A site for wanderers of all ages; for writers of all genres; and for the simply curious.
I'm glad you dropped by. Pull up a chair; fetch a cup of tea or a beer; make yourself at home. You'll find pages about my travelling, with photos of course; some of my writing and my thoughts about it; a bit about me; and links to my blog and email. That should be enough to fill your time while your tea gets cold.
And, of course, there are links to my first travel book, OVER THE HILL AND FAR AWAY. (You mean there's more than one? ... Scroll down, you'll find where one book lurks, another is sure to follow. Though just an ebook this time.) Yes, I'd love you to buy it - if you are in a hurry you can click here for a print book in the UK and here for a UK ebook. You're in the US? Click here. You'd rather use Smashwords? You'll find it here. But I hope you'll hang around and say hello first.
And please - let me know what you think - especially if there is anything else you'd hoped to find here. It might be my site, but that doesn't mean I'm its expert! You can send me a message via the 'contact me' page.
And the elephant - ah, the elephant. I rode her through a grove in Kerala, in Southern India, with my guide crushing coffee beans and cardomon seeds into the palms of my hands for me to smell them - when he wasn't taking pictures!
I only spent about an hour with her. It was, of course, a venture set up for tourists, but I did get the chance to peer into the elephant shelters. In some ways they were better off than the mahouts. They were hosed regularly (essential for elephants), and able to roam freely. I even watched as a mother elephant allowed a mahout to wash her baby - the trust between man and elephant was touching. So, as elephants go, mine has a reasonable life!
And she's become associated with me on a forum or few in recent years, and so it seemed fitting that she found her way onto the cover of my book.
You didn't really think I'd stop there, did you?
Last winter I went to Laos. My physiotherapist had made sure my creaking knees could cope with the squat toilets, but no one had said anything about the bombs that still litter the jungles, the rice paddies, the playgrounds. It was a chastening trip.
I wrote about all it, of course, in BOMBS AND BUTTERFLIES: OVER THE HILL IN LAOS and if you want to read a snippet, the drop into the travel writing page (in the writing section) and you'll find a clue or two.
Like HIDDEN TIGER it's an ebook - maybe one day I'll have three little travel ebooks and can put them together in a print book. Do I need a better reason to go travelling again?
And yes - there is another ebook! HIDDEN TIGER RAGING MOUNTAIN: OVER THE HILL IN NEPAL.
I left home believing I knew all about travelling now - I understood transport to unlikely places. I could forgive the passing insects, didn't cringe at occasional pongs. But nothing prepared me for the cyclone. Nor a closer encounter with a tiger than was strictly necessary.
And by the time I came home, I realised just how little I really knew - you'll have to read the book to find out just how challenging the lessons I learned.