Impossibly photogenic: the Tiger’s Nest, or Taktsang Palphug, monastery, Bhutan’s most sacred site. Photograph: EyesWideOpen/Getty

I don’t know who wrote the signs along the road that goes from Bhutan’s international airport, at Paro, to Thimphu, the tiny capital, but like almost(...)

Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’. Photograph: Paddy Tobin

What is your favourite Irish plant? And no, you’re not allowed to say shamrock … Instead, I’m thinking of the thousands of wonderful garden plants (...)

Dearg was born in June  at Fota Wildlife Park. Photograph: Neil Danton

Fota Wildlife Park in Cork has chosen a strong Irish name for its most recent arrival, a baby Red Panda Cub – named Dearg. Dearg was born in Ju(...)

My husband with our daughter, Aarya, and son, Ruhaan

In the school yard just before the end of term, I got talking to some other mothers about summer holidays. They were planning trips to places such as (...)

Taktsang Dzong monastery in Paro, Bhutan
Ask Joan

I would like a weekend break in Ireland this winter with my boyfriend. I was thinking more along the lines of a “get away from it all” trip rather tha(...)

Rice is the staple food for about three billion people worldwide. Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters

Rice imported from some countries contains high levels of lead that could pose a health risk to children, researchers have claimed. (...)