When I found out that the theme for this week’s Photo Challenge is ‘spare’, I immediately thought of spare time. Perhaps this is because I’ve been sick and have had loads of spare time but no energy to make good use of it.

I have a long list of things that I like to do in my spare time.

For a start, I like walking, and as all my walking friends will tell you, rolling their eyes at how I delay them, I also like to stop and take lots of photos along the way. But no-one was around to be bothered when I snapped this view between the wires while walking on a hill top trail in California a couple of years ago.


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Time for a road trip (with music)

In late January, a friend (the BFF) and I set off on a long awaited road trip. We started separately, catching up with family and friends in different parts of New South Wales, then met up for a big loop through Victoria that took in the Great Ocean Road, magical forests, historic goldfields and long straight roads.
2016-02-02 11.40.52-vic-road

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Back from the USA

Young man holding snowballs

AM had never seen snow like this before.

Well, we are back in the land of Oz, reality, home, summer, call it what you will — our big holiday is over, although the jetlag lingers.

I can’t remember the last holiday AM & I had together. It would have been one of our regular beachside visits to my parents in their Mid-North Coast retirement village sometime before they died in 2011. We haven’t been overseas since 2008, when we embarked on a marathon journey to visit AM’s family in Ghana (via the US and Germany). If you’re interested in reading about that adventure, the story starts here

This time, we didn’t make it as far as Ghana. The aim was to visit my niece and her family in Orange County, California, as well as friends in San Francisco and Boston, and to generally have a good time after two years of hard slog for AM, who finished high school forever last November. Continue reading

Monday Music: Ghana old school

Obaapaa’s sister and her husband have been visiting us from the UK. Well, when I say ‘us’, I mean DadaK & family, but AM and I have got to see them a few times. To celebrate, I’m playing music that was popular when they were a whole lot younger than they are now. Like this (which I think is the first Ghanaian music I ever heard, back in 1989).

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Buckets, toilets, mountains

Collecting water in Kumasi.

Collecting water in Kumasi.

Listening to the complex layered JuJu music of Nigerian music supremo King Sunny Ade as I was driving to the Blue Mountains recently, I wondered if I would ever get a chance to see him perform live. 

Then I thought about the fact that I wish this almost every time I listen to his music, and realised that the desire belongs on a bucket list. As does my desire to learn how to play guitar the way he does – and/or in the style of Ali Farka Toure and other West African master guitarists. Continue reading

Drinking in Ghana

As I’m halfway through my series on Ghana street food, I thought it was time I stopped for a drink. Or several. After all, it is very hot in Ghana.

I’ll start with a cup of Milo, which you can buy with your street food breakfast of bread and omelette any day of the week. It’s also timely to celebrate Milo because of course it is made from cocoa – one of Ghana’s major exports – and we’ve only just passed Fair Trade Fortnight in mid-May. It’s one of several chocolate milky drinks that Ghanaians enjoy, but it seems to be the favourite. Continue reading

Ghana street food #1: breakfast

Cooking konkonte

Auntie Akosia (left) in charge of cooking konkonte in the morning. It’s hard work. One of her nieces is stirring and the guy with his mouth full is one of AM’s uncles – Akonta

Recently a friend put out a call on Facebook to his travelling friends to tell him about their street food experiences. He’s long had a love for street food and I’m anticipating he will blend his findings about it into a post or several on his most appetising and excellent food blog: Buth Kuddeh.

Sadly I am not travelling, but his request aroused all my nostalgia for Ghana’s street food – so here’s the first instalment of my street food adventures. Continue reading