About Ashby's World

Together with partner Grace currently one year into an indefinite trial to 'shake things up a bit' and travel with a purpose. Thus 4-months in India where we spent one month on a community for people affected with lepprosy followed a month later by a fortnight at a hotel in a desert fort helping the owner with IT issues. Then across the Pacific dodging cyclones, swimming with sharks and giant manta rays, sailing in stormy lagoons and watching huge waves being surfed by the best in the world. Enjoyed desert, giant Seqouias and American hospitality in California and the East coast before heading back to the UK to refuel and visit family and friends. Now in South America three months into Phase II with a week of Spanish school under our belts and a week on a Hawksbill Turtle conservation project.

London Town

Dressed in a Cape Cod baseball cap, sunglasses, rugby shirt, shorts and wearing lightweight walking boots I am distinctly aware that I look to all the world like an American tourist – except for that fact that my socks are discreetly pulled down rather than tugged to mid-calf as is the US style. And to be honest I couldn’t care less. Continue reading

Revolution in the Head

I stood at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury. An old man walked past wearing technicolor surf shorts, a Hendrix T-shirt, flip-flops, large yellow-rimmed sunglasses and a San Francisco baseball cap. It was a vision both appalling and hilarious, a walking spectre, as though a child had been artificially aged. But it made me smile to think that fifty years after The Summer of Love took over this part of the city in 1967 some of that spirit still endures. Continue reading

The First 9/11

I recommend a visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights to anyone who has an hour or more to spare in Santiago, Chile and an interest in getting their historical perspectives and worldview correctly aligned. Hugely pictorial in design it is highly evocative of the horrific events that stained this country to the core over forty years ago. Continue reading

In the Air

If one had to judge the culture and sophistication of a city by the aroma level of stale urine in the air then Valparaiso in Chile would not rate very highly. It would also fall down on the amounts of rubbish and dog shit littering the cobbled streets. However, that would be to do Valparaiso a disservice. Continue reading

Airport Rant

I’m lying on the industrial grade carpet and looking out the thick plate glass windows of Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood Airport. Outside it is 75F but here on the inside I am cold and getting colder. A delay in Lima yesterday and we missed our morning connection to San Francisco. The airplane seat was a relic from the 70s and we barely slept. I am in a mood to rant. Continue reading

A Bird in the Hand

I stood at the back of the packed church flanked on one side by a large islander in a multicoloured Tahitian style shirt and on the other by a slighter man in an AC/DC T-shirt and green bandana. As a building it was plain on the interior but made memorable by some truly handsome carving in a light, orange hued wood. The figures were of a familiar religious nature but rendered unusual by the stylised forms and unorthodox paraphernalia. Continue reading