The high tide of the Equinox

The Sea covered most of the black rocks in front of the house by the Sea. Far, far away, the grey waves merged with the leaden sky. The Land was bracing, waiting for the final assault. The trees moaned in the howling Wind. The rocks shook under the crashing waves. The time had come. The…

The importance of wearing a mask

There still seems to be some debate about wearing a mask or not during the current pandemic. Blatantly ignoring the fact that cultures where masks are routinely worn in public seem to have fared – much – better. Singapore? Japan? Korea? Adversaries of wearing a mask appear to all be rednecks of various hues. All…

An African childhood. Part 5*

My sister and I spent most of our childhood in Africa, West and East, from 1959 to 1971 with a brief interlude in Amsterdam. What you learn as a child stays with you always. Above: munching elephant in Uganda, Murchison Falls, source of the Nile, 1969. White rhinos, Uganda, 1969. The term “white” is a…

Pot-pourri (when I’m) 64

“I was a rich man’s plaything.” Mid 40’s maybe? A Coke was worth 3 cents… The blue man. Polanco, Mexico city. February 2020. The gate to Angkor Thom, Cambodia. 2018. The light was divine. Denmark street, Mexico city. 2020. The prayer, Cluny museum, Paris. I would say the statue dates back to the 13th-14th century,…

An African* childhood, part 3

The magic house, Conakry, Guinea, West Africa, c.1962. I’m sitting on the table, pondering the day’s next play. Little Sis walks down the stairs with her cast on her arm. Keep a safe distance lest she clubs you. The house may be long gone, the African village at the back has been replaced by rows…

The last of the wild*

Coati, or coatimundi, in Les Mammifères by Louis Figuier. 1879. 140 years ago. One of the many old books that gather dust on my shelves. That one fell apart. Had to restore it completely, all the while thinking I could make a buck cutting off the engravings and selling them for 10 euros a piece…

An African childhood. Part 2*

En route to the Islands of Los, off the coast of Conakry, Guinea, West Africa, c.1960. Far left, my mother. Centre, Mme Lips, with her braided hair down to her… I remember she had very long hair for the time. Far right, Dominique and Claude Millet, who much later, would be my host family in…

My Lord Buddha and the elephant

“What is your name, my son?” “My name is Philip, my Lord. Man calls me Tembo, the elephant.” “Where do you come from, my son Philip? You do not look like your cousins from here.” “I was born in Tsavo my Lord Buddha. In what Man calls Africa. My family was born here for thousands…