KULTURE KIOSK

Travel: Where I’ve Stayed Part 3: 2021 – ?

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this post contains affiliate links Welcome back again! Part 3 covers the 2020’s – following a pretty shitty time due to covid the world would slowly reawaken and I began with some long overdue domestic travel. MANCHESTER – TRAVELODGE (CENTRAL ARENA) These were the first places I stayed post-pandemic which has not only murdered lots of people but the places they stay, especially the humble hostel dormitory. So to the staycation and the upgrade to hotel which had much in common with the hostel e.g staff who disappear and rather…read more

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Travel: Where I’ve Stayed Part 2: 2010-2020

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this post contains affiliate links *Some of the hostels on this list may no longer exist Welcome back! Part 2 covers the 2010’s – it’s a pretty extensive ride so make a cuppa, sit back and I’m not sure if relax is the right word but let’s begin back in Barcelona… BARCELONA – GARDEN HOUSE HOSTEL Based out in Horta, away from the hordes this was definitely the right choice for me. Returned eight years’ later, could use a few tweaks here and there. Pros: Clean, quiet and in a…read more

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Helsinki: City Time and Place

Posted by in Culture, Design, Travel

INTRO *this blog contains affiliate links and was written in 2017 before the Ukrainian invasion which I give modest reference to below. There is a clear delineation between my formative years in New Zealand and Finland. Both are known as clean, green destinations. Both are sparsely populated, both have risen from relative global slumber to be desired liveable countries and both now command a good degree of personal wealth to be able to do so. In this piece (as well as the usual things to do, museums to visit etc)…read more

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Vienna: It Might Mean Something to You

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

*this blog may be expanded and updated in the future. *this blog also includes affiliate links VIENNA CALLING For those that know the song, it might mean nothing to Midge Ure and co but it might mean something to you. In the rock n’ roll lifestyle of an English teacher you can find yourself anywhere including Austria, not a known country for the TESOL world so you can imagine my surprise.  I had only two previous encounters, one in 2000 (see the Voyage of Nomad book) when Austria still used…read more

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Singapore: Merlion Memories

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links TO THE ESPLANADE A long time ago in 2007 I visited Singapore with my then girlfriend. It was a lucky break but also a strange holiday. Like China, Singapore has changed since but some of the renewal process had taken place; The Esplanade was built for example. It’s there soon after arrival at Changi – a destination in its own right, and check in that we ventured first. The exterior shape – it’s known locally after the stinky fruit the Durian – offered a good…read more

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Steve Hogarth: Here There and Everywhere

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

*this blog includes affiliate links WHO IS THIS GUY? The late eighties were, as I’ve most likely said elsewhere, a time of discovery. Now in the age of Wiki we can look up anyone of interest and know all about them in moments but back then it was all detective work, piecing together fragments of information.  For those of us music junkies or audiophiles who took time to read the sleeve notes, certain names appeared. I can’t remember which one went first, it could have been The The, it could…read more

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Swansea: City By The Sea

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links PREVIOUSLY Three cities, three sisters, three connections on the map, dotting the southern Welsh coastline. The second largest is Swansea, a mere 40 odd miles west of Cardiff yet I’ve barely been there. This is only my fourth ever visit and by some considerable distance my most comprehensive. The first was in 1986, a rushed affair which took in HMV (where I saw David Sylvian’s Gone to Earth and INXS Kiss the Dirt single). The second I can’t remember and the last one was at…read more

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Cardiff: The Northern Parks (Three into One)

Posted by in Travel

These blogs were originally published as separates. Here to stem the number of blogs about any one city and future blogs I’ve amalgamated them into one (call it three into one if you like). Starting with… THE MEADOW If Bute Park is Cardiff’s Hyde or Central Park and Roath Park is its Regent’s Park, then the (unnamed) Meadow Walk is possibly its Hampstead Heath (I’d now say that was more likely Cefn-Onn below). And to think I only knew the north of Cardiff for its city train line but living…read more

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Kiev: A Collision of Cold, Caffeine and Colourful Churches

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains an affiliate link THIS MUST BE KIEV ‘Kiev’ my train cabin mate declares, seconds later we pass Zhuliani airport and I know from my research that we are within four miles of our destination. A typical melee to get my bags through the train doors and onto the low platform below ensues. My cabin friend and I shake hands and head in separate directions. He has another hours bus ride ahead of him while I have an art hostel to find (not knowing if they have a room available). ALARM…read more

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Newport: Jigsaw Falling into Place

Posted by in Culture, Travel

SEE THE BEAUTY IN YOUR DRAB HOMETOWN *this blog contains an affiliate link. It is not often I get to blog about the hometown (technically speaking somewhere between the M4 and Caerleon), so rare in fact it’s never been done, so here goes… It’s fair to say that Newport doesn’t exactly conjure up positive imagery; even Lonely Planet has previously referred to it as ‘a bit of a dump’. A faceless grey town on the banks of a muddy brown river with an equally bland name (it sounds better in…read more

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