My Little Sister, Ann, Makes Me Proud For My 79th Birthday!

September 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 


by Ann Dickinson Sargent 


My mean big sister told me,

“If you stood sideways and stuck out your tongue,

people would think you were a zipper!’

Well, this morning in my mirror, that too-tall,

crook-toothed kid with washboard chest,

looked in my eyes and vowed to be a spy;

my sister’s got a date tonight.  I’m supposed to stay upstairs.

Later, hidden in the triangle of sofaback and wall….

dust, cobwebs, things that look like chocolate sprinkles

ornament my hair. I can only see

her saddle shoes, his loafers, in my narrow slot of view.

Light from the lamp glows on the scuffed wood floor;

scents of Shalimar and Old Spice

sift through stale old-couch miasma

as I wait for something interesting to happen.

They’re watching I Love Lucy on the tube.

Just as the laugh track soars,

The couch springs groan; maybe he’s going to kiss her….

Eeeeeeeeew! But instead, more dust rains down.

I sneeze! And Oh! Her screech and jumping-up and yelling-at

are worth the penalties.  He sees the way she really is

and even though her chest is so unwashboardlike,

I think I’ve saved him.


Dear Linda, I wrote you a poem!  Well, not exactly, but I was taking a month-long online poetry workshop in August, and one of the assignments was a family memory. This is fictionalized, but I do have a memory of having fantasized about doing such a thing. Last week, I taught a workshop to the Creative Writing Club at Polk State College. When I read this aloud (performed it), I got lots of laughs and big applause.  So I hope you’re not too offended!        


And, here is my reply…..

Dear little sister, Ann,

OH MY GOSH! What a GREAT birthday present!! Thank you, you great poet, you! I’m in touch with some of my high school friends and I’m going to ask them to circulate this! it is so FUNNY and brings us all right back to 1955…… which I’m reveling in now because I’m trying to teach our rock and roll dance, the Jitterbug. over here in Estonia and Russia, so they can complete (and win) in the international Boogie-Woogie contests, nowadays. So, I’m right back in high school, mentally, anyhow. Now, that my 79th birthday is tomorrow!


I do believe that “Revenge” is mostly fictionalized but, it was surely a neato fantasy that you must have indulged in, over and over. through those  years that you had to live with a mean big sister. You did get a reprieve during my sophomore year (your 8th grade) when they sent me to Massachusetts to live with Grandmother Elsie. But then, I was back for my Jr & Sr year again to share a bed & bedroom with you and tease you about being a zipper. I really did say that….. probably more than once! That memory is accurate.


But, I have a string of reasons that occur to me, that probably prove this was only a poetic dream and not a reality.
I don’t remember dating, at all, in high school. I was “popular” but I wasn’t in the Cheerleader/football player group – who were so pretty and handsome, and dated each other, and won Homecoming King & Queen titles . Our whole, large group of friends were the club & student leaders and we were really close buddies and saw a lot of each other, but we were “a crowd” that hung out before the bell rang; and the ones with cars picked the rest of us up for the Thursday night Teen Center, where we jitterbugged our little hearts out to the new Rock & Roll music. Then, driving home, three or four to the car; we would “park” somewhere and have “Unburdening Sessions” about the problems in our lives. We provided excellent counselling services, apparently; where we could be heard and understood by our peers.
I can picture that old sofa and catercorner across from it, the overstuffed (older-stuffed) chair. and an old-fashioned, wooden radio on a stand. We loved to listen to programs which said, “The Shadow Knows!”  I sure did love radio drama! But, ours was not so modern a household as to have a TV set, though your allusion to I Love Lucy is perfect and maybe a television set showed up sometime after I left for university???.
How could I have dated like that, even if I had wanted to? You make it sound so easy to dispatch all my younger sisters to the upstairs by command…..BUT, what would I have done with Grandmother, Matilda, and Mother? Assign them to stay in the kitchen? Ha! It was Matilda’s house! One didn’t tell her what to do, in our family!! And then, how about noisy Kippy and little-kid, Lee? Me, count on all three of you kids to stay upstairs, while I necked on the sofa? Double Ha! I didn’t even know HOW to neck, till I got to college! The front porch swing would have been the only possibility if I’d had such a date as that……but then, you’d have had nowhere to hide and there was no TV or radio out there. And that thing squeaked, didn’t it?
Anyway, the poem is universal and will hit home with everyone and get that great rewarding laugh! Let’s circulate it far and wide and let it win you prizes! I adore it! I think I’ll make a blog post out of it for both my websites!
Lots of love,
Your Big Sis, Linda

Traveling Into Russia Is Filled With Happy Discovery!

September 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Aboard the luxury bus between Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia

Aboard the luxury bus between Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia

Talk about modern malls and stores!!! Russia has them, in plenty!

Talk about modern malls and stores!!! Russia has them, in plenty!

Here's that same bus from the outside. Absolutely, the best!

Here’s that same bus from the outside. Absolutely, the best!

My Russian Visa started on August 20 and goes until September 18th, so, from Tallinn, Estonia, I came to The Soul Kitchen Hostel in Saint Petersburg. It was an easy six-hour journey aboard a wonderful, luxury bus. I was wowed by that city.




As well as very tasty fish! But can you imagine being the one on the right, staring at his brother on the left? I couldn't resist this shot!

As well as very tasty fish! But can you imagine being the one on the right, staring at his brother on the left? I couldn’t resist this shot!

(These pictures are not laying themselves out in the proper order; but I trust you to figure things out.)

Yet another gourmet meal!

Yet another gourmet meal! Lots of great cooking at great prices!

Even more ghastly-tronomic or would that be traumatic?

Even more
ghastly-tronomic or would that be traumatic?


The distance between the Living and the Dead could be as thin as a plate of glass????

The distance between the Living and the Dead could be as thin as a plate of glass????

Aboard the overnight train between St. Petersburg and Arkhangelsk on the White Sea. deep in the Russian countryside.

Aboard the overnight train between St. Petersburg and Arkhangelsk, on the White Sea, deep in the Russian countryside. Ready to sleep.


The next morning, we are nearing our goal.

I took a 22-hour train ride deeper into Russia, to Archangelsk, on the White Sea, where very few people speak English. But, still many more speak our language, than we Americans speak Russian!!!

The countryside from the train window.

The countryside from the train window.

The Meridian Hotel, where I stayed for five days is on the outskirts of town.

The Meridian Hotel, where I stayed for my first five days is on the outskirts of town. I decided to shift to a hostel in downtown Arkhangelsk for the next week, to be in walking distance of everything.

The hotel is named for the 30th Meridian and is very modern, indeed.

This beautiful hotel is named for the 30th Meridian and is very modern, indeed. It was a great place to rest and catch up with neglected writing.

Very modern and comfortable, indeed, and I caught up on my workload in the quiet privacy.

The Meridian Hotel’s lobby. This non-hostel stay allowed me to catch up on my writing workload in quiet privacy. Everybody was so gracious and welcoming, too. By this time, I’ve fallen behind again because so many, many exciting things keep happening. LIFE ON THE ROAD IS SOOOO EXCITING!


“We’re Not In St. Pete Anymore, Toto!” We’re In Russia!

August 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

During these exciting days of traveling alone through Russia, staying in hostels and meeting so many new people, I’ll bet that I’m recalling my roots a whole lot more than any of you! “Where are you from?” is the Hosteler’s stock in conversation trade.

I always report “Ya Americanka! …. from the U.S.A….Florida…..Clearwater!” Well, my Florida hometown is just a few miles from St. Pete (St. Petersburg), Florida, famous for being a beach community and a favorite senior citizen’s retirement center. It looks nothing like this Russian Saint Petersburg, artistically-famous  and glittering city, home of the Czars. This European countryside is so very green because it rains every-other day.

And yes, they have the wonderful red, double-decker city sightseeing buses, here too, just like they have in London! My home here is beautiful Soul Kitchen Hostel. Very comfortable and welcoming. Full of new friends to share sightseeing with or to come home to after a hard day of glamour.

  • The Soul Kitchen Hostel’s living room.

  • My hostel is just around the corner and across the canal from St Isaac’s Cathedral

  • I’m in The Venice of Russia!

  • Inside of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral.

  • Two hostel friends and I took the canal boat to Peterhof, a splendid palace surrounded by acres of groomed parklands and grounds, where locals go to picnic and celebrate.

  • Yes, even horse-drawn carriages!

  • Our kitchen and dining room at the hostel

  • It’s easy sleeping in a hostel dormitory, especially when the bunks are curtained to make it dark in there.

  • This was the first indication that we were approaching the Russian border from Estonia. The sign said RUSSIA in Russian, of course.

  • Their own double-decker sightseeing buses!

  • Peterhof is one off Peter, The Great’s palaces.

  • This is a very “gilty” country….. and I mean that in the best way possible!

  • And there is The Great Peter, Himself, perpetually riding into the sunset……


Happy Hostel Life In Estonia….. And Worldwide!

August 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Wednesday night in the hostel

Wednesday night in the hostel is Open Mic Night.

Me, demonstrating how to dance The Jitterbug; now known as Boogie-Woogie. I'll be teaching it here, before I leave the country. Little did I know it would become my legacy!!!???

Me, demonstrating how to dance The Jitterbug; now known as Boogie-Woogie. I’ll be teaching it here, before I leave the country. Little did I know it would become my legacy!!!?

One of the true joys about staying in hostels is the social life. Hostel Euphoria in Tallinn has a Great Room, open to the public for Wednesday Night Open Mic and Sunday Night Jam Sessions.

The hostel owner, Jonathan Flack, has a band named “The Jingles” and there are musical instruments decorating the room, ready to be used during these evenings. Those who aren’t musical, like me, can tell jokes and stories; give short talks, or teach dance.

Now that Boogie-Woogie has come roaring back in style as an International Dance Craze, everyone is interested in what the original looked like ….way back in 1955, when I was in high school.

I’d never have guessed, back then, that I’d be taking steps learned sixty-one years ago at our weekly Teen Center dance nights, and sharing them to new generations in hostels all around the world. I might just do the same thing at the Soul Kitchen Hostel in St. Petersburg, Russia, later on this month!

Below, are some of our fabulous singers…. Dima, Trevor, and Tadeusch.



Glorious Estonia – Pagan Roots, Soaring Steeples And Soviet Museums!

July 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s time to start planning my new itinerary on this long, around-the-world journey of mine. I have now been traveling for ten months out of my four-year (48-month!) plan; so, I still feel as if I’m just getting started. In three weeks, I’ll travel to Murmansk, Russia, above the Arctic Circle; then to Arkhangelsk, St. Petersburg and Moscow. When my 30-day visa expires, I’ll drop down to Poland and other Eastern European countries, to wind up in France in mid-October to lead a workshop during my four-day InterVoice Conference in Paris. Then, to Vatican City in Rome.  As soon as it gets too chilly in Europe, I’ll head to the Holy Land, to follow the desert footsteps of Moses and learn  about the life of Jesus, right where it was lived. Then, on to Jerusalem for the holiest shrines of three of the world’s major religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and, finally, to lovely Mt. Carmel, in Haifa, the World Center of the Baha’i Faith.

Perhaps, my visa will allow six months in Israel? Certainly, three months. It’s been over thirty years since I made my last pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but I doubt if it has changed very much, as that land reflects thousands and thousands of years of history,  both secular and religious. It’s where all hearts turn when they pray.

Interestingly, my random choice of Estonia was perfect to kick off this new portion of my world-wanderings because it is so old and yet, so modern. My seven weeks here is more than half over and I’m still loving every minute of it. The people are very friendly, kind, and welcoming. I’ve made some good friends and I will miss them very much when I move on.

So far, exploring the medieval history of Tallinn’s Old Town has kept me busy, though I hope to run around the countryside of this darling country, too; before heading into Russia on August 20. I love to get lost here because I stumble upon so many fantastic museums, such as the new one depicting the Health and Well-being of the  Human Body, devoted to the historical architecture of Ourselves, the occupants of this planet I’m circling.

The evolution of our human family is thoroughly described in a new, award-winning museum.

The evolution of our human family is thoroughly described in a new, award-winning museum.

And I learned so much about Medieval Days on our free walking tour.

I learned so much about Medieval Days on our free, two-hour,  walking tour.

Just like Mankind, this town goes back a looooong way. This was a walled city with ramparts and watchtowers and a general wariness of newcomers with strange ways and ideas. Not now! The whole country is so friendly!

A part of the original wall as seen from within the city.

A part of the original wall as seen from within the city.

An overview with the Baltic Seaport in the background.

An overview, with the Baltic Seaport in the background.

Tallinn's Old Town from the hilltop of its new town. Note the many steeples marking many lovely churches.

Tallinn’s Old Town from the hilltop of its new town. Note the many steeples marking many lovely churches.

Our tour guide said that over the centuries, many foreign Christian  missionaries had hoped to plant their version of that Faith deep in this soil, because the medieval people were Pagans. Thus, the many churches here……which are now serving  as concert and lecture venues. Churches or not, those early proselytizers didn’t get very far in planting their staffs in this soil. Then came those ideological bullies marching under the dreadful leadership of Lenin and Stalin bent upon planting the ideals of Communism with slogans proclaiming power to the people!

This entire Eastern European region was also shrouded for many decades under that Iron Curtain blanket of the Soviet Union, the USSR, which forbade all religions and closed all places of worship. Freedom of speech about  spiritual or religious matters was, not only curtailed, but dangerous.

That repressive history is very hard for any present-day tourist to perceive or identify with. Everything here seems so normal; so Westernized. But, we have never lived under an Iron Curtain rule. We’ve always said whatever we liked, with no backlash, whatsoever. People of Estonia, Eastern Europe, and Russia were killed or sent to the gulag for doing just that.

That is such a hard concept for us to wrap our minds around because, just within these few decades, the USSR has been relegated to sterile museum exhibits. I’ll visit a few of these and post my findings here. Like the prison where tens of thousands died, right on the edge of this town. I was within the borders of the Soviet Union while it was collapsing; but I didn’t witness that horrific behavior, personally, though I heard about it. And yet, I can forget their recent past, when I walk through Tallinn now, during its beautiful recovery from that nightmare.

It was my privilege to plan and lead Citizen Diplomacy Peacekeeping, grassroots group tours to Russia, Ukraine, and Siberia between 1990-1994, when things were still under the pall of the USSR. Though the feared Soviet Union was breaking up at that time, it was, actually, still in effect, and I was inside of the country on the morning that the hated  dictatorship officially ended.

Because there was no tourist infrastructure in those early days, we housed our travelers in homestays, which was so much more personal and fun than staying in hotels, anyway. I watched the excitement that our Soviet hosts felt when they could freely attend our group’s public, open meetings allowing everyone’s free speech during Women’s Forums, Spiritual Exchanges, and Entrepreneurial Business Conferences. They could pose their own opinions and questions and not worry about the KGB overhearing them. It was a very heady time for them.

Trust me, they have some very good philosophies and deeply-held, personal spiritual beliefs that haven’t been strangled out of them by any wanna-be oppressor! I’m sure they’ll never let that sort of bullying repression happen to them again. Estonians today are independent-thinkers, well-educated and intelligent. They’re among the most kindly and spiritual people on the planet, in my opinion.

And, by traveling the world alone for so many years, my radar is wide-open to this rare quality.That’s why I’m looking forward to visiting all the Holy Places of every Faith. I want to find out exactly how their people behave and what kind of spiritual vibrations they have contributed to the earth’s atmosphere. Words are cheap! Actions are the proof of the pudding!

Let deeds, not words, be your adorning!” said Baha’u’llah, Prophet-Founder of The Baha’i Faith.   

They have learned how to combine a powerful and vigorous commerce in excellent art and handicrafts......

Estonians have learned how to combine a powerful and vigorous commerce in excellent art, handcrafts, and tourism……


.....with all of the world's Teachings and Teachers who have come throughout the centuries.

…..with all of the world’s Teachings and Teachers who have come, throughout the centuries. It’s a great and peaceful example. They keep their own council but allow the same for all others! Pretty modern, I’d say!








I Love Tallin, Estonia!

July 1, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

I entered the beautiful city of Tallinn, Estonia, two days ago, after sitting overnight in the Riga, Latvia, airport on my flight from London. My hostel here is named Euphoria and that’s exactly the way we all feel about it. So many interesting people are staying here and there is something going on every evening….. from musical jam sessions to metaphysical conversations. My four-bunk dorm room costs all of $11 per night and I’m about to rent a big private bedroom upstairs for $275 per month. I’ll still be part of the hostel social life but will be able to unpack my suitcase and have a decent work space in my own room.

These pictures are simply the first I have taken in this city. Prepare for more to come.

I look forward to all the eating it is possible to do.

I look forward to all the eating it is possible to do.


The outside entry of my Hostel Euphoria

The outside entry of my Hostel Euphoria

So many leafy courtyards in the Old Town

So many leafy courtyards in the Old Town


Classic Shot

Classic Shot

There are Angels everywhere!

There are Angels everywhere!

A street in Tallinn's Old Town

A street in Tallinn’s Old Town

They are relaying the cobblestones here.  A chance to watch an ancient art.

They are relaying the cobblestones here. A chance to watch an ancient art.

An old European street scene

An old European street scene

Snazzy and colorful cafes

Snazzy and colorful cafes

At the end of the day..... I'm so glad I'm here!

At the end of the day….. I’m so glad I’m here!

Come on over! The city's fine!

Come on over! The city’s fine!

I’m Transitioning To Another Region of Europe – The Baltic States

June 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Suddenly, the time has come to move on in my around-the-world travels. After almost ten weeks in England and most of that, 6.5 weeks, spent in London at the Barmy Badger Hostel in Earl’s Court; I’m booking a flight to Tallinn, Estonia for next week. This decision wasn’t terribly clear-cut and involved consulting with friends and family, looking for good ideas and logic to figure things out. Originally, it seemed like such an obvious choice to simply cross the Irish Sea and run around Ireland for a little while. And after that, I should naturally explore the other countries of Western Europe that I have never been to.

Then, it occurred to me! This is the High Season over here! It’s when the prices go up and mobs of Americans swarm the place! Goodness knows, the UK is expensive and so are all of the European Union (EU) countries. Why should I be here now, when I have to return to Paris in mid-October, anyway, to attend a convention? I can do my sightseeing then.

I’ve always wanted to explore Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, as well as Belarus, a little bit inland from them. Those countries are somewhat north of here, across the Baltic from Sweden and directly under Finland, so summertime would be the ideal time to go. That thought was confirmed by reading my Lonely Planet guidebook. All of them are steeped in ancient history, with old towns that go back to medieval times, with castles and monuments galore. They are very tourist-friendly and well provided with hotels, hostels, restaurants and parks. Well-stocked with everything that let’s you know you are in Europe, yet sophisticated enough to provide their services in many languages, especially English. And yet, they are off the radar to many Westerners. Just the way I like it!

You don’t need a visa to enter any of them for three months, as is still required for Russia, and the cost is so much lower than it is in England and all of these regular tourist destinations. Plus, history confined  this part of the world underneath the shield of Soviet domination for the greater part of the previous century and that has disappeared only recently, making a bit of a time capsule there. In fact, museums are springing up everywhere to document what life was like in those dismal and restricted days; though the natural exuberance of the native population has returned to its old self.

For me, it will be a revisiting of an exciting part of my life, when I led peace-themed, grassroots tours to Russia, Ukraine and Siberia between 1990 and 1994. In those early years right after the walls fell, Americans and Soviets were so very eager to meet each other and many bonds of love and friendship were forged between our travelers and the locals. I always felt a zing and a zest during all of my time spent there. I feel it now in anticipation of learning more about new and beautiful countries that were so long denied the easy commerce with the rest of the world. Now that the doors have opened, it makes sense to travel through them whenever possible.

Plus, I have an invitation to visit friends in Warsaw, Poland. Two women whom I met here in the hostel last week have invited me to stop in when I pass through and this way, I’ll be able to do that.

This week, I’ll be arranging my airfare and hostel reservations in Tallinn as well as addressing the pesky business of packing up. And then, a week from today, I shall land in my new country-of-the-month! Now, how exciting is that?

In the meantime, I’m discovering how to record and post bits of travel advice on YouTube. Hopefully, these recordings will become more professional as I go, in order to encourage everyone to just pick up and go to all of the wonderful spots this Earth has to offer. Either search YouTube under Linda J. Brown or click on the link below.





Was I On Another Planet… Or In London, England?

June 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

I just came across a headline news story on the Huffington Post UK feed…. that London had torrential rains and was being flooded and cars were drowning in the south section of the city two days ago. Perhaps so, but not in my vicinity! I’m in London right now and happened to be sightseeing that day. It wasn’t even raining in my part of the city. Let’s see what my photos show? Don’t believe everything you read in the news!

Churchill Statue in Westminster, London

Churchill Statue in Westminster, London

Ghandi contemplates Big Ben, also in the Westminster District of London.

Ghandi contemplates Big Ben, also in the Westminster District of London.

Words To Live By through all the ages. On Westminster Abbey.

Words To Live By through all the ages. On Westminster Abbey.

St. Margaret's Church

St. Margaret’s Church

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

And yet, Ya' Gotta Eat!

And yet, Ya’ Gotta Eat!

Or Beat The Retreat! Bleachers set up on parade grounds for the Queen's Mounted Horse Brigade.

Or Beat The Retreat! Bleachers set up on parade grounds for the Queen’s Mounted Horse Brigade.

Do they serve DUCK with High Tea in England?

Do they serve DUCK with High Tea in England?

Well, this Mamma is taking no chances!

Well, this Mamma is taking no chances!

An English Garden Cottage, right in the center of London.

An English Garden Cottage, right in the center of London.

Because..... As the Saying Goes.......

As the Saying Goes…….Where will you spend Eternity? Castle or Cottage? I’ll take the cottage any day!








“Moving Through Life @ Eighty Years Per Hour” or “I Need a Luggage Daddy….er, Caddy!”

April 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

This Gal....Just your ordinary Explorer

This Gal….Just your ordinary Explorer

Not everyone has their philosophy of life emblazoned upon their tee shirt, but here’s mine! At the same time, I’m, apparently, doing everything possible to slow myself down… at least to weigh myself down.

This is my TOP SPEED!

This is my TOP SPEED!

This is the stuff I have to carry around with me! It ain't pretty and it's barely possible. That's my SPARE pair of boots!

This is the stuff I have to carry around with me! It ain’t pretty and it’s barely possible. That’s my SPARE pair of boots! The ones that are “Made for dancin’. When did I last do that? In high school! But, it’s never too late! I hope!










At least, I have resisted adopting these cuties..... so far!!!

At least, I have resisted adopting these cuties….. so far!!!

But, wouldn't a big, brown dog and a sleek white tiger look great bounding down this Riverwalk? All you need is imagination!

But, wouldn’t a big, brown dog and a sleek white tiger look great bounding down this Riverwalk? All you need is imagination!

That big multi-colored bag was originally used to cover my strappy backpack on the overseas flight. Now, it’s FULL of stuff, too! Where is this heading?

Needless to say, I rely a great deal upon the “Kindness Of Strangers” and they haven’t let me down yet. Senior Citizenry still has some perks.

Plus, a good-old Sundown Smoothie, now and then!

Plus, a good-old Sundown Smoothie, now and then!

I’m Sleeping in The Queen’s Head While Her Majesty Turns 90!

April 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The rest of the lobby and cafe area.

The rest of the lobby and cafe area.

A week ago, I arrived in the beautiful Northeast England town of Durham on a special mission. I’m hoping to meet members of the Durham University Research Team for investigating the phenomenon of Hearing Inner Voices. As you know, that’s a great interest of mine, as well, since I have been a Voice Hearer since 1980. See my other website,, for a sample of some of my internal interviews of the Voice in my head. I’ve also published two books on the subject and a third is due out soon. Needless to say, I’m professionally thrilled to be here but, also personally, since this small university town is very historic and pleasing to the senses.

The early Spring weather is blustery and cold, with an Arctic Blast expected to hit. Even so, the sun chased the gloom away by mid-afternoon. I bought some sweaters, boots, and a gaudy, black & white plaid coat, so managed pretty well after that hot Mexican beach weather I was complaining about last week. Here’s a photo essay taken this afternoon.

The Queen's Head Hotel is a Pub/B&B and very cozy and welcoming, about a half-hour's walk to town.

The Queen’s Head Hotel is a Pub/B&B and very cozy and welcoming, about a half-hour’s walk to town.

The Bar and check-in counter. There are two bars, back-to-back.

The Bar and check-in counter. There are two bars, back-to-back.

The other Bar area as seen from the lobby.

The other Bar area as seen from the lobby.



Here’s my huge Sunday Lunch for only $12. Roast Beef and mashers, squash, roasties, cheesy cauliflower and four kinds of veggies. Plus Yorkshire Pudding!

The meal won! Here are the leftovers! This is the hardship the Brits face, week-after-week!


The Cathedral is a UNESCO Heritage site.

The Cathedral is a UNESCO Heritage site.

A River runs through it. The River Wear. Many row skiffs on warmer days.

A River runs through it. The River Wear. Many row skiffs on warmer days.

Durham downtown Square

Durham downtown Square

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All Posts

My New Parallel Universe – A Senior Business Startup – Blogging & Book Publishing
Time To Order!
When The Screw Turned While You Were Sleeping
The Scary Little Zloty (Poland’s Monetary Unit) Sure Had Me Quaking For Awhile
My New Book Shows Great Promise
This Only Happens Once In a Lifetime!
Life Overlaps, So I Might Go Sailing!
My Macabi Skirt
A Page From My Book – Albania
It’s All So Easy To Travel Around The World On Social Security
The Albania Story – Continued
I’m Easing Myself Toward My Next Plan For Travel
Because, Always Because!
Next Trip, Coming Up!
Back In The Saddle Again For A Few Weeks
Did I Just Get “Bait & Switched?”
My Days Are Numbered And I’m Nervous
Shall I Perform Chiropractic On The South American Continent?
Appreciating The Layers of My Life
Living In The “How-To” Frame of Mind
My Plane Ticket Is In Hand And My Hostel Is Reserved
Luckiness In The Crunch Time
Walking The Beach In Mid-December
A Lovely Hour On The Radio
The Pajaro Has Landed
Now I Know Why I Travel Alone!
Ahhh, The Lizard Is Stirring…
And On To Medellin, Colombia
Ohhhh, How I Love Medellin, (Maida-yeen)!
A Nice Day Around The Hostel
The Ghost of Juan Valdez
More Ghost Stories – A Bermuda Dungeon Prisoner Leftover
Raise Your Hands If You Think Colombia Is One Big Cube Of Cocaine
“Juan Valdez” Gives Up The Ghost!
Wrapping Up Medellin & Opening Up Taganga
BARFUS, The Bad Humor Man!
Casa de Filipe in Taganga, Colombia
Leaving In The Morning For Tayrona National Park
We Are Under Attack And I`m trying to remain Philosophical
I Fled At The First Arrow And Landed In Cartagena. Am I Glad!
Here I go Again, Heading to Quito, Ecuador Tomorrow
Cartagena, Colombia Is a Lovely Place
Am Coping With Quito
A Soggy Thing Happened On The Way To The Middle Of The World
I Discover Some InterGalactic Friends At The Middle Of The World
News Flash: Read the bestseller, The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young!
How I Climbed Cotopaxi Volcano in Ecuador
My “Fitty-Dollah-A-Day” Sense of Entitlement
Final Impressions On The Book – The Shack! Excellent!
Checking In From Cuenca, Ecuador
The Indigenous Women Of Cuenca, Ecuador
Mardi Gras Has Begun – Two Weeks Early
The Spinal Column Of The Planet?
Warning: This Is A Low-Blood-Sugar Blog!
Stella´s Definitely Got Her Groove Back!
A Land-Borne Space Ship
Now I Know How Darwin Felt! The Secret Of The Evolution of Baby Villages!
The Fine, Fragile, Beginning Bonds of Community
Scrips & Scraps From a Beach Bum Gal
O Ye of Little Finance!
The Family of Fishrombrownbanner Forms For a Day
I Am A Paragliding Initiate Now
Taking A Luxury Bus From Lima To Paracas, Peru
Back On Top Of The Backbone
Peru Is The New Himalayas
My First Traditional Peruvian Ayahuasca Ceremony
“The Secret Of Reality” – My Ayahuasca Vision
“The Secret Of Reality – Part II” My First Ayahuasca Vision
I Got To Bed at 6 a.m. This Morning
When In Doubt, Go to Peru
Swimming With Pirañas/Sleeping With Tarantulas
Here´s A Good Somerset Maugham Quote For Travelers:
Wow! This Seventh Wonder of the World is Really Worth The Effort To See!
He Begged To Shine My Tennis Shoes
So Many Words Unblogged – You´ll Just Have To Read My Next Book
Surprise! I´m In Buenos Aires, Argentina!
A Gustatory Delight, Argentina is N.O.T!!!
Score One More For The Old Maxim: “What You Dread Seldom Comes True!”
Six Days At The End Of The World
Squeezing In One More Country
I’ve Dodged All The Bullets – But Am Feeling Mushy-Minded At The Moment
Normal Is Nice
A “Field of Dreams” Proof of Life After Death
An Analogy To Prepare You For Another Woo-Woo Story
The Thick Plottens!
Slurping Up Words, Any Words
Who Are The Energy Bandits?
A Common Form of Vampirism – Energy Banditry And My Own Examples Of It
At Last: The Name of The Book About Psychic Vampires
In The Future????
One More Journal Tidbit On The Economy Crash
I Took Part In An Ancient Andean Despacho Ceremony
Confessions of a Junkie
A New Book Is Aborning
Sharing An Email Written To A Friend I Met In A Hostel In Medellin, Colombia
Open Letter To Snorers: Please Don’t Stay In Hostel Dormatories
Life Is A Jillion Million Photo Ops
Life As A Photo Op – Continued
How Do We Add Up – Ultimately?
We, Americans Terrorize Too!
Sleeping Dogs Are Lying! Let ‘Em!
Loose, Fast, Sloppy Thinking
This Little Old Bride Got Big
Come And Walk With Me This Lovely Road To Death
To My Family: Instructions In Case I Should Become Incapacitated
Coming Out Of The Closet Now: I Talk To The Holy Spirit!
Conversations About Death
This Will Shock A Lot Of Folks!
As An Arriving Earth Settler, You Wore Diapers!
If Our Earth’s Society Was a Human Being, How Old Would We Be?
Next Time A Giant Tries To Grab You, Try Seeing Its True Motive
InterGalactic Friendship Is A Rare And Precious Gift
An InterGalactic Friend Who Got Away
Romanian Trains And InterGalactic Friends
Reincarnation Is One Way To Achieve A New Life In A New Location
Coming Back To Earth
To See or Not To See…That Is The Question
Hats Off To A Fantastic Writer And Long-Lost Friend
One Day, In Utter Poverty, Came This Vision
I Am Preparing To Be Wowed by Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love
I’m A True Fan of a Rock Star Author
The Next Time You See Somebody’s Portrait, Consider This
The Frantic Race of Humanity Mankind – Part I
The Frantic Race of Humanity Mankind – Part II
The Sad, Ongoing Story of Humanity Mankind – Part III
Humanity Mankind Is Running…Out of Options – Part IV
When The Rubber Stops Meeting The Road For Humanity Mankind, Part V
When In Freefall, Follow The Instructions, Oh, Humanity Manklutz – Part VI
Humanity Mankind Comes Of Age – Part VII
Newly November And All Is Well (And Woo-Woo Wins!)
Quick! What’s The Opposite of Writer’s Block?
Can One Converse With Inanimate Objects?
Talking To Stuffed Animals???
My Conversation With A Lynx
Chatting With Two Dead Co-Workers
Creationism vs Evolution???
I Am The Child of Cimba
The Ones That Got Away: Fish Or Cut Bait
Is Life A Boot Camp Or A School?
Life As A Boardwalk Carnival
Or, Maybe This Will Happen…
Which Chakra Are You Working Out Of?
Good Lord! It’s Possible That You Are All Human, After All!
Do Animals Pray?
Is It Okay To Eat Meat?
Passing On An Urban Legend, Or At least, It Should Be…Why Don’t You Send It Around, Too?
The First Decade Of The New Millennium Has Gone By – What’s Next?
Yo, Atheists And Agnostics! Feeling A Little Seasonally Under-Appreciated?
My Book Is Becoming A Being Of Its Own – It’s Nitty Gritty Time
No Need For Any Florida Envy This Winter
Having A New Book In Your Life Is Like Having A Newborn Around
Those Blind Men And That Elephant…Must We Perpetuate The Habit?
How To Meet A Man On A Romanian Train
It’s Best Not To Dance On Trains – For Whatever Reason – Exotic Or Otherwise
Closet-Clairaudient Unveiling
The First Three Letters of The Word Funeral Are “Fun”
Life’s Changes Happen Suddenly
What Did I Finally Wind Up Saying In Revealing My Private Life?
Life Rocks…And So Do These Books!
Finding Fellow Travelers From My Hammock
Creator, Creator, Creator! Create! Evidence of A Praying Bird?
A Quote From My New Book – “Two Possible Questions Behind Creation”
An Upper Realm Opinion About Big Business And Corporations
Do Animals Pray?
I’m Dabbling Happily In Other People’s Lives
What Is The Secret Behind Your Dreams?
What Are The Psychological Obstructions To Traveling Freely?
Have You Ever Been To Lilliput?
Our Planet Is Wounded. Or Is She Fighting Back? Something Has Burst On Her Surface.
The Day The Earth Farted, The World Stood Still! or Deepwater Is In Deep Doo-Doo!
Okay! I’m Tired Of Being A Linear Person, Already!
Another Exciting Travel Prospect Looms – To Another Dimension!
Now I Am A Published Author…Times Two!
Big, Beautiful Boxes Of Books!
Chiropractic Treatments From Way Off In The Pacific Ocean – On My Florida Body
My Un-Button-Downable Mind
A Bag Full Of Un-Cut Diamonds Hidden In My Suitcase
Holiday Weekends Give Birth To Books
Is It Okay To Be Judgmental?
The Holy Spirit On The Subject of Hoarding
I Love To Cook My Books!
The Holy Spirit’s Take On Gambling
Does The Presence of a Soul Within The Brain Provide an “Energy” That is Vital to the Human?
Yesterday I Was Attacked By A Terriorist!
We All Have a Date With The Global Mind – Next Week!
Did You Keep Our Date With The Cosmic Brain?
A Twelve-year-old’s Take on World Chaos
What Does The Term, “Spiritualized” Really Mean?
Why Is It Essential for Us To Live In A Heavy-Matter Realm, Such As Earth Is?
I’m Going To Venture a Prediction – Virtual Coloring Books!
Is There Such A Thing as a Non-Physical Existence?
Is Earth A Great Big Space Experiment?
Are Psychic Talents Alien To Planet Earth?
Prayer Feels This Way From The Other Side
Please Help Me Write My Movie Script
Can Humans With Very Different Backgrounds Get Along?
What Are The Reasons That A Soul Reincarnates?
Are Human Lives Scripted?
My Third Book is About to Go Out of Print – Here’s It’s Intro
Yesterday’s Quotes Are Pertinent For Today and Tomorrow, Ad Infinitum
How About The Spiritual Destinies of People Born in Wealthy Circumstances?
Advice Sliding On Down To The Next Generation
Continued: Advice From The Old Guard
Do Pets Reincarnate And Do They Choose Their Owners?
Two Months Ago, My Son Died…
What Is The Difference Between Dreams and Out-of-Body Experiences?
From “50 Things One Should Know How To Do By Age 50”
Life Is Like The Tossing of Grains of Sand
I’m Heading Back Out Around The World…For A Year
Dancing With Thirteen World-Class Grandmothers In Brazil
This May Be All That The World Really Needs
To Launch And Let Go
Farewell Florida/Hello Brazil
I Have Utterly Disappeared!
How Can I Describe This?
To Fill In The Blanks On Abadiania, Brazil
Planning Again To Adjust The Spine Of The Planet
Going Silent Till After Thanksgiving
If It Looks Like A Local, If It Walks Like A Local, It Sure Doesn´t Quack Like A Local!
The Secret Wisdom of Always Insisting Upon a Receipt
Going Before The Entity At John of God´s Healing Casa
I´m in the Top-Rated Place on the Recommended List – Ta-Da!
Whoa! Did I Just Bribe The Paraguayan Consul?
Entropy Around The Hostel Pool
Busted! I´m Now a Reformed Smuggler!
We´re All Guilty But We´re Not Bad!
The Great Creative Human Race – Rules and Handicaps
RULES For The Great Creative Human Race – Part II
Almost Nine Months After My Son Died, I caught a Quick Glimpse of Him
My Wardrobe Malfunction At Iguazu Falls, Brazil
I Love Santiago, Chile and This Whole Country!
The Wheels On The Bus Went Round & Round…The Great Creative Human Race – Part III
The Kind and Homey Folks of Chiloe Island, Chile
RTW – Phase I Is Winding Down
Home in The States With A Bum Shoulder
After A Short Surgical Delay, I’m Almost Good Again
The Old Grey Mare, She Ain’t What She Used To Be…..
Ain’t It Always The Way?
A Soldier’s World Travels Are True Sacrifices
My Traveling and My Writing Are About To Get Married!
The U.S. Congressman And The Saga of The Seth Parker
Lovin’ The Life In The Land Down Under
Flying To A New Australian City Tomorrow
Frozen Money Has Forced Me Into Phone Ownership
I’m Sooooo On Island Time Now!
I Made Headlines In The Pago Pago, American Samoa Newspaper
A Little Bit of Samoa Will Always Circle My Ankle
A Stalker Named Hurricane Evan
Summertime In New Zealand
My First Six Months In The Pacific Ocean
Earthquakes and Antarctica Have One Thing In Common…New Zealand
Going Further Under In Down Under: Dunedin, NZ Is Really Different From Dunedin, Florida
Traveling Solo In The Comfort Zone
The Story of my First Days in Cape Town, South Africa
Our Human Tendency Towards Religious Obfuscation – Inner & Outer Travel
Bits & Pieces of Life Overseas…. Lost In A Labyrinth of Budapest
Spending The Summer in Spain & Portugal
I’m At A Surf Camp Hostel In The Portuguese Algarve….The Bottom Coastal Region Of This Gorgeous Country
The Ups and Downs of Beautiful Portugal
A Seagoing Birthday This Year Between Denmark and Norway
Journey’s End – A Tiny French Village Outside of Paris Offers Recovery From Epilepsy
Another Life Begins Again
My First Step In Becoming An American Expat
I’m A Kid In A Money-Making Candy Store!
A Brief Visit To My Florida Towns Before Sailing Across The Equator On The Mayflower
Ohhhhhh, Uruguay! Glorious, Gorgeous, Warm Uruguay And My Celebrity Wool Jacket!
The Rubber Meets The Road On Real Life As An Expat
When The Guards Outnumber The Shoppers
Glimpses of Uruguay on January 5, 2014
All Uruguyans Are Ascended Zen Masters
Life In An English Country House In Upscale Montevideo
Hostel Hopping, Visa Vetting, Rock & Rolling, In Uruguay
The Andes Mountain Chain – Backbone of The Planet – And The Blackfeet Nation
The Girl That Got Away! How I Spent April Fool’s Day!
Peru Is The New Spiritual Himalayas And I’ll Soon Be There Again
The Movable Feast of Expat Life Goes Mobile Again!
The Trail Never Changes!
Peace & Light In The Sacred Valley of Peru
The Spinal Column Of Planet Earth
Life Brings Us All To The Right Shore, If We Will But Flow Within It!
I Receive The Munay-Ki Rites of The Andean Shamans In The Sacred Valley of Peru
Becoming The Creator of My Own Universe Through Peruvian Shamanic Traditions
Visions Of Paz y Luz Healing Resort & Conference Center, Pisac, Peru
A Peruvian Despacho Ceremony For A Baby’s First Haircut
My Date With St. Peter – How I Took Charge of My Own Health Through A Peruvian CondorVision San Pedro Ceremony
My Last Day In Pisac, Peru
Having Achieved Ecuador….
Cuenca, Ecuador…….Expat Life……..Not So Much! Yet!….But, Improving!
There’s Much To Like In Cuenca, Ecuador! I Might Stay Here Longer!
Meeting Some of My Fellow Expats in Cuenca, Ecuador
Excursions And Discoveries Ecuadorian!
Age Schmage…………. Money Schmoney
Steady As She Goes On All Expat Plans For 2014
My Last Expat Night In Cuenca, Ecuador – Fabiano’s Pizza
Puerto Lopez, Ecuador – Whale of a Day
Spirit Orbs Over The Secret Garden, Quito, Ecuador, Hostel
New Life, New Friends, New Mexico!
I Drove The Dog And The Dog Won!
Leaving Lovely Santa Fe, N.M. And Heading for Golden, Colorado
Taking A Vacation From My Vacation
This Promises To Be A Very Strange Experiment – A New Trick For An Old Dog
How To Make Yourself At Home Within Ten Minutes Anywhere In The World
Life With My Family on “Normal Street,” U.S.A.
Posthumous Exhibit Of My Son’s (Randy Brown) Art
The Timely Conjunction of “Journey Of Souls” With A New Stage Of My Life
Finding Fabulous Friends In Santa Fe, New Mexico
I Lost My Way In Eldorado…….
Life Is Like A Doggie Bath!
March, 2015 – A Month Of Lost & Found!
I Have Run Six Marathons in Forty-Eight Days
An Explosive Writing Experience!
My Newest Book, “Millennial Springtime: Love In The Vast Lane”
My Mission Statement: “To Write Large Upon The World!” While Traveling Solo
Luxury Home In Santa Fe, N.M. Comes With a Yurt!
This Is A Long, Hard Marathon…. But, I’m Winning!
A Persecution Of Sunshine For A Rabbit Like Me!
Age Schmage…….Money Schmoney! An Excellent Philosophy!
An Introduction Video To My Future Traveling Life: “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 YEARS!”
An Extreme Example Of Life In A Hostel Dormitory
A Good Description of A New Breed of Senior Travelers – Just Like Me!
My 78th Birthday is Here At Last!!!
Here I Go Again – Around The World For Four Years This Time!
Glorious Colorado In The Fall Brings Out School Field Trips
Patricia, The Greatest Hurricane Show That (N)Ever was! Or, Stalking The Elusive Not-Yeti In Central Mexico!
I Have, Essentially, Moved To Mexico!
My Answers To The BootsN’All Independent Travel Manifesto
My Top Five Travel Trips for New Travelers Before Starting A Trip
My Top Ten Values For Life – Part One
Elder Over-Achievers! My New Heroes!
My Top Ten Values For Life – Part Two
My Dream Journey And Practicing Travel Caution Without Paranoia
Managing Money While I Travel
What Can You NOT Travel Without?
Some Favorite Photos of Me On The Road, Solo, At Age Sixty-Seven
Friends in India & Egypt
What Small Things Do I Enjoy While Traveling?
I’m Organizing The First Chapter of Hearing Voices Network In Mexico
Secrets To My Around-The-World Traveling Life
At Home Or Abroad, Gringos Will Be Gringos
Mexico Will Soon Be In My Rear-View Mirror!
Belize Used To Be Called British Honduras But I Call It Beautiful!
Over And Under The Water In Ambergris Caye, Belize
You’d Better Belize It! Life In The Jungles Of Belize!
MEXICO – My Hostel In Tulum!
Cancun Can’t!
I’m Sleeping in The Queen’s Head While Her Majesty Turns 90!
“Moving Through Life @ Eighty Years Per Hour” or “I Need a Luggage Daddy….er, Caddy!”
I Blew Into The UK On Arctic Blast Winds! And Still, I’ve Traveled North To Edinburgh, Scotland
Lovely, Gracious London At The Best Time of The Year
Memories Of Bygone Days ….. Two Months Ago In Belize!
My Normal Life in London Town These Days
Was I On Another Planet… Or In London, England?
I’m Transitioning To Another Region of Europe – The Baltic States
Lots Of Rainbows Over London Today!
I Love Tallin, Estonia!
Glorious Estonia – Pagan Roots, Soaring Steeples And Soviet Museums!
Happy Hostel Life In Estonia….. And Worldwide!
What Do Dead Dogs & At-Risk Elephants Have To Do With Each Other?
“We’re Not In St. Pete Anymore, Toto!” We’re In Russia!
Traveling Into Russia Is Filled With Happy Discovery!
My Little Sister, Ann, Makes Me Proud For My 79th Birthday!
I Spent My Birthday With The Archangel Michael, Near The White Sea In Russia
A Funny Story About A New Dress Purchased The Night Before My Aeroflot Flight To Moscow….With Its Anti-Theft Device Still Firmly Attached!!!
Moscow & Me! I Like It Just As Well As I Did At Perestroika Time!
So Many New Moscow Friends…… But I Had To Travel On To Riga, Latvia
Where, Oh Where, Is The White Sea? Near The Arctic Circle….In Russia!
I’ve Been in Four Countries….. Five Cities, All In The Past Month!
After Europe, I’m in Israel For A Month
I Have A Big Family, So Our Jerusalem Thanksgiving Dinner Was Spaghetti Casserole Bake
Exploring Antiquity In Jerusalem This December!
My First Impressions Of Old Jerusalem
Make Friends! Not Art!
Leaving A Legacy Of Jitterbug In Tel Aviv, Israel
Back to Europe From The Holy Land. I’ve Landed in Barcelona, Spain!
I Will Be Reddit’s Solo Travel Site’s “Ask Me Anything!” Guest Interviewer On Sunday Afternoon, January 29!
My Exciting New Life In Casablanca, Morocco
No, I Have Not Died And Gone To Heaven! Just Zanzibar!
The Search For Meaning In Life Is Probably The Same All Over The World
Life In And Around Lake Victoria, Africa. I Have Achieved My Destination!
Christmas Day On An Island In Thailand
Bangkok, Here I Come! Money Stuff Notwithstanding!
Beautiful Bangkok Is A Peaceful and Varied Place
I Am Deep In The Lovely Land of Laos In South East Asia While My sweet Granddaughter, Molly, Turns 18!
Total Trust, Safety, And Honesty Is Here In Luang Prabang, Laos, Southeast Asia!
Fellow Americans! I’ve Discovered A Terrible Secret, Out Here On The RTW Trail! Help Me, Please!
How To Get To The Root Of Any Matter? Try Wordsmithing! Try Punning!
Open Letter To My Dearest Friend, Fawn Germer, And All Woman’s Leadership Groups Who Work Together to Change The World and Their Own Lives!
Wet Hens Unite! America’s Secret War In Laos!
America’s Birthday Drumroll Coming Up! Time To Clean House!
I’m Breaking Some Habits And Following Others In My Not Always Solo Around The World Trip
With Liberty and Justice For ALL! That’s What America Stands For!
Who Can Jitterbug? You’d Be In The Minority! I Can Teach You!
What Does It Do To The Body, Mind And Soul To Travel To New Places?
Happy Noisy Buddhist New Year In Laos Has Me Ready To Travel Again
Manila, Philippines, Is A Very Modern New Beginning Point
Discovering New Dimensions in Cebu City, Philippines
The Treasure of Health, Wealth, Wholeness And Friendship Is Here In The Philippines!
I’m On A Small Philippine Island Named Siquijor (Sigi-hor)
Living High In Lazi On Siquijor Island, Philippines
What Do George Cloony And I Have I Common?
What Does Traveling Backwards Feel Like?
Exploring The Hawaian Islands Is A Lot Like Traveling Around The World
Completing My 3rd RTW, I Already Am Making Plans For Creating An International Conference In Mexico Next April!
Golden Hours In Golden, Colorado!
Do You Know What An Expat Is? I’m Planning To Become One. Again!
Absolutely Freezing In Santa Fe, New Mexico!
Still Chilly In Beautiful Mexico…San Miguel de Allende!
Merry Christmas From San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
If You Love Bright Primary Colors, Come To Mexico!
Can I Settle Down In One City For A Long Time?
My Amazing Family Legacy Here In Mexico
Teaching About The Birds & The Bees In Southeast Asia
Dancing Towards The Future….Costa Rica!
Almost Launched Into My New Solo Travels I Attend The Phamaly Theater
An Excellent Travel Option Is Petsitting And Housesitting! Try It! You’ll Like It!
A Good Description Of The International Hosteling Life For Road Warriors!
Deep In A Costa Rican Petsit
High Class Fauna Luxury Hostal In San Jose, Costa Rica
My Mindbogglingly Beautiful Hostel In Costa Rica
So Many New Friends Here In San Jose, Costa Rica!
I’m in Medellin, Colombia, at the Garden of The Blues Hostel
There’s So Much Life, Color And Style In Medellin!
More From Medellin, Colombia