Scotland The Brave

Janet Street-Porter, the occasionally controversial and always visible British writer, broadcaster and panel game member has launched an interesting documentary on the Scottish independence referendum that is now less than one hundred days away. Combining her broadcasting talents with her well known love for walking she has, like many others at present, tried to assess … Continue reading

Introducing Chris Le Fanu

After a professional lifetime’s production of non-fiction work (sixteen books and umpteen “scholarly” articles) I have finally turned to crime, fiction that is, and thanks to Crime Wave Press. A Madras Miasma has just appeared on Amazon in Kindle e-form initially, with a print on demand version to follow soon, the new mode of … Continue reading

Brilliant Botswana

Like many other words and expressions (“awesome” springs immediately to mind), the concept of the “bucket list” is now overdone to the point where for some people it includes just about everything that might conceivably be packed into a lifetime. For that we can probably thank Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman and one of those … Continue reading

Haast To High Seas

Once again the blog has lapsed, blame resting with the exit from Haast on New Zealand’s West Coast into the rapid transition that saw this new post begin life on board ship approaching Capetown at the end of a voyage from Hong Kong. Even for us, that is a shift. Leaving Haast was hard. In … Continue reading

Monaco to Haast

From time to time there comes a point when I realise just how lucky I have been to do and see some wonderful things. One of those times has just arrived, and struck me on the road between Wanaka and Haast amidst the spectacular scenery of New Zealand’s southern lakes and mountain country. That road … Continue reading

Syria Agonistes

There was, from the outset, a predictability about how the Syrian crisis would come to this, a global strategist’s calculation versus the terrible suffering happening on the ground. At present there are over 1.8 million refugees from Syria registered with UNHCR, with another 186,000 awaiting registration. In total, then, approximately 2 million Syrians have left … Continue reading

Where To From Here?

There was a surreal touch to watching Rupert on the same night as the results came through for Australia’s 2013 federal election. .   On the one hand there was a frustration at not watching the minute by minute unfolding of events, but on the other a relief over the very same thing. That was … Continue reading

New Roads: Crimefest Writers, and Camilleri’s Sicily

After three days of an excellent crime fiction convention, what’s the next move? Go to Sicily and the province of Ragusa to visit the setting for Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano novels and home to the TV series, of course. Um, how did this happen? After a lifetime of research and a string of non-fiction books, … Continue reading

Back In New Zealand

Whatever the artistic merits of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and the more recent Hobbit (undoubted in the former and more questionably in the latter), what really wins in the films is the New Zealand landscape. So much so that much of the tourism to Aotearoa now is focused on visiting Jacksonland, complete with … Continue reading

Sihanouk Boulevard

There were no elephants. In the past, a Cambodian royal family funeral would have featured them, perhaps even to the point of one carrying a royal casket. This time, King Father Norodom Sihanouk was carried in a jasmine covered massive gold casket, conveyed on a motorised and stylised mythical flying animal, flanked by officials and … Continue reading