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Europe

Europe feature travel vanlife

Rocamadour. How to travel with serendipity:

September 16, 2019

Take the advice of locals. Let their words become early autumn swifts calling you to historic pilgrim sites. On the first day, immerse in white stone medieval abbeys built into the rock face. Eat lemon ice lollies, say ‘bonjour, il est très chaud!’ as you weave down pathways strewn with images of a prophet-turned-moneymaker, then drop into the cool, towering stone of Sanctuaire Norte Dame de Rocamadour, the heart of the pilgrimage: Admirer | Contempler | Prier, (to Admire |…

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creating Europe nature poetry vanlife

exchange rate

September 12, 2019

Back on the European mainland. Feels like we’ve driven back into summer as we head farther south through central France. We’ve definitely driven back into the dream vanlife. I’ve had some professional rejections these past few weeks. This is ok. It happens to writers. It happens to everyone. The trick is to learn & grow from the knockbacks, not to be defeated by them. Recognition is lovely, and it helps, but it’s not everything. The art is everything. The words…

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Cymraeg Europe feature politics

Walking the borderlands of Y Mers

September 10, 2019

Sophie McKeand Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself.Walt Whitman I am in love with swallows. They have become the mascot of our travels as we follow their migratory paths: north for summer, south for winter. Standing at the borderlands of Y Mers (The Welsh Marches in south Wales) with fellow collaborator Mark Daman-Thomas, we watch summer swallows swing determined arcs from farmhouse roofs out across ankle-high grasses to take flying insects on the wing then sling-shot…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature Europe food vanlife

meeting new friends & old

September 9, 2019

I’ve had a continual love-hate relationship with social media over the years. A couple of years ago I deleted Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Then when we hit the road I set up this new OUTSIDER Instagram account because I wanted to document these experiences. I’d thought to put it all in a book but as there’s no end date to these travelling days I didn’t know where the book should finish. I’ve preferred using Instagram/blog/Patreon instead. Maybe it’s less polished,…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe food slowlivingactivism

the joy of French autumn fruits

September 7, 2019

Loving all the autumn fruits around just now. Pictured here are a mix of blackberries foraged from a pleasant 10k hike around the farmlands and vineyards of Tillières, they’re near the very end of their harvest here so I’ll poach them rather eat fresh. These delicious crispy apples & fat, juicy yellow plums are from a farmer’s market stall the next day in Parthenay. I had information that the market in Parthenay is predominantly food on Saturdays but this one…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe food vanlife

south coast foraging

September 2, 2019

Sea beet, sea lettuce and a couple of edible others I’ve already forgotten the name of foraged from the shoreline here on the south coast of England. Although I’ve got books on foraging I’m never confident enough to eat it until I’ve been shown by a real-live-person. In this case the generous & knowledge-filled Caroline @foundandground has been utterly wonderful in showing me what’s what. She used the seabeet in a delicious tomato pasta sauce last night. Going to try…

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Cymraeg Europe poetry Wales

visiting Taliesin

August 24, 2019

Dwi’n caru Llyn Tegid. I love Bala Lake. It’s the birthplace of one of my favourite Cymraeg myths that tells the story of the origins of Cymru’s greatest mythic poet, Taliesin. It’s told that a powerful witch, Ceridwen, lived here. In a great cauldron of Awen (inspiration), she made a potion to transform her son into a great shapeshifter, but instead the magic accidentally transferred to a stable boy, Gwion Bach, who was enlisted to stir the potion for a…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe travel vanlife

Birthday beach times

August 18, 2019

In the morning we drive to Hay-on-Wye farmers market where I snag the very last of the season’s cherries that have ripened to deepest burgundy in the summer sun. We eat savoury muffins of spinach & butternut squash and pizza slices warmed on a hot pan for brunch before beginning the drive west across Cymraeg landscapes whose undulations mirror the slate-grey clouds overhead. On the beach in Borth the hounds run in wild circles, tails whipping like helicopter blades when…

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Europe feature minimalism travel vanlife water

responsible vanlife

July 31, 2019

Wanted to give a shout out here to all the van lifers working at living responsibly on the road. It’s great to see people trying to live ethical lives & sharing these ideas for us all to try. I’ve been living full time in this self-converted Mercedes Sprinter van with my partner @andyrgarside & our two rescue van hounds since November 2017. We’ve definitely improved our eco-approach to life on the road as time rolls by. From the beginning we…

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creating Europe poetry politics travel

burn all the flags

July 29, 2019

Sophie McKeand Often I can only get at the truth of a thing by writing it down as poetry. It’s how I understand my heart, how I translate the world so that things makes sense. Sometimes all that happens is that certain contradictions become more pronounced. What can I say about it except that the truth of a thing contains its opposite? How else could anything exist?…

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