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.

The Book Thief

When I read that the author’s father swore at him for making him cry when he read this book I did not feel quite so bad about my own reaction to it. The unusual narrator had me guessing at the very beginning (I picked this volume up on the way through the airport without having…

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Singapore at 6 am

Getting around a city in the early hours always opens up a new vista on a place.  This week I am staying down on the outskirts of Chinatown (Duxton Hill to be precise) and am therefore well away from the tourist and shopping end of town. A travel “snobbery” I am happy to admit and…

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Dr Herbert Money

Sometimes people touch and shape your life when you least expect it. And continue doing so even after they have gone. David was one of those guys. Dr “Herb” Money was another, pictured here in his MA gown in the 1920s. It is hard to know where to start with Dr Money. At the beginning…

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Weeping With Mavis Staples

You can’t help it. You sit in the front row of a Mavis Staples concert and you are conscious every now and then of the grin you can’t wipe from your face. You wipe the tears as well but in the end you give up and let them run.  651 total views,  54 views today

 651 total views,  54 views today

HMAS Sydney

I suspect I am not the only one to think so but there is no small stirring of pride when I read that the HMAS Sydney, heavy cruiser lost in battle 67 years ago, has been found sitting upright on the seabed, 6000′ down. Ambushed, shot up, carrying so many of her crew with her,…

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Chicken Kiev

And while we are having expectations dislocated (previous post refers) 1) whoever imagined a Ukrainian (Kiev) Fashion Week would ever exist or that 2) a Ukrainian designer would catch our eye like this? Here is Ukrainian designer Olga Gromova’s collection. At least I was not disappointed by her first name which is in keeping with…

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India Opens Your Mind

Not by inhaling some of its roadside greenery tamped into a bong but by travel. Which will do that to your mind (if you let it), regardless of where you go. But we usually start with such polarised preconceptions about India that any visit there dislocates our understanding of the place. This picture from a…

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Buddy Guy Live

Keb Mo warmed us up last night at the Enmore Theatre. 45minutes felt like two, such was his ability to mesmerise us. A lanky blues guitarist who could rip those blues off just as easy as you please.  651 total views,  52 views today

 651 total views,  52 views today

Atlantic Sunset

Somewhere over the Atlantic. I have a bazillion photos taken from aircraft windows and most are as boring as, um, bat excreta! (One of my brothers thinks that stuff is actually very interesting. Strange lad). The one time I flew over Indonesia during the day (the transit is usually done at night) and peered into…

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