Beijing to Xian - when train travel loses its romance

As you recall in episode 1, your raconteur found herself stranded on the top bunk of a miniscule train compartment on an overnight train from Beijing to Xian....more

A romantic train journey in China???

There's a certain romance attached to train travel, an elegance associated with sleeper and dining cars. Think Some Like it Hot, or Murder on the Orient Express, or any of a dozen screwball comedies starring Cary Grant or Kathryn Hepburn....more

Create your own little world

I'm always learning new photography and Photoshop skills - most are fairly subtle, techniques that add depth or nuance to an image. But every so often you get a Wow! thing... and this one is just so simple, I have to share...1. crop a jpg image to a panoramic perspective, at least twice as wide as it is high. If you have huge panoramas you've done, stitching photos together so much the better, but they are not  necessary. Variations in subject height and good contrast for the background will make it easier to  get a good result. ...more

Some things I noticed in New York

Back in March my pal Bindi and I abandoned our husbands to ten days of looking after themselves, while we took a little jaunt of our own off to New Yor...more

Dance Me to the End of Time

Some sort of subliminal inspiration going on here because it makes me hum Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the Edge of Love."...more

Life at Sea

After a month away, settling back to a 'normal' routine of life just isn't easy....more

Let's go to the movies!

Back when I was a seven-year-old kid in the South Bronx, every Saturday afternoon my best friend Marilyn (named after THAT Marilyn) and I would take our weekly pocket money - fifty cents - and head up 167thSt to the Kent Theater, a second-run theatre whose glory days were 20-30 years before we were born....more

Footprint in the sand

 I love how footprints in the sand have an optical illusion quality - obviously they are imprints in the sand from someone walking - but I always do a double take because I am sure they are sculpted atop the sand....more

Six little thoughts...

Maths joke: What comes before 10? The postie.A woman's complaint: My sweeper is so weak it wouldn't suck a maggot off a chop....more

Bumped into Camus the other day...

Accidentally bumped into Camus the other day, a dangerous thing to do on a balmy summer night. But he was sitting there with nothing else to do but open up to me. Egad. Camus....more