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.

Hard and Buff Kitbag

This travel advice, intended to make your vacation (sorry, evection) all the smoother by removing the aggravation associated with creased clothes, and other issues to do with packing garments is a little gem that has been floating around in my PC for years. I have always wondered what the doohickey is and what dictionary provided…

 32,363 total views,  42 views today

Moslem Culture in Qatar

The community mosques, as distinct from the large buildings in the middle of the cities, are just that, focused on their communities. They are places of worship but are open centres of community life as well. OK, at least for the men. I remember talking with some men exiting a mosque in the markets of…

 32,573 total views,  45 views today

Girls of Riyadh

The book was making some noise last month, even though it was published more than a year ago. I confess to not reading it but the attention this book gets reminds me of the cultural differences that exist in a place like Saudi. For all its Western ways, and veneer, there are some things that…

 32,413 total views,  42 views today

Network Heaven`

Remember these two? Maybe not. Visit them here. Two girlfriends, orphaned in the streets of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. They come to mind again as I help Anne with her work at Network Heaven. A few years ago she stumbled over an opportunity to donate corporate goods, otherwise headed for the rubbish dump for…

 32,867 total views,  41 views today

Sydney or Melbourne?

Getting more attention in the Sydney Morning Herald today than the collapse in the share market is the news that Robert de Niro has snubbed Sydney and elected Melbourne as the site of his Tribeca restaurant, Nobu. de Niro may well settle his refined nosh shop in Melbourne for all the right reasons and I…

 32,389 total views,  40 views today

Harry Potter and the Chinese Empire

I woke this morning to find a copy of the NYT at the door – unusual in San Francisco where you normally get a wheelbarrow load of state and local papers. Mainly full of advertising. Anyway, the NYT carried an article about how the Chinese, impatient for the release of the final volume of Harry…

 32,365 total views,  42 views today