Too much snow for a snowman

| Mar 4, 2012

Too much snow for a snowman

The winter of 1946-47 saw record snowfalls in Britain. As a 7-year-old boy in hilly Wales, it was sheer joy — and never mind the transport shutdown and electricity crisis as power stations ran out of coal. We went tobogganing, we had great snowball ...

Waxing woody as winter nears

| Dec 4, 2011

Waxing woody as winter nears

This will be my 32nd winter in Kurohime, way up in the hills of northern Nagano Prefecture. Yesterday I was stacking firewood for the Afan Woodland Trust Centre, which has a fine, baronial-style stone-and-brick fireplace. There really is nothing like a room heated with ...

The far-out Ogasawaras

| Aug 7, 2011

The far-out Ogasawaras

The Ogasawaras are a group of lovely subtropical islands about 1,000 km due south of Tokyo, from where they are administered. As there is no airport, you reach them by taking the 6,700-ton liner Ogasawara Maru from Takeshiba Pier in Tokyo — a 25-hour ...

Here's herbs with a cherry on top

| Jul 3, 2011

Here's herbs with a cherry on top

“Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” is the refrain to one of my favorite songs, the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair,” which was made famous when Simon and Garfunkel released it in 1966. Though I do like folk songs, I’ve never been to Scarborough (in ...