To purchase a copy

Title: High Up in the Rolling Hills
Author: Peter Finch


Category: Biography, memoir, manifesto, sustainable living
Format: Trade paperback, hardcover, ebook
Publication Date: April, 2013
Pages: 204
Recommended Price: $17.95 softcover, $27.95 hardcover, $9.95 pdf
Trim: 8.5 x 5.5 inches
Available from: iUniverse; Amazon in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Brazil; Barnes & Noble; Borders; Chapters Indigo in Canada
First Print Run: On demand (with iUniverse on-demand capabilities, there is never an out-of-stock situation)

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Time to move on...

Our future home view in Cape Breton

Time to move on!

Gundi and I have now been living in these lovely Northumberland Hills for nineteen years. This has been a very happy and fulfilling period in our lives. Gundi has continued and elaborated her glass art sculptures and also returned to work (and play) with textiles in endless inspired forms. And I have put my heart into being an organic market farmer, growing specialty salad greens, herbs, and vegetables and taking them to twice-weekly markets, mostly in Toronto.

We are now up for a fresh challenge and the next chapter in our lives. We are embracing the prospect of living right on the ocean. A little cove in Cape Breton is calling us as our new home.

First, there is the little matter of selling our home, farm and land here. We are keen to pass on this special property (which has never seen chemicals) to conscientious buyers who will continue to steward it organically with a low-energy footprint. Lots of organic prospects responded to our posting on ecoproperty.ca and we had several viewings but we were unable to agree sales terms. And so, we are now on the open market, listed through Kim Hadwen of Century 21. Kim is a farmer turned real estate agent who specializes in farm properties in Hastings and Northumberland counties.

So, if you know of anyone who would love to own a secluded, very private farm property with an open concept artsy home and 55 acres of mixed hilltop with panoramic views, pastured fields, market garden, greenhouses, woodland, and wetland...

UPDATE: THE FARM IN NORTHUMBERLAND IS SOLD, THE HOME IN CAPE BRETON IS PURCHASED!
After our winter break on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, ocean here we come!






Sunday, 21 January 2018

Ne Plus Ultra



Quintessence,

acme, zenith,

the ne plus ultra

of travels

far and wide;

green-girthed volcanoes,

cobalt-blue waters,

on this magical lake

at the top of the world.


An air clear and pure,

auras, vistas,

recharged by time,

each bright new day

a well-rounded wonder,

sweet natives embracing

bright-eyed travellers,

Buen día, indeed.

Monday, 15 January 2018

How we love to travel...

Motor boat and cayucos (fishing boats), Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, 2018


How we love to travel...


In my youth, I raced around Europe with countless other students, passport, traveller's cheques and InterRail monthly pass tucked into trousers. In thirty days, I would travel from England to Norway, Sweden, all the way down to Greece, back home via Yugoslavia, Italy, and France. Phew, that's a lot of trains, all for $75 or so; $2.50 a day, and just imagine the savings in overnight accommodation if schedules were planned well!


My first trip with the love of my life was a doozy. A long-haul flight with the impeccable Singapore Airlines took us from London to, yes, Singapore, a good, safe landing pad for me, experiencing Asia for the first time. From here, we flew to Bali, staying for a month before travelling overland across Java for another month, ending with two weeks in Malaysia, including a heavenly few days on the island paradise of Tioman.

Now, finally, thirty five years later, we are back to a trip that is two months plus. Instead of a busy itinerary, we now choose to fly to Guatemala, spend a few days in Antigua, then settle into a home away from home right on the jewel that is Lake Atitlan, happily rooted for a full eight weeks. After trips to Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Greece that were usually two to three weeks, we have graduated to longer and more satisfying stays. Last year, our first in Guatemala, was six weeks. Once we moved from hotels to rented houses and rented cars to public buses and collective taxis, everything changed for the better. We shop at local markets for fresh, in-season food, we cook at home, we flit from town to town on day trips, we relax fully, and we save a lot of money on restaurants and accommodation. And I get to plant seeds, growing arugula, lettuce, spinach, mustards, and kale for super salads fresh from the garden.


I chuckle to myself when I see each new harried young traveller, glued to his device, not even taking in where he is in the here and now, too obsessed with his inner world and getting to the next brief stopover. Most stay for a day or two here at Lake Atitlan, which is without question one of the most beautiful places in the world. One needs at least a week to do it justice. Then it is on to continue the Central American tour... Tikal, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama.... Good for them. What a way to see exotic parts of the world most only dream of. Maybe I envy them their youthful energy as they race off climbing another volcano, diving to view pristine coral reefs, or riding Pacific surf. Instead, it's easy as she goes, all in good time, maybe mañana. Travel can be so life-affirming, given the opportunity it provides to take into our hearts vibrant cultures and exotic locales.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Just you and me

 

Just you and me
midst the birds and the bees,
the lake and its waves,
the peace that we crave,
the morning glory light,
a raptor aflight,
volcanoes frame the scene,
so radiant, serene.

Just you and me,
in this moment, we are free.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Forever Young



(Note to self on turning sixty, courtesy of Bob Dylan, with whom I share a birthday; Happy Birthday, Bob)

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young

Friday, 18 March 2016

Carpe diem


At this very instant (as I write), it is 10.07 am on February 29, a day that only comes around every four years. I find myself on a rooftop terrace in Patzcuaro, Mexico, part of a place we have been fortunate enough to call home for the last month. Tomorrow we head back to Mexico City, thence via Toronto to our permanent home in the Northumberland Hills of OntarioI am determined to hang on to this fleeting moment in time, to sip and savour it like a fine brandy, another treat in this adventure that is life. 

At this very instant, dogs are barking, cars and trucks are rumbling along the cobblestone street below, cocks are still crowing, a megaphone is trumpeting gas delivery, birds are twittering in the trees, voices in animated conversation from passers-by rise and fade, the dance studio is blaring out Arabic rhythms. The sky above my head is cloudless, the sun is bright and burns my northern skin. The town is humming with activity and street markets are in full tilt. The distant lake and girdle of gentle mountains are hazy and soft. I have slept soundly, breakfasted well. My time here has been liberally sprinkled with happy moments; it will linger long in the memory. A Patzcuaro portfolio derived from snapshots of many moments will stock my bank of souvenirs.

At this very instant, many millions of people are occupied doing many millions of things in millions of places around the world, all special and particular and meaningful to each person. Repetition and drudgery, hardship and boredom, pain and brutality may be involved, making the joyful, exuberant moments all the more special when they come around. I wish everybody instants in the sun like this one for me when the fresh, pure air cleanses and wipes away layers of emotional and physical grime and opens up new vistas. Tomorrow, new instants beckon as the reality of routine confronts us. It will be raining or snowing, or overcast. 

Seize the moment. Carpe diem.