Singapore. No chewing gum or free love!

Singapore is multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious so why not have equal legal rights for LQBT people?

Leaving the shopping malls behind, I head for Chinatown to discover the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum and the Sri Mariamman Temple which is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple.

I’ve been in two minds about posting this latest video because it’s six minutes long and I spend a good few of them crapping on about stuff and voicing my opinion. To quote Lilly Allen, ‘Got an opinion, yeah, you’re well up for slating’. But because I’m fed up with the doomsday headlines, and because I experience love and kindness nearly everywhere I go, I’ve decided to share the good news.

I’m getting braver and a teeny-weeny bit more accomplished. The one in Tehran has received thousands of views and loads of positive comments. I suppose I’ve got nothing to lose.

The vlogging idea originally came from my lovely friend Shawn as a way to generate traffic to my writer’s website and promote Purple. Purple is (ultimately) a story about the citizens of Planet Earth choosing to live in peace and harmony with nature and each other…so it made sense to try and link the two together by demonstrating this on my travels. Thanks to all of you who’ve been complementary, it’s really appreciated. 

Nature and Concrete in Singapore

Gardens by the Bay including Supertree Grove and Cloud Forest, which has the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, plus the view from the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

I love the fusion of nature, concrete and technology in Singapore.

It sounds like a cliche but nature is a wonderful thing. It lifts my mood every time. Even though I started the day feeling down with jet lag I ended it on a high, literally and emotionally!

My very lovely afternoon out in Tehran

I was a bit nervous about filming in Iran because it’s a strict Muslim country and I’d read that you can be arrested for photographing government buildings. It turns out I needn’t have worried because my enduring memory of Tehran will be it’s friendly people. And I’m not just saying that to be nice, I really mean it. The people in Tehran were warm, welcoming, helpful, smiley and just incredibly lovely. It reaffirmed to me something I already knew. All of us on this planet are essentially the same. Despite our differences in religion, colour, gender and sexuality the vast majority of us want each other to be happy. I know this might sound simplistic, but I’ve spent years travelling the globe and meeting different people and, despite what the headlines, media and politicians would have us believe, I think we are all connected by the common desire to live in a safe, peaceful and loving world.

In this video I visit Golestan Palace, one of Tehran’s popular tourist sights, and the Grand Bazaar which is popular with locals and tourists. I’d heard that the driving in Iran could be hair-raising but it wasn’t too scary!

Getting High in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and it’s home to the Petronas Towers which are the tallest twin towers in the world. They were completed in 1996 and were the tallest buildings in the world for six years. The architecture is fabulous and I particularly love the pinnacles at the top of each tower. The spire, mast ball and ring ball on each tower collectively weighs 176 tons! The view from the top of the Petronas Towers is stunning.

Los Angeles

I spent the day in Los Angeles with my friends Zoe and Stuart. We started off with a fitness class (very LA!) then took a road trip to Santa Monica, Venice Beach and through Topanga Canyon. I asked them to make a sensible contribution to my LA vlog and they did the opposite! I love the big blue horizon of the Pacific shore  🙂 

What’s a New York Minute?

My friend Miriam lives in Manhattan so whenever I visit New York I always try to see her. Miriam used to live in London (that’s where I met her) she’s a writer and an ex-journalist and she encouraged me to write my first novel Purple. After a quick change I take a shortcut through Grand Central Station (one of my favourite buildings) to meet her for pizza. Seems like everyone in Manhattan is short of time. A New York minute is an instant. Or as Johnny Carson once said, it’s the interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn.