Gathering the minutes of life...Sydney, Hong Kong, Saigon

I am setting you up, 
leading you gently down the blogging post path.
Inhale...slowly...deep breath..out..slowly
Gaze at the lovely orchids below, shimmering in the glow
of the morning sun in Saigon..with a Buddha
ushering in tranquility in the distance.
How are you feeling?

Hold onto that thought (if you are somewhat relaxed)
It is about to change.

But first...

The thing about chaos, is that while
it disturbs us, it too, forces
our hearts to roar
in a way we secretly find magnificent.

-Christopher Poindexter

Are you ready?

Greetings from Sydney!

Travels around Sydney

I recently returned from Sydney where I had a wonderful catch up with family and friends. Sydney is familiar territory to me, having lived there for nearly twelve years. I slip into it with ease and enjoy every waking moment. My weekends were spent with my son and daughter, Connor and Christine while the weekdays were filled with appointments and catch ups with friends. As much as I enjoy the travel pace, I like to find time to disconnect too.  For me, it is a matter of popping in the earphones and walking long distances. Sydney is the perfect place for disconnecting. If you are so inclined, I suggest starting at Circular Quay and following the shoreline past the Sydney Opera House and into The Royal Botanic Gardens. Be sure to weave your way around the gardens, they are spectacular. It takes little effort to come onto the Art Gallery NSW...a must. After a wander, stop for a coffee or tea in the cafe and you will feel completely restored and ready to pick up where you left off. Before I pass onto my next collage, I would like to introduce little Napoleon, in the upper left corner. He is the resident pup in Christine's apartment, shared between four girls. I can tell you that little fellow gets plenty of TLC...I was totally smitten. 


When in Hong Kong....

Travels around Hong Kong

Prior to my trip to Sydney, I tagged along with Mr. H to Hong Kong. He worked...I played. Something I found very easy to do...especially with a camera. You may have gathered from my photos that I am a bit of a romantic. A travelling romantic. I often go into dream like states as I wander around cities...completely lost both in thought and in person. I always reckon this is the best way to explore a city. Only once, did that theory prove me wrong. Fortunately, I had no problem this time around. I am like a homing pigeon to afternoon teas and there are plenty of choices in Hong Kong. Give me an afternoon tea for one and easy access to Shanghai Tang and I am one happy traveller.  I took this trip to Hong Kong nice and easy having just completed a whirlwind tour of Saigon with a visiting friend....

Have Vespa will travel...

Travels through Saigon

If you are still with me, you may recall that I started my travel jaunt with a trip to Laos. I wrote about it here...and then another wonderful thing happened. A dear friend, Paula, came to visit Saigon by way of a business trip to Tokyo. The world surely turns in wonderful ways, as Paula and I had yet to meet two years previously. She came into my life with Tahilla Farm...and the rest is history. Paula said she wanted to see "Jeanne's Saigon" and I was thrilled.  I took her to my favourite shopping areas, signed us up for a cooking class, organised two Vespa tours, one around Saigon and the other to the Mekong Delta with spa time thrown in the mix. Always great when you have a kindred travel friend with was a lot of fun!

Speaking of my way (or rather, Mr. H's way), some of you have asked how Henrietta Hippo is settling in. Henrietta came to us by way of Mr. H who had a remarkable idea to hand over a 12" wooden statue of a hippo he had from his days living in Africa and ask a local Vietnamese craftsman to replicate the very same into life size form...with interesting results. The first was that it was a complete surprise to me. 

I must say...
I have tried, in earnest, to accept her. 
I dressed her luck.

When I returned from Sydney, I noticed that
she had a terracotta bowl which I had marked
for future succulents, postioned just so. 
I can see that Tika was not impressed either.
I am still trying to figure out who the "imp" 
was that put it there in the first place. at Chateau Mango carries
on it's extraordinary ways...hippo and all.

I am flying off to Tahilla Farm next week...
amongst other things, there is a small matter 
that I need to speak to our architect about..
and it involves a hippo. ;)

Until next time!

Jeanne :)


  1. You have had so many wonderful adventures this year Jeanne! It would be easy to be that I know how very much you appreciate them all... :)

    1. That I do Heather...and I take it one trip at a time, thankful for each one. When the Expat Express comes into the final station, it will be a very different scenario. ;)

  2. You are A WOMAN on THE GO!~~~~~~~~~~Looking forward to photos of the FARM!XO

  3. loved hearing from you + the photos + happy trails to you.

    1. Many thanks Peggy, I always appreciate you stopping by.. :)

  4. I always marvel at your adventurous life. You are here, there and everywhere and I travel with you every step of the way - especially since I am stuck indoors with a bad cold and cough.

    1. Oh dear...take care Loree. It is my one dread when travelling...that first cough and feeling of utter exhaustion. Be Well...xx

  5. …but will Henrietta love New Hampshire as we do? I must say the hippos I came close to on the waters of Africa were definitely scary. When I heard they tipped mokoros over and drowned tourists, I opted for the larger motor boat on the Okavango delta in Botswana!

    Your travels have definitely been hectic these past few months Jeanne - good for you keeping up with so many friends and family - your photos are terrific and I thank you for sharing and bringing back memories of my wonderful travels in Saigon and Sydney - two amazing cities.

    Take care - Mary

    1. Thank you Mary...I should probably count my blessings as he could have chosen the other statue, a rhioncerous with a mighty big horn. If it were not for the dragon head on Henrietta I might warm up to her a bit more. My thinking is she is well suited to Saigon and not the frigid temperatures of New Hampshire. That is the card I am playing at the moment...I may need a few more. ;)

  6. No matter where you are, Jeanne, I suspect you make the most of it and because of your skill with a camera the rest of us get to be a part of the adventure as well. You are collecting a lot of air miles these days. Might I borrow a few? (:

  7. I love all of your blog postings.........What a fabulous fantastic life you lead.......Blessings

  8. Such a beautiful image to begin your post, Jeanne...travelling around cities with a camera is one of my favourite things to do...wonderful...and as for little Napoleon I have one just the same called Basil ;)
    Your posts are always so delightful to read...good luck with the hippo! xx

  9. Hello Jeanne
    Your images of Sydney brings back fond memories. It is one stunning city and always has been.
    Henrietta in New Hampshire you say. I say "Live Free or Die" (like the license plate)
    You cannot say life is boring Jeanne. Continued joy as you fly up and away.
    Helen xx

  10. Your traveling life Jeanne is just full of adventures. Many more safe travels.

  11. Jeanne, I don't know how you do it! I have the WORST jet lag ever after returning home on Wednesday. I guess it is a good excuse to slow down after a hectic trip! I love reading about your adventures and following along on IG. It was fun to share my travels with you in "real time"...unfortunately, I couldn't convince my husband and son to have tea that The Peninsula with me (grumble, grumble)...I decided I would rather spend time with them than have tea so we went for dim sum instead. Next on my agenda - Vietnam! My son is going in early December and is SO excited! Safe travels to Tahilla! xoxo

  12. Looking forward to Tahilla updates - following along with your travel on Instagram was so much fun.

  13. Loved reading about each of your trips. You have been quite busy. Can't wait to plans for the hippo! Safe travels!

  14. You DO get around, Jeanne!!! Love following you around vicariously :)

  15. Jeanne we so love tagging along on your journeys. I wonder what it will be like for you and Mr. H once you land permanently at Tahilla Farm? It is such a lovely place...and you can wander from there!!!

  16. Hello, Jeanne - I hope you are enjoying your travels AND preparations for winter at Tahilla! I thought of you when we had our first big snowstorm here last week...don't know if you saw similar conditions in southern NH - or if you were even in southern NH at the time! - but if so, I hope all was snug and cozy :)


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