Wallingford’s Best Halloween Decorations

In my experience, Australians are always surprised to learn that Americans don’t get two days off over the Easter weekend. Though it wanders around the calendar like a drunk stumbling home from the bar, the Easter long weekend and accompanying school holidays are a treasured bit of rest just as the weather starts to get… Continue reading Wallingford’s Best Halloween Decorations

Heather Maple Hiking

Washington State is a hiker’s paradise. To scroll around a map of hiking trails in the Cascade Mountains is to be bamboozled with the sheer number of options available to you — and during a summer when any indoors get-together with friends carried a potential health risk for you and everyone else in your bubble,… Continue reading Heather Maple Hiking

A Great Fear

In the latter weeks of July 1789, the rural countryside of the (then) kingdom of France descended into barely controlled anarchy. The government’s authority evaporated, and peasants resorted to paranoid vigilante justice. Historians now refer to the period ominously as “The Great Fear.”  Upon learning that his kingdom was hopelessly broke, King Louis the 16th… Continue reading A Great Fear

Cycle Touring Puget Sound: A Bike Break From Reality

We woke early, grabbed our loaded bikes and rolled along our street, downhill toward Lake Union. Our uniform would be familiar to long-term readers of this blog — old shirts, padded pants, sunglasses, sandals and daggy helmets. We left the trail along Lake Union’s western shore and retook the streets, pedalling past H’s shuttered downtown office… Continue reading Cycle Touring Puget Sound: A Bike Break From Reality

How To Find Good Information (and Humanity) In A Time of Social Upheaval

It’s obvious to any observer that the United States needs urgent social, political and judicial reform at many different levels. We as a society must listen to the protesters, debate solutions to these underlying problems and demand that our leaders enact them.

The United States Is Not A Western Country. Here’s Why.

As an Australian with ancestors in the Netherlands and British Isles, my family, my friends and I are firmly rooted in a cultural entity commonly known as “the west.” This definition generally refers to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and countries in western Europe. While not all my friends and family are entirely… Continue reading The United States Is Not A Western Country. Here’s Why.

A Postcard From Coronavirus-Stricken Seattle

Madison Park Beach, 11 a.m., Last Friday It’s the first properly warm day of the year in Seattle and, at Madison Park Beach, housewives who have been cooped up inside with small children for eight months or more are relishing the chance to soak in the sun. Their children are shrieking and roaming — though… Continue reading A Postcard From Coronavirus-Stricken Seattle

Consider the Crow

Recently, I had a spooky experience.  H and I were enjoying some spring sunshine on a beach in the Pacific Northwest and building an intricate sandcastle complex, complete with a working moat and a Mayan-style pyramid.  At one point we got up to find the twigs, stones, shells and seaweed that would adorn the construction,… Continue reading Consider the Crow

A Memory Tour Through Seattle’s Live Music Scene

One aspect of normal life that I didn’t expect to miss was live music, so here we go on a tour of some favourite venues and memories from the last couple of years. Also: Your local musicians and artists are struggling right now — if you live in the Pacific Northwest you can support local… Continue reading A Memory Tour Through Seattle’s Live Music Scene

Reasons for Hope Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Hi all, I hope you’re doing well during a period that many news organisations insist on referring to as “these uncertain times.” I know a lot of us are struggling right now with medical problems, lost work, unemployment benefits bureaucracies, anxiety about family and friends we can’t physically hang out with any more and all… Continue reading Reasons for Hope Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic