Tuesday, July 31, 2012

MLG Travel Update: Day 73 – Day 77

Vichy, France
(click image to enlarge)
Photos/Text © 2012 Sean M. Madden. All Rights Reserved.

Editor's Note: The past several days I've been using Twishort to publish brief accounts of Mufidah's and my day-to-day goings-on while traveling. Twishort's great for this sort of thing as you can post simultaneously to it and Twitter without being limited to 140 characters. And while I think I'll continue to use Twishort to publish such updates, I'd also like to aggregate the content of these into (roughly) daily Mindful Living Guide blog posts. For this first installment, I decided to recapture my Twishort posts from last Friday (Day 73) through to today, Tuesday (Day 77).
Those who subscribe to MLG blog posts will receive the previous day's update(s) via email the following morning. As always, I encourage you to leave your thoughts, questions, etc. in the comments below.

DAY 73 (Fri 27 Jul '12): 'Tis HOT in Vichy today. Up early, ambled along the Allier River into town for bread, napped on our double sleeping bag spread out in a shaded patch of grass, dribbled water onto ourselves as a means to cool off enough to sleep, went for an afternoon swim, showered, and in a flash of inspiration (thinking we had nothing to snack on) whipped up some wholemeal pancakes topped with fresh lemon, unrefined sugar and a bit of natural yoghurt. Now replete!

Meanwhile, a very cute three-to-four-month-old cat — mostly black, with white tips — is hopping hither and thither on the tent pitch right next door to ours.

DAY 73 (cont'd): It's finally cooling down here in Vichy, France. The campsite owner-manager came by on her electric bicycle earlier today to let all the visitors know that high winds are expected tonight, and to be careful.

So, we've just finished battening down the hatches, so to speak, with all the tent stakes and guy lines retightened, various odds and ends secured either in our tent or car, and have everything clean and organized. Now, and I are sitting in our folding armchairs, tent-side, with our respective laptops, enjoying this Friday evening.

We're also relieved to not be in England with the Olympics getting underway. It was in fact our intention (this past spring) to get out of the UK before they began which then got upgraded, mid-April, to our deciding to give up our flat and go a-traveling with no set return date. May no further false-flag operations (e.g., 9/11, 7/7) be perpetrated by those who purport to serve/protect us, and all go smoothly and peacefully.

Regardless, 'tis good to be on the road doing what we love to do — living simply, getting to know new places, meeting warmhearted folk, writing, taking photos, etc.

DAY 74 (Sat 28 Jul '12): THUNDERSTORMS came and went, but without the forecast high winds. So all is well at our Vichy campsite. We got up this morning and had the following for breakfast — gorgeous omelettes with Gouda (cooked in our Cobb frying pan with an electric hotplate just outside the tent), yesterday's baguette bourbonnaise, sliced, fresh-squeezed OJ, and homemade chai (fresh ginger, clove, cinnamon bark, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, honey).

It's lusciously cool here this morning, particularly after the past couple days' sun and heat.

Not sure what the day has in store. Most likely some more writing. I dashed off fifteen pages in my notebook yesterday morning. It's so good to put pen to paper, to move beyond computers.

Gare de Vichy, France
(click image to enlarge)

DAY 74 (cont'd): After an afternoon siesta, and I shared a snack (plums and a pot, each, of natural yoghurt, with a handful of prunes and almonds), tent-side, before driving into Vichy for an evening spent walking near the lake (part of the Allier River).

We then drove to the other side of town, and went for another walk before having dinner at a sidewalk café/restaurant across from the Gare de Vichy which we'd spotted on Thursday.

A lovely, cool and sometimes just slightly drizzly Saturday evening.

After dinner, we went for yet another walk around the center of Vichy, a town we're really beginning to learn our way around (having arrived here exactly five weeks ago), finally managing to connect up various areas which once seemed quite distant from one another.

We've, now, pretty much driven and walked the major roads from one end to the other, and so are able to intuit our way around quite well. Not something we could have done had we just sped through this place in a couple, or few, days. So, chalk this up to our slow-travel approach.

Back home, we're now writing from within our tent's "chambre", the rain having begun the moment we got all zipped up, and it's been falling steadily since. I love being in the tent with the rain pitter-pattering all around us. And, after five-plus weeks of camping, not a single drop of rain has leaked through the groundsheet or anywhere else. So, so far, so good.

Goodnight to all ...

DAY 75 (Sun 29 Jul '12): A simple petit déjeuner — yoghurt, nectarine, viennoise and a cuppa joe. Many of the campsite folk have packed up and left this morning. The swirl of white and slate grey clouds on a backdrop of blue are opening to reveal the morning's sun. Checked the weather. It's meant to be sunny throughout the day, and only reach about 75 degrees.

So, we've decided its a perfect day to go off somewhere on a daytrip. Just packing up our things, and we should be off soon ...

DAY 76 (Mon 30 Jul '12): A lusciously sunny yet cool morning in the Auvergne region of France. There are lots of tasks to do today, errands to run — yes, even while living your dream, slow-traveling in Europe. The challenge is to not let those have-to-be-done tasks stand in the way of first things. For me, now, the first things include living this life, wide awake and on purpose, as well as the writing of my ebook such that it speaks simultaneously to the art of writing from the heart, the writing life of close observation within and without, and life itself.

Meanwhile, I still need to earn a living while living out of our '98 Fiat Punto and the green Vango tent which it carries. too.

With regard to earning my side of our shared daily bread, there are a few things which you can tie into, if you'd like to connect, be of tremendous help to us, and to help yourself. They are ...

1) Yesterday's announced SPECIAL OFFER to have your writing read, edited and carefully commented on as a means to make your writing shine. Click here.

2) My ongoing offer to PRE-PURCHASE AT A DISCOUNT my aforementioned Creative Writing ebook, while knowing you're investing in its development. You're also welcome to share with me your ideas as to what would make this ebook an essential part of your life. Click here. And, finally ...

3) Via the above link you can also make a DONATION towards Mufidah's and my likewise aforementioned slow-travels around Europe. We've both given much of ourselves over the years, in working with our students, our clients, and in the communities within which we've lived or founded online. So if you're in a position to donate towards our simply lived life on the road, we'd greatly appreciate your contribution.
Now with regard to Mufidah's work, in addition to helping me with mine, she's promoting her SPECIAL SUMMER RATES for one-to-one Mac/Apple tuition via Skype. To learn more, you can visit Mac Made Easy here.

Thank you for your consideration, and for keeping an eye on my tweets, whether they emanate from Twishort, Hootsuite or Twitter itself.

DAY 77 (Tue 31 Jul '12): Up relatively early, a lovely brekkie in the sunshine, a few to-dos, and then a body and soul-soothing swim in the pool. 's and my stamina, swimming-wise, is much improved since we landed at our campsite here, just outside of Vichy, France. We've been swimming laps nearly every day, as well as walking most days. Feels good to be back in the water.

Last summer I did my best to swim regularly in the sea at Seaford and Eastbourne, but many days we'd drive out to the coast and it would be too windy, too rough, too cold. So good to have daily access to a clean swimming pool this summer.

This evening, I'll be leading a creative writing workshop here in the campsite. Don't know how many folk may come, but hoping we'll have a good-sized group of folk.

By the way, my SPECIAL OFFER still stands, as do Mufidah's deeply discounted SUMMER RATES. So do let us know if there's anything we can help you with.

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