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.

A Letter to a Friend

Dear JD,It’s been more than a week now. I drove home last Friday afternoon up the Waringah Expressway. I was enjoying the sunshine and the clear blue Sydney sky – and the fact that the air conditioning was keeping the humidity at bay. The traffic was light which was surprising since these 6 or so…

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Taking Ourselves Seriously

Some more thoughts about my friend Ewin. It is actually proving an interesting exercise to try and quantify and describe exactly what it is about the friendship that is so valuable, and what the chemistry might really be. Of course you can be too analytical and forensic on something that is abstract but no less…

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Singapore -Same But Different

There are always little hints about a place that tell you there are more differences between cultures than necessarily meet the eye. I am constantly intrigued by these, especially where we try and put our fingers on the subtleties of difference between ourselves and New Zealanders, Americans, Brits and Canadians. The obvious comparisons I guess.…

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Respite in the Forbidden Palace

September 12, 2006. Beijing morning with the early sun on my back and cool freshness of the morning breeze on my face. On my left the still moat of the Forbidden Palace and on my right the bustle of the early morning traffic. Trolley buses pour past, cyclists and of course the normal flood of…

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Countries Visited

The blog started as a travel log and remains so in intent – so I have allowed myself to be distracted by this gimic. Shame it does not quite fit. NZ and the Pacific have slid off the map. Create your own visited countries map  32,345 total views,  44 views today

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Vale JD

John called today to tell me that JD was killed in a plane accident on Friday evening. At about the time I was to head off to Youth Group. How blithely we continue on while something erupts unseen and unheard over the horizon, but which will impact us in due course. How blithely we continue…

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Nuclear Subs in New London

Last night was spent in a musty naval quarter that was bit of a surprise. For its filthy state that is. The mould and damp caught in the orange carpet still pushed through the disinfectant that had been used very lightly in the bathroom. Not having much luck with military accommodation over the last couple…

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Jazz – Emanuel Schmidt

Warmdaddys in Philadelphia is one hot place to get a good old fashioned dose of jazz. Last time I was there I was fortunate to land on an evening when members of the audience were invited to sing whatever they wanted and the backing band would cover them – after a quick conference on stage…

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