That something extraordinary might happen any minute, any day, any month is the peculiar sense you feel in New York, writes Joan Didion. It happened to my friend Myra on her first trip there. “I just had a sense when you and I were at the Writers’ Festival that I wasn’t through with New York, […]
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“Indisputably the best walk on the South Island,” says Scott Cook about Hooker Valley Track in his guidebook NZ Frenzy. There’s even higher praise—many references cite New Zealand’s Hooker Valley as the best day track in the entire country. After hiking it in late April, NZ’s autumn, Magellan and I gave it five stars. But […]
“To know the character of a community, I need only visit its cemeteries.” (Benjamin Franklin) Judging by the thousands of prehistoric burial chambers (some with porches) honeycombed into limestone rock high above the rivers In remote Mount Iblei, the air honeyed by wild flowers and herbs, silent save for the buzz of honeybees and singsong of […]
At this time in autumn twenty-five moons ago, we were bashing around on the “living husband-and-wife bridges” in Japan’s most secluded wilderness in a “wild monkey cart.” Needs explaining doesn’t it?
“I’m Mary,” she said, hesitating, a wry look on her face, like she wanted to say “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.” “And I’m Tyler Crosby. Nephew of Sid Crosby. (Pause.) You know, Sid Crosby, (Pause) the Skidegate Chief of Chiefs.” I knew immediately why Captain Tom had worked so hard at the wheel fighting waves and […]
Kindling Jan 12, New Zealand so… as to our annual holiday… as far as galiano goes, gabriola too, i’m over them. really, when i look out at the ocean here for five months of the year, i don’t find the gulf islands all that attractive. too damn many trees! i am willing to be convinced […]
The Golden Age of Discovery. Such a good tagline for Lisbon with its many attractions linked to world explorers, like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. We loved this city of light (three thousand hours of sunshine per year!) bouncing off cobblestones of pearly white, of famed attractions like the Discoveries Monument, Jeronimos Monastery and […]
Every September since 1995, we’ve been making a shell bean soup recipe from a cookbook by Alice Waters. Today we’re travelling back in time to when I first made this autumn bowl of Italian earthiness—a soup so good it’s usurped the event of that fateful day.
Think of your favourite cities to visit. What do they have in common? Vibrance. Culture. Events. Economic stability. A unique sense of place. Chances are they’re university cities. Like Coimbra in Portugal, where Magellan and I were last year on homecoming weekend in early September.
“I think he’s alive and living in the bush in Alaska like hundreds of other guys,” said Dale, the volunteer at the Port Clements Museum in his black fisherman’s cap and black T-shirt when I asked him if he thought Grant Hadwin was dead. “He left his pack above the high-tide mark; that’s the giveaway,” […]
Forget the Gregorian calendar. For as long as I can remember it’s the first of September that heralds the new year on my calendar. The fall harvest ripening into hearty soups and long-simmering stews, festivals for writing and films with premiers of new novels and movies, dahlias in russet and gold, magazines thick with fashions […]
The first dish cited in our Insight guide to Sicily is Sarde a beccafico. I didn’t pay much attention, not being overly fond of sardines. But when I read in that same guidebook that you could stay at Via Butera 28 in Palermo, part of Palazzo Lanza Tomasi where Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa lived while […]
What is it about mountain goats? Perhaps it’s their cross-species sociability. Their curious nature. Their direct gaze. And their amazing agility on steep mountainsides. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you know that goats have been our travel companions on quite a few hiking trails. Their presence equalled the splendour of everything else on […]
“People of conspicuous elegance” is how the Ancestral Pueblo people of Mesa Verde have been described. Rarefied living, 8,300 feet above sea level on the Colorado Plateau, their cliff dwellings were the largest in the Southwestern US—there were thirty-eight rooms and three plazas in the Balcony House that Magellan and I toured. If Architectural Digest […]
Driving in Sicily was just like Spice and me sailing with our friends Don and Marg years ago, ninety percent boredom and ten percent panic; or in Don’s case, ninety-five percent boredom and five percent amusement. Or if his son Geoff had the helm, pure instinct. Not the case for Magellan in Sicily—“Please Help Me!” […]
In the early 1970s Magellan and I bought a print of Emily Carr’s “Haida Totems.” Its presence followed us through a succession of homes, creating an immanent longing to visit what was then called the Queen Charlotte Islands, now known as Haida Gwaii. Or Islands Emerging From (Supernatural) Concealment or The Islands on the Boundary between Worlds as […]
In the Haida language, Gwaii (they prefer Gwaay) means islands, Haanas means beautiful and K’yang.ga is the word for a jellyfish with tentacles. Gwaii Haanas is the short version for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve covering the islands and waters and Haida villages in the southern area of Haida Gwaii, which was formerly known as the Queen Charlotte […]
There’s something about Texas, especially West Texas. I know, it’s not too fashionable to like the lone-star state. Too many guns. Too many red necks. Too black-gold-centric. Too near Breaking Bad country. For years, West Texas has been calling us long-distance, saying “Come visit.” The quirky town of Marfa. Big Bend National Park. And the legendary Gage […]
“Lisbon Has Become One of Europe’s Hottest Art Capitals. How Did That Happen?” Last year shortly after this headline appeared on ArtNet, Lisbon bookended our visit to other destinations in Portugal and Spain’s Picos de Europa. At the beginning of our trip In the cab on our way into Lisbon, we stopped at Zest Books […]
At our age, we’ve got a lot of baggage; I mean luggage. Big and small. Two-wheeled and four. Heavy and light. Burgundy and rusty orange. And black, lots of black. You might be surprised to see what our favourite piece of luggage is now. A small cooler!
BIG BEND TEXAS: No Place to Think Small. That’s the truth. With a landmass of more than 135,000 square miles, Big Bend National Park is huge. The southern edge of Big Bend borders Mexico for 118 miles—a stretch #45 would like to see walled. Which is how “Wally,” the talisman you’re about to meet, got […]
Reading Kelly Kelleher’s essay on the colour lilac, the fashion shade this spring/summer, awakened a dormant inspiration to write a poem on lilacs. Going to Saskatchewan a few weeks ago (still lilac season there) to visit our aging mothers provided the second incentive. Re-reading Linda Pastan’s “I am Haunted by Lilacs” was the muse-poem that completed […]
We’ve all seen our share of profound art. But being in a cave in semi-darkness among drawings created 24,000 years ago, astonished our perception of time and human achievement.
Don’t you love rhubarb? Growing up on the prairies, rhubarb signaled that winter was over: dessert bowls of mom’s dull-coloured canned rhubarb with its bracing, teeth-cleaning acidity came to an end, replaced by her fresh rhubarb pies and mini cakes: sugared rhubarb and walnuts topped with a sweet-cream biscuit dough and baked in muffin tins. […]
“Change your money on the black market,” friends who’d been to Argentina advised, “You’ll get 25 percent more than at the banks.” I was all for it, but Magellan was skeptical. “I don’t want to get robbed in some back alley,” he protested.
Letters, from a woman to her hiking boots.
The memory of May: what gladness I felt walking the country road to our one-room school, especially coming to the woodland marshes with their wild marigolds yellowing up beneath a sky of prairie blue. The same feeling we had last May, in Texas of all places, in Big Bend National Park at a place with […]
“I can still taste the simple, pistachio pasta we ate,” was the first thing Teresa said when I told her we were going to Sicily. “Their buttery, fat pistachios are so much better than those we get from the Middle East.” “The food is so good, Clive and I gained ten pounds,” Linda told us. […]
One of the joys of hiking in Europe compared to most anywhere else in the world is the reward of eating lunch at a restaurant in a mountain village enroute. Take, for example, Hike #1 in Teresa Farino’s book Picos de Europa. But first, let me step back in time for a bit.
Starting out as just a waypoint for us between Portugal and the Picos de Europa, the Spanish city of León turned into a highly recommendable destination—as those of you who have hiked the Camino de Santiago already know. León has the energy of a university town, one of the most stunning cathedrals in Spain and […]
Until we started planning our trip to Portugal, I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of the country’s Fernando Pessoa—considered one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. Do you know him—or should I say do you know the four greatest Portuguese poets—all Pessoa writing under different names? Pessoa means person in […]
It was the first place in Nevada to have concrete sidewalks and the first place in the state to have electricity. Founded in 1905, it soon had three railroads, a stock exchange, a hospital, a symphony, a few churches and many brothels. Nope, it’s not Vegas but a ghost town called Rhyolite, named for a […]
I knew that Sunday, as we parked the car overlooking a hay field in the lush green of the Basque countryside and walked by a garden leading to a red-tiled farmhouse restaurant, that our lunch at Mugaritz was going to be good.
Although we followed Namgyel’s guidance and arrived early to get to a good seat at the country’s largest and most popular cultural festival, throngs of Bhutanese and small groups of tourists were already crowding into Paro Dzong ahead of us. Bedazzling. We’d seen photos of the elaborate pageantry at the Paro Tshechu and Namgyel had […]
Have you ever dreamt of painting music? A Bill Frisell concert can do that to you. It happened to me last month after hearing Bill and Thomas Morgan play at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle.
Quietly, our stockinged feet touch the cool, grey floor. Like a water droplet at the moment of landing, this concrete shell elongates. Pillarless. Seamless. Edgeless. There is no boundary between floor and ceiling. An inclusive space. For a single, solitary artwork. The silence is profound. There are no cameras. Talking is prohibited; even children’s voices […]
What did you do to celebrate your retirement? Magellan chose Palm Springs. Figured he’d improve his golf score. Take in the BNP Paribas Open—the tennis tournament in Indian Wells. And enjoy some hiking in the area.
No, this blog is not about rock ’n roll fans screaming their heads off when the Beatles broke into “Oh yeah I’ll, tell you something, I wanna hold your hand.” It’s about Cabo Hornos. Which has no connection to the Beatles. Not that we know of, anyway. The “Screaming Sixties” are the gale-force 60-miles/hour winds […]
We have many friends who plan their trips on the fly. They book their first night’s accommodation and then get the advice of locals on the best side trips and places to stay and eat. They return with stories of many pleasant surprises from their random walk. Spice tends to be a bit more (okay, […]
Of our many hikes in the Southwestern United States, we both look back at one in awe—short, sweet and a palette of pinks—Lower Hackberry Canyon. “There was something out there,” said Magellan.
“We’re trying for the experience we had in Seville with you guys,” said Pat this week describing a trip he and Dallas are planning to Budapest and Vienna. “That apartment we rented was so great.” Readers of this blog may recall that we’ve talked about our trip to Seville with Pat and Dallas before: the […]
Years ago when people thought only les vins français were worth drinking, our neighbour Jim started a little company importing wine from Spain and Portugal. When his son visited this month and inventoried the remaining bottles, I thought back to two Januaries ago and a eulogy at Jim’s Celebration of Life. “I knew nothing about […]
About three-o-clock every afternoon these days when Vancouver’s grey skies darken toward charcoal and heavy rains pummel our flat roof, I need a cookie. The urge is as strong as when I was a kid getting home from school in the subzero cold of Saskatchewan and wanting mom’s warm “matrimonial cake,” gooey dates sandwiched between […]
“When you see a parade of mules coming, move off the trail,” our guide Brian told our hiking group last spring in the Grand Canyon. “Why do you use mules instead of horses?” someone asked. “Mules can carry a lot more weight for one thing. They’re also more sure-footed than horses. It’s the way they […]
“Did you like Milford Sound?” That’s the first question you’ll be asked when you tell people you were on the South Island of New Zealand for three weeks. When Magellan and I answer meekly, “We didn’t go there,” we’re met with the same dumbfounded expression you’d give to people visiting the Rockies and admitting they […]
As 2017 draws to a close, I think the best dessert I ate this year was ______. How would you fill in that blank? You might be surprised to learn that for me, it wasn’t a dessert from our 18 weeks of travelling (like the Pastel de Beléms in Lisbon). In the contest though […]
Since the Middle Ages, dark interior walls of stone cathedrals have been animated by the communion of light and colour on jewel-toned windows of stained glass. People travelled for days to read brightly illuminated stories imprinted on stained glass, stories created to teach and delight: the liturgical canon, local history, political leanings, arts and science, […]
If you think of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSE) as a staircase, imagine it now only half as wide—the new “Liddle” Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Last week we addressed Trump’s December 4 proclamation to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by 85%. On the same day, he cut our favourite place in Utah—Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument—by […]
During our 79-day tour of the southwestern US, one of our favourite wilderness areas was the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) in southeastern Utah. On the weekend of May 13, we hiked into House on Fire, one of the most famous Puebloan ruins in BENM. It’s so dazzling we went twice, on Saturday evening when […]
On Friday afternoon, we got the call. A week later, I locked the door on an almost-empty house. Imagine that like my mother, you’re eighty-nine years old. You’re moving into a single room in a personal care home in less than a week. Look around. What possessions would you take with you?
Do you remember what you got for Christmas thirty years ago? For me, it was One Hundred Flowers, a coffee-table art book of Georgia O’Keeffe’s floral paintings. I was such a fan of her work that Magellan bought this for me in 1987, the year it was first published, the year Georgia O’Keeffe would have […]
“It’s hidden under this vase,” said the young man, pulling out the house key. “A typical Portuguese hiding place,” he laughed. “Good thing we’re sharing the house with a couple who got here before dark and know what’s going on,” said Magellan as we introduced ourselves to Gil and Sebastião. Until we arrived in […]
“It’s so quiet. Stunning architecture, but where is everybody?” Our main reason for visiting Valencia was to see “starchitect” Santiago Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences, the reason we assumed many other tourists go to this Spanish city that’s as sensuous as its melodious name, Valencia. We wondered why so few people were there in […]
In W. O. Mitchell’s novel about prairie life, wind is a metaphor. But in today’s story about Patagonia’s Frenchman’s Valley, wind is the real force: raw, razor-sharp, and so powerful…well, let me tell you how fierce and after you watch Magellan’s video clip, you’ll see for yourself.
“Eek-y-guy” What? “Eek-y-guy” is how you pronounce the Japanese word ikigai, which means having a sense of purpose. For the Japanese jubilado Tsukimi Ayano, making scarecrows is her ikigai.
We saved the most spectacular hike for the last. By accident. While Horseshoe Canyon is an annex of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, it would have been easier to access it weeks earlier when we were up north in Hanksville. I’m glad our wayfaring skills went south. Ending our 58 hikes in the southwestern US with […]
Have you heard about the Costa da Morte on the Galician coast of northwestern Spain? Until a few months ago when planning a hiking trip to Spain’s Picos de Europa combined with our first visit to Portugal we hadn’t. Looking like a jagged heart atop Portugal, the Costa da Morte seemed like a good waypoint. […]
When we read about the Sealy Tarns Trek in Scott Cook’s NZ Frenzy hiking guide, I thought, “No way. This seems too much like the Grouse Grind in North Vancouver.”
Wild camping—that’s the Omani term for what we call primitive camping, Americans call dispersed camping and New Zealanders call freedom camping. We’d been wild camping in Oman in a Land Cruiser with a Hannibal rooftop tent in the Hajar Mountains, at Jabal Shams and in the Cinnamon Desert. Now we were heading south toward the […]
Someone asked me what I thought about while driving during our 79-day road trip this spring. Not much. But travelling through Wyoming, I was reminded of a short story that upon rereading when we returned home, wouldn’t let go of me until I forced it into this poem. Rock Springs Driving north from Flaming Gorge […]
Something unexpected happened on my birthday a few years ago. I met an ermitaño. In Spain. “A what?” you’re probably asking.
El Bulli. Perhaps the world’s most famous restaurant. When Ferran Adrià closed its doors in 2011, El Bulli had been named the #1 restaurant in the world five times—a record. Ferran’s radically creative molecular gastronomy influences chefs as much as his fellow Spaniard Rafa’s topspin reverse forehand impresses tennis players. But what happens to the […]
Sinking my teeth into a cob of plump, sweet corn the day it’s picked is what makes this time of the year a treat. You might remember me saying something like this last year in our blog Yellow, which featured a recipe for Taos Corn Chowder. For this year’s recipe, we’re going south of Taos, New […]
Since the turn of the century, some architects and engineers have been incorporating more and more sustainable and environmentally sensitive practices into their residential designs. Practices such as passive natural lighting, solar shading, natural ventilation, non load-bearing interior walls, steel framing and pre-fabricated modules. These concepts were responses to environmental concerns that had evolved over […]
“De gazpacho no hay empacho.” Translation: “You can never get too much of a good thing, like gazpacho.” We agree. With tomatoes voluptuously plumping in the sun on vines across the country, enticing us with their earthy perfume, it’s time for gazpacho.
“That’s good because I didn’t want to sleep in a yurt on the beach,” Ward said when I told him we’d booked rooms for he and Lynn and Magellan and I at Benesse House in Japan. Like Claudia and Jamie in the children’s book The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, we were going […]
This week after reading “Upscale Food and Gear is Bringing Campsite Cooking Out of the Wild” in The Globe and Mail, Magellan said, “We did that—and more.” I don’t know Canada’s stats but the article, originally published in The New York Times, says interest in camp cooking in the US is heating up. A million […]
100 blogposts! “I thought we’d work at it for a year,” Magellan confessed when I asked him how long he initially expected we’d be at it, back when he announced his idea for Latitude65 to me over dinner in November 2014. Hmmm.
On every holiday we’ve taken, there comes a time, usually midway through the trip, when I think to myself, “I wish I was at home.” Maybe I’m missing the comfort of lying on our couch with a book instead of on a hotel bed planning the next day’s excursions. Or longing for a plate […]
Imagine a hilltop town, blindingly white cubist architecture, a labyrinth of narrow streets under skies blue as lapis lazuli. Did you think you were in Greece? That’s how we felt when we arrived one Sunday afternoon at Vejer de la Frontera, a pueblo blanco in Andalusia.
A traveller’s nightmare. 1990. Bari, Italy. A guy with a knife slits the strap on my “man-purse.” Jumps onto the back of a motorbike. Disappears into a maze of alleys. I’ve just lost my passport, driver’s license, credit cards, money and airline tickets. If it had happened today, I’d also have lost my iPhone.
It was July 1, 1967, Canada’s 100th birthday. The Terrace Gardens at Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park. “Look at the cute guy in the siwash sweater,” said my friend Chon. “Hey, he’s coming over here. And I bet he’s going to ask you to dance,” she said. Given “he” was Magellan, you can see […]
Remember when we were younger travellers and spent hours looking for souvenirs for ourselves and our friends and family? If you’re like us, you’ve stopped buying stuff that recipients neither need nor want. (Okay, there are Kit Kats for Brandy, wine for Ward, a rubber chicken for Gail…) And at this decluttering stage of our […]
Backpacking, car camping, RVing or motelling? Why did we choose a rooftop tent as our base to explore North America?
When we’re travelling and people hear where we’re from, we get one or the other of these responses: “Vancouver. I love that city. So beautiful. Such great seafood.” Or: “Vancouver. I’d love to go there. I hear it’s so beautiful. And that it has such great seafood.” One of our favourite local seafoods is spot […]
“Are you taking a gun?” You’d be surprised how often this question was asked when we announced our plans to spend three months touring the southwestern United States, primarily primitive camping in a rooftop tent on our 2008 Land Rover. Only once did I wish, sort of, that I had one. Instead, this blog, the […]
The other day I was seeding a pomegranate, such a sensual fruit with its ruby-red arils clustered together. It got me thinking about Granada, the Spanish city whose name comes from a combination of Arabic words meaning word pomegranate and hill of strangers. The main reason tourists go to Granada is to see the Alhambra, […]
“This is a beautiful road but I’m getting tired of driving on it,” I said to Magellan, who was the one at the wheel. It was the fourth time we’d driven it in 18 hours. When we booked a B&B in Castle Valley, Utah, we weren’t concerned that it was 35 kilometres from Moab. Highway […]
No, not that White House. But a thousand years ago, the White House we’re talking about today was a political place. “I think we should go even though it is a two-hour drive each way,” I said to Magellan over breakfast at Casa de las Olas. “We’ll be sorry if we don’t.” Leaving the white-sand […]
In the language of New Zealand’s indigenous Māori, the word Moeraki means “drowsy day.” We were ready for a drowsy day, for Moeraki. The previous day we woke up before the sun in Auckland, drove slowly to the airport (because a tire on our rental car had blown out on the freeway and we were […]
“Since the time of the Inquisition, what started off in Spain as “mandatory” pork consumption (under the threat of death) has evolved into a true passion.” This quote comes from a Food Network documentary that Magellan and I highly recommend (for those of you going to Spain, considering Spain or thinking about pork for dinner […]
Just say the word penguin and your mouth forms into a smile. (Try it. See!) We humans love these fearless, flightless birds in tuxedos, waddling around on two feet (like us) looking like they’d like to come over for a chat. Seeing a colony of Magellanic penguins was one of the very best experiences on […]
Local knowledge. It wasn’t listed in the New York Times 36 Hours in Tulum. We hadn’t heard about it from friends who’d been to Tulum. It didn’t screen surface on any of our Google searches, even though it’s been around since 2004. But on our first morning at Casa de las Olas when we were […]
There’s a reason Windhorse Tours, and probably every company arranging travel in Bhutan, puts climbing to the Tiger’s Nest at the end of your stay. Taktshang Pelphung, the sacred temple complex known as the Tiger’s Nest, clings to a sheer rock cliff in thin air at an elevation of 3200 metres—10,500 feet. That’s more than […]
In the dark of the night, dreaming of their faces jolted me awake. Again. Even though it’s been almost two years since we saw them. Recurring dreams, it is said, reflect our concerns and help us process memories and emotions. It’s also said that giving this sort of dream a title and writing about it […]
We heard one day in the car on CBC 2 Ben Hepner say some composers modelled their compositions on Fibonacci’s Series, like Claude Debussey for example, which made me wonder if any famous poets had ever spiraled an idea in Fibonacci’s form, like a nautilus beginning with a single circle and expanding it outward, to […]
Spraying a dab of perfume on myself this morning made me think about camels. “Camels, I like,” said Aubed, our guide in the Empty Quarter of Oman. “I own some with my cousin.” “Why do you like them?” I asked. “Very smart animal. Call their name, they come. Camel milk I like. The meat, too.” […]
When I read Alex Kerr’s book Lost Japan back in 1996, I fell in love with the idea of visiting Chiiori. Never, never ever in my life, did I think I’d be sleeping on a futon in this ancient farmhouse in the remote East Iya Valley.
“I guess this is what we eat for lunch,” said Magellan. “And this is what we drink,” I said as one of the Mayan women, looking like she was dressed for a party in her magenta blouse and shiny black skirt, her hair slicked back to reveal dangly earrings, placed a large plastic pitcher of […]
Say his name aloud. Cristóbal Balenciaga. A name poem, an octosyllable perfectly arranged in harmonious beauty. Like Cristóbal Balenciaga scissoring fabric into timeless elegance. When I discovered that a museum honouring his work had opened in the Basque seaside village of Getaria where he grew up, and that it was on our way to Bilboa […]
Hospital de los Venerables, (home for elderly priests). Not a name that entices you to visit the place is it? Its description in a guidebook hints that there’s more “A little gem of a museum/church/gallery.” And mentions that “To the left is a small room housing paintings from Sevillano painters, including Velázquez.” Including Velázquez! I’d […]
It’s our favourite area in New Zealand, the tip of the South Island with its trio of natural wonders: Wharariki Beach (the best beach we’ve ever found; see our post), the Pillar Point Lighthouse Track (a dramatic cliff walk—a future post) and Farewell Spit (a 25-kilometre sand spit and nature reserve). On February 10, 2017, […]
What was one of my biggest fears in venturing off-road by ourselves through the wadis, beaches and deserts of Oman? Scorpions and camel spiders! I didn’t want to become a part of the food chain in a foreign country.
Magellan and I feel a tradition coming on. Last year we wrote about the best new recipe we’d tried in 2015. Why not do the same for 2016?
When I looked again at the map for the Kogumotori-goe section we walked on our third day of the Kumano Kodo, how to write about our experience became as clear as the mountain streams we’d been crossing. Our route was shown in reverse on the map—we had to follow it from right to left. Journeys […]
Day two on the Kumano Kodo had its ups and downs and proved the name Luck-Sure-Be Travel that Magellan and I gave ourselves in planning this trip. “Longer than yesterday but easier,” is how I described Day Two to Lynn and Ward Longer? True. Easier? False. Very false.
It was my fault that we were drenched when we arrived at the start of the Kumano Kodo. Grey sheets of rain were pounding down in Tanabe early that Monday morning. We’d bought our bus tickets for the 40-minute ride to Takijiri-oji, the trailhead where we were to start the Kumano Kodo, and Magellan, Lynn […]
On this Christmas day, Magellan and I are treating ourselves to the gift of frankincense. It’s burning in the ceramic mukkabbah we bought in Oman, releasing a primal smoke, an aromatic fragrance more powerful than that released by our Christmas tree. Until two Christmases ago, we didn’t know much about frankincense. Gift of a wise […]
“Ritual has an anticipatory relevance—we prepare for it, practically and psychologically; that’s part of its benefit.It’s about making your own raft of time. Your own doorway into Christmas,” writes Jeanette Winterson in her new book Christmas Days. What are your rafts into the doorway of your Christmas? Jeanette’s article (sent by Lynn from The […]