They’re Changing Guard At Buckingham Palace … Celebrating AA Milne

January 18 marks the birthday of author AA Milne. He is best known as the creator of Winnie The Pooh, but the thing I remember him for most is his collection of poems When We Were Very Young. 

I grew up with an idyllic view of England, verging on the ridiculous. Growing up abroad, many of my summers were spent at my grandmother’s house on the south coast, where I played in the sea, believed there were fairies under the tree and approached the old air-raid shelter in the garden with a combination of childlike curiosity and caution.

Silverhowe had the most awesome silver birch tree, which inspired as many stories as The Faraway Tree. Then there was Peter Pan on the bird bath, which was carefully washed by myself and my friend every summer, as if it were a precious crown. Continue reading

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New Year, New Adventures – My Resolutions For 2016

I’m not normally one for new year’s resolutions, but this year I’m feeling vaguely inspired so here goes…

1. #Project366 on Instagram

For the past few years I’ve watched my pal Johnny post a photo a day on his Instagram account @junglehungry with the hashtag #project365. Recent posts vary from ice skates to didgeridoos and hipster loo roll, most with a one or two-word, often comic, caption.  Continue reading

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Christmas Time, Lebkuchen and Wein…

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Few places in the world are as magical as Vienna at Christmas. The lights, the markets, the Gluehwein… No snow this year, sadly, but still beautiful. I’m here until Christmas Day, when I will celebrate with family and friends before … Continue reading

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Poignant And Provocative: Ai Weiwei At The Royal Academy

Ai Weiwei is known as much for his activism as his art. The retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts highlights some of his most provocative works, which have infuriated authorities at home while fascinating people across the globe.

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Lego City Advent Calendar 2015 – What’s Behind The Door Today?

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When I was in my final year of university, my dad came to visit from Austria. With him he brought a Kinder Surprise advent calendar – as a joke. It was a wieldy thing, the size of a DVD player, but, in … Continue reading

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Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November… The Very British Tradition Of Bonfire Night

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Bonfire Night is a curious British tradition, which sees people across the country setting fire to things every November 5 to commemorate a failed attempt at setting fire to things hundreds of years ago. “Remember, remember the fifth of November Gunpowder, treason … Continue reading

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Wien Leuchtet 2015 – Seeing Vienna In A New Light

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This year has been designated the UN’s International Year of Light and to mark the occasion, Vienna is hosting Wien leuchtet 2015. The event sees two of the Austrian capital’s most recognisable buildings – the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum – … Continue reading

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Top Sights Of Kuala Lumpur – My Impressions Of The Multicultural Malaysian Capital

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Kuala Lumpur is a true multicultural melting pot. With Malay, Chinese, Indian and British influences, KL is perhaps not the most coherent of cities but is charming in its diversity, each neighbourhood providing its own distinct charm and flavour. This … Continue reading

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Monkeying Around In Malaysia – A Mother’s Love


Going through my Malaysia pics is a slow process. I came back with about 2,000 photos and I reckon a good 350 of those are of monkeys, if not more.

Macaque monkeys at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur

This photo is of a macaque monkey and her baby at the Batu Caves, just north of Kuala Lumpur. The Batu Caves are an important Hindu shrine, notable for its 272 steps and gigantic gold statue of Lord Murugan. Impressive enough in itself but for us the main highlight was the monkeys.

It’s hard to miss the mischievous creatures. They run up and alongside the steep steps, amusing and pestering tourists in near equal measure. One tried to swipe my bottle of ice tea from Ian’s shorts pocket, seemingly attracted by its bright yellow top.

Mischievous monkeys

Another freaked out a middle-aged lady who clearly wasn’t a fan and failed to realise waving a luminous orange plastic bag in the monkey’s direction wasn’t helping matters.

This pair of monkeys were very calm by comparison, sitting in a tree near the top of the steps by the entrance to the Dark Caves. It’s a picture of serenity – the mother has a protective arm around her baby and a gentle look in her eye, while her child clings to her. I like it because it’s got a human quality to it, not unlike a regular family portrait.

Copyright Natalie Marchant/Tales From Taliena

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A Sunny Autumn Morning At Castle Howard

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This is Castle Howard, one of the most beautiful places in England in my humble opinion. Some of you may recognise it from screen adaptations of Brideshead Revisited, in which the house played as much of a starring role as any of the actors. … Continue reading

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