Journey on the Mandovi Express – A Travel Log

Sleeper number six” the mustachioed train conductor tells me, “…but run!” he commands. Sprinting across the platform an old man calls “fast!”, and another elderly woman yells from the carriage “get on!” just as the Mandovi Express releases her breaks and starts rolling forward through the sprawling expanse of Mumbai, through the hills of Maharashtra state and the flats of Goa, through eighteen provincial stations and on into the her last stop at Margao, nearly six hundred kilometres south of the megacity of Bombai. Continue reading “Journey on the Mandovi Express – A Travel Log”

The Resurrection of the Cob: The Millo Corvo (The Black Corn)

Brilliant black, shiny like a crows feathers, a black deep as azabache, the Millo Corvo lies locked away in a stone grain store, an horreo, drying through the wet Atlantic winter. This black corn is an ancient strain of maize, brought to Galicia countless centuries ago from the New World, and lost not so long ago to the Old World,  disappearing against the march of sterilised and genetically modified strains of corn. Continue reading “The Resurrection of the Cob: The Millo Corvo (The Black Corn)”

Galicia against the Eucalypt: Remedying an Australian Curse

In Galicia, October 2017, thousands of hectares of forest went up in blaze. Fires engulfed the hills of the provinces, even encroaching upon the industrial city of Vigo, in the region’s south-west.  The scenes were cataclysmic; a smoke-covered city, rings of fire crawling toward the suburbs visible from afar, the smell of ash ingrained into clothes for a week after the event. Continue reading “Galicia against the Eucalypt: Remedying an Australian Curse”

Sea Fever: The Traditional Sailing of ‘Os Galos’

I went to sail with Víctor, and I fell totally in love with it – I said to myself, “this is marvellous!” – and it was a day in which there was a very soft breeze, and the boat it moved, but slowly, it was all super peaceful, and how marvellous, no? The silence, going about through the water, without the motor grinding eeeeerrgh, it seemed to me so good…” – that is how Lidia describes her love-at-first-sail experience with the traditional boats of Bueu, a marinero town on the north-facing peninsula of Morrazo, Galicia. Continue reading “Sea Fever: The Traditional Sailing of ‘Os Galos’”

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