Learning to Read

Six years old…. Canton, China.    My six-year-old heart was burbling with excitement.  Today I would be given my very own book with real words in it!  Today I was going to learn to read.  I rushed to our classroom – an unused room in the servants’ wing of the house, overlooking the canal (windows closed… Continue reading Learning to Read

TEA!

Shame and stupidity TEA, three little letters, that, when interspersed with others, can bring comfort, solace, and healing, but left together on their own they detonate into an explosion of grief, shame, humiliation, regret, and stupidity. I have lived, grown up, worked, or visited in 22 different countries of the world.  For all of them,… Continue reading TEA!

Nowruz!

Nowruz! The Amazing Zoroastrians Oh dear. We missed it –Persian New Year. Why, you ask, is that important to our culture here whose immediate worry is how to find hand gel, toilet paper, and tinned tomatoes in empty-shelved grocery shops, where every bit of community comfort is denied to us because we can’t hug? WELL,… Continue reading Nowruz!

A Community of Listeners

I came across something startling today. I was so surprised I did a double take.  A father didn’t have a phone in his hand as he took his two children  to school.  Had to check again: no, he really really didn’t. I myself was doing my usual morning walk. Yes. Doing.  Not necessarily seeing or enjoying or… Continue reading A Community of Listeners

Twelfth Night Party

  I am delighted to live in a country where it’s possible to celebrate twelve days of Christmas. Thank you, Great Britain, for inventing it!  No need to get cards and letters to people by the 25th of December.  Let them arrive after the first day of Christmas, when people have more time to read… Continue reading Twelfth Night Party