WOCKA – WOCKA! An Encounter of the Metaphorical Kind

img_2934The ageing comedian, known the world over for his slapstick parodies, brushed past me in the pre-dawn chill to take his place in the crowd queuing up to board the British Airways flight from Edinburgh to London. I have packing my warm jacket in my checked luggage to thank for our chance encounter. Had I not hung back to keep warm in the stairwell, I’d have totally overlooked him.

As it was, before I could react beyond the chuckle that stretched my lips straight and crinkled the corners of my eyes, the bobbing head, tucked under his signature pork pie hat, disappeared into the forward motion of the crowd. Continue reading

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BEINN HIANT – My Everest

img_2461-2Highland sheep dotted the roadside under the pre-dawn sky. The velvet canopy looked like flocks of faeries had tossed fistfuls of glitter at the new moon only to have it stashed inside the Big Dipper and then purposefully strewn across the Milky Way by their extraterrestrial counterparts so that this tiny group of earthlings might stand in awe of the universe’s expansive beauty from the gravel car park at the foot of Beinn Hiant, Scotland’s Magic Mountain*, the highest hill on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.

The bulky behemoth’s size was clear from the patch of twinkling stars that it blocked from sight. The mountain is touted as being an easily manageable ascent in the tourist guides, but for the out-of-shape slug I’d recently become, I viewed watching the sunrise with my retreat companions after a seventeen-hundred-foot hillwalk more like an expedition up Everest. Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, HOLIDAYS, HUMOR, ROAD TRIP, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes, VIEW FROM MY SOAP BOX | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments


img_2859Once the morning sun broke through the clouds, the grey mist pulled back from Glenborrodale’s ragged shoreline’s nooks and crannies. It rose from the loch like a gossamer shade tugged from the edge of a wooded windowsill revealing a beauty distinct to the Scottish Highlands.

The atmosphere immediately hugs you in a warm tartan of peace and tranquility, lore and legend. It begs you to use words like fancy, toadstool, and porridge.

With a fortnight to go until Halloween Continue reading

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fullsizerender_1Ichiro snores. The fog horn blows. My feet are cold and the fragrance of lilies on the kitchen counter drifts into the living room where I stare at the precarious position of my teacup on the edge of the coffee table while pondering this run on sentence the here and now.


Well, maybe not so much the here (sitting on a chair, in my living room, in my house, in California, on the continent of North America, on the planet Earth), as the now: this minute, this second, Continue reading

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KALAALLIT NUNAAT – When Nanor Comes to Visit

There’s something surreal about spotting a row of paw prints the size of cast-iron skillets stamped in the snow thirty feet from where you’ve been sleeping. Continue reading

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A visual treat today, inspired by this week’s Photo Challenge titled “Framed”


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Mourning in the morning 
is more difficult than at night
your ghost is visible in the daylight,

said the woman, hands folded, as if reciting a prayer,
to the aide
sliding a comb
through her once shiny,
thick hair.

You know you can’t hide inside that disguise!

She tugs his white coat, ’til he’s level with her eyes.
Continue reading

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