Thanks for reading. This blog is an opportunity for me to capture some of the diversity of my writing interests. My muse tend to appear on my shoulder as I board an international flight although not all of my writing is inspired by travel and foreign places. These blogs have been the basis of a novel (Flowers of Baghdad) but there are a few other writing projects in progress besides. Please feel free to leave a comment. Or two.

Walking the Casbah

There was a canary called Farouk. He sat in the window behind a dirty curtain installed when the French were in control and trilled his song across a filthy narrow lane three stories above the cobbles. Three tenements down his trill was answered by another, though Farouk did not know his name.  Farouk was a…

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Welcome to Algeria

Ha, now I know I’m alive – this place is more edgy than sleepy old Verdun. Taxi at the airport? No such thing. Just Boris the Bullet Dodger and all his dodgy mates in their little, dusty Chevrolets. Yes, Chevrolets. More Cevy compacts than tiny French cars. How much to the city? Francais? Nah mate.…

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Farewell Verdun

The thermometer  at the front of the bus says its five degrees but I could care less really. I have just realized we are driving down the Voie Sacree  or Sacred Way on the way to Bar le Duc, places I have referenced in the novel. The Sacred Way became such when Marshall Petain established…

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Souville

The old man picked his way up the long road from Verdun. He skirted mules carrying bread, horse drawn wagons full of supplies, the endless procession of coughing munitions trucks and the equally endless procession of ambulances creeping back the other way. No one tried to stop him. He had been here before and they…

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Haudainville

‘Haudainville?!’ exclaimed Fred of Verdun. ‘There’s nothing there.’ ‘Well, I have a farmer set out from there in a story I have written.’ ‘Really?’ He laughs. ‘I happen to know some farmers in Haudainville. But there is still nothing there.’ Well, yes and no. There is the beginning of a story there and I want…

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Back to France

I am in Gare L’Est, a significant point in the novel I started writing ten years ago, Ironically it’s where I am to catch my train up to Verdun and was not a place I was planning on visiting. But here I am in a coffee shop lost in its cavernous halls, drinking crap coffee…

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