East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


On the first long walk of 2019

Today has been a good day. Nice weather, sunny with a light breeze, and we spent the day with a visiting relation that surprised us. And I mean surprised us as in “Oh, my good, our house is a dump!”
But we survived, and spent the day rambling about the countryside.

I have tons of work to do, actually, and “wasting” a whole day completely screwed up my schedule – never mind it’s Sunday – but on the other hand it was not a day wasted. It was a day spent to clear our systems after a long winter spent locked up in our house, trying to keep the cold away.
For us, this is the beginning of the best part of the year, before the torrid summer months.

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Lost in the countryside

51xfB36OKBL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_In a (probably misguided) attempt at coming to terms with my exile in the hills of the Asti wine country, I got me a copy of John Seymour’s classic The Countryside Explained, which – if nothing else – has the right reassuring title.The very fine used copy of the hardback kept

The very fine used copy of the hardback (with great illustrations by Sally Seymour) kept me company in the last two days when we were snowed in and with erratic grid services. As expected, the book is absolutely wonderful. Lots of information, packaged with wit, a sort of gruff, down-to-earth but precise language that works just fine. Continue reading