News from Jupiter

Here’s a new twist?

September 18, 2019

Just keeping up to date on the various ways in which the French Bureaucracy challenges our ingenuity. I have received a registered letter from Nantes. The government office at Nantes is well known to everyone, including the police, as a black hole. It is where you send applications for a change of driving license. The letter, paraphrased, says, “Sir, on the 9th of July, 2018, […]

Behaving Strangely

September 2, 2019

  I’m off to Ukraine for a flying visit at the end of September to celebrate the tenth anniversary of my worst motorcycle accident. I’m celebrating the fact that it had no visible lasting consequences. In 2009 I was riding my 650 BMW to the Polish border, at a steady pace on a good road in fine weather. As always I was riding close to […]

It’s happening

August 12, 2019

It’s not like me to have nothing to say. I sit here at my computer and all sorts of disconnected ideas are flitting around like fish beneath the surface but they can’t break through, as though they were trapped under a sheet of ice. Nothing seems worth saying when the two countries I am connected with by language and history are both now governed by […]

Who’s afraid of the big bad bike?

April 23, 2019

For ten years now I’ve been going to Arizona in May to face sand-storms, mud, wind, rain, snow and even occasional good weather (I’m kidding: there was lots of good weather, but it’s the other stuff you remember). And the reason for taking such risks with my health and good humour is to be among several thousand other fools like me worshiping at the feet […]

Ted’s assassination – and his joyful resurrection.

February 24, 2019

  Nathan Millward, who is unquestionably one of my favourite characters, has been doing a gig at the motorcycle show in London for a number of years. It consists of putting people on a small stage at one end of this vast arena to tell stories about their travels. He’s run through most of the top attractions in the motorcycle world and this year was […]

Off to the Show

February 13, 2019

I’m off to London tomorrow, to spend three days at the motorcycle show at ExCel. I’ve never been to one before, surprisingly, so I can’t tell you much about it, but I’m the guest of Nathan Millward who rode a postman’s bike from Australia to England a while back and is one of my favourite people in spite of himself. I’m pretty much guaranteed to […]

. . . and a Happy New Year!

December 20, 2018

Considering how much I have always loved Christmas it amazes me how little I can remember of the eighty or more I must have enjoyed, the plethora of presents that have been showered on me, and the sumptuous feasts I have gorged on. Christmas for me is a license to indulge in all my worst characteristics, laziness, gluttony and greed. And therein, perhaps, lies the […]

Forget the crockery, read a book

November 29, 2018

  Thanks to all of you who commiserated with me on the shipwreck of my mother’s crockery. After all’s said and done there seems not much I can do about it, being so far away from the action, but I still hold a slender hope of some small relief. However, I’m getting over it. Christmas is coming. Speaking of which, those who care for me […]

Maybe one of you can help me.

October 28, 2018

  The picture shows part of a table setting of china that got smashed on its way to Europe. The china was made by Spode, an old English company and the pattern is quite beautiful. It is also comparatively valuable, and was left to me by my mother. She never had much money but every now and then she would treat herself to something like […]

Its not all about Dracula

September 21, 2018

These days every time I get on a bike it’s like a new lease of life. Always, before I hoist my leg over the saddle (and hoist is the right word)  there is that small tremor of nervousness. Will it be OK? Will I still feel in command? And then the relief of finding that Yes, it feels good. I still belong here. This time […]