Category Archives: Culture

The Amphitheatre of Aphrodisias in Turkey

Cicadas zither noisily in the midday sun.  The heat is all-enveloping and brings out the scent of oregano and basil, whilst in the distance the tap-tapping of a lone archaeologist travels across seemingly endless columns, archways and fallen statues.

Aphrodisias Amphitheatre Turkey - photo zoedawes

Sitting half way up the cool marble seats of the Theatre at Aphrodisias, Turkey, you are transported to another world; a world without the immediate gratification of internet access, mobile phone messages, plane travel and fast food. Continue reading

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The One Hundred Year Old Man – Book Club questions

Our book club meets every two months. There are about 12 of us and our literary tastes vary greatly, but we all enjoy the variety of books we get to read and the stimulating (and at times quite challenging!) conversations we have about them. It was my turn to pick this month and I chose ‘The Hundred Year Old Man who climbed out of the Window and Disappeared’ by Jonas Jonasson*

hundred-year-old-man-book

I had given up on the book when it first came out but because so many recommended it, I persevered and enjoyed its idiosyncratic romp through 20th century history and the somewhat amoral adventures of its central Swedish character Allan KarlssonContinue reading

Europe Cultural gems: Amsterdam, Barcelona and Krakow

Batllo_House_Gaudi_Barcelona photo Matinibz

Batllo House, Gaudi – photo Matinibz

Looking for a city break that combines beauty with brains? There are so many to choose from! Here are 3 cultural cities in Europe where you can have a great time exploring and also relax in style.

Amsterdam, Holland

One of my favourite cities in the world, never mind Europe, Amsterdam has culture and great beauty, plus a fun vibe… Continue reading

Vote for Best Culture and History Blogger

Best History Culture Blogger - vote Zoe Dawes

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know how much I love culture and history. Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by both subjects. Continue reading

‘A Green Song – to sing at the bottle bank’ by poet Wendy Cope

Have you come across Wendy Cope’s poetry? If not then I highly recommend you search her out and have a read of some of her engaging, personal, quirky poetry, ESPECIALLY if you are not a poetry fan. She may convert you.

Wendy Cope at the Hay Festival - Telegraph image

Wendy Cope at the Hay Festival – Telegraph image

Wendy Cope OBE  has published four collections of poetry and parodies. Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (1986) went straight into the best seller lists. Serious Concerns followed in 1992, If I Don’t Know in 2001, and Family Values in 2011. In 1998, she was voted the listeners’ choice in a BBC Radio 4 poll to succeed Ted Hughes as Poet LaureateContinue reading

21 things I really love about Lancashire

Born in Southport, when this seaside town was a part of Lancashire, not Merseyside, I moved far away for many years but have been living back in the Red Rose County for a long time now.  My current home is Carnforth on the Cumbria border.  It’s a straightforward little place with a strong railway heritage, famous as the setting for classic 1940s weepie, ‘Brief Encounter’.

A porter's trolley loaded with suitcases at the top of a ramp below the station clock at Carnforth Station, a location used for the 1945 film 'Brief Encounter', Carnforth, Lancashire, England.

Here are 21 things I really love about Lancashire 

  1. Sunny beaches, brash piers, crazy fairground and Victorian architecture in Blackpool.
  2. The butteriness of Chorley Cakes
  3. The clanking of halyards on yachts in Glasson Dock

Continue reading

Exploring the Grand Palace in Bangkok

Some years ago I visited Thailand a few times and one of my favourite places was the Grand Palace. Here are some highlights.

Indus Experiences Blog

It’s the gold that gets to you. There’s so much of it and on a sunny day it’s almost blinding.

Tale of Hanuman - gold reliefEntering the gates of the Grand Palace complex in crazy, colourful, feisty, noisy, smoggy, intriguing, hot-wired Bangkok, should be to enter an oasis of calm. But as the number one tourist destination in Thailand, of course it’s nothing of the sort. And yet, and yet, if you choose your time (ie first thing in the morning, last thing in the afternoon, on a non-public day and off season, it is possible.  I visited some years ago in hot, humid late March, at the end of the high season.  There were lots of tourists milling about, being herded from place to place, but it was still posible to find a few quieter nooks away from the main sites.

 Pimanchaisri door gate within Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand - by ScorpianPK Pimanchaisri door gate within Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand – by ScorpianPK

The architecture…

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