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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

In Appreciation of Oscar Niemeyer

When I heard yesterday that the architect Oscar Niemeyer  had died at the age of 104 and I couldn't  help thinking of our modernist pilgrimage to Brasilia, the city he planned from scratch. We've visited lots of places but there's something about Brasilia that stays with you. The playful lines, the vision, the hope, the sense that you're caught in time.

The interior of the cathedral was captivating as you can see below.
Working till the end (even composing samba according to Terri Gross this afternoon) Niemeyer was profiled in the New York Times in 2005, a piece I'm looking forward to rereading . While Brasilia is extraordinary to visit (with one gorgeous building after another) the city is a strange place to navigate, particularly as we tried to do on foot and it was notoriously critiqued for its urban planning failures.
However, despite the critics Niemeyer aesthetic was both extraordinary and distinctive and in appreciation of his genius here are some more photos of Brasilia.

Blind justice outside a court building.
An exterior view of the cathedral.