Pain of Sand
Saturday, 21 February 2015
I need to get back inside the Shed. Writing this from the sand-blown Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia where eyes sting, mouths taste of salt and the tapping of keyboards is accompanied by ominous crunching sounds, it might be sensible for my laptop and I to take shelter from the sandstorm. Or at the very least, I could close my mouth instead of gaping inanely at the glorious copy-editing job that…
Life is Short
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
And for that reason - as well as many others - I am overjoyed to note that 'No Lipstick in Lebanon' is fully funded and can now move onto the publication stage. WOO-HOO!
In the year 2000, a speeding London Transport bus almost finished me off as I paused mid-stride, mid-Mare Street, outside Hackney Town Hall (a sorry end for anyone) and this prompted massive changes in my hitherto mundane life…
Horrific Beirut video
Monday, 10 November 2014
Caught on a mobile phone today, a domestic worker in Beirut (probably Ethiopian but not 100% sure) jumps or is pushed to her death. The authorities will say she jumped, and even if she did jump, what kind of terrible working conditions drove her to suicide?
The footage is a stark and horrific reminder that many in Lebanon see migrant workers' lives as cheap and dispensable. My book also aims to…
From Lense to Lines - Part 2 Beirut
Thursday, 6 November 2014
Here are a handful of my Beirut images, garnered in 2012 from a few days of perilous wandering in the name of ‘book research’. Author’s notes follow the relevant extracts from 'No Lipstick in Lebanon'.
“Beirut’s backdrop is immediately unremitting. Endless rows of dirty colourless apartment blocks merge into a many-eyed monster surging upwards from the ground to prod a fluffy blue sky…
From Lense to Lines - Part 1 Ethiopia
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Here is a modest collection of my Ethiopian photos that inspired particular moments in 'No Lipstick in Lebanon', included with relevant lines from the book.
"Tadelle has been plucked from The Bible and placed two millenia hence... he is an Old Testament natural, most at ease on Moses' shoulder, forging across the Sinai Desert with a heavy stone tablet tucked under each arm. The Old Testament is…
Support Anti-Slavery Day Tomorrow (18th October)
Friday, 17 October 2014
“Happy Anti-Slavery Day!” or is it “Unhappy Anti-Slavery Day!” Judging from the state of the world, including the UK, it would seem to be distinctly “Unhappy”.
Slavery, ISIS or Ebola, there are evils in the world that we assume most right-minded individuals are firmly opposed to and it is difficult to understand how they flourish. But I have serious doubts about the world’s commitment to abolishing…
A Bit of Context and Vision
Friday, 10 October 2014
Firstly, welcome to the first Shed entry for ‘No Lipstick in Lebanon’ and secondly, a huge ‘thank you’ for pledging on our book. I really appreciate it, and so does my wife, my two young children (one barely detached from the placenta), and my Ethiopian mother-in-law. Actually, my Shed is quite cramped and the Council are going to issue an Overcrowding Notice any day now. Hemingway never had this…