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.

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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Cliches about Paris Are True

I arrived from Switzerland in Paris in the late afternoon. No one wanted to speak English. I wandered around the station with no maps and no instructions. I asked at a counter and a man through the wire mesh simply shrugged his shoulders. Very conscious that I looked out of place and lost – not…

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A Good Therapy…

In fact, the best. There is no question that getting out and helping someone else is a good way to take your mind off the daily things that are nibbling you to death. The trouble is, our community is so insular, and we are so reluctant to ask if anyone needs help that we end…

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Casino Disloyal

As I stroll past the Baccarat room I see his Asian, farmer’s face cupped in his hand. It is a striking face for its length, fifty or so years in the sun, and its whispery whiskers. And its solemn concentration. He looks like a rice farmer from the back blocks of Shenzen, and very well…

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Oh Dear, Loose Moose

I cleared Massachusetts this morning, departing Hanscom AFB (I have since discovered that Hanscom is heavily pixellated on Google Earth (lat=42.4662646665, lon=-71.2843313498) – its facilities are classified in some way but the focus on their electronic warfare capabilities is well recorded on various sites) and headed for Worcester via the 495 before getting onto backwoods…

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