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.

Taxi Story – Mauritius

My family have been here for years. I came here fifteen years ago after all my brothers and sisters pressured me to come and be a family again. But initially I was reluctant to do so since I could not speak English. I could speak six other languages but not English. I was living in…

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Soviet Tanks and Japanese Toyotas

With Australians having been intimately involved in the Vietnam War there was a certain hesitancy, a cringe even, on arriving in a place that had once been a battlefield and many of the folk around us considered enemies. Vietnamese have no such cringe. They are out there running just as hard and as fast as…

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Farmer Suicides

In the early summer months of 1984 we drove 3000km north to the tropics for a holiday. Yup, pretty crazy. On our second day we drove into a wall of dust near Dubbo. It was a wall not unlike this one pictured in 2002 near Griffith. The outstanding difference was that in 1984 there was…

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Jim and Lizzie

My first travel journal of any substance was an old hardback invoice notebook that I had lifted from one of the local farmers – from a pile of old stationery in one of his sheds. I must have assumed he had less need of it than I. It went with me to Stewart Island in…

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Spud Murphy’s ANZAC Day

I love this photo, taken by Steven Siewert, in the early morning rain which dumped on Sydney yesterday. Wednesday the 25th of April is ANZAC Day and war memorials all over the country, and in New Zealand, have crowds gather around to remember our war dead, and living. For a period through the late seventies…

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Toilet Humour – Bangladesh

Bangladesh is the last place in which you want to be afflicted with giardia (this blog refers). Especially when the toilets are usually a hole in the ground. While recovering under some unknown medicine administered by my friend Zia, I kept within a short sprint of the hotel toilets, or at least something civil. I…

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KangarooValley Rain

The limestone escarpments drop like a blunt forehead from under a sharply cut fringe of tall timber and dense undergrowth to a gently sloping easement that runs out to the coast a couple of miles away and on which more grass grows than the dairy cows know what to do with. In this humid weather,…

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