News from Jupiter

Flashback to Cairo, 1973: No more gold at the Golden

November 27, 2022

I don’t know now who it was that sent me to the Golden Hotel in Cairo, but it was an inspired recommendation. Right in the centre of the city, on a busy but fashionable street, it should have been too expensive, but despite the noble façade the rooms were quite spartan and the facilities very basic. In reality it was pretty run down and although […]

A Forgotten Perspective On The Pyramids

November 20, 2022

During the course of this past week I have been relieved to learn that the world is probably not flat after all, and that the flat-earthers seem to be losing their grip, so I’ll leave that subject and go on to something else. I still have all the notebooks I filled during my first journey around the world, so I thought it would be interesting […]

Audiobooks and other news

November 6, 2022

Yesterday I recorded the final chapter of Don’t Boil The Canary. It’s a huge relief. I had no idea, when I started doing this nine months ago, just how demanding it is. For one thing my voice has been constantly on the brink of collapse, and a frog has taken up permanent residence in my throat. When the idea of recording Jupiter’s Travels first came […]

Persuading You To See For Yourself

September 17, 2022

I suppose it’s about time I started believing what people tell me. For forty years now they have been saying that it was my book that inspired them to get on their bikes in the first place, and then out into the world. I have always been afraid of letting all that praise go to my head but now, at 91, perhaps I can let […]

Threats To Our Common Interest

July 24, 2022

Forty-eight years ago, when I was riding through Tanzania on my way to Mbeya, I came across an elephant. *   “It stood a little way back from the road and facing me, arrested in the act of chewing a trunk-load of grass. The grass stuck out on either side of its mouth behind the trunk, like a cat’s whiskers, giving it an undignified and […]

A Wonderful Week

July 3, 2022

I’ve had a wonderful week in England, right across the spectrum of motorcycle travel. First there was the enormous ABR meeting at Ragley Hall, and then, on my last night, an intimate evening in a pub with sixty fellow bikers. I must admit I was nervous of the ABR. Huge meetings like that have never been my thing although I compromised for years in the […]

Returning to England

June 19, 2022

My partner Ann has lived in France all her adult life but she still switches to Radio 4 every morning, and so, like it or not, I am gradually drifting back into being British, combining breakfast with the bitterness of a Brexit hangover and taking some pleasure over the woes of Johnson. But I haven’t been there for almost three years. Mainly because of Covid, […]

Interesting Visitors and An Exhilarating Ride

June 5, 2022

When I first moved into Aspiran, my village in the South of France, there were people here who thought they would be overrun by hordes of noisy bikers; a sort of Mediterranean Sturgis. Alain, the café owner, would have been delighted, of course. Everybody else would have wanted to run me out of town. They vastly overrated my notoriety. It seems I am not so […]

No Longer Ninety

May 1, 2022

It’s that day again, MayDay; and not for many decades has life on earth been in such need of saving from distress, but I needn’t remind you of that. For me it is a day of joy, a birthday, and most of all, thank heavens, I am NO LONGER NINETY. For a whole year I have been labouring under the weight of that zero, so […]

Lots of bread, but no circus

March 13, 2022

In 1993, when I was on a long journey through Europe, mostly on foot, I walked through a part of Ukraine, between Poland and Romania. Ukraine, newly liberated from the Soviet Union, was deep in crisis, but the crisis was economic. I can’t think of anything useful to say about the tragedy unfolding there now, so I thought I’d offer you a short extract from […]