Archive for February, 2012

42. South Africa

At Table Mountain, the cable car floats us serenely above the hunkering Flats of Capetown.
The air is scorched by the sunset, but clear of the fetid undercurrent of bravado and fear
that lurks beneath the city’s civilian clothing.

In the far distance, Robben Island: brittle birthplace of a nation.




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OK, so this week, you have a choice of two ’50 words’ – sometimes I write more than one, because of course there are many indelible ‘moments’ when travelling, and this week I couldn’t decide what mood I was in, so you have a bit of both – light and dark:

41. New Zealand


So there I am – girly heaven:
wallowing in an outdoor cast iron bath,
hot water swirling,
(bubbles of course)
champagne glass to hand.
Head lolling on the edge of the tub.
Admiring the endless mountainscape of the aptly named ‘Remarkables’.
Nothing but steam and immodesty between me and the view.




On the Franz Josef Glacier, it’s all so unexpected.
The ice is not white,  but an unearthly blue,
and it’s not cold and silent, but alive with unexpectedly human sounds
groaning, creaking, squealing, grinding.

I hold my breath,
step tentatively.
Somehow to still the lumbering giant:
Unstoppable author of landscapes


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40. France (Paris, New Year’s Eve, 1989)

Champs Elysee, twenty-four: the whole world before me.
Uniting adrenalin of the pulsating crowd:
350,000 intimate strangers surging as one euphoric organism.
Midnight hovers.
A collective breath …..

Then. Rush for the last metro
Trammeled and crushed, footing lost …. panic!!!
then …. relief!
Spewed to the side like yesterday’s resolutions.


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