Vanlife surfari France/Spain/Portugal 2016

Tomorrow the kids and I are setting off on a vanlife, surfing, skating, musical road trip adventure through Spain and Portugal.

It is about experiencing, learning, discovering, connecting, sharing, growing - taking risks and going outside our comfort zones. It marks a transition in our family life - a gradual shift, a coming of age, learning to gradually let go and trust my children to make their own life choices. All I can give them now is experience, a view of the real world, an insight and interpretation of this time that will help shape them.

Pacha is the catalyst for the trip. Being part of the Australian team at the world junior surfing championships in Portugal motivated us to think about how we could make the most of a once in a lifetime opportunity. This led to a 5 week home stay with wonderful friends in Hossegor and gave rise to our idea of renting a camper van to explore the region to bring Pacha back home. This time we'll be bringing along our dear cousin Neroli too - making the most use of the four spaces available in the van!

It's all possible because we are immensely privileged - by living in this lucky country Australia, by the generosity of Pacha's sponsors, by family support, trust and love, by living simply enough to gather the resources we needed to be able to go.

Still, some people wonder how in the world we can afford to do this (ie. single mum with a minimal income). I think it's what we do without that makes this kind of adventure possible.  I don't buy coffee out (annual savings app. $1000 and saves throwaway cups and lids as a bonus!), rarely eat out (savings $5000), cut my own hair, don't get manicures, pedicures or massages (savings
$2000) and don't really buy anything new.

I'm not sharing this information to make people feel bad about their lifestyle choices, but somehow there is a perception out there that people who travel must be extremely rich. To me it's about personal priorities. We live simply and it gives us freedom. There are new terms emerging to name this way of life; 'frugal hedonism', 'slow Epicureanism', 'voluntary simplicity'...I started calling it Slohas (Slow Lifestyles of Happiness and Sustainability) many years ago.

And now we are about to take off! Starting in Lisbon we will collect a van from Soul Campers and drive the 9 hours to France to pick up Pacha  (who seems to be having the time of her life). In this modern techno world, it seems like she's been just down the street - being in contact everyday has been delightful!

Pacha talks about how strong the culture is in France - the appreciation for family and friends and food and celebration. She talks about how important study is for French kids and is reminded of her own freedom to make her own decisions on what she wants and needs to learn to be able to survive and help others in the future.

From France we plan to travel along the coast of Spain and Portugal, ticking off the famous surf spots as we go; Mundaka, Pantin, Peniche, Nazare, Super Tubos, Ericera, CasCais, Cadiz and Tenerife...It will be cold and the Atlantic waves will be big, maybe humungous!

We'll live out of the van - free camping and getting local market supplies to do some of our owncooking. We'll stop by skate parks and Eco-villages, busk in the streets, wander down cobblestones and climb mountain paths meeting friends and family along the way. And we'll be sharing the story through social media and video logs, hoping to encourage others to open their minds to new experiences, cultures and ways of life.

The contradictions are sometimes paralysing - we are, after all, burning a lot of jet fuel to get there and ticking off a 'carbon offset ' box just doesn't cut it. We can only hope the experience will deepen our commitment in this lifelong quest to protect life.

We will travel through landscapes ravaged by climate change droughts and fires, observe the reality of people struggling to survive the beginning of the collapse of the globalised economy, see the impact of those seeking refuge from resource wars - and balance this with the incredible beauty of landscapes, culture, food and resilient communities.

We know we are witnessing the collapse of the earth's life support systems, of any semblance of democracy, of the false perception of a benevolent global economy - and yet we are compelled, with eyes wide open, to keep discovering, experiencing and connecting on this quest for understanding, creativity and resilience.
With thanks to Gerry Nichols for the great shot at the Dust temple! 


Going with the flow...

 Abandoning to the flow...

How do I even begin share these thoughts after so much time has passed?

There is no real explanation - time just slips by and I allow myself to flow along in the current that is the easiest. No struggling against the tide, no effort in directing the course...the one that is more personal - not so public - where I have no real 'wisdom' to impart, no strong willed inspiration to be, or do, or struggle...but being this 'present' means I have neglected many people I love - especially in Japan and for this I apologise! Perhaps I finally found the definition of being truly 'Sloth'.

It was a wonderful journey to Japan in July, with warm and deep reconnections and the chance to freely explore new places with very little planning. I felt so privileged to have the gift of time to show Pacha and Yani some beautiful hidden places around Japan, and sad for the reality that most people in Japan have never had or taken this opportunity to explore. Renting a van and living freely made us realise how magical this country is, not just for the beautiful secret places around just about every corner, but how easy it is to stop just about anywhere and find safety and supplies.

The themes of our visit revolved around the great gift of play - truly, freely playing - which means falling over sometimes and making mistakes and not being so concerned about what other people will think - rather following what's true to your heart...Our play this time was mostly in the ocean - with surfing at the core. We hope it will encourage others to step outside their comfort zones and find simple joys and freedom.
Abandoning to the flow...

How do I even begin share these thoughts after so much time has passed?

There is no real explanation - time just slips by and I allow myself to flow along in the current that is the easiest. No struggling against the tide, no effort in directing the course...the one that is more personal - not so public - where I have no real 'wisdom' to impart, no strong willed inspiration to be, or do, or struggle...but being this 'present' means I have neglected many people I love - especially in Japan and for this I apologise! Perhaps I finally found the definition of being truly 'Sloth'.

It was a wonderful journey to Japan in July, with warm and deep reconnections and the chance to freely explore new places with very little planning. I felt so privileged to have the gift of time to show Pacha and Yani some beautiful hidden places around Japan, and sad for the reality that most people in Japan have never had or taken this opportunity to explore. Renting a van and living freely made us realise how magical this country is, not just for the beautiful secret places around just about every corner, but how easy it is to stop just about anywhere and find safety and supplies.

The themes of our visit revolved around the great gift of play - truly, freely playing - which means falling over sometimes and making mistakes and not being so concerned about what other people will think - rather following what's true to your heart...Our play this time was mostly in the ocean - with surfing at the core. We hope it will encourage others to step outside their comfort zones and find simple joys and freedom.

Since our visit to Japan, Pacha has been the man focus of our lives, travelling to Portugal for the World Junior Surfing championships. She is still in Europe, living with friends and soon Yani, my niece Neroli and I will be joining her to take another surfing roadtrip, this time through Spain and Portugal through November.

We will try to keep the story of this journey available through video diaries.
If you haven't already taken a look, here are the videos of our visit to Japan, created by Pacha!

Week 1: http://youtu.be/0HYPLdL0LXk
Week 2: http://youtu.be/SFHgUKZUC80
Week 3: http://youtu.be/GpGQV8TXM98
Week 4: http://youtu.be/EKkCfbMWDbw
Week 5:http://youtu.be/3qchLcdUIJk
Week 6: http://youtu.be/98_nIijgrNo
Final week: http://youtu.be/LCbDa-lJ5FU


RIP Don Fernando Luque…

Today we heard the sad, sad news that Pacha and Yani’s grandfather, Fernando Luque, has passed away in Ecuador. 

Just weeks before, he had been forced to escape from and then witness the destruction of his home - the home he had built and lived in for decades -  as the earth quake shook the seaside eco-city of Bahia De Caraquez to the core. 
It must have broken his heart...

And Fernando was a person with a big, big heart. He always opened his doors and arms to us whenever we came to visit - telling us stories of an amazing life spent helping others. As the head veterinarian of the state of Manabi in his younger years, he managed projects to help communities learn and improve the way they raised livestock. We were so grateful that we were able to visit him and the family in Bahia three years ago, walking slowly and sedately alongside him on the seaside promenade - his daily ritual.

He was a person held in extremely high regard and respect by the whole family and the entire community, but to Pacha and Yani and his many, many other grandchildren he was as soft and sweet as a marshmallow. 

So we shed tears here, far away in Australia; tears for Fernando and tears for Bahia, hit by a series of knocks over the past two decades - both natural and human made - but showing so much promise to chart a different, more sustainable course for the future. 

I’ve heard that there has been very little support coming in to Bahia and a huge need for basics like tents and tarps to provide shelter for the community - most of whom are now homeless. 

We hope we can find a way to support good projects on the ground helping to rebuild in the most ecological and resilient way possible - like the bamboo building workshops being set up by Nicola from Rio Muchacho. 

I have faith in the spirit of the people of Ecuador, in their resilience, in their cohesion as a community and in their optimism and energy…I imagine Fernando continue to watch on with a glint in his eye; so proud of his children and grandchildren following in his footsteps to chose  a life path to help others. 


5/10:Slow Surfari - just Pacha, Yani and Anja!

And then there were three…

We have some news. 

Our surfari fellow van lifer, Jonny, has had to cancel his trip - so it will just be Pacha, Yani and I, our surfboards and musical instruments on an adventure of a lifetime along the southern coastline of Japan from the 6th until the 28th of June.

This makes our lives more simple, and we are happy about having a little extra space in the van! We have fixed events in Kyushu (Itoshima and Miyazaki) from the 17th until the 27th June, but our plans are pretty loose and free from the 7th until the 17th June. 

We dream of exploring the coastline of Izu, Wakayama and Shikoku (surfing, exploring hot springs and music busking)- and if you are in these areas and would like to meet up (or organise a gathering), please let us know!

Our Sloth family are helping organise some events in the Tokyo area before and after the road trip, so please contact them to find our about events and come along - we would love to see you! 

We look so much forward to meeting our friends again, to sharing and being reignited by the spirit of Japan (and, Yani says: eating natto!) 

Looking forward to seeing our Sloth family again!
Be the Change - all ways...



母なる地球がゆれている …

エクアドルと日本に対する思いで一杯ですが、今の心境を表現する言葉を少々 ...


陰鬱な啓示のような気持ちになります。問題ばかり起こすやっかいな人間たちをゆり落とそうとしている地球 … あるいは、この地球温暖化という熱で身震いしている地球、その熱は巨大権力が人間中心経済のグローバリゼーションで引き起こしたもの。
最初から生活が厳しい地域を襲ったエクアドルの地震は非常に不公平に思えます。被害のあった地域は隔絶されていて、援助の手を差し伸べるのが困難です。私たちは、彼らの地域に向かうため、その海岸線を何度となく辿り、森林の美しさに、海岸沿いの集落に、ガタガタで野生あふれる小径に感銘を受けたものでしたが ...

パチャとヤニの家族や親戚、私たちの友人はみな無事のようで、悲しくも命を落とした600人を超える人々には含まれていません。私たちの友人の多くは、自分たちの周りのコミュニティーへ何年にも渡り多くのものを与えてきた人たちですが、すでに持続可能な暮らしの再建を始めています。あたかもゼロからの再出発を強いられているかのようであるものの ...


そして日本、列島の南の九州では、とてもたくさんの友人たちが、彼ら自身と子供たちのために、新しい暮らしを創り出そうとしています。現在進行中の福島のカオスから遠く離れた地で、向き合っているのは、先行きの見えない未来、そして、これは確信していますが、活断層の上の原子炉を廃炉にするという新たな決定 …

ノアの海岸地域サーフィン村は、最も被害が甚大だった場所のひとつ .

カノアのメインストリートは、今では瓦礫に ...(写真は3年前に撮影したもの)


ニコラとダリオの資金集め活動(リンクはこちら)があるのは知っていて、他にもそれはそれはたくさんの活動があり(赤十字、ユニセフ 、国境なき医師団 … )、コミュニティーを助け出そうとしています。私がやっているのは、ベストな支援方法をもっと見つけ出すこと。具体的に、最も甚大な打撃を受けたコミュニティー(カノアの海岸地域のサーフィン村のような場所)が直接的な支援を得るよう助ける方法で、これらのプロジェクトの資金集めの支援ができるようになりたい。特に、日本にいる間にやりたいです。







4/26:Ecuador and Japan - Earthquakes

Mother Earth is shaking…

Our thoughts are full of Ecuador and Japan, but there are few words that can express our feelings right now...

We imagine the panic, the fear and the utter desolation as people walk through the rubble of the streets of their home after the massive earthquakes that rocked these countries recently. 

It brings with it an eery feeling of apocalypse -  the planet trying to shake off these pesky humans who are causing so much trouble…or shuddering in this global warming fever brought upon by our juggernaut of human-centred economic globalisation…

It seems deeply unfair that the earthquake in Ecuador devastated communities that already have a hard life. The areas affected are remote and hard to reach in order to bring help. We travelled along this coast more than once, fascinated by the beauty of the forest, the coastal communities and the rough and wild paths needed to get to them...

It seems that Pacha and Yani’s family and relatives are all ok, and that our friends are not among the over 600 people who have tragically lost their lives. But many of our friends, who have given so much to the community around them over so many years, slowly building sustainable lifestyles, seem like they have to start from the beginning again…

Our friends Nicola and Dario and their children are apparently camped in their tents outside their damaged buildings, virtually cut off. I know they will be working with other community leaders to help others as soon as they can.

And in Japan, in the southern island of Kyushu, where so many of our friends are trying to create a new life for themselves and their children - far away from the ongoing chaos of Fukushima - are facing uncertainty for the future and (I am sure) a new determination to close down the nuclear reactors on the fault line’s path...

The coastal surf town of Canoa was one of the hardest hit...

The main street of Canoa is now rubble...(this photo was taken 3 years ago)
So, what can we do? 

I know there is a fundraising campaign for Nicola and Dario (link here:   https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/nicandfamily )
and there are many, many other campaigns (Red Cross, Unicef http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/ecuador.html Medicin San Frontiers...) trying to get help out to communities. I am trying to find out more about how best we can help specifically - especially in getting support directly to the communities that were hardest hit (places like the coast surfing village of Canoa) and we hope to be able to help raise funds for these projects - especially while we are in Japan. 

We pray that in rebuilding what has been lost, just as in the response after the devastating mudslides and previous earthquake in Bahia, there is an opportunity for an ecological revival that nurtures culture and biological diversity and brings the best of knowledge and ideas from communities around the world. 
My greatest hope lies in the resilience of the people - they may be poor in money, but so rich in community and practical knowledge for survival. 

We are happy to hear that Jun and his family survived, but their township is flattened...

It is a relief to hear that Marcelo and all the familia Luque seem to be safe...









旅の仲間は私たち家族の他にもう一人、音楽家でサーファーでもあるジョニー・ドストウが。彼の音楽や国際的な広がりをみせる「ヴァンライフ・ムーブメント」についてみなさんとシェアできるのも楽しみです! (http://vanlife.com.au).ジョニーの音楽はこちらで聞けます! Jonny Dustow music 





5/27(金) 日本到着
5/28(土)夜 カフェスロー15周年イベントに参加!(国分寺)
5/29(日)午後 自然療法イベントに辻さんと参加(品川)

6/1(水)午後 川崎、夜 関内にてトーク&ライブ
6/2(木)昼間 横浜方面でトーク&ライブ予定

6/3(金) スローサファリツアースタート!

6/22(水)~26日(日) 宮崎滞在
6/27(月)~ 旅しながら東京へ

7/1(金)~ 関東滞在予定
7/13(水) 成田より出国


Eメール light.anja@gmail.com 
フェイスブック https://www.facebook.com/anja.light?fref=ts




4/11:Slow Surfari in Japan in June!

Dear Friends, 

Calling all Sloths!

Pacha, Yani and I are coming back to Japan this June/July and this time,  maybe,  a little more slowly, simply and spontaneously!  It was Yani this time who begged me to take him back to Japan, he misses everything - people, culture, food, natty, onsens - everything. Pacha is also so excited to come back - this time to take more time to just ‘be’ and (of course) surf! 

For me, there is a sense of guilt about using to much jet fuel again in order to promote sustainable lifestyles and ways of thinking - I apologise for my inconsistency/contradction...it is an ongoing (learning) process...

Anyway, we bought really discounted air tickets and have hired a ‘bongo’ pop top van (to sleep and move in) and bring our instruments and surfboards along on our journey from Tokyo to Miyazaki and back, starting on the 3rd June until the 28th June.  

This time an extra musician (and surfer) Jonny Dostow will travel along with us and is willing to share his music and story about starting the global ‘van life’ movement (http://vanlife.com.au). He's also a great musician and you can find his music here: Jonny Dustow music This movement is about living simply and freely in small, mobile spaces - creating a global community based on love and (nature) connection. 

Our intention is to surf, sing and reconnect with Japan, sharing the message of slow, small, simple life - connecting and celebrating with all beings and positive movements along the way.
We would love to meet you if you are near our path! 

We could do a concert or talk on deep ecology/slow life, or just hang out with you and have fun in the ocean/forest/mountain, jamming with our guitars and ukuleles…

Our basic plans are: 

Arrive in Japan 27 May

28 May celebration of Cafe Slow 15 year anniversary
29 - 2nd June Tokyo/Yokohama area organised by the Sloth Club

3 June - Slow Surfari to the south begins!
Izu area
Shizuoka/Wakyama area
Kyoto (?)
Tottori area
Shikoku (wild surf)
Kyushu (Itoshima, Fukuoka, Kumamoto)

Jun 22 Miyazaki 
June 27 return to Tokyo

Jul 1 - 13 Sloth Club events 

As you can see - at this stage our plans are very, very flexible! 

Please let me know directly (by email: light.anja@gmail.com or on Facebook) if you would like to organise any event, or know a good place to park for a night or two (preferably close to a good surf break!).

We are so very excited to be coming back, with more time to connect deeply…

Anja , Pacha and Yani 













3/10:Every Day. Three Hours. Under the Sky!

Every Day. Three Hours. Under the Sky!

It has been wonderful to notice more and more articles on the virtues of (especially) children learning and growing in nature. This great article promotes a challenge to spend at least 3 hours per day outside: 

‘according to Ian Morgan, a researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, “children need to spend around three hours per day under light levels of at least 10,000 lux to be protected against myopia.”'

This morning, like almost every morning, we woke at dawn and went to the beach. 

For at least 2 hours before they go to school, Pacha and Yani are immersed in the ocean, bathed in the dawn light, bowing to the pulsing energy of the waves. I walk or run along the beach. sit and watch them in their salty dance and breathe in the hope and potential of a brand new day. 

They enter the classroom every day with wet hair and full concentration. Their body and soul replete - their brains are ready to take in information. 

We are so very lucky to live where we live - but anywhere and everywhere there are ways to make sure time outside takes a priority. walking, running, climbing, gardening, cycling…the possibilities are endless.

Even better, imagine the education system incorporating more time outside to learn? Hopefully, as more teachers see the benefits in the mental, physical and academic health of the kids who spend more time in nature, things will begin to change...



そしてSave the WAves代表のニック










Dedication plaque with surf legend and friend Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew


3/8:The Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Declaration Ceremony!

Yani, Pacha, Andrew McKinnon (Gold Coast WSR and Nik Strong-Cvetich (Save the Waves)

It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. 

Especially for young people. 

Especially when there seems to be a cultural taboo in ‘caring’ enough about things enough to have an opinion and do something about it. 

Today was the dedication ceremony for the Gold Cast World Surfing Reserve. Sitting there in the rain watching the ‘big wigs’ speak, I felt so proud of Pacha and Yani and the other kids who made an effort to protect the place they love. 
I remember meeting Andy Mac in the carpark at Currumbin Alley when hope was almost lost in getting the reserve off the ground. There was resistance from the Mayor and the local state members of Parliament and it seemed that it was almost time to give up. 

That’s when Pacha and Kiani’s idea of a paddle brought youthful enthusiasm and a 'can do' spirit back into the equation. 
Only a handful of kids ended up making the effort to paddle from Snapper to Currumbin to raise awareness of the issue, which garnered precious positive media coverage for the issue (as well as becoming a big personal achievement for everyone involved). And, it seemed, the tide for the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve started to turn.  And now the 16 kilometres of beaches and surf breaks from the new border to Burleigh Heads are protected for all time in a World Surfing Reserve. read the story about the paddle here: http://goldcoastworldsurfingreserve.com/paddle.html)

Today, the very politicians who had tried to derail it were honoured and praised for their efforts! The wider community effort seemed to fade into the background and political spin took the spotlight. My children had a lesson in politics 101! 
And, sadly, this is probably the news that people will see on their TVs tonight. This will become the story. Everyday people will think they don’t need to raise their voice because of course the big politicians will do the right thing all on their own...

Our children need to feel it’s worth being informed, getting involved and raising their voice on the issues that will affect them in the future. Nurturing active, engaged and aware children who care is part of my job as a parent. We can only hope that the wider community; schools, sports clubs, families, do more to encourage and value young people’s thoughts, opinions and actions for the future they will inherit.   

Dedication plaque with surf legend and friend Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew






出産から最初の1週間で私の身体があなたとわかちあった思いは、パチャ」 という曲になりました。あなたへのラブソングであるとともに、すべてのいのちへのラブソングでもあります。いのちたちは、誰がなんといおうと、お互いに絡み合っているのです。











3/2:15 circles around the sun, Pacha!

Light of my life. 

As a new born, lying in my arms, after a wild and wonderful birth at home in the mountains of Ecuador, I gazed at you in awe. 

Long limbs, big hands and the longest eyelashes I had ever seen. Perfectly well, perfectly healthy, perfect! 
In those first seven days, the best way I found to describe you and the feelings I had in sharing my body with you was to write a song. A love song for you and a love song for life - they are inexorably intertwined.

And so, we have been singing this song (almost always in harmony!) for 15 years. 
Pacha, you have taught me so much, in ways that are hard to describe!
You taught me to focus; 'Yes, the world is important, but here I am, NOW!’ 
You taught me to slow down - washing nappies can be a meditative process! 
You taught me patience. 
You taught me to always live in the moment. 

15 is a big number. 
You are a young woman now.
And little by little, I am learning to let you go. 
You are already so capable and clever in managing your own life, but I cherish the fact that you still ask for my advice sometimes and share how you are feeling. It’s a joy to help and support where I can in you fulfilling your dreams!
I love the way your first instinct is to help anyone/anything that needs help. I love the way your smile lights up the room. I love the way you still play with joy and abandon! 
And I trust you. I trust that the world will guide you and you will accept its guidance.  I trust you to live your own story and feel such joy and honour in being part of it. 

Thank-you Pacha. Happy 15th Journey around the Sun. 


















2/11:Plastic bottles, life and everything...

Plastic bottles, life and everything...

Yani was thirsty after a beautiful morning surf. 

I handed him our old beaten up metal water bottle that I had filled before we left that morning. 

Over the past days I had been suggesting he should change over to to the metal bottle (even though it was smaller) - because the reusable plastic one (he had won in a competition) was bad for him. I told him that it made the water taste funny and could affect his hormones and make it harder to make babies. 

[Interwoven with this discussion was my commenting on the (media hyped) zika virus and new evidence pointing to the real culprit being new chemicals used to damage the larvae of mosquitos in water tanks in Colombia and Brazil. zika virus, microcephaly and pesticide connection The tragedy of increasing birth defects - especially in the poorest of the poor communities - often in places where parents have no other choice but to work in chemical laden agriculture or floriculture industries - sheds light on so many issues. Why the panic over the new zika virus and its possible threats to privileged populations? It all means increased profits to the companies, hand in hand with the media tycoons, who will invariably develop new ‘essential’ vaccines to contain the spread, or breed and release genetically modified mosquitos (opening another pandora box).]

Anyway, Yani took a big gulp and said - 'oh yeah, you’re right Mum, it tastes so much better!’. And I said; ‘yep, and I think the world will be a better place with your babies in it’ - or something like that!

Then Pacha piped up and said; ‘but isn’t it bad to have kids now with the world we have created?’

I was blindsided and in the before school rush couldn’t really reply properly, mumbling ‘of course you can’ mainly because I have an automatically positive response setting to most curly questions - but the thought of the answer has been dancing around on the edge of my consciousness in the hours since…

Should my children have children? 

Can my children even have children??

It was a question like one I had often asked of myself (should I have children?), as an activist who was (too) aware of the world and the way it was going. And yet, fate (and enough hope) conspired and here I am with the loves of my life beside me.

No doubt things have gotten worse. And yet, and yet, the ecstasy of life gives forth to new life!

So I will say to them when they come home from school;  'yes; of course you can have children if you choose! You will find a beautiful place, person(s) and way to live; simply and naturally, adapting and changing to whatever circumstance you find yourself in. Everything about this existence is a miracle!' 

Prescript on plastic water bottles;
The day, before I had accompanied a friend who had insisted on buying me something to eat from the bakery so not to be eating alone. When he reached in the store’s fridge to grab a bottle of water for me I said; ‘no thanks - I don’t drink those!’. The woman behind the counter responded in alarm; ‘what’s wrong with our water?’. I kept it short (no need to going into plastics, and health and water quality and hormones and multinational corporations privatising water and the global economy  (etc, etc) and just said;
 ‘oh, I pick up too many plastic bottles at the beach every morning - I prefer to bring my own water bottle.’.
Her eyes told me she wasn’t impressed... 
And it reminded me how hard it is to summon the strength to buck the system - in these little, every day things - without causing offence... 
Our miraculous mornings...