Swimming against the grain

I work for a big fancy university. The powers that be there conveniently provide a shuttle from the thoroughfare at the end of my road straight to my office.  It’s a very lucky thing and saves me untold mental strain and dollars during hustling rush hour commutes.  But because it’s on the busiest street in … Continue reading

Questing

I spent the summer I turned twelve doing four things: reading, keeping a journal of every book I read and film I saw, practicing my violin, and mowing the lawn while belting show tunes (secretly dreaming I’d be discovered by a talent agent over the drone of the mower). The summer I turned twelve I … Continue reading

Travel Tuesdays: Revival

I recently came across my Travel Tuesday stories: a short-lived weekly ritual exploring places I had been as we waited (and waited and waited) for the uncertain future to transport us to America. I felt strangely jealous.  Delighted to revisit places I fondly remember, surprised and rather chuffed at being transported by words I don’t … Continue reading

Iowa

Imagine for a second the state of Iowa. Probably you see farms. Perhaps a church. Almost definitely wide open land and big skies. Even if you have never seen the endless fields of the American breadbasket, the region’s reputation precedes it, and by a wide margin. My own Iowa memories center on my great-grandmother’s attic … Continue reading

Bus

Friday morning: Been away; work-traveling. Weekend of more work ahead. Dull, misty skies. Mouse in the kitchen. Clothed wrinkly, cupboards bare. Late. Groggy. Frizzy hair, make-up streaks. Almost miss the bus.  RUN to make it, last one of forty to pile in, the front half full to standing. Push through.  And there, right in the … Continue reading

Things I Like — Free Music

I may bemoan the lack of free museums in this city, but summer heralds a cornucopia of affordable musical fare. Finally attended the Dame Myra Hess Concert series under the beautiful Tiffany dome at the Chicago Cultural Center. Bite-sized classics, today a cello sonata, for lunchtime listeners. (You can tune in live on WMFT‘s website … Continue reading

Things I Like — Trains

I like the rumble and tumble noise of a distant one. I like the promise of adventure out the oversized windows. I like the overnight ones and long distance ones best. Like you’re really going somewhere. I love hurtling from A to distant B so fast, and while reading with tea. I love we’re all … Continue reading

Kitchen Tour

I love our apartment. I love it hard. Even if we were millionaires I’d be hard-pressed to change much about it  (excepting of course my burning desire to build a terrace hanging garden and outdoor cafe seating area on the back deck. THAT I will splurge on as soon as I am able.) Our apartment … Continue reading

One Year

One year ago, we took a one-way trip to America. Since leaving Heathrow that morning we’ve been rather busy. We’ve clocked 15,000 miles by car, plane, bus, train, boat, bicycle and ferry. We’ve visited 5 states and 19 North American cities (not including driving through dozens if not hundreds of one-stop-light towns and villages). On … Continue reading

Hello, world

Once a month I have a night or two of insomnia. Despite a double-dose of painkillers my aches crunch on, dulled but unabated, and so I am left to ponder the world in a quietude all my own. I’ve come to enjoy the peaceful time, the botherings aside, and consider it a small space where … Continue reading