All the Uncategorizable Stuff

What surprises await?

Even as jubilados (Spanish for retirees) there are still some things we can’t pigeon-hole into the “suitcase” called a travel category—and here they are


The summer solstice, our signal to celebrate the official calendar start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere, happens on June 21. The term “solstice” comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). At the solstice, the angle between the sun’s rays and the plane of the earth’s equator appears to stand still. We invite you to sit still for a minute or two with this summer solstice poem by Colin Goedecke, reflect on summers past and dream of the summer that awaits.

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Drownded while bathing in open cut.

The record book at the Y.O.O.P. Cemetery in Dawson City says that’s how Alex Murchison died on July 2, 1903.

Y.O.O.P.? Ruth Ann and I were curious. Back at our lodging, we poured ourselves a gin, wondered aloud if Alex had been imbibing the day he succumbed in the bog, and googled Y.O.O.P.

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“I have to have this book,” I told Ruth Ann. “You know how much I love all things lemon. And Sicily.”

This spring Magellan and I were in Sidney on Vancouver Island, which Ruth Ann says is the independent bookstore capital of Canada. From our day of investigating the town with Ruth Ann and Bruce, I see why.

Though I was hoping Ruth Ann would encourage me to buy The Land Where Lemons Grow, we both knew that it should return to its prominent shelf in Tanner’s Books. That a Sunday Times bestseller, BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and Guild of Food Writers Food Book of the Year would certainly be available at the VPL. That $22 could be better spent elsewhere.

Two days later, this book of “tangy trivia, pithy charm and invigorating zest” was ready for pickup at the library. And oh my, has it sharpened my taste for the fruit it celebrates. (But caused me to part with far more than $22!)

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Watching the BNP Paribas Open now underway at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden brings back fond memories. The year Magellan became a retired jubilado we rented a house in Palm Springs for five weeks and invited friends and family to come celebrate. Analyzing the odds, Magellan booked us tickets for the day he expected Rafa and Roger would play each other—and they did! Watching the Australian Open this January, we loved the ad that used tennis terms to showcase Melbourne: “Slice” showed a woman at a restaurant enjoying fresh tuna; “Foot Fault” presented a penguin briefly stumbling before waddling on. For fun, we’ve picked tennis terms to describe some of our travel experiences.

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Camping in the Yukon in Rove-Inn, many sunsets since our last real shower, late afternoon on the longest day of the year, we decided to treat ourselves. Eager to get to Southern Lakes Resort on Tagish Lake, Magellan was driving quickly on the gravelled Ten Mile Road. Relatively quickly. But nothing compared to the Tagish Lake meteorite—it sped six miles a second through space for seven million years before exploding into a multi-coloured fireball in Earth’s atmosphere, most of it landing on Tagish Lake.

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Should auld lost objects be forgot
And never brought to mind?

Planning a trip to Newfoundland, we are relying on the fantastic travel guide, Lost and Found, produced by their tourism office. It’s reminding me of what we’ve lost and found travelling. Anthony of Lisbon, patron saint of lost things, has failed us, especially me, on many occasions.

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