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.

Bethlehem

Our newspapers are reporting a downturn in tourists visiting Bethlehem at this time of the year. Just as they reported last year. I visited Bethlehem a few years ago when tensions were escalating and getting across the border into Palestine was problematic. The checkpoint was a flux of tension and a crossroads of hate. Those…

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Bonjour Vietnam

A remarkably evocative clip. Sung by Quynh Anh, an expat Vietnamese living in Europe. Having been to Vietnam I found it an evocative piece of video and music. All the more so for their disastrous past and their passion for the present. The English words contain none of the magic of the lyric French, or…

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S&M

Cafe in Lane Cove, on Longueville Road. Two days before Christmas and the sweat sticks to my skin The day is overcast and threatens, then delivers, even more humidity as the sky lets loose a light shower, closes up, then releases another once the pavement has dried off. The heat is exacerbated by a furious…

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Life is a Beach

Well, so “they” say. At this time of the year we are inclined to believe that is the case. We usually take what we have at our doorstep for granted. Until someone visits and we take them to the beach. And wonder why we don’t do it more often. Nephew Monty, out from England with…

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Bloody Feather Quilts

Well, the Joseph Sherfy story is starting to piece itself together. The material is a little thin at this point but the Library of Congress has been helpful, so too some resources at Carlisle Army War College and also a very hospitable group of on-line enthusiasts at militaryhistoryonline.com This is by no means definitive or…

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Jocelyn

Family is having a handicapped kid.Family is having a handicapped kid, who some close to you want locked up.Family is having a handicapped kid who prompts parishioners to shift to different pews.Family is having a handicapped kid which means siblings friends won’t stay over.Family is having a handicapped kid who community services don’t want to…

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White Trash

The pair of us landed in San Francisco and had four hours to spend before connecting to our flight across the Pacific and home. We had been on the road for a couple of weeks and were in no mood to hear from a clerk that, having checked in, we were not to leave the…

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USS Arizona Rebuilding

USS Arizona still leaks fuel oil in a steady blobby rain, called by some the Black Tears of the Arizona. You can watch it leaching to the surface in black blobs of ink, and in the light chop of a protected harbour the peacock tail colours of petroleum on water glint the sun hard back…

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Train Nazi Postscript

20 September 2006. We finally dropped into Lanzhou at about 7.15 am. I managed to get back into the carriage via the platform as recounted earlier (Train Nazi). We eventually were pressed out through the exit with a throng of fellow travellers into the cool morning air. We were immediately struck by how different this…

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