As a kid my mum would give me one of those impossibly big old fifty pence pieces to put in the donations basket and pack me off to church with my siblings. Winny, my dear gran, is Roman Catholic. Paying respects to her religious tradition, us five siblings were biblically named in age order; Simon Andrew, Paul Richard, Rachel Mary, Christopher James and Peter Philip. Oh how names can deceive.
Our mother didn’t come to church with us. A housewife with five children, she would wisely take the opportunity to have some time for herself. She would catch up with the two-metre high piles of dirty washing, over-boil some potatoes in the pressure cooker and listen to Fleetwood Mac. And rightly so. She has more important things to do with her Sundays. Continue reading →
We made some lovely new friends in Jaisalmer. As a thirty five year old boy, I’d instinctively refer to this quartet of handsome and bright seventeen and eighteen year olds as boys. However I have no intention to condescend, in fact, the opposite. At their age I was vomiting Blue WKD behind Squares. Here, these men were embarking on a final cultural venture prior to their looming two year stint of compulsory national service for their native Singapore. Hussain, Sanni, Ratch and Nas looked like an entry to South East Asia’s Got Talent in their matching desert outfits and through the laughter we talked; politics, travel, photography, Youtube, history, art and dreams.
Do you remember those CD multi-stackers that were hidden in the boot of posh cars in the late eighties and early nineties? Imagine loading a five-stacker with; N-Sync, Now That’s What I Call Country, Nickelback, Michael Buble and Cher. Now press random play. Collette and I went to a one-percenters bar last night. Proper dregs.
Shoeless, I was in a predicament. The car park was stony, dark and dirty. Our last minute stop at the funniest restaurant in Mapusa meant that I had a large Kingfisher to drain from my bladder. Our over night bus to Mumbai was taking a scheduled break at some bleak café and someone had half-inched my Birkenstocks. Continue reading →
“See, you don’t get the same experience of India from a car”. Pete was right. Behind the darkened windows of the a/c taxi, you couldn’t feel the warm wild of the wind. You couldn’t hear the ripping of the road in your ears or smell the cavalcade of cashew, masala, garlic, sulphur, diesel and shit.