Friday, July 31, 2015


I am reading this well-written book on the many, many dead buried in London. After spending 3+ months there and learning serial sections of the city very well, it is real treat to visit the history of events and people give the city its character. Every place, it seems is built on top of a cemetery and every cemetery has its story.

One of this the rare things that I especially enjoy is when a book has a cover that is a photograph I know. This is such book. In the upper portion of the cover above, you will see the entrance to the Egyptian Avenue in Highgate Cemetery. We visited there in the spring of 2014. I have a similar picture, although mine is from a vantage point off to the left of this one. Height is a most amazing place. People put their address over the entrance to their mausoleum to be sure that everyone know they were rich from the neighborhood they lived in as well as the one they were dead in.
Egyptian Avenue, Highgate Cemetery
Visiting Highgate, it is easy to see how the Victorians came to create the ghost story with the dread of the burial, the cold and dank place, the long remembrance of ancient things, and the ego to conquer it all. It is place of industrial burials with 17 or more stacked on top of one another in a single grave in places. It is place of deep affection where lovers remain embraced for eternity. It is a place of parental love without bounds. It is very human place even though there are no living humans in it. It is a tether to our past.

London is a magical city, filled with history, dramatic architecture, interesting people, and fun things to do. The more we visit there, the more we want to stay there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tools of the trade

The coast of Cornwall at Tintagel.
To take on the world, one needs the right tools. For me, this means photography equipment.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Snakes on a plain

The inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus), also commonly known as the western taipan, the small-scaled snake, or the fierce snake (Wikipedia)
Of the twelve most venomous snakes listed on wikipedia, only 2 are not found in Australia. However,  according to Australian Geographic, the rate at which humans are bitten is low.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Passing the time

Anyone who knows us will understand that one of our main pursuits in Australia will be finding birds. We have found a dandy book to help us with this. We haven't yet had time to go through the book in detail, but it looks to be very complete and well-written.

As near as we can tell, there really aren't any bird in Australia that we already know from our travels elsewhere in the world. There might be a few old friends, but this is going to be a trip filled with wonders. The common backyard birds are amazing. The amazing birds are amazing. It's just amazing.

We will just find a place to sit and be. Unwinding while watching beautiful birds in an exotic location is going to be a very fine way to pass the time. Of course we will move the "be-ing" spot from time to time and see what there is lots of places.

This seems to be great book. It's going to be a great trip.

If you are in the business to heading to Australia as well, you can find the book at

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Livin' for free

Living in East Finchley, UK.

Thanks to the internet, there are ways to find places to live without cost. Well, without paying money at least.

We discovered in about mid-2013 that web sites exist for just this sort of thing. Thanks to clever folks who had a great idea, there is now a way to connect people who have home, and often pets, that need to be watched while they are away with folks who are interested in helping them out. So if you are responsible, clean, and enjoy pets, that is made to order.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

In the beginning...

Imagine being able to sit on a beach, a mountain side, or a grassy plain and do...nothing. For as long as you like.

Soon, Elizabeth will retire. In less that a year, so will I. We've been practicing for this, off and on, most of our life. We are now slow-walking the startup of the real thing.

We are embarking on an adventure. Having discovered a couple years ago that we can use the web to find people who are looking for pet and house sitters, we've been exploring this as a way to travel. It works. So we are moving into full time sitting.

This blog will record our travels, our discoveries, and include some photography and opinions along the way. We want to remember what we've done and we'd like to share it with our friends.

Welcome to the adventure.