Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy Happy Everything, as my friend John Deering used to say, a cigarette in one hand, a gin and tonic in the other. One of my nearest and dearest when I lived in NYC, and for years after when I would visit, he has ended up eluding my social media tracking efforts. How I miss him.
So I shout his sentiment to you, dear friends. John Deering will always live in my heart, and will always be fabulous.
In news ’round ye olde home front: Michigan is, for once, actually bursting into bloom following the calendar. How do I know? My calendar wall! I freaking love calendars, and Steve and I get tons of them from various organizations we support. Alas, tote bags are the new calendars, and we have less calendars. But still enough for a festive wall. That’s my office window, btw. We have a bluebird house, in which LIVE BLUEBIRDS have decided to live. As a native Californian who thought for years that bluebirds were made up, I can tell you they are Amazing.
Back to the calendar wall: This month’s entry from the Ocean Conservancy wins in the calendar competition. (They’re also a super cool organization if you want to check them out and support them.)
Head Roam Latest 3 April 2021: Latest Recipes
Springtime eats: These two recipes originally appeared over on Le Chou Fou, and I felt it was high time to push them out again. Greek Salad is my springtime go-to….
…and I do love an easy lemon cake, this one with rosemary, some warming spices, and, if you like ‘em, walnuts.
Going through my old food photos, I went, damn, Miss Nan, you used to put some effort into these. I mean, look at that! I’ve got chamomile flowers, for heck’s sake! It’s inspired me to get my game back on food photography-wise. I mean, this is just some juice I made (photo’s a few years old) and, well, look at it.
I’m shooting/cooking over the weekend—with asparagus soup and a carrot cake in the works—so you can look for more stuff next week.
Head Roam around the Interwebs
My blogging hero, Jessie Festa, included a story I wrote on a scary hotel stay in her round-up of even scarier hotel/cabin/hut encounters around the world. I’m #7, Mayhem at the Maritime. All the stories are a blast, and it’s a great way to discover some travel bloggers. I’m particularly interested, given my Perú history, in number #6, about Incan-ish ghosts. I don’t need your stinkin’ Halloween to get scared!
Head Roam Latest 3 April 2021: Links I Love
I am crazy crazy crazy about the artist Nick Cave. This post features a new (at this writing) piece for the US Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. You know, I would love to go to Senegal; I need to do a virtual weekend there. Anyway, check this out and be sure to watch the video. It’s a joy to see Mr. Cave talk about his process, and to watch him interacting with Senegalese artists. And, of course, the final work is a wow; see detail below, then multiply by a very big number. From the marvelous Colossal website; subscribe to their newsletter stat!
A little further east in Africa, this story from the Guardian about the yan daudu in Nigeria fascinated me. The yan daudu are men who, though they often marry (even multiple times, as permitted in Nigeria) and have kids, wear women’s clothes and make-up and do what are considered women’s occupations in the country: braiding hair and cooking, to name two. It’s a thought-provoking take on religious and cultural tolerance or the lack thereof.
I’ve mentioned The Bitter Southerner before; I’m a huge fan. Now, they have a print magazine, which you get when you support them. (So far, there are only 2 issues planned for the year. Don’t worry, you’re not getting into a New Yorker situation.)
As we increasingly focus on the wave of positive change, as well as negative setbacks, in the south, I think The Bitter Southerner is essential. This gorgeous story on his native Arkansas by Johnny Carroll Sain, Work of the Quiet Mountains, features photos and prose that hit a perfect note between tranquil and breath-taking.
Head Roam Latest 3 April 2021: Movie, Book, and Music Picks
Watching: I chose Le Grand Voyage based on the fact that it travels through Jordan, as well as a bunch of other countries. While the time in Jordan doesn’t really last long enough for it to be a full-blown Jordanian movie reco, it’s an absolutely wonderful movie, about a young man, unattached religiously, who drives his devout Muslim Moroccan-born father to Mecca for the annual Hadj. Steve and I both loved it. We found it on Kanopy, an awesome streaming service you can likely access through your local library.
Reading: 50 Years in Europe by the late great Jan Morris, my all-time favorite travel writer.
Listening: As part of research on Jordan for a super-cool upcoming virtual weekend, I happened, via my streaming service, on el morabba3. This is not like Middle Eastern music you’re used to: distinctly contemporary, collage-esque, and chilled out. This recent short, an 8-minute video, gives a good sense of what they do.
Drink in the spring, y’all. We deserve it.