Walking the Dalmeny Estate

Once upon a time I came up with Thirty Things to do when I’m Thirty. And despite the fact these thirty things never make an appearance on this here blog, I have in all actuality completed a good number of them. Well, like half. So it’s time I play a little catch up. Today: Walk … Continue reading

Pride & Conceit

Gryffindor. District 12. Team Jacob. Miranda. Carrie. Charlotte. People identify with pretend. They just do. And while I am as guilty as anyone of obsessive online quizzes, daydreamy adventures, and entirely delusional fantasies involving crossbows and laser sights while shopping for tinned beans, mine are, more often than not, a little old school. The world … Continue reading

Maps & Money

So the sheer size (and buying power) of my home nation is almost impossible for other people to get their heads around. And I can’t really blame them. But behold: a map of the US – each state is labelled with a nation that has a comparable GDP. Now, do take it with a grain … Continue reading

A land far, far away…

I know, I know. I came back from holiday and got you all excited with a whole week of daily posts. And then I dropped back into the vortex of virtual silence from whence I came, but without the excuse of Asian deserts and pre-industrial landscapes. The thing is, I came back brimming with stories … Continue reading

Kids are the same everywhere

So I’m back in the land of the living. And I figure it’s fitting to pay homage to a kid who really knows how to live. This kid? He lives on the side of a dusty highway. His mom boils corn on the cob in old steel barrels to sell to passing cars (like the … Continue reading

cookies & a competition

Lurgy has struck our house like putrid lightning. Sorry for the delay in my otherwise thrilling travelogues. Today I give you a brief peek at Russian novelty biscuits. Mass produced snack foods in any country are by turns intriguing and perplexing. What counts as junk food and how it is marketed in various locales is … Continue reading

like Marbles, but better

Night falls quickly in the mountains. There is a brief lull between after dinner tea and the blinding darkness. A darkness that comes so thick and fast it makes brushing teeth in the far-away, bug-ridden, and pitch-black outhouse seem highly optional. But in this in-between moment where the day ends and night hasn’t yet started … Continue reading

Yurts 201: Reeds & Rats

So remember those Yurts I showed you? Super awesome, right? Well, like any good vacation story, they come with some (I’m going to say hilarious because that’s how I hope I will look back on them in 20 years) downsides. You’ll remember that the reed mats yurts are lined with are hella hard work. I … Continue reading

The Darker Truths

Upon reflection, I make this trip sound like it was a fairy tale. It was. But a real, proper Grimm’s fairy tale where people are drawn and quartered and there is as much misery as there is joy. Don’t get me wrong. There was joy. Tons of it. In no particular order this included: singing … Continue reading

The Kyrgyz Landscape

Legend has it that God created the world in six days and then took a rest, relaxing in all he had made. Afterward, all the peoples of the earth came to his resting place to pay him homage. He gifted each tribe with a corner of the world in which to grow and prosper. But … Continue reading