Sitting in a big hotel in Lusaka
Pleasant but sterile
Sitting by a lovely “water feature”
With koi and papyrus and purple flowers
And water lilies
We were on a mission — not from God like Jake and Elwood in the Blues Brothers — more like hell given the number of twists and turns the week took, but more of that later. Our mission was to see Robbie Williams in concert in Vienna. Tickets for the concert here were about 50% cheaper than in the UK, so we decided we would take a break and incorporate the concert into the itinerary.
Once we had our precious tickets, we then proceeded to work out the most acceptable way for us to travel. Acceptable to us includes the following criteria — cost, opportunity to see new places, have new adventures, explore new and different cultures, make the most of opportunities, tasting new food and wines, hotels with bath and shower, the opportunity to learn, and most importantly for me, a means of travel which allows me to photograph.
We chose to travel using the motorway network — mainly for speed and our lack of geographical knowledge.
This was a photographic challenge — to share my backyard/neighbourhood landscapes in portrait format instead of traditional landscape format.
This first view is across the fields towards the small mountain range called Serra do Cercal, you can see the aqueduct which is part of a huge irrigation project in the region crossing the valley and the fire breaks in the forested mountain slopes behind.
I awaken each morning to the soft early light of the rising sun as it filters through the window shutters directly onto my pillow. Its arrival means it is time to rise and shine — no alarm clocks needed here.
Food in rural Alentejo revolves around these six ingredients: wine, olives, bread, cheese, porco preto and eggs. Almost every household will dine on a combination of these for at least one meal a day if not both. Wine drives the Alentejo economy and the stomachs of its workers, from simple house wines to celebrated international award winners. This is my Christmas present to myself — a presentation box of five reds from the renowned Cortes De Cima.
For months, my wife Elizabeth and I had discussed going to Orlando and taking our son Chaim Yosef to Walt Disney World so that he could see Mickey Mouse and his friends as well as Lightning McQueen from his favorite movie — Cars. We spent quite a lot of time working out finances and started putting the plan in motion when we saw that the airline JetBlue had announced a sale — only $89 each way, quite a discount. I called my mother and told her that we were thinking about going to visit Chaim’s pals in Florida and she lovingly started asking me if we had the money to go and how it was possible that we could afford it.
I spent some time in New York City this weekend, and at some point between pushing past slow tourists and instinctively dodging comedy show promoters, I couldn’t help thinking about the oddness of city life and the East coast in general. Having grown up in New Jersey and spending plenty of time in New York, I usually follow the unspoken rule of, well, not speaking.