Border collie blog

A Sergio Fionda anecdote, as told to Gail Holloway Sleet slid across the window as I sat looking out. Early January had been especially bitter this year. Bleakness hung across Brixton, and not just the weather. Times were tough for many folk in this area. Christmas merriment had given way to a deeper winter mire.…

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I love Japan

Everybody I know who’s been to Japan say they love it. There’s a great deal to love. Everyone who’s yet to get there say it’s at the top of their wish-list. Japan is like no other country. It’s a modern society, with a strong regard for history, a love of simplicity and a keen appreciation…

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Why I love Macau

I have a particular fondness for Macau. It’s the distinctive combination of Macanese, Chinese and Portuguese influence. It’s also the peaceful way it seems to approach life. Hong Kong can be a hectic place, so a short ferry ride to the former Portuguese colony can be a refreshing respite. Macau is most known for its…

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I love Hong Kong

Hong Kong. The harbour is indisputably the essence of the city.  The whole place has an undeniable energy about it – with the liveliness of both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula balanced by the waters of Victoria Harbour. I’ve been to Hong Kong three times in the past twenty years and each visit has…

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The Value of Tea

I was a relatively late convert to tea. I used to prefer coffee and I think my mum, as a dedicated tea-drinker, felt she’d failed in my upbringing. But I redeemed myself when I saw the light and switched from beans to leaves. Tea features in my novel Cherry Blossom Footsteps. Set in Japan and…

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Wabi sabi mural Kyoto

You can become a better traveller by paying attention to words that don’t exist in English, says travel writer Brian Johnston. He went on to talk about a Dutch word voopret, which literally translates as ‘pre-fun’, and might be used to describe the feeling of excitement we get when planning a trip. While foreign travel…

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La Belle Esplanade NOLA Gail Holloway

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get a little something extra. Like when you order a half dozen doughnuts or potato cakes and they throw in one more as a bonus. In New Orleans they have a local word for that – Lagniappe. We picked up one excellent word, a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice, limber, expressive, handy word — ‘lagniappe’. They pronounce it lanny- yap. It is Spanish — so they said.  MarkTwain, ‘Life on the Mississippi’. On my first visit to New Orleans in 2015,…

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Gail's 2007

In many ways 2007 was a game-changer. It was my job to help keep children safe, but toys became so hazardous we nearly had to cancel Christmas. It was also the year I began writing my novel. World attention That year I represented Australia at the first ever consumer product safety conference in China – a…

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Gail Holloway writing

I didn’t set out to write a novel. Cherry Blossom Footsteps was the first piece of creative writing I had done, and it began after an overseas trip when I had to finish writing my trip diary at home. I’d enjoyed writing the diary, so I thought why not try my hand at some creative…

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Gail Holloway songs

In Cherry Blossom Footsteps, Lauren and her travel mates go to a retro nightclub. I’ve made a YouTube playlist of songs and dance videos from Lauren’s last night in Kyoto. 1960s pop songs Of course, I chose all songs and artists that I like: These Boots are Made for Walkin’, by Nancy Sinatra. Great clip…

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