Stargazing in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree with Stars

Joshua Tree National Park is famous not only for its eponymous yucca trees and climbing opportunities but also for having some of the darkest skies in Southern California. Just two hours’ drive from the sprawl of Los Angeles, this has made the park a popular getaway for amateur stargazers and astrophotographers as well as those simply […]

Yosemite Day Trip from LA

Yosemite Valley Sunset

I’ve always wanted to see Yosemite, but after watching America’s Best Idea, the Ken Burns documentary series on the creation of the National Park Service, I became even more determined to find an excuse to visit. Knowing that a recent trip to Los Angeles for work was the closest I was likely to get for a good while, I […]

A Nomad’s Gear Bag

Any frequent traveller, whether for business or leisure, will have one of these: a collection of electronic gadgets they carry that allows them to be ready for most any situation they encounter on the road. Here’s a detailed description of mine: Ram Suction Mount for iPhone Since I use my phone as my satnav when […]

Mushroom, Carrot, and Tofu Rice

Mushroom, Carrot, and Tofu Rice

This quick and easy rice dish combines three types of mushroom with carrot, tofu, and the delicate flavours of sake, mirin, and dashi. The recipe below serves four. Ingredients 2 cups washed rice 50g bunashimeji mushrooms, cut into 2cm pieces 50g enoki mushrooms, cut into 2cm pieces 50g maitake mushrooms, cut into small cubes 100g carrots, cut into quarters 100g soft tofu, cubed 1.5tbsp organic […]

Chasing a Recluse: Kamo no Chōmei

12th century Japanese author Kamo no Chōmei (鴨長明) is most famous for the Hōjōki (方丈記), a classic work in which he describes his retreat from the world and subsequent experience living in a hōjō – a ten foot square hut – in the wilderness of Hino (日野山), a mountain outside of Kyoto. Chōmei’s Hōjōki is thus often compared with Thoreau’s Walden. After […]