• Mind / Body

    digital kids

    Once upon a time there was alarm about the impact TV had on developing minds. That concern hasn’t disappeared. It’s grown. Today we have tech savvy, digital kids. Parents carry mini computers in their pockets, and increasingly, their children do too. TVs were generally restricted to a room, which meant limiting access was a lot easier. Today, with the Internet, electronic media is everywhere. It’s in the schoolyard, sometimes the classroom. It’s on the bus. Smartphones and all the content associated with them,  from apps and games to YouTube and Facebook, travel with us. So when and how do we switch off? Can we? Of course as a parent it’s a duty to set boundaries and monitor the habits and wellbeing of our children. Yet how often are we as parents gazing into screens, lost in the content beamed to us by our own devices? Are we taking enough responsibility…

  • Mind / Body,  Places

    fall into winter

    Light. Texture. Pattern. The way it plays out through the seasons. The way it morphs. I think I failed to properly acknowledge the transitioning from autumn to winter this year. A process that should not go unobserved, outwardly or inwardly. The way the warm soft golden green hues give way to blue grey tones and cycle once more back into the world, and, ultimately, into you. Wander into wonder. The mystery, is ever present. Spring approaches, and with it, a another shade of the same beauty. Revel in the shift.

  • Mind / Body,  Places

    masaola regenwald – another zürich hotspot

    Winter, when it arrives, can knock me sideways. This year, with the change in city, being farther north was a doozy. So for a dose of wellness and a mental escape from pervasive greyness, I sometimes like to visit Masaola Regenwald, a simulation of a Madagascar Rainforest at the Zürich zoo. This 11,000 m2 lush, oxygen-infused dome teems with life. Flora and fauna abound. Razor-edged ferns and soaring bamboo, trees and countless other species of plant provide a home to low swooping fruit bats and colourful birds to tiny geckos and multi-hued chameleons, tortoises and even tree-clambering lemurs. It’s more economic than a plane ticket, and yet still a transporting, mind-bending experience. The Treetop Walkway is particularly elevating, like a path to endless summer. And who doesn’t dream of that?

  • Mind / Body,  Photography,  Places

    paradise street

    In the pauses, a trill. Birdsong? A sound almost forgotten. The bus, the trams, always on time, and clean, but sometimes a meandering path home in late afternoon leads to new discoveries. There’s no hurry. A detour here and there makes life more interesting. Houses on hills. A church with a drinking fountain. Here and there are pastures, a scattering of chickens, even a cow idle on the slopes. Bees buzzing away in wildflowers. Only five minutes before, the high street. Where is this place? It is as if someone has wiped everything, even the pavements, clean. A sign that reads, Paradise Street. Crazy… it might just be right. In any case, it’s the road that leads home.

  • Mind / Body


    just picked flowers. an ice cream cone. harmless mischief. light through green trees, tag through the tall grass. sunday afternoon. the quirk of your smile right this second. your first childhood and my second … don’t stop.

  • Mind / Body

    peace, lily

    As some of you know, I’ve become a little concerned of late with what I consume. The other day, though, I realized perhaps it’s just as important to think about what I expel. Hence these pictures of houseplants. The quality of air in this city is, how shall I put this, diminished. Luckily in an effort to beautify our personal environment, my fantastic wife acquired a number of nature’s most elegant air purifiers.

  • Mind / Body

    bosporus tree tops

    Ever notice that tree tops resemble diagrams of the capillaries in our lungs? Lately I’ve spent a lot of time considering tree tops against a naked autumn sky. Perhaps it’s the fact that they really are the lungs of a great smoky city like Istanbul. They’re working their trunks off to provide us with oxygen, shade and a whole bunch of beauty in an increasingly concrete and asphalt landscape, despite the fact we treat them no better than obstacles to a new underpass, overpass or some other ugly piece of infrastructure meant to carry more polluting, carbon-emitting exercises in vanity and wasteful personal expenditure — sorry got into a little rant there … so let me put it another way: ever conceived of an urban paradise that didn’t involve more trees? More green space? Didn’t think so. This post is dedicated to Nicolas Delsol who has been enduring the conditions in…

  • Mind / Body,  Places

    mercury in retrograde

    This week the Marmaray Project opened. While I was away, I missed a chance to do a BBC radio interview and publish a photograph in the Globe and Mail. Must admit there’s a side of me which is inclined to curse. Another part of me, instead, looks back at the good people, good food and lengthy dose of extended summer I found in the Aegean region. Mercury is in retrograde.

  • Mind / Body

    what day is it today?

    Friday evenings: fresh air, ice cream, playing at the park, pasta, pizza, and plenty more. Monday mornings: traffic, telephone calls, deadlines? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider when the week actually begins and ends.

  • Mind / Body,  Places

    pony time

    Hidden in between the confusion and chaos of Maslak traffic and the monstrosity known as Istiniye Park is a small strip of heaven and quiet designated for horse and pony lovers. I am always surprised and pleased with how striking and magnificent horses can be when viewed up close. It’s also difficult not to appreciate how special the bond between horse and rider is. It always seems like such a gift that these awesome and powerful creatures are so willing to calmly carry the burden of another creature around on their backs. For one three-year old, I know it was a particularly giddy new surprise. There are small ponies for the little people and proper horses for bigger and more experienced riders. Memberships and rider training is available for children and adults. I have a feeling we’ll be back soon.