Remembrance Sunday 2018


  It was a cold, crispy day in Harrogate and autumn leaves carpeted the Stray. One man’s greed engulfed Sri Lanka – the land of my birth, in the most serious constitutional crisis since independence from. British rule in 1948. It was also my birthday but there was no mood for celebrations. As tradition demands,…

Road To Jaffna – 2018


  Eighteen of us left Colombo at dawn in a little green bus in a little green bus, crossed the Kelani River – the fourth longest river in the country at 145 km, and took the A3 expressway to Katunayaka. Jaffna is 400 km north of Colombo and we would be on the road for…

Montenegro – 3. A Day In Kotor


  “Wedged between brooding mountains and a moody corner of the bay, the achingly atmospheric Kotor is perfectly at one with its setting. Hemmed in by staunch walls snaking improbably up the surrounding slopes, the town is a medieval maze of museums, churches, cafe-strewn squares and Venetian palaces and pillories. It’s a dramatic and delightful…

Montenegro – 2. A Day On The Beach


  Beach? There are no sandy beaches along the entire 107.3 km shoreline of Kotor Bay that I know of. Rocky mountain sides dip straight and deep in to the azure sea and ‘beaches’ are either man made gravelly areas or concrete promenades with umbrellas and sun beds. The ‘beach’ below the Volat 2 Cafe in Kracisi is…

Remembrance Sunday – 2017


It is a beautiful, sunny autumn’s day in Yorkshire. It is also Remembrance Day and a small group of us, old friends and colleagues, are having lunch together at the Golf Club.   We sip Louis Roederer Brut and talk about old times. The table was already laid and at twelve thirty, John serves lunch.…

A Bank Holiday Feast


We spent the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in the little Cotswolds village of Notgrove. Our four-bedoomed farm cottage had all the mod cons. Robins frolicked in the garden and Roe deer peered at us from the hedge. One day, we hired Hasan, an Iranian chef to cook us a festive meal. He first served a…

Road To Mannar


For the second time in five years, I am on the road to Mannar. And I love it! The Kangaroo cab takes me to the pickup point at four thirty in the morning. The driver, an ex-soldier, talks incessantly about the war with the Tamil Tigers. Flamingo Tours mini-coach arrives just before five and over…

Love Supreme – Santana At The O2


Carlos Santana turned sixty eight last week. Few days later he was at the London O2. I went to see him. I drove to London that Saturday morning, left the car at my daughter’s and took the DLR to the O2. The new swish cable car they call the Emirates Air Line took me across the Thames.…

In My Time – Week 29, 2015


Early on in the week we made Harira for supper – the Moroccan thick soup with chickpeas, lentils, rice, tomatoes, garlic and ginger. It didn’t come out quite the way neither the recipe nor we intended, so we added loads of leftover roast guinea fowl from the previous evening to it and opened a bottle of…