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.

747 Action Shot

And while we are mentioning the 747 here is a gratuitous shot that really stands out from the cloud of other excellent shots you can find on Airliners.net. We used to look for “action shots” of aircraft when we were briefing the generals, and the rule of thumb was simply this: “It is not an…

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The Brakes Were Glowing Red

I had just endured one of the least pleasant aspects of travelling from Australia to Europe with QANTAS – the stopover in Bangkok. It is a tired airport that offers poor respite. But we were back in the plane and thundering down the runway heading for Frankfurt when suddenly we were thrown forward in our…

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Via Dolorosa

It is Good Friday and thoughts turn to things related to Easter, as they should. I am not a Roman Catholic but sometimes I think they have something in some of the traditions they wrap around themselves. A few years ago (1999 actually) I visited Jerusalem and wandered around in some wonder at where I…

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Nailing Your Colours to your Nail House

When you live with 1.2billion neighbours it is pretty hard to be your own person. At least in the way we understand that desire. One of the things I love about the Chinese is that even within their tight and densely populated communities you will see individuals striving to be their own little island for…

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Two Ducks on a Wall

Art is such a strange thing. Why does one piece grab you and another not? Who knows? At an art exhibition held by Malkara Special School in Canberra years ago this little piece leapt off the wall at me. Drawn by a young kid, I love the clean lines and the balance of the whole…

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Getting Under Your Skin

My earliest memories of tattoos were of those etched onto large motorcycle riders who would growl into Palmerston every year before they headed into Central Otago for a spring festival or carnival of some sort. I can’t quite recall exactly what the occasion was, though it elusively slides around in the back of my skull…

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