Friday, 31 July 2015

Over at one of my favourite blogs, assortment, Carmella runs a weekly series called "Do what you can with what you have" and it's all about contentment and resourcefulness. Here is my addition to the series.

As I shake the seed heads upside down, I watch the moments roll out. That one, where the earth is lovingly smoothed and the tiny seeds are carefully scattered, mixed with the soil and with hope. That smile, when I take my cup of tea out in the garden on a chilly spring morning, and the first little plants poke through the earth. That lovely day when one lonely bloom, more eager than all the others, unrolls its delicate petals to the world. That afternoon when I pick an abundance of orange and yellow and reds, to be put in a vase and enjoyed inside. 

For now they sleep, wrapped securely in a leftover piece of baking paper, too small for the cake, and some tape from a crafting project long gone. Tucked into the old tin in the shed, the moments will wait. But then, oh then, when the sun gains strength and the earth dries out, when everything is still brown but the hopes are there, then we will sow again. And one by one, the story will unfold. 

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Over at one of my favourite blogs, assortment, Carmella runs a weekly series called "Do what you can with what you have" and it's all about contentment and resourcefulness. Here is my addition to the series.



We strolled along the river and over the old railway bridge, the one where I once got lost in the pitch dark, at night, all alone. How different it feels during bright sunshine, with his hand firmly in mine. We turn off onto the little path, overhung by bushes, the one I always run past and wonder about. Under the branch, over the stile, round the bush and suddenly it opens up in front of us. A big, wide pasture, recently mowed, with it's lush green grass triumphing over the many yellow lawns in our little back gardens. It smells warm, and dry, of summer and grasses and sunshine. Over at the side, spared by the mowers, stands an abundance of wild flowers. Greedily I pick, yellows and whites and purples and greens. Long, fine grasses and thick green stems, until I have to use both hands to hold it.
On the way home people smile at me, and my bundle. A little bit of summer, for my home, just waiting to be found.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015











The main part of my adventures in the north were covered by a four day trip across the altiplanico national parks and the salt flats in Bolivia, driving across gravel tracks in rickety 4x4s. We climed higher and higher into the thin, cold mountain air, passing colourful lagoons full of bright pink flamingos, bare mountain vistas, and vast swathes of redish sand. The air smelled dusty and salty, mixed with the bitter, nauseating tang of sulfur whenever we passed a hot spring or some geysers.  During the day, the sun burned down blindigly bright, while the cold willed chilled us to the bones. At night, temperautes dropped well below freezing, rewarding us with clear, star-studded skies and a gentle pink sunrise.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015










On my two week journey in Chile, I travelled from north to south, from sea level to 5000 m, from boiling hot to freezing cold, from lush and green to arid and dry, from spectacular to comfortable. It truly was a journey of contrasts. These pictures here were taken on my first day in San Pedro de Atacama, far north in Chile, in the Atacama desert. A short trip took me higher into the Andes, to see the El Taito Geysers and the very special Altiplanico landscape. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Monday, 16 March 2015

Between places

The tours are over, the bags a packed and the memory card is full. I am ready to go home but my flight does not leave until tomorrow morning. There is a whole afternoon and evening to spend. This is time between places, time in transit without going anywhere. It is truly free time,  the kind seldomly found. I cannot work on my todo list. There is nothing I "should". I just am.

The time turns into a string of moments: hearing the waves break on the rocks. Watching two puppies chase each other with abandon on the black sand. Seeing people smile.  Feeling the wind blow me up the stairs. And then,  just like that,  the time is gone.  I pick up my backpack and move on.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

An ode to familiar food

I miss the comfort of my own food. After two weeks on the road, I have eaten it all. Overcooked pasta in bland sauce, and five-star hotel meaks with several courses and artistically scattered herbs. Fresh fruit juices with extra sugar, and dinners consisting of cookies and a bottle of water. Countless sandwiches on the go and more little boxes of airplane food than I care to admit. So much sugar,  so much fat, so many carbs. My body is riding a roller coaster of highs and lows and slumps.

I miss my simple food from home. Porridge in the morning,  just milk and oats and warmth. Stir-fries in the evening, with big piles of fresh vegetables,  aldente rice and some soy sauce on top. Crunchy salads with fesh lemon juice. I miss the process of chopping and stirring and waiting. I miss the structure food gives to my life.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Too much

There are 50 books on my goodreads "to-read" list. My to-do list is several pages long and the basket with crafting projects is overflowing.  My nightstand has all but disappeared below books waiting for my time. Every time I look at there is this moment of guilt, the twinge of "I should". Even plans and dreams create their own urgency, take up their space and clutter up the mind.

When I get home it is time for a spring clean, to pare down what is not needed and not loved. It is time to take room from guilt and give it to joy.

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