Witnessing the sun paint Uluru at sunrise
We visited Uluru (Ayres Rock) several times and at different times of day. But for me, it never looked lovelier than at day break (about 6am I think it was). This is a spiritual place for the aborigines, and I can see why.
Where I come from
My mom. Her flower garden (very small part of it…a very big part of her). The house I grew up in.
It had been a dream of mine to have this party-a garden party in our back yard, big white tent, everyone dressed in white, gourmet meal and lots of wine. Best part – the circle of friends who made the evening more fanatstic than I could have ever dreamt.
This street in a small French town was a perfect beauty in so many indescribable ways.
The Great Wall of China was built at a time, when no one could even imagine that one day man would invent airplanes and simply be able to fly over the wall.
Travelling the world by sea
The Silver Cloud
Time with Mom
With my Mom. At Emeril’s Restaurant.
MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas
Being at Sea – being so totally removed from land brings a freedom of thought and spirit that may be impossible anywhere else
The Mighty Nile
Luxor, Egypt – the Nile River is one of those seemingly mysterious, mystical places of adventure tales
The love of pets
Our sweet, quirky Bali
October 6, 1995 – December 29, 2006
Feats of Marvel – the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, UAE – the ultimate landmark of Dubai and its opulence – with its 54 stories and helipad
A place of our own on a hilltop in France
This photo is of my niece, Kim’s, daughter Sydney, who is making a good show of reading a Russell Quant book on the beach.
Perhaps this photo shows the very moment that young Syd is discovering what will become a life-long passion for reading. Who knows?
Saskatchewan Sunshine and Water. Our little piece of heaven.
Sun Falling into Sea
Somewhere in the Red Sea as we sailed from Oman to Saudi Arabia
Walking the dogs on a summer evening with a champagne sun hanging low in the sun.
Splendour in the Jungle
Teatro Amazonas – the Manaus Operal House – is the most impressive and decadent symbol of Manaus’s Golden Era. Built at the height of the rubber boom at the turn of the 19th century, the Opera House took fifteen years to construct and epitomizes the splendour and elegance of a time when the city was one of the richest in the world. Imagine building this in the middle of the jungle. Wow.
Bridgetown, Barbados. Came across this ‘business advertisement’ during a morning jog. This is about willingness to be flexible and make most out of what life has given you.
Basking in simple living
In the Atlas Mountains, learning about the Berbers. This man invited us into his house and made us lunch of tea, bread & honey.
Peggy’s Cove, NS. As we drove into town and crested a hill, catching sight of the lighthouse, rock formations,brightly-painted houses, lobster traps and tangled fishing nets, there was a sharp intake of breath at the simple gorgeousness of the place
Quiet contemplation at sea
En route from Malaga to Barcelona.
Playing Dress Up
No matter your age, every once in a while play dress up.
Paradise Valley, AZ
Finding a little known spot aboard a busy cruise ship, perfect for reading under a blanket with a green apple martini
Aboard the inaugural coyage of the SS Silver Spirit – Sanitago, Chile to Los Angeles, CA
There was one deck that few people seemed to use. On this particular day, we were getting used to crossing back into the northern hemisphere and the coolness out of the sun – perfect temp for reading on the deck under a woolen blanket that smelled of the sea.
Took a voyage into the Atlas Mountains and learned about the Berbers, the mountain people of Morrocco. Basic. Simple. Elegant. Fantastic.
Perfect, ‘Sound of Music’, green rolling hills of rural Switzerland
Visiting our friends in Gahwil, Switzerland
Number 10 – Dublin, Ireland
June 2014 – we attended a dinner party at Number 10 on Ormond Quay on our last night in Ireland. A 12,000 sq ft brownstone that from the outside looked like nothing, but inside was glorious, full of art, antiques, candlelight and a jovial host named John who first came to the building to shop when it was an antique store, and left buying the whole thing. What I loved most about it was how it felt like our home, a place full of parties and art and laughter.And yes, we always have candles going.
Making friends of strangers
Making friends at sea
Aboard the Silver Cloud
Maiko vs Geiko
We learned that ‘geisha’ is not a term much cared for anymore (due to negative connotation of geishas as prostitutes). Now its Geiko (or Maiko for a trainee). We had a unique opportunity to have a one-on-one with a maiko. We were blown away by her eloquence and poise and desire to be a vessel of traditional values and skills.
Love of a good dog
Mocha – Best dog in the World
March 9, 1993 – February 27, 2007
Lost Opportunity-Modern Relic
One of the fourteen now-decommissioned Concorde supersonic jets is housed in Georgetown, Barbados, a regular destination. Getting up close and inside of this was like a close encounter with a dinosaur. With Concorde grounded after the horrific French accident, somehow it just feels like a step back. But the plane itself and it’s story is a wonderful ode to innovation and creativity and technology.
Living the Big Easy
Home of Saints & Sinners Literary Conference
Lemonade from lemons
We’d arrived at our rented house in south of France in pouring rain.We went out to the markets and bought a spectacular feast of breads, cheeses, olives, fruit and wine and had a marvelous indoor picnic. We made our own sun.
Great Halls of Higher Learning
We visited Harvard, just outside of Boston, on a damp fall day, which seemed kind of appropriate. I remember trying to search behind the eyes of a passing student to see if I could catch a glimpse of what greatness lay there.
Anthony Bidulka Laughter of Friends No sound quite like it.
Knowing Each Other Well
This was at our honeymoon brunch where we were made to play a game testing how well we knew one another. We did very well.
Passing beneath the impossibly long (13 kilometres/8 mile) Confederation Bridge. In 1997, this behemoth finally joined the Canadian island province of PEI with mainland New Brunswick.
Time and time again, as we travelled in Japan in 2015, we were blown away by the kindness, friendliness and respect shown us. This photo was taken in a out-of-the-way soba noodle house. This guy, knowing no English, still managed to invite us over to his table to try his food and drink.
Was actually named a UNESCO heritage cuisine in 2013 (France’s cuisine is the only other). We could see why on our visit there in 2015 – from Shabu Shabu to omakase to kaiseki to soba noodles and bean paste sweets – the variety of foods and ways of serving and eating it were astounding.
There we were, sitting on the deck of our luxury cruise ship, awaiting to disembark in the port of Safaga, Egypt, when at the same time, the poorest of the poor Egyptians were returning home from years in Saudi Arabia where they’d gone to try to make a living, with everything (truly) including the kitchen sink
How You Relate
This is our good friend Moritz. We’ve travelled together a number of times and everywhere he visits he takes time every day to do a sketch. It’s one of the ways he relates and gets comfortable and learns about a new place. Some of us discover a place by walking the streets, dining, buying artifacts, he sketches.
How the World Changes
We were sailing through the narrows of the Amazon River; for 5 hours I was mesmerized by the remoteness and simplicity of life here. Then a motorized canoe slips up alongside us, the girl has quite obviously taken great care to look good and she’s taking pictures of us with an iPhone. Even 3 years ago this wasn’t the case.
These are just a couple of the children we met while touring the townships that surround Johannessburg, South Africa. What got me about these kids…and really, most everyone we came across in that forsaken place, was their ability to have hope where I could sense none. I learned a lot that day.
It was an odd sensation to be standing in this spot, in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, remembering watching the drama that unfolded here in 1989 on TV.
Dusk atop Mmagawe Hill, where I found inspiration, an incredible sunset, a cold g&t, and shared chips with an elephant mouse.
Hawaiian Sunset at House Without a Key
Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Watching something grow that you have planted is a sensational thing. This is the scene from my office. When I feel the need for some fresh air, or a break from writing, or just need a bit of inspiration or time to think, I enter this little garden I put there, and soak it in. Oftentimes, just a minute or two will do.
This house inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. The character was so real, Montgomery herself had difficulty admitting Anne was fictional.
Singapores Marina Bay Sands Hotel – the top was fashioned after the local ‘bum’ boats.
Architecture and architects can be simply stunning.
Getting away from it all with Friends
With Shelley, Herb, Dori overlooking Zihuatanejo, Mexico – Feb 2009
Friendships around the World
We were couples from Canada,the US and Switzerland – and yet we found kindred spirits and great companionship despite our vast differences
A Former Boss
Shelley Brown was the person who first hired me in my career as a Chartered Accountant, and for a decade she was my boss. Then I walked into her office one day and told her I was leaving to pursue writing. Not only did she tell me I could have my job back any time I wanted (needed) it back, she celebrated my decision. And she still does, often hosting a pre-launch for the Saskatoon releases of my books.
In the Footsteps
This is the famed Writer’s Bar-Raffles Hotel Singapore, where writers like Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham & Noel Coward have spent time.
Following in ancient footsteps
This photograph does pitifully little to reflect the experience I’d just had. Many of Australia’s aborigines are not happy to have their photograph taken, so I had to settle for this poor reflection of the aftermath. We’d just spent the past hour around a fire-pit at dusk with a young man who’d decided (despite the call of modern day) to follow the traditions of his aborigine ancestors. He showed us his treasures (hand-carved boomerangs, a spear, fur-lined loin cloths that he danced in). He told us about his initiation into manhood (including six deep burn scars on his chest and a kangaroo bone through his nose). He painted himself (belly, hands, face and arms) and painted our arms. He illustrated how they did cave paintings by chewing berries and charcoal and water, then spewing the mixture over whatever it is they wanted to outline. Then we had a go at it. The mixture did not taste very good but it was an exceptional experience to make this handprint painting on paper using the same method. The piece barely survived the trip home, but will always remain a treasured keepsake of an inspirational travel moment.
This was in Naples, Florida. I love a beach with long lonely stretches, tall grasses, icing sugar sand, old wood, and salty air. My mind was free to wander.
The site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.
It was a burning hot day in a desert town and this caleche driver was taking me back to my hotel. He was quite elderly, his horse even older, but once we hit our stride he whipped out his cell phone.
The gracious eerie of sailing into a foggy cove off the coast of Mexico
Lobby of the quirky Negresco Hotel in Nice which has been lovingly reinvigorated by Madame Jeanne Augier.The art is eclectic, sometimes strange, each floor is decorated in a different theme, there is a famous hotel cat. Truly a bizarre and wonderful place
Entertaining in different forms – dinner parties, theme parties, pool parties, intimate parties for two or four, or big Christmas parties for two hundred – is not only inspirational for me, it brings such enjoyment to me. And there just isn’t much better than sitting around a table with good friends, food, wine, and conversation.
As we floated along the Cai Be River in the Mekong Delta, this boat pulled up alongside us and tied themselves to us, offering fresh coconut juice for sale.
Nothing quite as desolate as a desert, or as lovely at sunset
Cultural Immersion – allowing a local to adjust my headdress – aka making friends, acceptance, learning – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Creating Beauty from Nothing
Majorelle Gardens is an artist’s landscape botanical garden in Marrakech. Designed by artist Jacques Majorelle in the 20s,. Now owned by Yves St. Laurent, whose ashes were spread there when he died in 1980.
A Beautiful Cold in my front yard
To be honest, this is what I thought most of Vietnam would look like. Instead, this scene was the exception rather than the rule. Change is definitely afoot in Vietnam.
Cliff diver in Mazatlan
This diver was unique in that the cliff he dived from wasn’t particularly high (they said – I thought it looked plenty high myself), but his skill was that he dove into a pool of water that would be less than five feet deep if he failed to time the dive correctly.
Poor roadside fruit vendor, a rich, colourful masterpiece
Behemoths at Sea
We were on the way from Egypt, heading for the Suez Canal, the winds were strong, and there off our bow was this oil platform, blazing away on the wild sea – so big, so foreign, so powerful, so solitary – it spoke of things I know little about – oil, technology, geopolitics, environment, power
Beauty & the Beast
Beauty under the threat of danger
Antigua, Guatemala, beneath (one of) its very active volcanos
Beauty in simplicity
A summer walk with happy dogs
With Kona and Magic on a beautiful August Friday night in our back acreage.
At Athens Archeological Museum
A Good Garden
This garden area at the back of Le Pigonnet in Aix-En-Provence was a true stunner. Trellises heavy with roses, fountains, walkways,private corners to sit in. I love a good garden.
Astounding Human Accomplishment – Karnak Temple at Luxor, Egypt