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Matt

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This venerable member of vinyl aristocracy, Sgt Pepper, turned 50 last week. I was a late discoverer of The Beatles master piece, but like many, had a fairly thin sounding CD stereo version from the 1990’s. I actually never listened to it much, the sound quality was so mediocre. Then in 2014 I bought a new record deck, and shortly after, the Beatles Mono box Set. As all Beatles devotees know, the mono mixes were the ones that the Beatles and George…

For Tuscany in all it’s glory, look no further than this picturesque hilltop village. About an hour or so drive from Firenze, navigating the twists and turns of rural Italy, we reach Volpaia, our home for the next five days or so.  We booked on the strength of a recommendation, and we were unsure of what to expect. But from the moment our little hire car had made it up the long hill, and into the little village square, we were immediately captivated. Volapaia…

Rome on a Vespa If you’ve ever been to Rome, you’ll know that as well as being the Eternal City, full of amazing classical buildings and history at every turn, it can also be a pretty frantic place, with tourists swarming almost every major attraction.  Visiting a new City, it can also be difficult to discover the secret neighbourhoods, views and restaurants that the locals frequent, and escape the more obvious hotspots. For the perfect antidote to this, we discovered these guys – Scooteroma -…

Singapore is not particularly known for it’s wildlife. There is some of course, but mainly of the reptilian variety, plus a few monkeys and assorted rather noisy birds. I’m doing the country a slight disservice here, but I can’t see David Attenborough beating a path here anytime soon. The newish Gardens by the Bay has been open for a couple of years now, and it is situated on either side of the Marina bay barrage area, with the rather more interesting Wyndham triffid…

Stunning Sri Lanka This place has been on my list of ‘most wanted’ travel destinations for a few years now, and it does not disappoint. It’s like an easier going, more laid back version of India. It’s still crazy, and chaotic, especially on the roads, but it does not have the full on assault to the senses that it’s bigger nearby sibling has. We land in Columbo, but give it a swerve (after living in metropolitan Singapore for over four years, I…

Bath is one of my favourite cities, with its Georgian architecture and elegant city planning, it remains largely un-touched by the passage of time or by the often bizarre planning choices that have blighted many other English cities. On my latest visit, over the New Year period, it rained for most of the time, with the sun only managing to make an appearance for two or three days.  But on those rare occasions, I managed to get out and about early in the morning,…

Unforgettable Maldives diving in the Indian Ocean Arrival We set off from Singapore and connect in Colombo Sri Lanka, from where it’s just a one hour flight to the islands. There is literally nothing to see but sea all the way to the Maldives, in fact, I didn’t even see any land until almost just before the plane touches done, such is the slightness of the land mass. Immediately leaving the airport, one is greeted by the most wondrous of welcoming sights, the…

The Charisma MC1 Cartridge My Funk Firm Little Superdeck, which I’ve owned for over a year now, has been a gem of a turntable, and has brought me hours of pleasure (see here for a full review).  On delivery I had it fitted out with a Clear Audio MM Performance cartridge, and this combined with the Whest 2 phono amp, has given a great performance, with a warm, open sound. Recently however, the curse of all audiophiles, Upgraditis, or the nagging curiosity to…

And so the little red dot I call home for almost four years has hit the 50 milestone (or almost, the actual official day is about ten days away at the point of writing). Friendly people, amazingly clean and efficient, and progressive urban planning, makes Singapore a true 21st Century City.  Within a short distance of our neighbourhood in Chinatown, lies a fusion of gleaming modern architecture, with pockets of  Conservation protected historic buildings, including colonial era Shophouses and Chinese and Indian Temples.…

Despite many years living in Australia, and more recently Singapore, until this trip, I’ve never made it to Bali .  But we recently managed to cram in a quick trip into over one of Singapore’s frequent long weekends, and although only there for a few days, I got a taste of why this tropical island is such a draw for visitors from around the region. Beautiful temples seem to be on almost every small street, although sometimes it’s hard to say what is…