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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Ethiopian bread and coffee

Pete, Nicola, Lola and Nell love to travel with the lightest of carbon footprints. Here's one way to get to Ethiopia. Post by Nicola (for more of her writing also see http://www.homemadekids.co.uk/)

Bread and coffee are my staples. But if I tweak the ingredients so it's a flat bread - injera - and add a bit of ceremony to the coffee, maybe with frankincense then it's easy to be transported to Ethiopia. It certainly helps if you add in the wonderful music of singer Honey Solomon at the 24th Gillespie Festival (held the 2nd Sunday every September) Ethiopia came to a pocket park in the shadow of Arsenal's football stadium.

The Gillespie Festival is a large fete with a cultural spin that reflects the area's unique mix of peoples. While the stalls are piled with secondhand or homemade creations. There's usually also a fast trade in homecooked or home grown produce (I bought rhubarb and plum tomatoes from the Quill Street Allotments and damson jam from Olden Community Garden's stall). Defying categories - a pedal bike that powered up a fruit smoothie maker being run by Finsbury Park Transition Town.

But the real pleasure of attending Gillespie Festival is its amazing multicultural mix of music and people.

Get up and dance
Honey Solomon
specialises in Ethiopian songs - and during her set a tower block version of the flatbread injera was passed around for sharing to everyone in the audience. This bread was delicious tasting (and is ideally eaten with the right hand).

To one side of the stage a coffee ceremony had been set up, beans roasted, frankincense flavoured the air. The hypnotic effect of Honey's music, food and scented smoke soon had the crowd dancing.

Today I was back in this little park walking my dog and there's barely a trace of the Magic Carpet trip the people of London, N4 and N5 took yesterday to Ethiopia. But it's not one I'm likely to forget if I can turn my coffee love into something with more ceremony and less addictive-behaviour.

1 comment:

kokorako said...

From 25 Sep - 31 Oct 2010 you can see a great play for 10+ at the Unicorn theatre, London about Ethiopia. The Garbage King, based on Elizabeth Laird's book, is set at a rubbish dump. It's brilliant, try 020 7645 0560 and www.unicorntheatre.com