News from Jupiter

At least there’s music

February 17, 2017

My bike sits in the garage, gloomy and forlorn. I can’t ride it because it still has British plates on it, and I can’t get it insured. To get French plates I have to have a piece of paper to prove to the French authorities that the bike conforms to the  European norms. Of course it does. It was made in Italy, sold and used […]


November 30, 2016

I had a nightmare last night. The world was in ruins, in a rather colourful and impressionistic way, and I was in a famous photographer’s studio where he was trying to turn the ruins into an art object. I had been up and down the west coast of America, on a bike I think, getting lost in hotels and viewing the destruction, and I was […]

Banter ranter

October 16, 2016

I haven’t been in a locker room since I was 17 which probably accounts for the fact that all my joints seem to be working quite painlessly, but even back then in post-war London boys might be heard saying some pretty disgusting things. I don’t remember anything about pussies because we hadn’t graduated yet to reverse anthropomorphism. The C word was certainly uttered from time […]

How I Love That Bike . . .

September 14, 2016

… and obviously I’m not the only one   Overland is one of those words used for promoting everything from socks to Santa, so you could be forgiven if you’ve missed Paddy Tyson’s Overland Magazine, for and about motorcycle travellers.  But you won’t be forgiven if you don’t at least look for it now. Paddy, who also has a quite difficult day job, gives birth […]

Vive la Fête . . . and to hell with the Jihad

July 16, 2016

On the night before Quatorze Juillet hundreds of us, in the village of Aspiran, sat down to dinner together under the plane trees with bottles of wine, to eat melon, ham, grilled sausage and lamb chops, cheese and ice cream. It’s a tradition in many French villages and a wonderful way for people to enjoy their sense of belonging to the community. People who ride […]

About that CD

June 4, 2016

Read about the Fire Sale, and then if you want that $10 CD and you’re in the USA, send me $12 (includes $2 for shipping) by Paypal to If you’re not in the US send me an email, please.

Fire Sale

Not quite, perhaps. More of a moving sale, but fire sure sounds more urgent.  I did have a fire here once, in 1991, when my redwood barn burned down, and wasn’t that dramatic. All gone in six minutes. Now that I’m leaving those memories come flooding back. So, as I search around for things to leave, things to take, I find something I haven’t looked […]

Wherefore art thou, Ted

April 22, 2016

It has taken me 85 years to discover Verona, but I’m one of those people who like to save the best for last. What got me there  – apart from my new/old Citroen C2 – was an email from Luigi Licci who owns a travel book shop. Anyone with a book shop will get my attention. Book shop owners are among the bravest, and most […]

Back to ’77

March 22, 2016

When you move house all sorts of things float to the surface. Here’s one of them – a piece I wrote for the Sunday Times in 1977, just after getting back. I think it’s interesting to read now, and some of it is not a little prophetic. It’s easy to look back and think of those days as relatively peaceful and innocent, but that’s not […]

To Friends of Aspiran

January 2, 2016

It snowed on Christmas morning in Covelo and again on New Year’s Day. Snow in Covelo is a pretty rare event. I’ll take it as a good omen, which is my usual way of greeting any new phenomenon. It’s worked for me so far. Since I last wrote about Aspiran a few more people have come in with late contributions, so that’ll be some extra […]