Hans was an eccentric all right and once decamped on Charles Dickens, walked around the house in the starkers, and made it difficult for Charlie to show him the door.

Very Scandinavian and it just makes me want to revisit Denmark… http://www.visitingcopenhagen.com and digging out my Scandinavian wanderings https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/

Nelson Mandela Voting Line, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

March to Freedom: In Port Elizabeth

Statues shouldn’t just stand there. No, really. And this is a moving symbolic Voting Line which sums up South African democracy.

This is our host Sisseko and beside him a kid as he would have been back in 1995 when South Africa had its historic vote.

It is also immersive and you don’t have to climb up a plinth to get next to it as they do in Glasgow when they put police cones on the Duke of Wellington.

It is the way I should imagine that Nelson, a native of the Eastern Cape, would have wanted it.

And for more on South Africa’s Eastern Cape visit http://www.meetyoursouthafrica.net and http://www.southafrica.net. And this is how I tries to do it justice… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/homemyoffice/whats-new-pussycat/

Martin Luther King, Washington DC

Unfinished business: Martin Luther King in Washington DC

We’ll never stop building statues, of course, and I expect a Bandanaman up in my name when my Travelling days are done.

This statue of Dr Martin Luther King is never meant to be finished though.

Until the Civil Rights struggle has been finally met which, of course, it never will be, alas.

But what genius and how moving. For more on my favourite capital city visit http://Easy DC and http://www.washington.org.

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Holidos and don’ts – Christmas luggage

I’m among the hundreds of people waiting at arrivals at Dublin Airport.

Mine’s is Daddy’s Little Girl, on her way home from Edinburgh.

Now Santy is here, there are well-wishers with Welcome balloons and I dare say a choir will appear any minute now.

Have you a giftie for me? Santy at Dublin Airport

And I’m looking at the trolleys of suitcases.

Nothing different there. Only I’m wondering what’s in them.

Not that I’m weird or anything. I’m just thinking that many of them will be packed with presents.

Oh, but that long walk

Which makes me think… why?

OK, there might be that Christmas gift you can only get in that country you’re coming from.

Although you can buy most things over the internet now.

And have it delivered to the family home or a relative to pick up.

Or even tell them what you want them to buy and recompense them when you see them.

Because packing your bags with gifts only means that you have less room for your own stuff.

And if you’re only home for a couple of days and can get away without taking a suitcase at all…

Because rucksacks hold more than you think and then you can always get your clothes washed at home.

Or better still change your wardrobe with some new clothes in the Boxing Day sales.

And then you won’t have to go to the carousel.

And you know what I think of carousels…

Having had to wait a day for my undelivered luggage to be sent to my address. I wasn’t alone.

The smaller the airport, of course, the smaller the carousel and the ANR Robinson International Airport in Tobago is definitely my size.

It even has reminders of home.

Here are a few reminders of some precious memories from that trip… Ready, steady, goat… in Tobago, Give us this Day – Sunday School, Tobago and I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago.

And www.visittobago.gov.tt.

This being Christmas Eve’s Eve this will probably be my last airport visit of the year.

Although I live in hope!

So a big thank you to all the airports that have hosted me this year, particularly my second home, Dublin Airport… www.dublinairport.com

And while it’s probably too late for you to heed my advice, remember that the best gift you can bring is…

Yourself!

Unless you can persuade Rihanna to visit… A kiss from Rihanna.

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Hungry and Thursday – Ainsley, cooking and the Caribbean

There are few people who could leave TV chef Ainsley Harriott gobsmacked.

Septuagenarian mine host ‘Auntie’ Alison is one.

West Indians give their seniors respect (remember when we used to do that in our society).

So everybody has hundreds of aunties and uncles who are just as precious to them as their own kith and kin.

I wasn’t there when Ainsley popped by the Blue Crab http://www.tobagobluecrab.com in Scarborough in Tobago this year to film his Caribbean Kitchen TV series… https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=9T5VZU-Kxp4

But I was there last week to hear Auntie Ali tell us the secret of her 50+ marriage to Uncle Kenneth.

Put your underwear in the bottom drawer to show off your bum-bum we were told, complete with demonstration.

The same goes for grating cheese.

Of course what works for Auntie Ali doesn’t necessarily work for a Fiftysomething beardie Scotsman with no rhythm.

And besides I had to keep my mind on the job.

As Uncle Kenneth allowed me to give him a helping hand as he gave us a cooking demo of his chicken curry special.

Of course I had form having been taught how to make fried okra by Ruby at Club Barbados https://www.theclubbarbados.com… and here’s where it went https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

And it wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time I savour the pleasures of Barbados… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/

I was all over Tobago, Robinson Crusoe’s island last week. Quite literally. And I have been sharing…

I’m a Tobagonian

Check out https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/11/tobago-ready-steady-goat/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/05/robinson-crusoes-tobago/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/03/i-should-cocoa-christmas-in-tobago/

And also check out these recipes I found in my last billet Kariwak Holistic Haven in Crown Point, ‘just around the corner…’ http://www.kariwak.com.

There I found one of the barmen referred to by the manager as Mr… and my waitress at my local boozer calls me and my family ‘goys’. Mmmm!

For more on Tobago visit http://www.visittobago.gov.tt and look out for my review in the Sunday Times Ireland soon.

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Holidos and don’ts – late nights

One of the best things about a holiday has always been later bedtimes and not having to get up for work or school.

Unless, of course, you’re Irish where 4.30am is the time to leave a party.

As it was explained to me after one Christmas party when I asked the next day why it was 4.30am?

And I was out of there by 11.30pm.

‘Too early,’ said my colleague.

‘So why not 5am?’

‘Oh, that’s just taking the piss.’

Late nights and through-the-morning benders raised their head when a reporter I sent away pulled such a stunt.

And let down the holiday providers by falling out with the hotel in the early hours and then going AWOL.

Now I’ll get back to you in a future post on my favourite people in the Travel business – holiday providers.

And my least favourite, entitled journalists who call Travel assignments ‘junkets’ and treat the holiday providers with disdain.

Now that’s not to say you can’t have fun.

On my first trip to Barbados my old University pal and proud West Indian Jevan took me out on Foreday Morning.

Which was after the planned itinerary.

It got messy, yes, a mud and paint Soca and rum party through the streets of Bridgetown.

And I got no sleep but I did meet up with my group the next day to go catamaranning. Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

And visit http://www.visitbarbados.org and https://www.visitbarbados.org/crop-over-festival.

Treat your reps and hosts well, no treat them better – after all they’re babysitting you.

And they will allow you up late after your bedtime… if you behave yourself and are there the next day.

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Hungry & Thursday – Dishy Rihanna

I was happier behind the video camera which is unusual, I grant you.

After getting my hand smacked the last time there was a Bajan cookery lesson.

My Bajan friends were back in town, cooking, mixing cocktails and dancing.

So it would have been rude not to join in when the music started.

Particularly as I’d some spicy Bajan food and rum punch to burn off.

Now the thing I found out in Barbados is that rum can be a vital ingredient in the food. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

Breakfast of champions

I even found it in the sweet treats at the breakfast buffet on my first trip to Barbados (and the bread) for Crop Over, their carnival.

The best breakfast I had was made by my friend Donna who hosed myself and her husband Jevan down, washing off the paint and mud, after Foreday Morning. Before filling us with carbs.

And I then went down to Sandals for my second breakfast http://www.sandals.co.uk/barbados.

Now over to Ruby, and a cookery lesson at Club Barbados http://www.clubbarbados.com on the Platinum West.Coast on my Tropical Sky http://www.tropicalsky.ie trip to the Caribbean.

Cou-cou is on the menu. It is Barbados’s national dish.

The thing is that you stir the cou-cou, okra or cornmeal, with a 1ft cricket bat-style (it’s their national sport) cou-cou stick.

Which is what Ruby is wielding here.

Eat your cou-cou as an accompaniment to flying fish.

And here’s some rum punch which will be thrust into your hand the moment you land on the island.

As made by our cool as ice mixologist on the night in Dublin this week.

It’s about three minutes so you might want to get your Mount Gay, which means rum, out and pour yourself a rum and coke while you watch.

Now there’s a lot going on in Barbados, culinary, slow tourism, adventure tourism (scuba, snorkel, in fact any kind of water sports).

It is 10 years of Barbados Food & Rum from October 24-27 http://www.foodandrum.com. Also visit http://www.visitbarbados.org.

And check out the road tennis!

As they say on Barbados…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Holidos and don’ts – bathrooms

An ill-chosen bathroom can spoil what I’ll grudgingly call Paradise… as can the lazy use of the word ‘Paradise’.

I used to ban my writers from employing the word at my last newspaper although that didn’t stop some contributors.

I mean unless they had actually been to Adam and Eve’s gaff then who’s to say whose Paradise is Paradise.

It is the biggest cliche in Travel and its original meaning has become diluted by overuse.

And you know what they say: avoid cliches like the plague.

Champagne o’clock: Sandals, Barbados

So, back to bathrooms.

There are only two things I need in a bedroom… a good bed (there’s a clue in the name of the room) and a good bathroom.

Oddly it is no longer compulsory for there to be a bath in a bathroom.

If I were to choose the favourite bathroom I have stayed in I would definitely opt for Majorca.

Long after I’d got out (probably after an hour and a half) and returned home I was waxing lyrical about it.

Can I remember the name of the hotel? No! But it had a spectacular view of the Med. Perhaps you can find it for me http://www.infomallorca.net.

And jets. You press a button and it shoots out water.

It was so good I got out, dried myself down and got back in again.

Now, you don’t need to see pictures.

But you need to see these images.

In a hot tub in Sandals Hotel in Barbados https://www.sandals.co.uk/sandals-barbados/.

Oi, your time is up. Photo by Jonathan Andrew on Pexels.com

With the bottle of Champagne that they leave in your room every morning.

And a little birdie, Rihanna, who pops by too… although that might just have been me.

Duck your head in

You don’t have to go to Barbados for a good bath, although it IS Barbados http://www.visitbarbados.org. And this is what I thought https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/ http://My Kiss with Rihanna

One of the best bath experiences I’ve had in this country is at the Powerscourt Hotel in Co. Wicklow .

Where I laid back with a malt whiskey and watched the Masters on the TV screen on the wall. http://Flowerscourt

While visitors to the North of Ireland will know all about Hastings Hotels’ schtick, their rubber ducks, among them Rory Quackilroy http://www.hastingshotels.com.

And let me tell you how good Hastings are and how my stay at the Grand Central was https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/belfastvanmorrison/

I have my collection, fronted of course by Hastings’ quackery (main picture), but it seems you have some of your own too.

Judging by these pictures below.

Rubber duckies, but Hastings are better. Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now I must go and have a soak.

It’s a good day for the ducks, but then isn’t it always?

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Festival time – music gigs

Summer is drawing to a close and it needs to be marked in the ancient manner – a music festival. Daddy’s Little Girl is off with her pals again to trudge through the mud to listen to her favourite beat combo band.

Rave on as nobody other than Dancing Dads might say… here are a few random festivals…

Electric Picnic

Not your typical picnic, folding tables, stools, tuppaware and stools. This is Electric Picnic, Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury.

Of course, the festival in Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois in the middle of Ireland, is on a more intimate scale but it has that same indie vibe.

With a Body and Soul tent with the obligatory bean bags (my entire furniture in my first flat), massages and tarot cards (I still have my pack). There’s also a comedy tent.

You want to know about the music. Choose from any of these from yesteryear… Nick Cave, New Order, Bjork, Aracade Fire. The Flaming Lips and the Sex Pistols. While this year Florence & the Machine are the big draw.

Holiday in the Sun, guys!

From Friday, September 30-September 1. Visit http://www.electricpicnic.ie.

The Reading Festival

One close to my heart and my work… my first writing job was just across the road.

And it was while I was there that Meatloaf had a bottle of urine thrown at him which hit him square in the face. He got off that stage like a bat out of hell but not before giving the crowd the finger.

Now play nice, boys and girls!

The Reading Festival has been built on its rock foundations but in truth it has been a magnet to all the big Festival acts.

Both British: The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, The Who. Genesis, The Jam and Pulp and Oasis. Heavy metal is big here with Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Status Quo.

And international: Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, AC/DC. Metallica. Guns n’ Roses, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers. And, erm, Eminem.

Reading has just packed away last weekend where The 1975, The Foo Fighters, Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots were the headline acts. Next year will be from August 28-30. Visit http://www.readingfestival.com.

T in the Park/TRMSMT

Scotland in the Seventies was a bit of a cultural wasteland.

Sure there were the good jobbing bands like Nazareth, my first big boys’ concert and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

But generally Scottish music wasn’t promoted as it should have been.

Now Tennents has a lot to answer for for its fizzy electric lager but it does deserve credit for championing Scottish music and international maps and putting my wee country on the gigs map.

And of course it received the ultimate recommendation when the world’s greatest band The Killers headlined.

Now revived as TRNSMT and held on Glasgow Green http://www.trnsmtfest.com, its last iteration was from July 12-14 and was headlined by among others George Ezra and Stormzy.

The Montreaux Jazz Festival

A place of mythical proportions on account of Frank Zappa burning a mobile recording unit to the ground and Deep Purple immortalising it in Smoke on the Water.

In its 53rd year, it is held in Vevey, Switzerland, and yes, Purple in whatever line-up they are on by now, are regular visitors.

The festival includes blues, soul and rock music in addition to jazz. And as you’d expect it is quite pretty too. And Frank isn’t around anymore with a box of matches. Visit http://www.montreauxjazzfestival.com.

Coachella

OK, so this is not a summer festival but it is America’s favourite, or certainly the celebs’ favourite.

So if you like a bit of a celeb spotting then the Empire Polo Club in Indio in the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert where Pearl Jam first played.

Over two weekends in April it is one of the most profitable music festivals in the world, but heck, that’s not what we’re interested in.

It’s all about the music. This year was the 20th anniversary with Chidish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande all performing. Watched by a host of celebs. Visit http://www.coachella.com.

Your favourite

Of course, you’ll all have your own favourites. I loved, loved, loved Machel and Friends at the One Love concer at Crop Over in Barbados in 2016. Here are my thoughts https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/

And for news on the Crop Over festival http://www.cropoverfestival.com and http://www.visitbarbados.org.

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We will delight them on the beaches

We’re all different and my elder brother would prefer to stay in the hotel in Ibiza rather than hit the beaches.

My parents loved the beach and my Mum, in particular, loved to sunbathe.

Me being the restless sort and never a strong swimmer I preferred a beach game.

And I spent a week in Menorca playing Boules with German boy Uwe at the age of 9.

We didn’t share a word but we shared a love of sand as do parasol supplier We Are Promotional http://www.wearepromotional.co.uk/printed-branded-parasols-pubs-breweries/.

Beach boys (and girls)

They have given us this survey of our habits.

Which I’ll pick through for you.

The most expensive beach on amenities including luxury huts and parking is Renaissance Island, Aruba at £302.54pp.

And the cheapest is Huiquan Bathing Beach, China at £8.94pp.

In among them is Bournemouth. If fate had taken a different turn I could have been working there. http://www.visitbournemouth.com.

Fourth in the table at £168pp I’d have been looking for that factored into my salary.

Which would have had to be good to save up for those beach huts.

Fun for all the family

Huiquan again is the place to go for families (of four) at £34.96.

Beach bummin’ it

But I picked out Bathsheba Beach on the east of Barbados… let me share https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/. And check out http://www.visitbarbados.org.

There I ate a bucket of Bajan chicken, Banks beer in hand and waves crashing around my feet.

We Are Promotional costs Bathesba Beach at £108.03 including water sports, ice cream, lunch and beers.

Get there early: For your sun loungers

It’s always tempting if you’re up early and see an abandoned beach just to snuck up on a sunlounger and parasol and grab it.

I very nearly did it in Fort Lauderdale last December.

While I was intrigued to find the prices at Nazare in Portugal.

Portugeezers on the beach

Which is one of the best short-haul holiday countries for those living in Britain and Ireland (http://www.visitportugal.com).

At €18.89 it’s not as expensive as Waikiki in Hawaii, at £40.06.

But I’d still recommend the beaches of Portugal Centro between Oporto and Lisbon as a better alternative. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/secret-portugal/.

Tricks on the water

I’ve never worked out water sports. I tend to inhale when I should be exhaling.

Water show

But the Cool Set in Biarritz know what they’re doing.

The French Riviera resort comes third on their list of price of water sports at £89.90pp.

And let me show Biarritz off to you. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/. And visit https://www.france.fr/en.

Behind the most expensive, Coney Island in the US at £216.32pp.

And lastly, and most importantly in many’s eyes, ice cream.

It’s more than a euro a lick at Railay Beach, Thailand at £22.19pp.

Brighton rocks

Compare that with the tenth, Brighton at £4. And they’re all top tens. Visit www.visitbrighton.com.

My 99 in the beautiful beach town of Greystones, Co. Wicklow where I live is just €2.50… and the pound and euro are virtual parity. http://www.visitwicklow.ie.

Watch out for my top beaches in a blog coming to you soon.

While I’ll also share with you the origins of the 99, my old Sandy stomping ground of Portobello, Edinburgh.

MEET YOU ON THE SAND

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Barbados: Friends in need, friends indeed

‘It’s all right for you going off to Barbados again,’ SHE opined from across the sofa.

I didn’t have the heart, or courage, to tell her that I had invited her a month or so previously but that she had declined.

And I would never have won that one even if I’d had it in triplicate.

I’m feeling lonely, honest! At Club Barbados

As it was I ended up going to the couples hotel Club Barbados http://www.theclubbarbados.com next to Sandy Lane but a lot more relaxed, on my own.

The first night I was there the courting couples were all up on the dance floor.

By Day 3 the word had got out and random couples were inviting me to dine with them.

And then just as I felt that I was part of a group came the stinger.

But I have some company

Out snorkelling I saw Mother and Father Turtle getting it on.

So, be warned.

And besides I really do want to introduce Herself to the island and the friends I have there and met then and the previous year at Crop Over.

And some keeping their eye on me!

Thankfully Tropical Sky tropicalsky.ie / 01 664 9999 will sort you out with a really affordable seven-night holiday for travel completed by December 20, if booked by August 31.

The offer means that this holiday now costs from €1,729pp.

That’s SOME company: With Rihanna

What’s on offer

And you’ll get a:

* $20 Spa voucher per guest

* All-inclusive beachfront resort near Bridgetown – within reach of the Mount Gay Rum Factory, George Washington House and the Barbados Museum.

* Highlights for couples include adult-only restaurant, Beach Bar & Grill for cocktails and relaxing Karma spa, as well as jacuzzi and swim-up bar.

Based on two sharing on all-inclusive basis and including flights from Dublin and transfers.

To get you in the mood… for a holiday!!! https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/ And a Jocktail Cocktail https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/15/jocktails-bajan-monkey/.

For more on Barbados check out http://www.visitbarbados.org.

And another view from another Barbados lover.. That’s someone who loves Barbados not a dirty secret I’m keeping. http://beautifulbarbadosblog