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.

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  657 total views,  56 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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Self Diagnosis in Bangladesh

I arrived in Chittagong late in the afternoon in a BAC-111, an aircraft even our air force has retired. The aircraft touched down and immediately the passengers felt the main undercarriage touch the asphalt they were on their feet, opening lockers and surging to the front of the plane. The nose wheel had yet to…

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Jesus Loves Osama

Posters outside various churches in Sydney and Melbourne this last week have excited all sorts of commentary about the accuracy or otherwise of the statement “Jesus Loves Osama”. It is unquestionably a provocative and even emotional statement, prodding our community fears about terrorism and needling our other insecurities. Is it a true statement? Much of…

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Zuigia Farewell Concert

Over the last couple of years we have been blessed by three unlikely guys from the US (Hawaii, Texas and the “Four Corners”) who make up the band “Zuigia”. They have had a remarkable music ministry to high school students and church youth. Australia has one of the highest teen male suicide rates in the…

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Sinking of Mikhail Lermontov

In Picton, (Google Earth 41.298901N, 174.0056E) a sleepy little town of about 3,500 people, is this lifeboat, a lonely reminder of a bizarre sinking of a Russian cruise liner a few years ago. 1986 actually. Murky but not bad weather, and light seas. Travelling in places it should not. And through well chartered waters –…

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