Road-Tripping In The USA + Bali
Latest inspiration. An extension of the farm to table idea... farm to bar. Utilising all seasonal fruits, herbs etc, etc, Simple syrup, passionfruit, mint, ginger, jalapeno, lime, soda water, potato juice, (aka vodka). Muddled, squeezed, pummelled, rubbed, grated and alchemised into the yummiest drinks ever. Can't wait to try this in the rice fields.
Happy days. The kind of happiness that just gets plumper, richer, juicier and sweeter with age, old friends and the saturation of countless blessings.
My homeland, (Scotland), that I left at age 14, where I can never see myself living in again for countless reasons, (the weather being embarrassingly close to the top of the list), has me on the edge of my seat with mixed feelings about the Independence vote (tomorrow). I have far too little knowledge of the real issues involved to present any kind of balanced argument either way, and reading everything available only serves to confuse, (it's so darned hard to trust any politician). But I must admit I would love to hold a Scottish passport in my hand, because no matter where I go or what I do, I know my spirit was forged in that fierce, extreme, rugged and glorious land.
Preparing for a solo road trip from the golden beaches of CA to the red rocks of AZ. Trusty old Saturn had its check up, the cooler is stocked, books on tape ready to roll, and I am off to hang with my marvellously fun, wise and wacky astro-peeps at the ISAR Conference.
Road trip; an opportunity to cast aside all packing inhibitions, car loaded clear up to the gunnels (and I know not why, except that I just could).
Wild Horse Pass, Phoenix: who on earth wouldn't feel positive and energised in a place named that? Then throw in a few hundred innovative, lively, like minded friends and fellow astrologers.
Now 400 miles east of Phoenix in Cortez, Colorado. Endless driving through wide open Navajo country, (I sometimes forget the vastness of America), from the cacti and red dust of Arizona to the verdant green pine forests of the Rocky Mountain state; casinos, cathedral-sized pinnacles, shooting ranges, fundamentalist church signs threatening hell and damnation for owning your own body, even goat herding in the desert, plus the endless repeating generic dining and sleeping places along the way. However, I did just pass through a 100 miles with nowhere to stay, so this trusty Super 8 Motel is feeling rather like the Ritz.
Tomorrow, into the mountains.
It's a buoyant feeling when your final destination goes from high triple digit to low double-digit, but it has been a grand drive the whole way.
Sun, rain, snow-capped 180 degree views, elks bugling, deer grazing, ravens flying, hot-tub soaking, tequila sipping; a happy day with a lifetime friend.
Now in Santa Fe, with more beloveds. If I were inclined to write a book it might be called: "Around the World to 40 Friends". What a lucky soul am I.
On the road again, California bound. Albuquerque first, which will forever be Walter White-land in this mind.
600 miles later, ready to roost in Needles, California. Landed just in time for a luscious sherbet sunset.
400 miles more tomorrow, and should be there in plenty of time for the next one over the Pacific Ocean.
Very contented Sagittarius rising.
Applying for my Indian visa, it's so nice to be filling out a form for a country where there will be zero eye rolling when as profession it reads: Astrologer.
In line at the car wash, and as far as I can see mine is the only car that is actually in need of a scrub down. I guess even dirt is in the eye of the beholder.
If I ever decided to live in America again I'd probably have to get married... just to have someone on hand to break into/pry open all the ridiculous packaging on everything.
I'm so grateful to all the techno geeks out there, one more time I was just rescued from a computer black hole that never in a 100 years could I have dug myself out of, (hello, Mercury retrograde). It is so weird to be so dependent on something so baffling, so again thank you, thank you, to all those who "speak" its language.
Right now: basking in the USA, November: Bali, January: India, February: England, March: USA, April: Mexico, April: USA, May: Italy, May: USA, June: Bali.
Be very, very careful what you ask for, I simply said I'd like to see the (whole) world.
Only when booking a hotel room in India (and this is for Mumbai airport) would there be the question: "would you like a quiet room?". Nah, please give me a really noisy one.
Looking out at one of those near perfect California ocean swells, with beautifully formed lines stretching back almost to the horizon, and thinking of my surfer friends all over the planet and how they would like to be standing where my sandy bare feet are right now.
Gunther Holtorf is 77-years-old and has only just returned from a road trip that spanned more than two decades — 24 years to be exact. Over that period of time, he's visited 215 countries, traveled more than half a million miles, and contracted malaria five times — and he's done it all in the same car (Mercedes), which has been outfitted to include a mattress and storage space for everyday necessities.
Initially, the trip was only supposed to last 18 months, but, as Gunther says: "The more you travel, the more you realise how little you have seen."
Women who are 65 to 79, according to the Annual Population Survey, are likely to “report significantly higher ratings of feeling worthwhile and happiness than any other age group”. Yippee, the best really is yet to come.
Discovered a pair of old sandblasted aviator sunglasses buried in the sand at the low tide line. The rest of my walk was spent in delicious flights of fancy as to their "tale". And then I left them for the next beachcomber to muse over.
You would have to have read "Poisonwood Bible" (Barbara Kingsolver) to understand, but I am seriously considering dressing as they did on their flight to Africa, and wearing every single item of clothing I own to save the weight allowance for everything else I need to take to Bali.
Could wearing a personal sauna body suit for 45 hours straight all the way to the tropics be that bad?
Leaving to start that sky trek to Asia, yet again, in just 2 hours. I have no idea how time can possibly pass so quickly, but every single day was filled with good times, real times, and people I love and adore.
My ginormous bags are on their way and once more I bow down to the goddess of overweight luggage, she's so good to me I really do have to find a name for her.
And then there was the piece of information that made me skip a little, until I remembered it is neither good for the airline or the planet: this flight is only half full.
Started people watching in earnest at 4 am this morning while waiting for a shuttle in Manila airport. Now I'm ensconced in my hotel room for the day, (flight to Java at 9pm tonight... I took the long scenic route), and it has a killer view of the street. It's so fun quietly observing the locals in a place you've never been before.
Next stop; Jakarta. On the way to the airport passed a motorbike powered tuk tuk taxi with "how am I driving" and a number hand scrawled across the back. As they normally do he was driving like a wasp in a berry patch.
Darn, wish I could send a dose of this torrential tropical rain to my friends in drought ridden California.
I remember the 1st time I saw an outside shower at a friend's house, a tiny voice in me yelled: "one day I want THAT". Then another time I visited friends with a pool perched on a hill with a stunning view, and thought: "how amazing to have this... but probably not this lifetime".
Now I have both.
Pinch me someone.
Oy, Moon Mars & Mercury Saturn, all doing the hyper touchy tango. A time to avoid thoughtlessly lacerating or harpooning anyone or anything by tongue or emotional weaponry. However it is the perfect time for clearly aiming towards being wisely constructive through communication, action and intent.
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell. - Bertrand Russell
Almost done with my house, and it's ended up having so many peculiarities, the faucet handle is at the front of the counter, the faucet itself the freakiest looking frog, (to say nothing of my psycho-looking shower face), and one of the door locks is about 2 feet up from the ground while another door handle is up closer to the ceiling.
And none of the workers seem in the least surprised that I have ended up with an Alice in Wonderbaliland type abode, they are all just smiling knowingly.
Simple, unexaggerated, genuine caring for one another's well-being without sentimentality, grandiosity or ego investment, yet always leaving full responsibility for personal happiness up to the individual.
Lesson # 9,842 (or thereabouts) from living amongst the Balinese.
And yes, of course there is still pettiness, rivalries, jealousies, and meanness, (and I know they have their fair share of sociopaths in their midst), but from what I can see, (from my admittedly limited vantage point), the core of caring and accountability created through living in true communities only rarely permits these negative emotions to turn into actual deadly human toxins.
And astrologers can only be unsurprised when they see Pluto exactly transiting the MC. The volcano was just waiting to blow, demons shall out.
Tired and inspired.
Just completed 10 days of hosting and facilitating a workshop for the Faculty of Astrological Studies, and I’m thoroughly reminded of why I once moved to London for 2 years just to attend said school.
The teaching was stellar, and the fabulously international group committed and hard working, and a delight to be around.
Precious time with old cohorts, many new friends, and lots of ideas for the future deeply seeded, (and already sprouting).
Now back in the beloved rice fields and jungle, their serenity and the endless buzz of creatures, familiar and mysterious.
Major ceremony tomorrow
Daughter and fiancee (almost) on their way to visit.
And rising on the horizon; India.
One of the endearing, smile-generating highlights of today was when the priest, having gone through his long and beautiful ceremony exactly as it could have been envisaged in any century stretching back into the far distant past, concluded by graciously acknowledging everyone present, then casually turned around, whipped out his iPad, and proceeded to check his email/Facebook... or the gods know what.
12:04 am, Jan 1, 2015
In my happy abode on the edge of the jungle, sipping vodka and red ginger juice, solo, listening to a gazillion fireworks going off in the surrounding villages, (competing with the bullfrogs, and not really winning), but not a single light in the sky, (too much cloud cover for even the whimper of a star twinkle). Not sure if they're just colourless, drama-less fireworks or if they get instantly extinguished by the humidity before they kick in.
The kids are partying heartily in the hippest bar (Kudeta) in that completely other Bali beach world of Seminyak, and like a good Momma I've promised to nurse their hangovers with bloody mary's by the pool tomorrow.
Oh, the changing phases of mothering
And in 5 days, India.
Hello, You, 2015.