I like writing, but I’ve spent much of my life writing about things that don’t particularly interest me. Finally, as I neared the age of 60, I decided to change that. I wanted to write about things that interested me.

What really interests me is beauty. So I’ve focused this blog on beautiful things. I could be writing about a formally beautiful object in a museum. But it could also be something sitting quietly on a shelf. Or it could be just a fleeting view that’s caught my eye, or a momentary splash of colour-on-colour at the turn of the road. Or it could be a piece of music I’ve just heard. Or a piece of poetry. Or food. And I’m sure I’ve missed things.

But I’ll also write about interesting things that I hear or read about. Isn’t there a beauty about things pleasing to the mind?

I started just writing, but my wife quickly persuaded me to include photos. I tried it and liked it. So my posts are now a mix of words and pictures, most of which I find on the internet.

What else about me?

When I first started this blog, my wife and I lived in Beijing where I was head of the regional office of the UN Agency I worked for. So at the beginning I wrote a lot about things Chinese. Then we moved to Bangkok, where again I headed up my Agency’s regional office. So for a period I wrote about Thailand and South-East Asia more generally. But we had lived in Austria for many years before moving to China, and anyway we both come from Europe – my wife is Italian while I’m half English, half French – so I often write about things European. And now I retire! As I write this, I have just come back for the last time from the office, after holding a bye-bye lunch with the staff, having a group picture taken, and putting on my email’s out-of-office reply: “I have retired.” What a satisfaction it gave me to write those words!  We’ll go back to Europe, so I suppose I will be writing a lot about the Old Continent now, interspaced with posts about places we have promised each other to go and visit.

What else? We have two grown children, who had already left the nest when we moved to China, but they still figure from time to time in my posts. I’ll let my readers figure out more about me from reading what I’ve written.

As readers will discover, I really like trees. So I chose a tree – an apple tree, painted by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt – as my gravatar. And I chose Abellio as my name because he is the Celtic God of the apple tree.

I hope you enjoy my posts.


Apple Tree I