So to bring you up to speed…

I’ve been on the road now for just over 2 months, it has been a lot of fun and if nothing else certainly a challenge. I’ve hop-scotched my way across the States and Canada from San Francisco to St Anicet, stopping along the way at Washington DC, Baltimore, Cape Cod, New York, Toronto, Montreal and now St Anicet. Amazing people everywhere to be met and great travel buddies. It’s my second visit to the States and Canada and just as much fun. I remember why I love visiting here. Some of these cities welcome you like an old friend while others still give you the cursory once over and then the ok. San Francisco gave a chilled, arty vibe. Washington DC you could smell money in the air and see it everywhere, but hats off for making all the amazing museums free! Cape Cod is such a contrast all at once and everything happens on island time. New York, well you can be anyone you want in New York, she’ll welcome you all the same. Toronto isn’t pretty and it took me a while to warm to it first visit, but second time around with great friends at hand I know a lot of the hidden gems, it’s a city for a local to show you about. Montreal is love at first sight every time and so much fun. And St Anicet, well not a city at all, but my home for now and all I can see is green fields all around and I love it!

Country life is bliss. I’m at my first HelpX farm. A volunteer program where you work on a farm in exchange for food and board. It’s a great way to meet other travellers and locals. Check out www.helpx.net  Here I have 3 turkey chicks to look after. They think I am their Mum and follow me about chirping all the while. Along with one of the chooks who is obsessed with my red toenail polish, she thinks it’s food and pecks my toes when I am not looking. Then there are 16 sheep, 2 horses, 2 dogs and a donkey.  It’s beautiful here and life is easy.

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The Power of Roses

“She loved music. It took the heart out of her, reshaped it, and sent it back with a tremble in it that lasted for hours.”

Best quote ever. Even better book – ‘The Power of Roses’  by Ruth Park. Read it.

Charlie Brown and Myf

Meet Charlie Brown and Myf, my two little waifs. One plays fetch and the other is obsessed with string.  Second generation Two Brown Cats Bookshop mascots, these two are so much fun!

Did someone say Raspberry Chocolate Brownies?

Yes they did! And they were delicious. Birthday treat made even better with fresh picked raspberries from our farm.

Leonard Cohen is…

A charismatic, humble and gracious performer whose song lyrics never fail to get a shiver or a tear out of me.  Top 5 – Tower of Song, Hallelujah, Tonight Will be Fine, Ain’t No Cure For Love & Suzanne. For me, his songs are a study of love – its pursuit, its loss and faith. Pure poetry.

Spied reading…

I am nosey and love to spy what others are reading.  Spotted randomly on my travels so far…

  • Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling
  • Deja Dead – Kathy Reichs
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  • The Doomsday Key – James Rollins
  • Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – JK Rowling

This year I am playing catch up with my “books to read” wish list. These books have been popping up everywhere, I look for them at hostels I’m staying at, a few swaps and I’ve found some on buses and of course second hand bookshops. So far I’m loving this indulgence and I’ve finally read some amazing titles without doubling up too much on re-reads. One can’t be too picky when you don’t know where your next book is coming from.

The list so far…..

  • She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
  • The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Bookman’s Wake – John Dunning
  • Travels with Charley – John Steinbeck
  • Digging to America – Anne Tyler
  • Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Clock Without Hands – Carson McCullers
  • Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
  • The Last Precinct – Patricia Cornwall
  • Handle with Care – Jodi Picoult
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison
  • The Bean Trees – Barbara  Kingsolver
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – Barbara Kingsolver
  • Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guttersen
  • Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky
  • Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
  • The Abortion – Richard Brautigan
  • The Hours – Michael Cunningham
  • Sign of the Book – John Dunning
  • Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  • Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  • Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  • Arthur & George – Julian Barnes
  • Here on Earth – Alice Hoffman
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  • In Our Time – Ernest Hemingway
  • Naked – David Sedaris
  • Animal Games – Barbara Kingsolver
  • Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling