Inspirations from Artists and Authors, Friends and Family, People and Places

From around home to around the world

We’re jubilados (Spanish for retirees) on the alert for inspiration from our travels be they near (the kitchen) or far (Cape Horn)

Trevor and Richelle, October 14, 2015

Trevor and Richelle, October 15, 2015, Pyramid Island, Jasper

Fall Wedding
By Spice

It is bright autumn now.
The trees still lightly tinged with gold.
I hear your vow.
The words are ours.
I have found you in the mountains again.
Is there another word for “sublime”?
I need a love that will keep Jasper sky in my mind.
Wedded this October day, my parents.
Wedded this same day, my grandma.
Number fourteen on the necklace of days.
Lightly windblown
Ever greens
Your hiking shoes stand in the closet
Beside mine.

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When will we be too old to travel independently? Who knows?

Take our friend George. He had a knee replacement last year, cataract surgery this April and was waiting for open-heart surgery for a valve replacement and a bypass on an artery that was 60% blocked. We didn’t expect to be travelling with him this year.

His call surprised us: “Ron’s offered us his condo again. Would you guys like to join us?” For being such a good neighbor, the affable George was getting free accommodation in the South Okanagan, in June before temperatures soar and holidaymakers crowd the wine-tasting rooms.

How could Magellan and I say anything but “YES,” to what we dubbed “The Wine Country Workout.”

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Patagonia Ancient Map

What draws us to travel somewhere?

Family. Recommendations from friends. Childhood fantasies. The lure of adventure. Movies. The desire to escape.

Where we travel and why is topical, especially among jubilados. Many have drawn up bucket lists, which Jonathan Franzen in an article in Condé Nast Traveler poured cold water on, suggesting they’re making us “strategic” and “competitive vacationers.” It made me think of Patagonia. “Have you been?” we jubilados ask each other.

Bell-bottoms were in fashion when Magellan and I began imagining a trip to Patagonia—and books provided letters of introduction.

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Lasagna Verdi alla Napoletana

We promised you recipes, right? Our first one is associated with a trip we often take on Saturday mornings. A short one. Just across town to the Trout Lake Farmers’ Market.

For our first recipe, our criteria were that it be:

  • A house favourite (we’ve been making this since 1985)
  • Seasonal (tomatoes!)
  • Adapted from a great chef’s recipe (Giuliano Bugialli’s)
  • A little unusual (green lasagna with a delicate lightness: no meat or eggs in the stuffing)

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Do you remember the first time you saw graffiti art?

If you’re our age, you wouldn’t have tagged on the word “art.” It was just graffiti. Done by disaffected youth, mostly male, spray-can painting loud and incoherent 3-D lettering illegally, in subways and underpasses. Since its emergence in the late 60s graffiti art has grown up, although its locations and presentations are still obstacles to its mainstream acceptance.

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“Well this could be the last time
This could be the last time
Maybe the last time
I don’t know.”
The Last Time
The Rolling Stones


Every summer (almost) since 2004, our nuclear family of five and Sophie (the non-standard Standard Poodle, may she rest in peace) rented a house on Pender Island in southern British Columbia for the last week in August before our granddaughter returned to school. And here it is, the last week in August. No ferry booking, no Seadrift house-rental confirmation, no Fall Fair catalogue, no celebrating Magellan’s birthday on the sylvan island of South Pender. Last year may have been the last time. I don’t know.  Read more