Beauty & the Beholder

Châteaux and Roman ruins, I have discovered, tend to be on hills. And I, you might be surprised to learn, carry a lot of baggage. The two are not an ideal combination, but the winding road up to Château de Bussy-Rabutin, 8km off my Canal de Bourgogne route, is lined with crumbling stone houses, red-tiled roofs,…

Le Roux Rendezvous

These past days this last week have twisted and turned according to the elastic bonds of family. This morning I rode out of Milly-sur-Foret and the Fontainebleau Forests with a level of lightness and joy gained in no small part through renewed connection to family. I was no longer a solo soul adrift. Backtrack to…

The Le Roux story

Let me tell you a little story. Exactly half my lifetime ago, I sat on a French TGV train a lot like this one I’m on now. On that occasion, speeding from Paris to Bordeaux, the swaying coach made me queasy and bored. And I said to the man who was my partner then, “Let’s just…

Dappled cloud with sunshine ahead

I stood on a cold P&O deck today and looked towards my future. As that ferry powered across the Channel, I contemplated the continent I will cross and the warmer waters and sunnier climes I’m headed towards. Not just metaphorically. Little more than a week ago, I landed in Great Britain in a still-fragile state (not only…

Cartography of Hope

I carry a map in my bag as a talisman against misery. A map on which to plan a physical journey. And it will be very physical: it will be on my bicycle. And that journey is itself a physical manifestation of this other journey that I am replanning. Life is a journey. That metaphor. So…

Santar’s Home

Journeys within Journeys. Two of us on hired motorcycles, up somewhere near Laos’ border with China, with a handwritten note we can’t read. Two of us tootling about on New Year’s Eve, looking for Max’s mom. Seeing a group of women sunning themselves outside a small shop, I stop the bike and head over, bowing slightly…

What lies beneath 

In your head, in your Head they are fighting With their tanks and their bombs And their bombs and their guns In your head, In your head they are cryin’ Lady in red. Super-short dress. Looking so stylish in the particular way of stick-figure women. The way they manage to avoid looking sleazy through the mere fact…

Orchestrated. Curated. Moderated.

Fooled me. But I’m back at Bassac Lane, that Phnom Penh alleyway I discovered and gushed about on Facebook last night. Perhaps it is the old character motorcycles – all of a look – parked randomly and insouciantly around the neighbourhood… Perhaps the lack of resistance or surprise at my wandering around taking pics of…

The Luck Tour

“You mean that’s it? I feel cheated!” That’s Dominique reaching the top of the forested mountain pass after 2597m of altitude gain over a 22km sustained climb in cold, drenching rain. A happy Dominique. The very same one that whined to Facebookland not two weeks earlier: “Unfitness. It’s a Thing. Not just mere Lack of…