One of the most famous novels in Norway is called Gift (meaning Poison. Oddly, it also means ‘married’). It was written in 1883 by Alexander Kielland and is a deeply critical social commentary on the educational system. Cramming and memorising was the order of the day, and not necessarily topics relevant to real life. Students […]
Colourful bus in Apia, capital of Samoa in the Pacific.
Messel Pit Entrance strictly forbidden Mortal danger That’s what it says, the sign on the metal gates in front of me, the gate leading to the Messel Pit. The sign is bright yellow – yellow for danger. Locked steel gates with a jagged edge on top; there’s no escaping the message. Luckily for me, I’m here […]
Rolling cigars in Cuba, Santiago 1996
Willkommen! Schön daß du wieder da bist! Back in Germany, I’ve now travelled from 21st century Frankfurt, to 12th century Maulbronn, then 11th century Speyer, and now 8th century Lorsch. The last stretch, though 300 years through history, takes a mere 45 minutes on the Autobahn. World Heritage sites are prolific and close in south-western Germany. In the car park, […]
Trading goats for cigarettes? Merchant boats loading up before crossing the Strait of Hormuz to Iran – Khasab in Oman
It’s that time of year again: October, my favourite month. Warm, golden colours, leaves crunching underfoot, chestnuts kicked about, autumn winds, cool, refreshing temperatures, movement, flow. There’s mystery in the air. Anything might happen. I was born in October, on Halloween, no less. On my 30th birthday, two thousand million years ago, I dragged friends […]