Mar 20
Mother India

Dear Goat Givers and other Love Ones, Namaste. I have just returned from one of the most Intense (and wonderful) experiences I have ever had. You may recall from last report, I had signed up with Relief Riders International ( for a three week riding adventure (horses not Harley’s) delivering educational, medical, dental and economic [...]

Nov 6
Silly Billies

Dear Love Ones, I am just back from Turkey (more later) but have already moved on to Goats!. Next stop INDIA! One of the challenges of traveling solo is getting off the beaten path, shedding the shackles of “tourism” and digging beneath the surface. Cracking the nut open and getting to the ‘heart’ – connecting [...]

Jan 18
Living La Vida Local

 Yes, Love ones, we are living La Vida Local WooHoo! I have been to PV 3 times in the past – once as a 19 year old, the guest of my father. Otherwise known as “Champage Charlie”, every time he had a few bob jingling in his pocket he would think of reckless and extravagant [...]

Oct 11
Where does it ledad? N

It began the moment my feet hit home turf in early June after a month in China and Tibet. I basked in the glorious clear sky, breathed deep the fresh, unpolluted air and felt the caress of a gentle breeze blow in off the ocean – but most of all I marveled at the open [...]

Feb 28
random acts of kindness

One of my favourite books about Italy is not what you would expect. Far from the glossy coffee table publications that show us the shiny veneer of cobbled streets winding through Medieval towns, towering Renaissance Cathedrals or pink and yellow seaside villages tumbling down a hillside into the Mediterranean, The dark heart of Italy by Tobias Jones digs beneath [...]

Feb 12
The Dreaming

On a recent trip to Australia I fell madly in love with the paintings of Emily Kame Kngwarreye (pronounced Ung-warh-ay). I am not alone as Emily has been hailed as an artistic genius, her paintings acclaimed around the world as modern abstract masterpieces, her works compared to that of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko and her work [...]

Feb 6

Carnevale Viareggio, ITALY The regional train rattled its way from Florence towards the coast. The atmosphere was ripe with anticipation – not the usual journey of somber faced commuters staring into the void, pretending not to notice one another. The monotonous drone of the caravan was punctuated with the sounds of strangers chatting and laughing [...]

Jan 8
Four Days in Sydney

O.K. I confess. I have been a slack-arse. I have completely neglected my duties as a scribe. Some of you have cared, some apparantly have not, but I will press on regardless. The only explanation I can offer is that I have been doing OTHER THINGS! Since you tuned in last I have spent a [...]

Nov 8
The Great Flood – This time 1966

Love Ones, as you know I often reflect on my “other city”. At exactly this time 42 years ago, Florence was awash in a toxic brew of water, oil and sewage. The river that runs through the heart of the city is famous for it’s bad behavior, having flooded it’s banks 56 times since 1177, [...]

Nov 2
Perils and Pumpkins

 My Love Ones, I hope you remember this pic (from last weeks’ post), of what I thought was the rather perilous road that took me and Big Daddy through the Ecuadorean Andes in the mid-1970′s. It inspired this exercise in one-up-man-ship from an enthusiastic reader from Malaysia. Now THIS is perilous. It is a trail on Mt [...]

Oct 24
The Adventure Gene

Love Ones and fellow travelers, in last weeks’ post I referred to Johnathon Haidt’s Ted Talk about the moral matrix we have bundled up inside us when we pop out into the world all covered with amniotic fluid. The unique molotov cocktail of the 5 matrix ingredients that is each of us, constitutes a pre-disposition to [...]

Oct 19
Cast Away

The ugly black boot that I was dragging around like a ball and chain has been tossed and during the time I was in the cast my life as an adventuress was seriously curtailed. While nothing much happened to me, the world however erupted on a number of different planes. In a mere 6 weeks, protons collided, [...]

Oct 13
Who’s the Turkey?

I am back in the saddle after a spell of drought caused by “technical difficulties”, a vague term that translates loosly into “severe mental anguish verging on dementia caused by computer malfunction”. The sweet guys at the “nerd department” of Big Daddy’s office have ordered me a new one (computer that is) and I get [...]

Aug 29
Killer Filler

First up, thanks for the flood of good wishes, it has been very heart-warming. Forgive the pun but this past week my interests have been somewhat fractured. I have spent a lot of time reading, watching movies and exploring the Internet and of course I want to share with you, my Love Ones, some of [...]

Aug 23

Yes, my Love Ones, I am now using cheap tricks to get your reading attention. Agony is a word that should be reserved for forms of torture like being burnt at the stake; probably severe pain would suffice but it wouldn’t have grabbed your attention. Last post I was preparing my aging body for its [...]

Aug 1
Life’s A Grind

  Check it out! A 3 kilometer slog up 2800 vertical feet, the same as climbing about 3000 stairs but steeper. A grind is a drudge, a plod, a slog, a repetitive, laborious, tiresome action. It’s not called “the Grind” for nothing. The Grouse Grind begins at the base of North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain sky [...]

Jul 20
WooHoo, BooHoo and PooPoo!

I winged my way down to L.A. to spend a little “lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous” time with my daughter. Immediately upon my arrival the sewer backed up. BooHoo! In case you think there was a causal connection, there wasn’t; it was spontaneous eruption. The first hint of trouble came when I heard a suspicious gurgling noise , bloup, bloup, bloup and traced it [...]

Jul 11
Island Fever

Love Ones, Writing about Nelson Island forced me to harken back to my childhood; a long, if not very long time ago. I had to confront my Island longings. There are some things that just stay with you, seep into your pores at an early age and soak the soul. My love of Island “roughing [...]

Jul 4
The Art of Success

 Love Ones, It was a golden moment in Canada’s Pacific Northwest; clear blue sky, calm waters and a temperature that warmed the rocks hot enough to fry bacon. I was in heaven. Literally – winging my way to one of my favorite destinations on this beleaguered planet; Canada’s Gulf Islands. The float plane dipped down [...]

Jul 4
The Art of Success

Love ones, It was a golden moment in Canada’s Pacific Northwest; clear blue sky, calm waters and a temperature that warmed the rocks hot enough to fry bacon. I was in heaven. Literally – winging my way to one of my favorite destinations on this beleaguered planet; Canada’s Gulf Islands. The float plane dipped down [...]

Jun 27
The Drought is Over!

Love Ones, I’m still alive! You’ve all heard of the winds of change. I have just experienced a veritable cyclone and it caught me up in a maelstrom that blew me off my regular path. First up the dog died. It was in many ways a contemptible cur but it had found its way into [...]

May 30
Power Corrupts

Dear Love Ones, Quite often, Wednesday is a day of mild panic. What to write about? Often I am bailed out by a helpful reader as was the case this Wednesday when I received a desperate cry for help. Little did my poor unsuspecting reader know that she had touched on a subject that is [...]

May 16
Mad Max and the Seven Deadly Sins

Love Ones, let’s wander back to “petit Correns”, the little French village with the magical doorway, the Porte de Pardon which, when the church it was attached to was originally consecrated, only pardoned “little” or venial sins – ones that didn’t result in eternal damnation. After the fire however, and the church was re-built and [...]

May 2
The Doorway to Heaven?

May 3rd is a lucky day, but only every 5, 6 or 11 years! The story was told to me by a great raconteur and bon vivant, Denys Laurence. You ALL need to know about this so pay attention! Somewhere, nestled in the “petit village” of Correns, Provence, population 675 on a good day, is [...]

Apr 25
Sexy Salons

la Lecture de Molière by Jean-François de Troy (1679-1752), “We need a salon” said a friend and reader. “Pardonez-moi” I responded, in keeping with the moment. “We need a Friday evening salon to discuss the contents of your blog. “Woa, I thought, cool! People actually care”. Sorry, no salon – it sounds like way too [...]

Apr 18
The Flame that Burns

The old bridge was packed. Not the normal throng of tourists ambling along following a brightly colored daisy or closed umbrella thrust aloft so each little pack could identify their own leader. The mood of the crowd was tense, a cheery little band trying to drown the angry chants with jolly tunes. I had watched [...]

Apr 11
Philippe, meet Mai.

    If you wend your way slowly north from Hanoi in central Vietnam you will eventually reach some of the most hauntingly beautiful terrain in the world, a lunar landscape of jutting limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops interspersed with steep valleys. Pockets of cultivation crop up in whatever tiny patches of land can be stolen [...]

Apr 4
Starck Raving Mad

The iconoclastic guru of design Philippe Starck, took the design world by storm last week by announcing “Design is Dead” in an article in the German newspaper Die Zeit. He even went so far as to apologize for the waste his career has caused. “I was a producer of materiality and I am ashamed of [...]

Mar 28
Mad Max and The Panchen Lama

But first – my readers are revolting! Yes, I have heard from several of you angry souls out there demanding to know what happened to the “mid-week musing”. Well the mid week was NOT amusing! This from my “server” explains everything(?)  “We’re currently experiencing problems with the blingy cluster affecting web, mysql and mail services. [...]

Mar 21
Ted and John and Evelyn

Beware! Naked bottoms in this one! But you’ll have to wait… Many of you are now hooked on TED. Ted’s pretty cool, he’s 24 years old, spent his childhood in obscurity but has since taken the world by storm. Ted isn’t a guy, he’s an acronym – for Technology, Entertainment and Design – sounds dry but [...]

Mar 7
International Women’s Day

First up – our boy Heath didn’t win. I’m not happy but the winner of the Archibald Prize for Portraiture in Australia was Del Kathryn Barton with her self-portrait of herself with her two children entitled “You are what is most beautiful about me.” Second up, I have a treat for you but I am [...]

Feb 28
A Hero of Mine

I first encountered the good Doctor when Mad Max ran across the road and was hit by a car. It was a reckless, impulsive, attention distracted moment that nearly cost him his life not to mention scared his mother to death! While we had always known he was somehow “wired” differently, he was a good [...]

Feb 21
In Praise of Silence

Love Ones, I wrote this rather testy piece in a moment of great frustration. Cricket? Many suggest the game was devised by children of Saxon or Norman times living in England. It survived as a children’s game for many centuries before it was taken up by adults around the beginning of the 17th century. It [...]

Feb 14
Valentines Day – Whatever!

Dear Love Ones, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Let me see; cards, chocolates, flowers, crotch less underwear? Ah Valentines Day! Mystery surrounds the genesis of this quaint ritual of imparting prosaic platitudes. Blame it on St. Valentine but who exactly was this elusive patron saint of love? Apparently several early [...]

Feb 12

Dear Love Ones, Welcome to Live Life TO THE MAX. After the monster missiles from Italy many of you have encouraged me to continue writing. Here it is! Live Life TO THE MAX is my blog – a blog for people who don’t want to spend too much time in front of their computers. Your [...]

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