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.

Kensington Gardens

Every day is a new experience. And full of new things. Of discovery. Even if that discovery is not pioneering and others have been here before you. And even if the names of the places are so very familiar. I step into Kensington Gardens from off Bayswater Road and am confronted by a sprawling acreage…

 16,980 total views,  21 views today

The British Museum

This museum is a zoo! A human zoo. Summer in London and its school holidays and they are here from all corners of the earth looking at all corners of the earth. Fancy a quiet afternoon wandering a whisper quiet, hushed monument? Best go somewhere else. Here a heaving, chattering throng, charging through ancient Egypt,…

 16,982 total views,  21 views today

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…

 16,954 total views,  21 views today

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…

 17,269 total views,  21 views today

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…

 16,986 total views,  21 views today

Bastille Day in Dunolly

The discussion about small towns is entirely appropriate given I have spent the last week visiting a few of them. On Saturday evening I had the good fortune to sit around an open fire in the Cockatoo Cafe in Dunolly. It was near freezing outside so the fire was a good start. Even more rewarding…

 17,138 total views,  21 views today

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…

 17,066 total views,  21 views today

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…

 17,038 total views,  21 views today