The Holt

Land's edge in Lincoln Park, San Francisco

When I was a kid, I used to go out to Lincoln Park in San Francisco by myself nearly every day. These days, you can get a call from the cops if you let your pre-teen kids out of the house without supervision in California, but back then, it was completely normal. Every day after school, when my homework was done -- or when I claimed that my homework was done -- I would head out the front door and up the hill a couple of blocks to the playground. The park would usually be full of neighborhood … [Read more...]

Scent is a magic carpet

Mischa and his enormous nose, when he was just a few months old.

I often wonder what my dog smells, when we're out walking. Dogs have a sense of smell fourteen times stronger than that of humans, yet Mischa will stick his nose as far up against a scent as possible.Scent and the sense of smell used to be a huge part of my life. I became fascinated with perfumes and essential oils in my late teens, then later trained as an aromatherapist. I honed my sense of smell to a tool of great accuracy and sensitivity. But now, constant low level clogging of my … [Read more...]

Memories of place, held on the tongue

Cleobury Mortimer in the valley below Titterstone Clee on a sunny, clear day

I've just finished my bedtime drink. Yes, I know it's late to be posting, where I am, but I've not known what to write about all day. After my drink, I do. The drink? It was hot, organic rice milk, with a dash of honey. I found the taste oddly reminiscent of Horlicks (without the flour residue). And Horlicks, for me, always makes me think of Cleobury Mortimer.It's one of those picturesque villages of the English Midlands, with an almost unbearably twee - but absolutely real, and ancient … [Read more...]


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