2020 Grateful 51: Here on Earth to fart around

We live in a world of convenience. We can buy just about anything we need without leaving home. We’re increasingly interacting with people online. Heated debates over pints and packets of crisps are being replaced with rants on social media. And then occasionally, we’re reminded of the importance of real people and real experiences. Read more

I helped make my world better today

‘That was a message from the Sheha [mayor] of the local village. We were to go there today, to visit the school, and give out books and crayons. She’s cancelled. The roof blew of her house earlier today, because of the storm.’ Read more

The Other Balaton

I’m writing this from Balaton. Not the Balaton. But the one and only Balaton in the United States of America, a small town in southwest Minnesota. I’m not quite sure how I found the place, but once I discovered it existed, I couldn’t not go visit. The additional 640 km (400 miles) it would add to my trip were of little consequence. Curiosity had gotten the better of me. Read more

2019 Grateful 19: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

You can tell just by looking at me that I like my food.  I appreciate good food, be it in 5-star restaurants, other people’s dining rooms, or diners, drive-ins, and dives. Read more

2019 Grateful 21: Masses in Two States

Going to mass in the USA is quite the experience. Apart from the fact that I can understand what’s being said (which is novel in itself), I get to see the insides of local communities, both rural and urban.

Read more

Smiling Jack

Smiling Jack – a living legacy

Sometimes you don’t get quite what you ordered for breakfast. Sometimes you get a helluva lot more. I ordered pancakes and coffee and got Smiling Jack. Read more

Indian Fry Bread – positively orgasmic

I had a list of food I wanted to try during our California/Arizona road trip. At the top of it was a bacon cheeseburger from In’n’Out in LA.  The second was prime rib, which I managed twice – once in Phoenix and a second time in Maricopa. The third was a carne asada burrito which we managed in Torrance, CA. The fourth was a trip to the Olive Garden – that one I never made. But something I hadn’t expected and didn’t even know about was Indian Fry Bread. Read more

Made in America Buck Williams, Williams AZ

2019 Grateful 46: Made in America

Wandering around Williams AZ shortly after 8 am on a Friday morning, I spotted a rare sight. A man smoking. It was such a novelty that I went to join him. We’d been stateside a week and he was maybe the third person I’d seen with a cigarette. Ah no, you say, you’re not back smoking? I’m not, but I have the odd one when I feel like it. And sure amn’t I on my holidays. Anyway, this particular cigarette would prove to be the most interesting one I’ve ever had. Read more

Valentine's Day, London Brige, Lake Havasu

A Valentine’s Day to remember

Sad really. Neither of us could remember what we’d done for the last three years on Valentine’s Day. Nothing memorable obviously. Himself would rate himself as more of a romantic than not, but perhaps in thought rather than in deed. Pragmatic runs to my core – romance is the stuff movies are made of. That said, I always appreciate flowers, no matter the occasion, but having surreptitiously checked whether a dozen long-stemmed roses would fit in the console of the rental car, I nixed even voicing that wishpectation. Read more

2019 Grateful 47

It’s Sunday night. I’m sitting at the table in the Jungle Mansion. One of their 13 friendly local raccoons is messing around outside. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s an unseasonable California. The talented SRP is playing the piano. She’d asked what my favourite piece was. I didn’t have to think. Panis Angelicus. She’d not heard it before, but went online, downloaded the sheet music, and played it. Beautifully. Such unpretentious talent is humbling. Read more