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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 […]

Following strings to where The River Stops Here

February 13, 2022

I live in a whirlpool of email. I have 94 mailboxes, and lots of them have long strings that trip me up when I go searching. The other day I followed a string and there, twitching at the end of it I found an ancient, buried email from Carla King telling me that Google has archived one of my books. Google didn’t ask my permission, […]

Discovered At Last and Saving The World

February 6, 2022

Discovered At Last Last September (I think it was) a friend of mine, Yvon, came to visit from the town of Orange – a lovely old town in the Rhone valley, with the smallest Opera house I’ve ever seen. He is the owner of the Touratech shop in Orange and back in 2017, when we first met, things were going great. Bikers were in and […]

What are WE to do?

January 30, 2022

As you all know I have felt a peculiar sense of responsibility for the world since I rode around it. In a way I think of it as mine, so If I could save it, I would. Last night, not being able to sleep, I turned my thoughts, once again, to this crucial dilemma. I struggled mightily. What must be done? What can I do […]

Into Russia in 1998

December 5, 2021

The first copies of my new book will get here on Wednesday I’m told, and I’m pretty eager to see them. Angel and Teresa who have designed it and had it printed in Spain are bringing them back in their van. The rest will come next week in a truck. Meanwhile here’s the second half of the piece I wrote back in ’98 when I […]