Friday, July 6, 2012

Photos, notes and Amsterdam

I've added some blog links and links to photo collections at the schedule (above right, on the blog).

I'm not as young as I used to be. I need more recuperation time these days! :-) Still, I did make it up tower of Westerkerk in Amsterdam and only got winded for a couple of seconds, on the second spiral flight. We rested there while the tour guide talked a while, and went on. A few photos are there, and lots from and in the canals, and of bicycles, and building details here. If you're willing to pay some money, wait a while, and climb many flights of ever-steeper and mismatched stairs, Amsterdam looks like this for a little while:

And you pass by things like this on the way up there:

This two-part photo (taped together, on a utilities box up in the tower) shows the church tower on a snowy day many years ago. We were about halfway up, just before it goes narrow for the carillon and the clock.

We didn't get to hear the carillon that day, nor go up that high, but there are youtube videos.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Back in England

The presentation in the Netherlands was long and good (from my perspective it was good; a few people were troubled or frustrated by one thing or another that I said).

The week's visit was short and great!

Two weeks more.

Anyone still wishing they could have heard me who can get to Ashford nine days from now has another chance. LTTL (Learning Trust - Trusting Learning) 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Leiden, in the Netherlands

I'm in the middle of my week in Leiden. I'm staying with Rippy and Graham Dusseldorp and their children Gianluca and Gisele. Julie and Adam Daniel traveled here when I did. They've been staying on a houseboat. The kids have played hard and the parents have talked lots.

This town is full of bicycles, canals, boats, and not so many cars.

I have three days' worth of photos already up on photobucket, and a couple of blog posts. Links to photos are at the schedule link above. I'm missing a day or two from England (will get those up and linked later) but I'm caught up with Leiden, if anyone wants to look.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sitting Still

I'm back in England, at Julie's house, attempting to sit still for a while.

Last summer I traveled a lot. Too much.

This summer I planned to travel less, and be at peace for long stretches.

I traveled too lightly on the way back from France. I had my passport, but no travel documents except my boarding pass from Geneva to Heathrow. I answered routine questions awkwardly. I chose the worse option on ambiguous questions. I said I had no money. It was a cavalcade of failure to give simple answers, on my part.

For nearly four hours, I was detained. I was finger-printed and photographed, and finally got to explain in my own words to someone sympathetic. I had asked for a couple of hours whether they could look at the schedule on my webpage. That didn't happen, but I was sprung, with an apology, after a while.

From now on I will travel with printouts of all flights, dates, times, and when asked if I have money, I will say I have plastic access to lots of money. That was the right answer. I was thinking of cash, of which I honestly had none. I had left my the pounds I got from a cash machine in the UK when I left. I left the euros I had gotten from a cash machine in France when I left, rather than change money in an airport. I figured if I wanted to buy something in the airport, I could use a charge card.

The questions are outdated, though. Plastic both is and isn't money. Having a return flight booked doesn't mean one has a ticket.

I would love to show you photos of me in the immigration detainment center at Heathrow, with their free food, with their shelf of books of all religions and the loaner prayer mat. I wouldn't mind sharing the mugshots, but I didn't get to see them, either. They took my iPad away from me (politely, but still...) so I didn't have phone numbers and I didn't have my FlipPix game, nor my Plants vs. Zombies. I tried to read Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life, but realized I wasn't able to understand what I was trying to read, because I was worried and agitated. But they don't let people take photos, and I'm not a good sketch artist, so I can't show you the waiting room, the locked doors on either ends, the interview rooms with glass windows, the lack of tissues for people who are crying... Yeah.

I was unique among detainees for being a native English speaker. I had lighter skin than others (the Brazilian girls weren't much darker).

I'm nearly recovered, but still somewhat spooked.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I've been in France for nearly a week, and am speaking today for the third time at the campout organized by Les Enfants d'Abord. I haven't been online much because the internet is spotty at the camp, but I will report more and bring some photos later.

Things I saw my first few days here are at my blog, The photos from Lyon upload so painstakingly out here at the camp that I've given up. There are a few. (And for those reading this after June 15, there might be a great many). Right. What's there now is of a Fort l'Ecluse, along the highway, HIGH on a steep-cliff hillside, and thing or two along the way. There will be over 200 photos in that folder, eventually.

And there start to be a few from a medieval town called Pérouge.

Surely others have taken better photos than mine. Maybe google Fort l'Ecluse and Pérouge, images.

Monday, June 4, 2012

England. I *love* England.

I've been here a day and a half, and have partaken of an ox roast in a park in Windsor, and attended the lighting of a beacon in Staines.  Julie Daniel is a wonderful host for an Anglophile such as myself.

Photos of the beacon lighting are here: 

The full dump of the day can be viewed here:  

As usual, I like skylines, double layers, doors, windows.... but this time there are lots of photos of the red, white and blue decorations everywhere, flags and pennons on people's houses and across streets and in store windows...  There is a video of some little girls dancing to a rock choir performance, one of the director, and one of the outgoing guardsmen marching behind the band, leaving Windsor Castle.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Special schedule info, Ashford/UK

Ashford, Surrey (England) July 14-15

In an interesting move, the schedule for the LiTTLe conference has been set where I don't speak on Saturday the 14th, and am the only speaker in the 15th (with Julie coordinating some audience-input bits, so she might speak, too, some!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scotland visit postponed

I removed the Scotland page from the tabs above. It still exists, and I'll dust it off next year!

I have half a day before leaving for ALL in May (in Massachusetts) and straight from there to Life is Good in Washington state (all the way across the U.S.). Then I'll be home for two days before flying to Heathrow. France, the Netherlands and the near-London events are still on!!

I'll see some of you soon, then.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More details on the camping in France:

Our gathering with Sandra Dodd is confirmed. Yippee! 
It will take place in a camping in Haute Savoie near Annecy on June 11th to 13th. It will be organised through “Les enfants d’abord” but it is open to all. The gathering will be monday to wednesday, but some people gave already said they will arrive sunday night and/or stay for the whole week (that probably includes us). 
We will organise several talks and Q&A periods with Sandra and we will have a simultaneous translation. We will communicate the times and subjects later (in case you only want to come for one day). If there are a lot of english speakers and bilingual people, we might organise an extra “all in english” talk so you have a chance to exchange with Sandra in a more direct way 
Sandra is coming for free and is only asking that we cover her travel expenses (Return flight from London, meals and lodging). We will have a collection pot and leave the individual participation to your appreciation. We know that if we give about 10 euros per family to the pot, it should pretty much cover the expenses. We will manage the money in all transparency. 
We will send the reservation details within a week or two. You can also check back on this blog, I will post updates here.   
Rencontre avec Sandra Dodd – 11 au 13 juin 2012 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

From Claire, about France:

As part of her European tour, Sandra will be coming to France in June. We are organising a 3 day get together somewhere close to Geneva, but most probably in France. We are looking for a place before we can finalise the exact dates.

And to find a place, we need to evaluate how many people are thinking of coming. To help us with that, we have created a little online survey. If you're interested in coming, please fill in the survey as soon as possible:

Filling the survey is NOT A RESERVATION. It's just intended to help us evaluate how big a place we need. We will handle reservations/registrations when the dates are finalised and the cost is known.

If you have any questions, email me in private at


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Background Image

I started to note in the footer that it was a photo I took in 2011 in Stroud, but we were in the outskirts of Stroud, and hadn't even gone through town. I had travelled from Bristol with Alison P, to visit Katherine M's family. Coming off what seemed like flat land, we fell down into a wonderful canyon with fantastic views.

While setting up this blog, I asked Katherine what it was more specifically called, and she wrote
"The photo was taken in Wall's Quarry (or Brimscombe, which covers the larger area) and is looking towards Swells Hill. It counts as being Stroud - I guess I would always just say "Stroud" if asked where I live, and only if the person was familiar with the area would I start getting more specific."

The brighter, fuller version is here (click to enlarge):

The design along the bottom was on top of someone's roof, down the steep hill below the road. Katherine's house was up just as steep a hill on the other side of the road. It was a beautiful place and I'm glad I got to be there.