• Gozo, May 2018

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    Probably the most important thing to know about Gozo is that in the middle of the 16th century, in only a few fateful days, a great majority of the population was carted away into slavery and never retrieved. A few brave souls escaped by rappelling down a wall so terrifying that I did not take ...

  • Malta, May 2018

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    Our English classes reveled in Malta, though perhaps reveling too much is Malta's great scourge. It is a place so tromped-over for millennia that it lacks much of a soul. The modern English and French and Italian highrise partygoers do not help revive it. I was at times sorry to add to that burden. But the traditional ...

  • An unwavering March

    Saturday, March 31, 2018 2 Permalink 2

    Some of you no doubt thought, as spring approached, that it is certainly a mercy that he has had over a year to exhaust his infatuation with the micro-lens. But it's not done yet. In fact the blossoms are just arriving! Behold the up-close imperfection of "perfect" Nature. The closer you look, the less beautiful superficial beauty becomes. ...

  • February and March 2018

    Thursday, March 29, 2018 2 Permalink 0

    The weeks have grown steadily lighter. Earlier mornings, later evenings, shorter nights. The hints of spring started in January with winter jasmine, and like a chorus building to a finale, the flowers have come out in steadily increasing numbers ever since. It has not been the most beautiful spring I can remember here, owing to heavy rains ...

  • Snow

    Friday, February 9, 2018 0 Permalink 1

    Snow does not often come to our region. Five years ago we missed the last one while traveling abroad, but for a few hours yesterday, white preponderated all else. I took the dog for a walk in the Forêt de Buzet. Most plants were already well advanced into spring when winter finally came to the ...

  • Violent Expulsions: My Day with the Martyrs (or, Vomit with a View)

    Thursday, January 4, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    The photos are of the Chateau de Montségur, the "seat and head" of Catharism's last, tragic, inspiring holdout in the fall-winter-and-spring of 1243-4. When the siege ended and the 200 Parfaits and Parfaites within finally surrendered, they were given two weeks to recant and reconvert to Roman Catholicism or be burned alive at the stake. Instead of ...

  • Mirror World

    Monday, December 25, 2017 1 Permalink 0

    Tonight we are home from a brief sojourn just two hours to the north of where we live. It's the best country, in my opinion. La Corrèze is the home of fairy tales, and the bravery of la Gaillarde in wars since history began, and truly incredible food. It is also strikingly similar in both landscape and ...

  • Lo He comes with clouds descending

    Thursday, December 7, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    Today is our Fifth Anniversary of living in this house, and this morning, like a renewal of vows between us and this place, we woke to a beautiful gift: A silver landscape. During the night, fog and low clouds pushed in from the East along the river, and as they froze, like a sea of ice ...