3 + 1 best ways to celebrate the Carnaval in Rio

carnaval (1) Paraders getting ready for Sambódromo

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word ‘Brazil’? The amazing nature, the Amazon, the beaches… and the Carnaval? It’s a spectacle that’s well known around the world, occupying a line of every traveller’s bucket list and dominating the plot of a multitude of non-Brazilian films about Brazil. Even The Simpsons did it! Even though the main event is over for the year, the Sambódromo tickets for 2018 are already up for grabs, and it’s never too early to start planning when it comes down to Carnaval.

Disclaimer: I actually arranged my carnival plans at the very last minute. I had my accommodation booked in September (by which time all of the good central locations had already been booked out) but due to poor planning, ended up browsing flights too late (around New Year’s). I cancelled my accommodation after deciding that…

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Sacred Trinity Church, Salford, 15th July

William D. Drake

A guest performance by William D Drake, supporting the glorious North Sea Radio Orchestra in the churchy acoustics of Sacred Trinity Church, Salford.

Mr Drake will be playing a selection of bewitching, curious and elegant melodies from his five albums and Sea Nymphs.

North Sea Orchestra  present music from their new album ‘Dronne’.

*Note this is an early evening concert*

Saturday 15th July 2017

Doors: 4.30pm

Music Finishes: 8pm

Sacred Trinity Church, Chapel Street Salford. M3 5DW

Tickets: £10 + £1 booking fee We Got Tickets



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Pop up theatre

Broke with expensive taste

The most wonderful theatre in the most unexpected places.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream never fails to impress. Here are some of my particular favourite quotations:


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Yip Man – Bruce Lee’s mentor – Master of martial arts – Video


Yip Man, aka Ip Man, was the instructor for some of the most respected names in martial arts.  Among others, Bruce Lee and Wong Shun Leung were his students.

Raised in an affluent family in the Foshan area of Guangdong, China, he and his three siblings were educated in traditional Chinese ways. At the age of seven, Yip Man began his training in martial arts with Chan Wah-sun, an authority of the Wing Chun discipline of martial arts. Chan was in his sixties when Yip Man came to him to begin his education. Yip received much of his instruction from Wu Chung-sok, the second eldest disciple of Chan Wah-sun. Sadly, Chan would only live another three years after Yip formally began training under Wu Chung-sok. Chan’s last wish was that his disciples continue teaching Yip the most difficult aspects of Wing Chun.

Yip continued training for some time but decided…

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Bloco X Vienna – YouTube


Ah nostalgia (we used to do this on the London underground on the way to Notting Hill Carnival in the 90s)!!

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Las Fallas de Valencia: The Weekend I Became a Pyromaniac

A Normal Girl in Spain

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Kasey who was in a Spanish class at Purdue.  One day she had to do a project about Las Fallas de Valencia and present it to her entire class.  After researching this enormous festival and doing the presentation, she was so enthralled that she vowed she would one day see the Fallas in person.  This is that story…

Last weekend, Lauren and I traveled to Valencia for Las Fallas, a giant festival held there every March to welcome the change of seasons and to honor Saint Joseph.  It was more incredible than I ever could have imagined!

On Friday, we boarded our bus to begin the 4.5 hour journey.  We were so excited; we had everything booked since January and were looking forward to taking  part in the celebrations.  However, all our excitement was dashed when I texted our AirBnb host to…

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Repeating Islands

walcott.jpgRachel DeWoskin for the New Yorker.

One night in the fall of 2002, I was out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant with the poet Derek Walcott, who had been my professor in the graduate poetry program at Boston University. Another of my former teachers, the poet Kenneth Koch, had died recently, and in my purse was a remembrance of Koch that I had written for the journal Teachers & Writers. I had agonized over the text, wanting to render real Koch’s difficult wit in class, the terror and inspiration he inspired in his students, his occasional cruelty in the intimate workshop he ran, and his unusual ability to demystify poetry. I took the pages out and passed them across the table, holding my breath. Derek liked to say that any prose we wrote was a waste of lines that might have been better used for poetry, but…

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Carnival in Madeira



For a week before the parade there were smaller local events in many towns with street entertainment in the centre of Funchal and people wandering around in costumes of various kinds, as well as numerous community events in public squares and parks.

The sound and beat of the samba was everywhere, either live from colourful groups of musicians, or recorded and played through speakers lodged in trees, while people danced or jigged along to it, grins on their faces. But more of that in another post.

Carnival is a big event in Madeira, something not celebrated in Scotland. In fact, we didn’t even realise there would be celebrations during our stay there. From the balcony of our apartment in the city centre we could watch people making their way to the boulevard used for the parade, one side of which was closed to traffic several hours before the start of the event…

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João Pessoa Photos

Adventure Time with Becs

IMG_7817 sunset view from a hill in the city center

IMG_7813 a super chill & trendy cafe and store– check out the General Store in JP!

IMG_7791 bike lanes all along the beach Cabo Branco

IMG_7779 Estação Ciência, Cultura e Artes, a museum built by Oscar Niemeyer

IMG_7972 Igreja São Francisco

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Cute love story in animation

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