• Diabetic Traveller

    Memory lane: diabetes and international airports

    As a travel journalist, I have been very lucky to visit many interesting destinations around the world, from Japan to the Maldives. Travelling with diabetes has rarely caused me too much hassle (apart from in the US – more in that in the future). However, I have had a couple of interesting experiences in international airports when it comes to taking my insulin through security. Unfortunately, it is not wise to store your insulin in hold luggage as airline travel can cause both the luggage and insulin to freeze, which may prevent it from working properly. As a result, I always carry all my insulin and diabetes equipment in my…

  • Diabetic Traveller

    FreeStyle Libre: my new best friend?

    This is my first post about my diabetes, and I am going to keep it fairly short. Today I finally got sent my first FreeStyle Libre: a fancy flash glucose monitoring system that allows you to scan your arm like a barcode to check your bloodsugar. As long as you scan the sensor at least once every eight hours, you can see how your bloodsugar changes over time, tracking if it is heading for a high (hyperglycemia) or a crash (hypoglycemia). This is very cool. The first time I attached the sensor on my arm was a little scary as it has a rather gnarly needle – admittedly I had…

  • Travel Anecdotes

    London’s Farm away from Home

    This week I decided to take my lunch break at an unusual location in South-East London: Mudchute Farm. The 32-acre site is a registered charity and is open all year round free of charge. It is also the largest inner-city farm in Europe, with over 100 animals roaming about. I first stumbled across this metropolitan oddity in 2014 while taking a stroll through Mudchute Park with my best mate, Jenny. One minute we were walking past a bunch of kids kicking around a football, the next we were surrounded by sheep and goats. My friend, Hattie, and I spent a delightful hour watching pigs, donkeys, sheep, goats and even alpacas…

  • Travel Anecdotes

    London Gay Pride – Proof Love Happens Here

    We invited Andrew’s sisters, Sarah and Alison, to come and stay with us this weekend. We had a packed schedule planned including a Sherlock Holmes themed Escape Room and a meal at Band of Burgers in Brick Lane. I was also keen for us to head to Trafalgar Square on Saturday for Gay Pride, an event I have sadly managed to miss every year since moving to London in 2013. This particular one was extra special as my friend, Aaron, was performing on the main stage as part of Pride’s Got Talent. We arrived at Charing Cross at around 12:30 and the crowd was just starting to assemble, with people…

  • Travel Anecdotes

    British Summer Time at Hyde Park – Punk did not win the day!

    The first day of July marked our trip to Hyde Park to watch a stellar day of music headlined by Green Day. I was particularly excited about watching The Stranglers and The Hives, the latter band famous for their legendary live performances. This was my third time at British Summer Time, having also had the pleasure of watching Blur and McBusted (oh yes!) rock their socks off in previous years. We arrived at around 3pm and although it was decidedly grey, the weather forecast Gods had promised us sunshine and we weren’t to be disappointed. Alas despite a flawless line-up and fantastic weather, BST was a resolute disappointment. The spirit…

  • Travel Anecdotes

    Newquay, Cornwall – One Fabulous Trip, One Furious Cornish Man

    I recently spent a long weekend in Newquay in Cornwall. We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather and the whole place seemed  totally devoid of tourists. My best mate, Jenny, and I love to pack in as many activities as possible when we travel. This time it was zorbing and surfing. The former was a great success – being thrown down a hill in a giant inflatable ball may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved every moment. The chaps at Cornwall Zorbing Park recommended we head to Newquay Surfing School to book our surfing lesson. The place is run by 3x UK surf champion, Adam Griffiths,…

  • Travel

    It All Ends in Beautiful Italy

    We arrived in Salzburg tired and a little gloomy, so were less than thrilled when we had to lug our bags for 20 minutes to find Hostel Muffin, which was located in the middle of nowhere. This was without doubt the worst hostel I have stayed in: not only were the staff rude and the rooms revolting, there was a €50 fine if you lost your key! I was almost pushed to tantrum-mode when the grumpy woman behind the desk told us we would be sleeping in different dorms, despite booking a three-bed room. After an unusually bad sleep, we woke up at the crack of dawn ready to stomp…

  • Travel

    Budapest Part 2: Pálinka and Caving

    Our days in Budapest were sadly running out, but we had decided to be a little daring and sign up to a spot of caving. I had never tried caving before, and the brochure warned us that anyone with Claustrophobia should stay well clear of the caves. Having had little experience in small spaces, I was not exactly sure what my feelings would be if I was wedged in between a bunch of rocks, but decided there was only one way to find out. It turns out that the hot springs which provided us with the delicious heated water at the Szechenyi Bathhouse also created a huge cave system under…

  • Travel

    Part One of Budapest: Origin of Not Many Famous People

    After arriving at yet another grotty train station (named somewhat amusingly Keleti-Pu), we spent a good half an hour trying to work out which type of public transport we should be getting to our hostel. We queued up for ages at the train station ticket office in order to purchase some bus passes, only to be told we should buy these at the nearby sweet shop. Eventually, we arrived at Astoria and headed to our hostel, ‘Njoy Budapest’. We immediately knew that this was going to be an extremely friendly hostel, as they guy behind the desk, Oliver, shook our hands and gave us a tour of the place. He…

  • Travel

    Bratislava: Home of the Communist UFO

    After a rather unpleasant journey on the train, we arrived at Bratislava with a vague idea of how to get to our Botel, which was located somewhere along the Danube. The train station was full of people trying to convince us to stay at their hostel instead, but there was no way we were going to forgo our lodgings on a boat. We realised pretty quickly that unlike many of the places we have visited so far, the locals of Bratislava are not so hot on the English language. Secretly, I was quite pleased as it forced us to think on our toes, but it did mean that getting to…