Skiing in the French Juras mid-March

The Jura mountains lie about 15 km west of Geneva in France. Lower than the Alps to the east of Geneva, but they still have great skiing in winter if there is enough snow. The following video was from a trip mid-March 2016 to Le Crozet, less than half hour drive from Geneva. If had snowed the day before, and the pine trees were covered in snow, incredibly beautiful scenery in the sunlight. Up on top, it was quite windy and got colder as the clouds came over. We had trouble staying on our feet, until we could ski below the crest of the range. To the east we had spectacular views across Geneva to the Alps, with Mont Blanc lit by sunlight about 100 km away.


Inscribed on the Wall of the Hut by the Lake

If you want to be a mountain-dweller . . .
no need to trek to India to find one.
I have a thousand peaks
to pick right here on the lake.
Fragrant grasses and white clouds
hold me here.
What holds you there,

Chiao Jan (730–799)
The Poetry of Zen, translated & edited by Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton, page 47


This is how things are; what is to be done about them?

It is not profitable to spend time on such questions as whether there was ever a beginning to the succession of universes that have been arising and reaching their end for innumerable aeons, or why sentient beings must revolve endlessly from life to life in this sad realm of samsara. What is needed is to direct one’s attention to the present, thinking: “This is how things are; what is to be done about them?

Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin by John Blofeld, page 88

Surfing at Noosa


This Easter, the boys and I went to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia to visit relatives. Apart from heavy rain storms the first couple of days it was hot and sunny just like mid-summer. We went to the beach every day and the boys had some surfing lessons (boards). I also did a jet ski trip with each of them out to the open ocean to jump waves at speed.

First ski trip of 2015

After a unseasonally warm November and December, it got colder in January and the Juras finally got a good snowfall. We even got a light dusting of snow at our house in Geneva.  So the next day, the boys and I threw our skis in the car and headed up to Crozet, less than 30 minute drive.

On the chairlift heading up to the top

On the chairlift heading up to the top

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I think cashews have been scientifically proven to be the most addictive substance on earth. I tried to find the studies that must have been published on this hidden epidemic, but instead I found this:

cashews are in the same plant family as poison oak (the sumac family) — that’s why you never see them in shells, handling them would be a bad thing for anyone sensitive to sumacs. You may also have heard of “mango mouth,” a rash that results from contact with mango skin — another member of the sumac family.
I’ve not heard of the sumac connection causing anyone problems from consuming cashews or mangos, but I get poison oak very easily and have been the victim of mango mouth myself, so I stay away from cashews for the most part on general principals.

I was bemused to read this. I have a cashew addiction and my mum had a mango addiction…..until the day she ate a whole box of mangos in one sitting. She developed an allergic reaction to mangos that was so strong she would swell up if she just walked into a room containing a mango.

I checked in Wikipedia and indeed the cashew, mango, poison ivy and pistachios are all members of the same plant family and mango and poison ivy share a common chemical irritant.