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.

An Earls Court Lunch

The service is unclear, hesitant and slow. Fish and chips are de rigueur in this part of the world are they not? So let’s order that. I sit on a high-stool 3 metres from a staring bank of faces captured by a double decker bus, which is leaning towards me as it tilts at rest…

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The Qat, the Jambiya and the Nokia

There has to be a profound story in a heading like that. Sadly not here though. Qat, referred to below, is chewed by most. Even our government employed guide and escort (I am being polite – read “guard”) admitted to being hooked on the stuff and the only reason we did not see his cheeks…

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Mama’s Bistro, Ballan

Small towns scattered around the goldfields of Victoria offer a certain charm thanks to their architecture, their memorials, Mechanics Institute Halls, old churches, and just all round rural charm. Other towns offer none of that, especially those which have lost their way after freeways have diverted traffic around them. Ballan, squeezed between the railway and…

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Why Bother Visiting Country Towns?

Bruce Elder in the Sydney Morning Herald asks this question and asks for suggestions that might help small communities attract more visitors. What do you want to see when you visit these small places? Given we are visiting a comparatively small town at the moment, and given that we spent a cosy afternoon in a…

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Ballarat

One of those towns you love to hate, usually based on bad experiences with weather or traffic, school geography project or resident zealot that just suck the inspiration from you. On the other hand it is hard to not admire a town that has managed to retain so much of its heritage as part of…

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Hume Highway

Stretches of asphalt and/or bitumen are not supposed to be evocative (unless they are runways!) but this stretch of road which links Sydney and Melbourne is 880km of highway that invokes a lot of memories when I travel it. Oddly enough it is quite provocative in other ways as well. The foremost memory I have…

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