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.

Singapore for Small Boys

There is a view of Singapore that gets my attention every single time. Sometimes you see it in all its glory as you fly into Changi from the south. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of it through the trees as you ride to the city in the cab. And if you indulge some of that…

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Singapore Breakfast

I do know better, I really do. I rationalised the $25.00 hotel breakfast yesterday as being necessary since I had a busy day coming up. But it was an “American” breakfast of indifferent tomato’s, cardboard bacon, and rubber eggs. All leaving me with the impression they were cooked up the previous night and run under…

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Singapore Rain

The evening started perfectly. I had turned the air-conditioner off, opened the windows and pushed aside the slats. Warm moist air flooded the room to the accompaniment of bird chatter and the background hum of air-conditioners hanging off walls in the lane I look onto. A few minutes after doing that, as if by invitation…

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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.  17,080 total views,  27 views today

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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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