Things I’ve Seen, Places I’ve Been


Van Gogh once said, ‘Teach us to look and see!’

We don’t always see when we look. I am convinced I am not the only one to look but not always see. Eyes are also for seeing things that are easily missed but bring an element of surprise. Looking with purpose awakens previously unseen fascinations, understandings, and insights of our world.

Travel creates great opportunities for seeing and discovering. We are in a strange place, maybe even out of our comfort zone; all is so new and different that spotting all the fascinating things at one glance is a challenge. Photos are very useful when I look at detail later and find some revelation that takes me back. These triggers of detail open new horizons of curiosity. Many facts and interesting insights are missed when whizzing along on a tour bus, or walking past a monument. The detail or significance of the inscriptions

only emerges later, from the photo. Perhaps the inscription requires a translation or further research. In reality, we can be overwhelmed by the overload of stimulations at first glance, and forgiven that we haven’t seen everything.

I hope you enjoy my adventures and discoveries.

This is an extract from ‘Things I’ve Seen Places I’ve Been’ available on – published February 2019.

One of Them

They say, ‘You fit in,

You are fair,

You speak the language

Why don’t you go and live there?

You are one of them.’

Yes I am one of them

Pickled herring on black bread

Black pudding, forest berries

Red shoes, red hem

Bogs and spirits

Songs with melancholy lyrics

Tales that cut me deep

And make me weep

I could live there.

I am but a visitor.

Every time the plane lands

All looks fair

I feel like one of them.

Yet I do not share their story

Of war, occupation, fear

I have not been there.

It died once,

And all was grey

An empire of blood stormed and took it

But ‘There’ has been revived

Been repainted

Peace in its walls, sky again blue,

Made new

Yet a stranger has lived in this house

While I could not

I see it in the dew.

‘There’ was the ancestors’ birthplace

Various lives lived, passed

I have just chanced in passing.

‘There’ had been a shadow of a parting

Of no return

But I am not in a hurry.

I have sat with those left

Heard of talk and laughter

Truths return in and out of favour

Will I cling to them, dwell on it, covet it?

It catches my breath

For I was not there.

My life took a parallel road

That plies a different route

I shall never want to take the other road

For it is criss-crossed with shadows.

There is no glided frame

In which to hang my picture

I am, and yet I am not, one of them.


For you and I are past our dancing days – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Shakespeare)

I do not make a dash for the nightclubs,
Or go to ballroom dances,
I never play cards
Or attend séances.

The rhythm of dance
Would swirl my skirt
Lift my hair.
The rhythm of dance
Would keep me fit
And playing bridge
My mind alert
But meet a spirit…
Then what would I do?

Music and live performances
Sublime choirs and Gothic ceilings
They soothe my soul today.
No Watusi, it’s wasabi and cheese,
No Jive dive, Campari and tonic please.
Tango, man-go,
I’ll have a Dubonnet
Waltzes and ballgowns
It’s champagne instead.
But yoga, tai-chi, lycra and bike
Arghh… is this life?

Perhaps the future is an invention
And all that dancing
Is in my dreams
And dreams are always perfect.
My man is no longer here
I don’t dance, I say.

Hello world!

Who am I?

I would like to introduce myself – I like to write and have written  2  books (see .  I am bilingual ( English and Estonian) and have written non-fiction to date plus poetry and technical ( chemistry) materials. I like travel and photography and live in Melbourne.My next projects are to write short stories and more poetry trying different techniques. I was challenged in ‘The View from here’ to find a genre – heritage, travel, history – I believe the writing has to be good and above all, engaging. I do a lot of editing and rejecting of material before I am satisfied with my work. I read a lot – especially e-books that enable access to classics and books I want to re-read.