View of Lisbon and sea under sunlit clouds

Lisbon, City of Pants

Posted Posted in Place & Travel

Midwinter in Lisbon. Even with much of its tourism and nightlife stifled by the pandemic, this cosmopolitan city has a gentle buzz, and its eighteenth-century streets are flooded with the light of southern Europe and the surrounding sea. Set on an estuary flowing into the Atlantic, it feels, climatically and culturally, both warm and cool. […]

Post-pandemic pleasure: the French recover the art of living

Posted Posted in People & Politics, Place & Travel

“We are going to get back to our ‘art de vivre’ and recover our taste for liberty,” President Macron told France on June 14. A month later, I took the train-under-the-water from London and found that, indeed, the Parisians are resuming their usual pleasures. Masks are worn widely on public transport and in shops, but a sense of […]

Palestinian men queuing behind bars at Bethlehem checkpoint

Biblical imagery and Palestinian reality in Bethlehem

Posted Posted in People & Politics, Place & Travel, Religion & Spirituality

Every year, at some point during Advent, I remember. Having re-established itself in my mind, the thought recurs throughout the Christmas season before fading away as the festivities come to an end. The thought goes something along these lines: ‘It was not like this.’ Or: ‘That’s not right. The reality is different.’ What I’m experiencing is […]