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.

Salute the Tank Driver

Remembrances of events can be two edged. Was it really twenty years since Tiananmen? Hard to believe all right. Twenty years ago those of us in the various “China watchers” groups in governments around the world were starting to think that the winds of change in China were spring rather than winter zephyrs, and that…

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A Quorn Meal

Soft pink waist coats and mole grey jackets suggest something refined and gentle. The galah is anything but, especially when when it is jinking up the street with five its mates, showing off clever manoeuvres like teenage boys in their new cars. But they are the only signs and raucous sounds of life for a…

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Quorn Dogs

“You on channel Miss Betty?” The silence out of the radio is accompaniment for the empty horizon. “You on channel Miss Betty?” Nothing. The microphone is dropped back into the console and we drive on, dust erupting and billowing behind us, saltbush blurring beside us. This expedition started with a sit in the sun on…

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Holy Gutter!

As we walk up to an old stone Quorn church built in 1880… “Owyer goin Ron?” “Really well for an old bloke.” “Nah, you ain’t old, just slow moving. Meet my brother. He is here to help repair this guttering.” “Oh yeah? Where are you from?” “Sydney?” “Sydney?! To repair the gutter.” “All the way.”…

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Quorn. Quorn?

Pronounced “corn”. No, I did not know that either. A dot on the arid landscape in South Australia ( 32°20’46.93″S 138° 2’23.85″E). I walk around the streets wondering what keeps people here. Maybe the clue lies with Gary and his wife who sit in the late autumn sun and sing out a cheery “owyergoing mate?”…

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Brain Teaser

While we are talking about remarkable things to do with skulls here is another skull penetration exercise which is even more amazing. Very clever people at Stanford University have wired up this mouse so that the deepest parts of its brain are directly stimulated by light. “Viviana Gradinaru, a graduate student has designed a hybrid…

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