Monday, July 11, 2016
Thursday, December 17, 2015
These are our favorite pictures, many of which have appeared in the blog, but some of which have not. The music is Philip Glass. Don't let that frighten you, he was in an unusually melodic mood.
Around The World:
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Today we finally got around to purchasing the offset. Isabel's research showed that Britain's "Cool Earth" (www.coolearth.org) was one of the best reputed organisations in this field. Their strategy of involving local communities in the Amazon in the preservation of otherwise soon to be logged rain-forest was far more effective than planting trees (too may die). Our 60 tonnes of emissions could be effectively offset by paying to preserve a quarter acre. To be safe we preserved a half acre.
I imagine that my more cynical friends will be groaning at the political correctness of it all, but I hasten to remind them that the term "politically correct" contains the word "correct". I don't care about the political, but I do care about the correct. So there.
(Incidentally, I now also have a less politically correct blog at vetography.blogspot.com.)
Thursday, September 10, 2015
We missed Orbit and we missed our cats and our family and our friends (this list is given in no particular order, really). And sure, we missed the house and Winnipeg and Canada and all that a bit too, but honestly... only a bit. And our stuff? I didn't miss it at all. I had cleared out my closet and dresser for the house-sitter, so last night I began taking my clothes back out of the storage bins and experienced something close to revulsion at the amount. Probably around 40 t-shirts, of which only a fraction get worn regularly. And that's only the t-shirts. I just finished traveling around the world for almost three months with four shirts and two pairs of pants. And not one time did I wish I had packed more. Not one single time. The same principle applies to every other type of possession. One small bag is really all you need. But that's not a very original thought. Nobody's out there saying, "pack heavy you fool!" The metaphorical implications for one's overall life are obvious. Mentioning that is not very original either, but long journeys do help transform "declutter your life" from a slogan to a deeply felt imperative.
Normally I unpack pretty much immediately upon arrival home, but for some reason as I type this a day later, I still haven't.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Monday, September 7, 2015
Central Park on Labor Day Monday. Mad beating sun. Brazilians and Chinese crowd the Imagine mosaic and purveyors of crap sketches of John Lennon and crystals and tie dye bandanas ring it. Down the hill a bicycle goes by, ridden by a tall thin black man dressed all in white and with long corn row hair. He has an enormous old boom box strapped to his bike with bungee cords. He is playing Edith Piaf. Loudly. And he is grinning like Christmas morning.
"Non, rien de rien,
Non, je ne regrette rien."
As is relentlessly proclaimed on fridge magnets, tea towels and dog sweaters, I Heart New York. I really do heart it. So keep that in mind when you read the following.
The A Train (subway, but everyone calls them trains) runs directly beneath our bed. Several floors directly beneath it, but straight down there and we feel it and hear it every time one rattles through. This is mildly irritating, but only mildly and greatly outweighed by the cool factor and the convenience. Nostrand Station is only a block and a half away. My previous experience with NY subways was entirely in Manhattan and we had just come from London, so to say that Nostrand was a... letdown would be an understatement. This is a New York subway station like the kind in movies from the 70s. Dingy, dirty, dangerous feeling, unbelievably hot and humid - so hot and humid in fact that the air down there is actually hazy - and rat infested! OK, I'll concede that "infested" is an overstatement, but the kids did see several rats. I'm sure they're in Manhattan's stations too, but just not as brazen anymore. Incidentally, the subway in Istanbul is gleaming and modern and clean and beautiful. Istanbul. That's in Turkey.
But the A Train is an express and takes you quickly to Manhattan and Manhattan stations are mostly (although not universally) far nicer. And Manhattan itself is of course billionaire disneyland and consequently brimfull with eye candy of every description. Funny how quickly Nostrand Station and Bed-Stuy began to feel like "home".