A Night at the Opera

A Double-Decker Intercity train gets us into Sydney in 90m. Day 39 Thursday 30th June 2011. We’re astonished in the train when a guy walks up to a bench seat and just drags the seat-back over to the other side of the seat bottom. The forward facing bench seat now faces backwards, forming a bay […]

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Whale Watch

After a rainy day at home, it’s time to visit an Australian beach or two. Day 38 Wednesday 29th June 2011. The beaches are overwhelming, and come with wonderful birds, including pelicans. The splendiferous Spencers take us around with every expected excess of generosity and style. We lunch at a friendly Australian RSL, after waiting […]

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Sydney by Day

Early, very early, just at dawn, the Kookaburra’s extended song reminds me we are waking in Australia. Day 37 Tuesday 28th June 2011. We spend the day trying to assimilate the view, the landscape, the eucalyptus trees, the birds, the amazing house, and the incredible confidence and determination of our hosts in re-envisioning it and […]

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Sydney by Night

Health & Safety have decided we can go to Sydney, Day 36 Monday 27th June 2011. But first a walk up Mount Victoria. The light is low, casting warm shadows on the mountains half-sheltering the bay waters that are so bright we must squint to prove how low the sailing boats seem to lean under […]

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Volcanic Ash

Wellington City Vineyard Church meets in a featureless office block. Four elements are: singing led by a restrained, even, unplugged band, a doughnut break, and some praying after a sermon. It’s about Jesus turning over the tables as a metaphor for violently declutterring, to make space for the new stuff He’s making possible. Well researched. […]

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Mount Victoria

This morning Mary and I discuss psychology, music theory, family histories, and marriage with Jared and Beki Watson. at night we had an in-depth discussion of the bi-partite or tri-partite composition of man. Body, Soul, and/or Spirit. Day 34 Saturday 25th June 2011. It’s great. We took a morning drive to check out Lonely Planet’s […]

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400 Miles to Wellington

The dawn at Kauri Point. Mist rolls off volcanic hills obscuring half the tropical woodland crowding the hills beyond our bedroom’s french windows. Led Zeppellin’s Misty Mountain Hop will be playing all day in my head. Critical shopping (for postcards and souvenirs that will travel home, half-way around the world) and then it’s highway one, […]

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The Good Shepherd

A message has been left on the kitchen table. “Look out for the good shepherd”. What does it mean? Day 32 Thursday 23rd June 2011. New Zealand is supposed to be cold and wet (like England) but with more sheep than people. That sounds cool! And normally I’d say that two out of three is […]

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Sheep! Where are they all? Day 31 Wednesday 22nd June 2011. We’ve been on the road all day, and met three “Kiwi” families from the UK in Auckland and Hamilton, but where are the sheep? We may have to resort to visiting a place that I am reluctant to accept exists in reality. According to […]

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Crossing the Line

If you “Don’t Like Mondays” then you should be on this flight. Day 30 Tuesday 21st June 2011. We got up early, admittedly on a Monday morning, and our 10 hour flight started at 9:00 am. But we immediately set our watches to Tuesday, and when we disembark it’ll be Tuesday afternoon in Sydney. It’s […]

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A Beach-bound Saturday

We awake early. 07:00am and we’re near the ocean. 07:30 am and we’re in the ocean. Day 27: Saturday 18th June 2011. Later, a turtle climbs onto the sand to say hello. We see the weathered arched table over his back, his four wings, his wrinkly accordion neck, and his distinguished old face with its […]

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Pacific Discovery

A Day of Discovery I’m awake at 05:30am in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on a volcanic mountain called Oahu. Day 25 Thursday 16th June 2011. The uncurtained windows are fine screens that let in the wind, the light, and rippling overlapping waves of tropical birdsong. In Sam’s Jeep we crossed Honolulu late last […]

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Undiscovered Continents

For the first time I’m crossing the Pacific Ocean, and soon I’ll discover Honolulu and New Zealand for myself. Day 24 Wednesday 15th June 2011 Of course you cannot ‘discover’ a charted inhabited place, but on your first arrival you will certainly discover its unwritten distinctive character. Perhaps its own smell, air, or light; the […]

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The River, My River

The student asks, Can I step in the same river twice? His master replies, Can you step in the same river once? Each of us is denied the river that flowed before we step in; none of us knows the river that flows after we step out. Yet we all live the same river. The […]

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Tundra in the USA

The highest road in the USA. Tundra. Global warming means more moisture, which means more snow (21 feet this year) which means we’re driving through tunnels of excavated snow. Day 18: Thursday 9th June 2011. We walk through Estes Park town to Safeways for bread and cheese and ham (and a fresh tee shirt) for […]

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Watching the River Flow

On our first walk along the river, we come upon an elk, feeding about 8 paces from our trail. I’m looking at that picture, and I cannot believe we took it. Today, here. Reality can feel very surreal when you’re not used to it. Day 21: Sunday 12th June 2011. Real life car Top Trumps […]

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Buffalo Burgers in Denver

After 36 years, we’re immediately at home with our lovely cousins Eric and Diane. Day 20: Saturday 11th June 2011. Spokane to Denver is a short distance by plane, but different from the rest of North America so far. We all talk and think and listen quickly, as we bounce between discussions of semantics, cognitive […]

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Friends Reunited

In a diner, a converted railway carriage, for a vast breakfast, American style, with Warren & Mary LaVille, who offer us the warmest welcome. Day 19: Friday 10th June 2011. We go to their house, way out of town, where they live with two dogs, and we spend a day on the porch, discussing life, […]

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