“Scotty, have you heard of the major bug at Gare Montparnasse?”
“Yes, Sir. Hundreds of trains stopped for a day or so. But we had nothing to do with it. Sir.”
“‘You sure, Scotty? Have you noticed how the titles of those posts tend to come out a tad random?”
“Just a minor bug, Sir. Nothing to worry about. Does not affect passengers’ molecules re-assembly.”
“All right Scotty. Buckle up everybody. Tight. Let’s hop!”
Paris, April-May 1940. My father in his brand new Uniform of sub-lieutenant. He was at the Air Force Academy preparing for the war. As the Germans were advancing towards Paris, authorities kept moving the Academy to the South. When France surrendered in June, my father and a friend tried to go to England to continue the war. Alas, they had stolen the Colonel’s car – a bad idea -, got arrested by the Gendarmes, and discharged – honourably – a few days later. End of the war for him. Otherwise, I might not be here to tell the story.
Teotihuacán, Mexico. 1990. Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Actually two gods share the temple. On the left column: Tlaloc, God of Rain. On the right, Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. (Quetzal is a bird, of the rain forest. Coatl means snake)
Brazil, 1975. Sailing to Alcantara, from Sao Luis, in the state of Maranhao. The ship was called Mensageiro da Fé, Messenger of the Faith. A trip in the Northeast of Brazil, between Fortaleza and Belem.
Provence, c.1975? Herman’s tortoise. A small – 15-20 cms – tortoise of the mediterranean, it can be found from Spain to Greece. I picked this one up in the garden of a house my parents had on the Côte d’Azur for many years. Near endangered, this species is particularly vulnerable to forest fires.
Pokote woman and children. Northern Kenya, c.1971. (c)ourtesy Claude & Dominique Millet. (See Crows reloaded for a story on the Pokote tribe)
Cyprus, 1967. This Gothic church, built by Crusaders was turned into a mosque at some time, during the back and forth wars of crusaders and Turks. See the added-on Minaret on the left. From this tower, the muezzin calls for prayer.
“Error”. One of the first prototypes of the Equinox Time-Space shuttle. Only carried one passenger and worked on bird seed fuel. Environment-friendly but not very stable. Scotty destroyed a few other prototypes until developing the one you are flying on today. Relax. All bugs have been fixed, or so he tells me. (Bogotá, Colombia, early 21st century)
Asian elephant, Zoo de Vincennes, Paris, mid seventies. Last century.
A squirrelly neighbour. Mexico, December 2017, outside my library window.
Brussels, 2011. A taller than average Belgian.
Chichicastenango market, Guatemala. 2000.
Nairobi, Kenya, 1968. To the right, Dr Ashe, Director of the Museum of Natural History. To the left… well. A cousin of Nag, the nasty black cobra that Rikki Tikki Tavi, the fearless mongoose fights in the Jungle book.
This last picture I have already posted. Taken off the coast of West Africa, around 1960. Only 20 years after my father’s gallant uniform picture at the beginning of this post. More than fifty years ago! I feel it is a good symbol of the trip we (the whole family) will be taking to Asia (Singapore, Penang, Thailand, Cambodia) at the end of the week, to reunite with Daughter #2.
Thank you kindly to all of you for accompanying us on Equinoxio’s crazy Time-Space travels. May you spend a lovely Christmas with your dear ones, and may the New Year bring you all Peace and Happiness.
114 thoughts on “Merry Year a new and Christmas happy a”
A most wonderful trip again. I wish you a great christmas as well and a happy new year.
Thank you my friend. Likewise. 🙂
People on stilts can be creepy, no?
I would have a heart attack if I saw a cobra. Rattle snakes I’m used to. Cobras no thank you.
Stilts? Echasses? Yes, creepy sometimes.
I had to “deal” with a cobra once. In Kenya. It’s a story I have in the works.
(Now the man whose trousers and shoes are displayed was very used to snakes, he ran the National History Museum in Nairobi
and gave us a demo of how to catch a cobra and make it spit its venom in a vial. For vaccine. Creepy too. 😉
Boy. I hope you took notes because I’ll make you ha dale it if we ever encounter one together! 😉
“ha dale it”? Must be the spelling corrector. I turned that off. Won’t do it. I don’t catch snakes. Have killed a couple, coz I couldn’t avoid it, but my policy is to stay away. If you “stumble” on a snake, the best is to walk away very slowly. Or to stand still until it goes away… 😉
That’s always been my plan too. Leave it alone.
Looking forward to your story.
I need to take advantage of those vacations to set up a schedule for my writing/posting/researching… (How’s the L.A. fire doing? is it controlled yet? What a terrible year)
It’s still really bad. The winds have died down so it will only be a matter of time until it’s under control. But it’s a bad bad bad one.
Not under control yet? Bad bad. Actually we are flying tonight to LAX. Stopping over before catching the Canton-Singapore flight. (Still can’t believe it) 🙂
Canton-Singapore?! What? My secretary failed to inform me of your vacation request. Tell me more.
I wonder if you will be able to see anything from the plan. It is far north in the mountains.
I decided we would all join Gini who did not feel like coming home for christmas. Too many memories. So she was gonn stay alone. I convinced everyone. My wife. Daughter Alex her husband and baby Gonzalo. And we have all reunited in Singapore for 3 days. Now in Penang… then koh Lanta in thailand. Bangkok. Angkor. And back home. And Gini is coming back. She has already booke d her flight. ☺️ and we’re having a great trip. Be good my dear jenny
Angkor! Can’t wait to hear about that. Merry Xmas. Enjoy the trip!
Joyeux noel from Ko Lanta Thailand… 😎
Thank you. You too. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip once you return, get settled, and start writing. Find any street art?
Happy New Year, Jenny. We are finally back. A bit over 3 weeks. 000’s of photos to process. (And street art) A lovely trip. So rich! I hope you had a wonderful end of year.
Welcome Home! It seems like you have been gone for months.
Thank you. Yes, it has felt like a long time. When we we there, it felt like we’d been away for 3 months. 🙂
That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
True. But seldom have I felt it so. Maybe because of the distance? The many countries? Such different cultures/environments? Very pleasant at any rate.
And Gini appears to be reasonably well. Which is good. And i’ve aleady taken enough photos for a zillion posts. 🙊
I would expect nothing else!
And only just after Santa Rosa…
Yeah. You guys have been hit hard this year.
Let’s hope this is the end of it.
Actually, I rather like Merry Year anew….
Then Merry Year Anew it is…
Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo Janet.
I hope as much of the family as possible can get together.
🙂 Just playing with words. Though English is a rather strict language in some aspects (e.g. adjective before noun) It is possible to juggle. 🙂
C’était donc une très bonne idée d’emprunter la voiture du colonel … même si la question de la rendre n’avait pas encore été envisagée. Un très bon voyage à vous, Brieuc, et de très bonnes fêtes également.
Merci Gilles. Vu la neige en Europe, ça va être un white Christmas?
Et pour “l’emprunt” de la voiture… Ils avaient 20 ans et n’ont pas pensé un instant dans cette débâcle qu’ils pouvaient être arrêtés. Un de mes frères a encore les télégrammes de la Gendarmerie… Amusant.
What a send off for your Asian odyssey. The tortoise is so beautiful and precious. They always seem so vulnerable, in spite of their shell. Bon voyage et Joyeueses Fetes, mon ami!
Merci Julie. Likewise. The tortoise was quite a find. Dans la “garrigue”. Put it back there after the photos. I wonder whether Angers has lights on for Christmas? Many cities have developed pleasant decoration. 🙂
Happy holidays to you and your family – must comment that I love that view from your library window!!!
Thank you. On all counts. The “new” house is in a private garden with 7 other houses, small gardens, a few squirrels. And very conveniently located in the historical part of Tlalpan an area of Mexico. It is a nice view. 🙂
Thank you for the trip. You too have a safe trip, enjoy the holidays and even if it’s a bit in advance: Happy Birthday! 🙂
seeing that snake made my goosebumps rise…..eeeks 🙂 don’t like snakes, but like nice turtles and nice time machine captains 🙂 happy hollidays Brian and stay safe, enjoy the trip and see ya when you return ❤
I don’t like snakes either. Saw too many in my childhood. (Learned to stay away). Enjoy your end of year.
Wonderful trip once again!Is that little you on the ship? What a cutie😉
Enjoy the festive season with your family and thanks for all the interesting posts this past year!
Thank you for your posts and the lovely “conversations”. And yes, that was “little me”. About six o seven. Sailing in wooden ship to the islands of the coast of West Africa. Another, parallel universe. No life saving jackets for instance… Hell, we all knew how to swim right? Today that would be impossible. Tot ziens Dina
We have been on a punt in Zambia…six cars, two lorries,fifty people with stacks of suitcases and goods…only one puny little safety tire, fastened to the rail…I was so scared!
A punt is a flat-bottom boat?
A pontoon…I used the wrong word! 😝
Have a wonderful trip, Brian. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos. Love the one of your Dad in uniform. The tortoise is really beautiful. 🙂
My pleasure. As I take a break from the heat in Penang. 😉 A fascinating trip in Asia so far. Take care and happy holidays.
Hello, that is one long travel! And we find all kinds of vehicles, can we say? 🙂
Elephants, turtles… I like the ‘Bug-fixed’ Equinox Time-Space shuttle best! Wish You all Happy Hols, and a Happy Christmas and New Year! 🙂
You must be there already. Have a good and happy time with your family, Merry Christmas to you all!
Hello Inese. So good to hear from you. How did your operation go? Yes we are now all un thailand. Merry christmas. ☃️❄️
Merry Christmas to you all! I am doing all right, will see how it goes. Hope for a peaceful and healthy New Year.
Thank you Inese. We are back from our Asian expedition. Enjoyed every minute of it. Will post soon. Glad to hear you are doing all right. I’m sure this will be a good year, health wise. 🙂
Delighted for you all. Yes, I have a lot of faith in this New Year. Waiting for February 16 when the Year of the Dog begins 🙂
Do you follow Chinese calendar? That’s interesting. 🙂 I must confess I have for a coula years. Now, of course more than ever.
This Calendar makes a lot of sense. I follow since I was in my twenties. Not religiously, but I follow the advice and make corrections when necessary. Collective wisdom of Humanity is there to partake of it 🙂
True. There is enough collective “folly and ignorance”, might as well partake the collective wisdom. Thank you for the thought.
Thanks for sharing your traveling experiences with us!!! 😀 Beautiful pics… Merry Christmas & all the best for 2018 😀
Lo mismo. Felices 🎉
Muchas gracias por compartir los viajes a través de tus fotografías entrañables.
Con mucho gusto.. feliz Navidad desde Tailandia. 🌲
Wish you an awesome Christmas and a fantastic 2018 guglu! loved your squirrel neighbor! he is one handsome fellow!
By the way happy birthday! God bless you now and forever my dear friend, hope you got my email sent on right date 🙂
Yes my dear Sharmisththa I did receive your mail. Thank u. And a lovely Xmas to you too… rushing as my internet is not too good… we are in Thailand right now.. love… b
are you back yet or still near India? in case you pay a visit to Kolkata…. 🙂
We are back to Mexico. In a daze. Trip was really nice. Calcutta will have to wait for when I manage to plan an India trip. You will be the first to know. 🙂
Buon Natale 🙂
😁 lo stesso.
Thank you. 🙂
(And a Happy New year)
Your dad in uniform is the star of this show, followed closely by your little self 🙂 Happiest of holidays to you and your loved ones Brian. Enjoy your time in SE Asia.
Thank you Madhu. 🙂 I hope end of year was good to you and yours. SE Asia was fabulous. Spectacular. And aside from the wonderful experience, lots of material for future posts. 🙂
Happy new year.
⛵️ We’ve arrived back in Penang and are here until 1 January. Where are you ⁉️
Hello. Looks like we just missed each other. We are in koh lanta. 😬
Well. We have been close. 😊
Darn. We won’t be up that way until mid-Jan…boat work. Hope you are having an awesome time 🌞
We did, thank you. 5 destinations and 4 countries… Amazing region. I came back with stars in my eyes. (And a mighty jetlag!) Shame we missed each other by just a few days, but a) I can now better relate to your posts. I walked some of the same streets. b) It was so close, I’m sure we will meet somewhere else. You can always sail to Mexico. 😉
Fair winds mon amie. (Sawadee kaap)
Oooo I can not wait to see your posts. I am slowly getting mine out from the land travels but it is taking some time. I hope to get them all published before we leave Thailand for The Andaman Islands in mid-Feb (health permitting). Would love to bring Amandla back to Mexico. Not on the plans now but plans are fluid. Mom recovering well thank you…like a thirty-year old 🤗
Glad about your Mom. Isn’t it amazing to be “chatting” direct 10,000 miles and 12 hours away, me on Friday and you on Saturday? The crossing back of the line was fun date-wise.
The return is always a pleasure- like you never left 🤗
Actually Asia was so fascinating that 3 weeks felt like 3 months! 🙂 I miss the sound ok Thai. Ko pun kaap? Sawadee kaap.
Asia rocks. Love the language here Khop khun ka (or krap if male)
kraaaap indeed. I also love the Wai, this salute with both hands, inspired no doubt by the Indian namaste. And the fact that people hand you things with both hands. One hand is impolite. And they get very pleased when you hand them things with two hands. They smile because they catch on that you have caught on the polite way. Sawa dee krap Lisa. We have to put Grandbaby Gonzalo to bed. We’re baby sitting tonight. (He did travel with us, all 18 months old, and had a wonderful time)
Sawa dee krap! 🙂
Love the people of Thailand. Loving, giving, peaceful. And what a lucky baby! He must be exhausted 😴
Love them too. Baby is absolutely fine. Took everything in stride. Conquered many a heart during the trip. He actually got back in our time faster than any of us. 🙂
Andaman islands? Very exciting. I remember my childhood readings. Health? Everything ok? Both of you?
Captain is living with cancer and has scans at the end of January to make sure no treatment required at this time. Andamans will be a nice treat when we get the all clear
Living with? Hmm. But stable right? You guys are… very brave. I remember photos of il Capitano bent into the engine to fix it. Thinking: “I couldn’t do that with back!”. Best wishes for the scans. I’m sure you will sail happily to Andamans. 🙂
Fingers crossed 🤞. Seems to be in great health at the moment so we are feeling very hopeful. He’s quite fit.
I will cross fingers with you. I’ve glimpsed a post of you in my near-exploding mailbox about a book, a trip to Italy? Did I read correctly? (I have like 200 mails pending, and I need to get to them)
I am slowly getting my travel posts out there. The Laos post talks of The Captain’s return to Italy but that was in September…that is how far behind I am on posting
September. I see. And how did it go for him?
Huge success 🤗
Wonder why this comment was spammed. Weird. 🙂
WP mysteries. Just reminded me I have to check spam from time to time. 🙂
We missed each by just a few days… darn… but that means there will be other opportunities. 😉 Happy new year from Bangkok. and fair winds to wherever you will sail…
Ah Bangkok 😍. Happy New Year back at you from Langkawi!
Ah Langkawi! Daughter #2 sailed a ship back and forth from Phuket to langkawi and back just before we arrived. She accompanied a friend of hers who lives in Phuket and does stuff with boats. A Mexican young man you may crossed path with.
Is your daughter still traveling in this region?
No. Thank God. The idea was to be with her for year-end. Goal more than achieved. And she came back with us on the 8th.
A blessing 🤗
Now that I’m back at my desk, sorting memories, I understand why you are so happy in Asia. How is your mother? Getting better?
Love these tales. Wow, discharged…and saved! Wonderful pix. It was a different world.
Wishing you a wonderful year-end.
Thank you. South East Asia was a very nice place to end the year.
Happy new year to you and yours. 🙂
Oh, curiosity: did you discharge and save this post? (Honoured!) 😉
(Didn’t know it was technically feasible)
Wishing you and your family a marvelous New 2018! Hope you are enjoying your visit and take some pictures too 😉
Like I said, it was a wonderful trip. Asia is… spectacular. (There will be pictures) I hope it is not too cold over there, and Spring comes soon.
Will be waiting for your pictures 🙂
Working on it. 🙂
Having been out of the blogging loop for many months, I had forgotten how much I enjoy your posts! Particular loved the two Guatemala pics in this and previous post, not to mention the elephant and tortoise. 😊
Well, thank you. Guatemala was a fab trip. The tortoise I’d almost forgotten about. I’m now sorting our Asia trip pix in December. Hopefully I should be able to post more regularly soon. Take good care of yourself.
awesome pix guglu, your father looks like a moviestar 🙂
Haha! And you haven’t seen him in a white tuxedo. I will post a photo some day.