Jacaranda and eucalyptus: trees I didn’t expect to encounter across the Pacific, so being greeted by both everyday is pleasantly disconcerting. Over lunch with my host here in Mexico City one afternoon, I described the delight of living where gum trees are a source of natural aromatherapy with their scent, the way jacaranda adds a bright splash to otherwise monotonous suburbs, and how lots of people grew nopales, but no one ate it. José remarked over his spectacle rims, “You are homesick.”
Mexico City. Love it, hate it, run screaming into its maw, surrender to its frenzy.
Mexico City, the federal capital of Mexico, is a strange choice for a hermit. One of the most crowded cities in the world, with more people in its metropolis than the entire Australian continent, it’s not a place to visit if you want to escape humanity, or are after peace and quiet. At all. I don’t know what I was thinking when I picked Ciudad de Mexico for a destination, especially considering how terrified I was when I landed. Between warnings on the internet, and over-the-top reactions of family and friends, I was quite convinced that I was doomed to being fleeced of all my belongings, and/or suffer horrific physical hurt.
There’s a little place in New Mexico called Pie Town. Every year, they have a pie festival.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it ~ Roald Dahl My memory of New Mexico is a long series of moments tinged with magic. The Rio Grande sparkling in the afternoon sun as Flemming and I drove alongside, through the gorge it carved. That lightness of being escaping the city and heading south over the broad flatness of the state with those incredible clouds for a canopy. The exhilaration of standing in an antenna dish in the Very Large Array looking across the plain to the mountains holding storms at bay. Running down the spaceway at Spaceport America and how incredible seeing something as earthly as a tarantula on its threshold felt. Being scored by the cleansing sun in White Sands. Hanging out in the quiet of Alamogordo watching …
New Zealand, lush and alluring, whispers in my dreams back in the arid, sunny state I presently call home. Its draw is undeniable. 100% Pure. I spent the first two days of September with my friends Sherry and Jeff in and around Auckland, where we were all transiting on our collective way to the USA – a happy coincidence of flights and timing if there ever was one.
For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands. ~ Christina G. Rossetti No photograph I would make could paint the crisp wintry air, light and heady. It is tinged with eucalyptus and peppermint, an ocean away from the thick, pungent steam of the tropics, its milky golden glow a product of latitude for me, one of smog and density for you.
Flemming Bo Jensen has launched the limited edition run of Diario del Peru. Email him for a copy with print (13 of 25 gone as i write this, so be quick), or get yourself the book only directly from Blurb. Watch the video. It’s good fun, promise. The making of this book has spanned several continents. South America provided the fodder for this undertaking, Australia lit the spark of its conception, and Europe housed the manufacturing and final production stages. It’s been a global undertaking for Flemming. I had the pleasure of being editor, devil’s advocate, and general nag in this endeavour. The completion of this book is a little extra special to me because of the circumstances around the effort on my end. I …
I’ve contributed a set of three vignettes on tugs that will run over as many days, on Rear Curtain. Part 1 is up today. Hop on over to have a look/read. Edit: The entire story is up now. Go to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Have a story of your own that deserves some exposure? Submit to Rear Curtain here.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will know I dream about tugboats sometimes – granted, dreaming is about as much as i get to do about them these days. I like all sorts of boats though. I like the way most of them smell – of brine, fuel, fish, rotting seaweed, barnacle, wet rope, rusting anchors and other things. I love the shape of them, the way they move in the water; some, foursquare and unshakable as anything, others that roll and pitch in a ripple, and still others that skim the surface with sheer contact, like sea birds. I don’t know much about boats; they simply appeal to the aesthetics of all my senses (except perhaps taste; i’ve yet to go that far). …