Diary of a Slow Traveller – San Gimignano – a mix of old and kitsch


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During our sojourn to Italy we took a day trip tof the medieval walled town o San Gimignano. Getting there from Florence is pretty straight forward even if you are not driving.

We’d read the guidebooks and spoken to others, so we knew that we were going to see some amazing sights mixed with shop after shop eagerly seeking to get the tourist dollar. The sites outweigh the endless tourist traps. It is a spectacular place a town set on a hill that dominates its surrounds. It was also just as my imaginings of Tuscany  had been probably  most likely because so many of the photographs of Tuscany in guide books and brochures are from San Gimignano.

The  bus drops you at the gates or if you drive you have a choice of two cents parks which conveniently have signs saying how many parks are available in each.  It felt very Disneyland as we walked through the gates and into Yesterdayland. Just as with Disneyland it is quite special. Continue reading

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The Diary of a Slow Traveller – Close to Home – The Tour Down Under

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Silver Sands Beach – Willunga Stage

My hometown of Adelaide, South Australia hosts the Tour Down Under each year- race one of the UCI World Road Cycling Tour. Now in its 19th year it is well established and patronised by locals and tourists alike.

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The Tour Village – Victoria Square, Adelaide

In 2017 we are lucky enough to have the Tour Village at one end of our street and the criterium that provides the introduction to the 5 stage race at either end of our street.

The criterium provides an opportunity to see the riders close up as they stretch their legs ahead of the TDU itself. A warm summer’s night greeted the race in 2017 and more than 100,000 people turned out to watch.  What a  thrill to see not just our local heroes, Caleb Ewan, Richie Porte and Simon Gerrans but also the World Champion, Peter Sagan. The sprint finish just a couple of hundred metres from my front door came down to the wire as expected with Ewan first , and Sagan third. Continue reading

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The Diary of a Slow Traveller: Close to Home – Second Valley, South Australia

Second Valley

Second Valley

I was reading the wonderful blog Windows into History  on the  joy of slow travel, a subject upon which I have often blogged.  It is a reflection of travel close to home in 1900 by Richard Le Galliene, albeit in his case he is referring to the UK. A 100 plus years on when travel to pretty much anywhere in the world is true, Le Galliene’s words still ring true.

For us , unlike last Christmas in the delightful Sirucusa, Sicily we were home for this Christmas. Christmas in Australia is synonymous with Sun and the Beach with Boxing Day seeing a trek down South for many South Australians including us.

Second Valley

Second Valley

Second Valley - the cove

Second Valley – the cove

We are lucky enough to have a beach house about 90 minutes drive from a Adelaide at the idyllic Second Valley.   South Australia, while locally more recently famous for its statewide  blackout in September, is also getting recognition as a destination with Adelaide identified as the place to discover in 2017 and our wonderful Second Valley beach one of the near city highlights. Continue reading

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In praise of Evernote

 

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With just a few weeks until my final version of my PhD research proposal is due I have been reading frantically all the while petrified that I will forget something important. Since commencing my research journey nearly 3 years ago I have read hundreds of journal article, book chapters and newspaper articles. How do you remember what’s important?

I have always been one for writing it down, as simply reading it doesn’t seem to get it into my head. Revision used to see me renoting all my work. I have followed a similar approach to my reading for my research but as I am reading information today that I might need in two or three years time, how do you make it logical and more importantly able to be found?  Continue reading

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Explaining myself

Just over a year after retiring from my firm I attended the Annual Retired Partner Dinner. It was  my first as a retired partner. I walked into a place that I’d known so well for over 20 years but this time as a guest rather than a host. It felt quite strange. I was greeted by my former partners as a guest, no longer as a colleague. I was no longer an insider, this wasn’t my place anymore.

This was definitely a “What’s Next” moment.

I certainly hadn’t gone “cold turkey” on my old firm. I had been in contact with a number of people since but for those who I hadn’t seen there were the inevitable questions. What was I upto? What had I been doing?

Cefalu

Cefalu, Sicily

I talked about our  travels  and then there were questions about whether I was consulting on boards etc?

This is where all conversations seem to head. The assumption is very much that after a career in consulting that I’d continue but in my case I haven’t. For me the process of “What’s Next” was reaching the decision that consulting was not a key part of my post professional life.   Sure I have a couple of consulting roles, but really I had taken  the student route and I definitely feel most comfortable  with being described as such.

As the conversations over the evening continued, I said that while I’d loved my time in professional services that I was now really enjoying being out of it and being incognito. Continue reading

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