Magical realism

A long time ago The Daily Post asked bloggers to think about Magic. How as adults in a modern and cynical world of science, maths and realism can we can reclaim a childish sense of wonder. This is my response.

(Carpeting the earth with dusky apple hues) 

Leaves like teenagers shake free their uniforms.

(Rose wine spilt over pastel pillow cases)

Skies tint to a shade Disney dreams to create.

(Dutifully taking colour ques from above)

Waves lap the shore like subdued pensioners.



Postcards from the windy island

With Facebook and Wifi combining to facilitate mountainside alpaca selfie sharing and midnight Phuket love declarations, it’s easy to envision the demise of ‘wish you were here’ cards. (Especially if you’re sending them from deepest darkest Peru where a batch of postcards to your nearest and dearest costs the same as a weeks worth of food).

But how far can Facebook replicate the joy of a battered postcard turning up on a rainy afternoon? Can you imagine fridges without photoshopped snapshots or tacky tourist shops without racks of correspondingly tacky images?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how the postcard format can be used as a short story device and on my recent jaunt to Fuerteventura I wanted to use the missive to say something more. I’m keen to hear your thoughts on both how you think I did and whether there’s a future for postcards?

p.s apologies for the handwriting!


In celebration of the reemergence of lawnmowers and the shaving of legs: IMG_0984

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“I think trees should bloom earlier in the spring. They act like they are on a schedule. It’s not like they have anywhere to go.”
Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE

Age perceptions in South America

In Quito we gawp at the ingenuity of Ecuadorian ancestors.

To the south, the endurance of dead Inka’s.

Ancient like wrinkled smiles to newborns.


The Amazon.

A growing galaxy.

Incomprehensible evidence of time,

wrinkled roots laugh at the antiquity of man.

Basílica del Voto Nacional -92 years old. Incomplete.

Machu Pichu- 566 years old. Abandoned.

Amazon rainforest- 55 million years old. Home to 10% of all known species.

(According to local legend the day Quito’s Basilica is completed is the day the world will end. It seems unlikely).

Dancing down Benavides


Sound vibrations speed through Avenida Benavides like London 1 beds through auction. ‘Todo Benavides, Todo Benavides, Todo Benavides‘.  The bus conductors advertisement merges into an ice cream van siren on a council estate. Like the rest of its parts, his grip on the converted people carrier is lose; one hand wrapped around a metal bar, the rest of his body hanging from an open doorway. As they pass, passengers and pastries are plucked from the streets like happily paying hostages.

Posted in response to the daily post photo challenge .

(Extra)ordinary variety


Just an ordinary sun setting over a school in the amazon.

  In the words of Oscar Wilde (because it was his birthday yesterday), ‘to define is to limit.

In a world where people shop in supermarkets or on rivers, walk in parks or through jungles, openness is crucial to not only success, but to life in general.This weeks (extra)ordinary challenge is another stroke of ingenuity because it understands and anticipates that what appears mundane to one, is extraordinary to another.


Fruit and potato displays in lima

The wonder that variance in perception leads to seems particularly evident to me as I adapt to Peruvian life. Whilst to me a potato is an ordinary item, to a Peruvian the carb is so (extra)ordinary that there’s even a holiday to celebrate it (30th March). Whilst its therefore ordinary for Peruvian cafes to display potatoes, to see them in  glass cabinets is to me extraordinary.

Being a keen photographer I have stumbled upon an effective method of judging someones normality perception: take a photo of what strikes you as extraordinary, its ordinariness can then be measured by the number of locals who stare at you.


Lunch time in the jungle