Cowboys and… Vietcong – Kathy Macchioni

As a child and young teenager I adored Westerns: Cowboys and Indians! I remember gripping the edge of my seat as on the screen hordes of whooping Indians – the ‘Baddies’ – swooped down with murderous fury on wagon trains, stagecoaches and the like, only to be put to flight just in the nick of … Read more Cowboys and… Vietcong – Kathy Macchioni

Ventotene: An Island

Imagine a tiny island in the middle of nowhere, a haven of peace and uncontaminated nature – Mediterranean vegetation in endless shades of green, yellow broom, agave, aloe and fields of lentils growing wild, surrounded by a deep turquoise blue sea. The only sound to be heard is the crying of the seagulls and the … Read more Ventotene: An Island

Greek Islands: Santorini Past and Present

I first visited Santorini, a volcanic island north of Crete, 40 years ago as a newly graduated teacher on a back-pack tour of the Greek islands. The over-night ferry (the only way to reach the island) docked at the port at the foot of a daunting 600 foot high cliff. The only way to reach … Read more Greek Islands: Santorini Past and Present

Travel: A Fairytale Journey Through St. Petersburg

When Napolean advanced on Moscow in the winter of 1812, the Moscovites burned the city to the ground to foil him, so one might say that in so doing they destroyed their history. Stalin’s seven skyscrapers – the Seven Sisters – today dominate the skyline but there are few tangible monuments of a glorious past. … Read more Travel: A Fairytale Journey Through St. Petersburg

Moscow: A City of Contrasts

As a child of the Cold War, I was curious to see the two great cities of communist and post-communist Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Moscow struck me as a city of contrasts, struggling to come to terms with its dual role as the capital of the old communism and the new capitalism. Two million … Read more Moscow: A City of Contrasts

Logs, Whales and Waterfalls in Eastern Canada

After 40 years in Italy, a country rich in natural beauty, incredible monuments and historic cities, comparisons with Canada were inevitable. On our first evening, the road where our hotel was in Montreal reminded me of Leeds. Two days later, while staying in an old colonial-style hotel on Lake Beauport, north of Québec, a very … Read more Logs, Whales and Waterfalls in Eastern Canada