Karma suits you… From Cairo to Boston and back

cairoIt’s funny what comes around. Twenty-four years ago I was in Cairo. I was skint and had flown there from India via Jordan where I had hitched to see Petra and then done the same down to Aqaba, before boarding a cattle boat to Nuweiba in the Sinai.

I had around 100 leather bracelets with me that I’d bought in Rajasthan and was trying to sell via some Thai Muslim mates at Cairo University. I was sleeping on a chair in a slum apartment and every day for ten days I’d walk into central Cairo with just enough money for bread at the local baker before being told at the bank that the hundred quid I had wired for hadn’t arrived. Continue reading

Don’t take pictures of gamblers in late-night London betting shops

There are only two times in my life that I’ve nearly been lynched, once was a road rage incident in India when somebody threw a rock at me and I lost it, the other was last night outside a William Hill betting shop in Victoria station.

The idea was good. Furtive gamblers at 9.30pm crouched around fruit machines, looking like hyenas around potential prey. Dirty, horrible animals they were… who became wild after the betting shop manager told me to stop taking pictures. Continue reading

Don't take pictures of gamblers in late-night London betting shops

There are only two times in my life that I’ve nearly been lynched, once was a road rage incident in India when somebody threw a rock at me and I lost it, the other was last night outside a William Hill betting shop in Victoria station.

The idea was good. Furtive gamblers at 9.30pm crouched around fruit machines, looking like hyenas around potential prey. Dirty, horrible animals they were… who became wild after the betting shop manager told me to stop taking pictures. Continue reading

The curious case of Peter Reid, J F Kennedy and the sh*thole, sorry, City of Plymouth

Plymouth is a horrible little city, its streets are wide and the wind blows deep across the soul for anybody unlucky enough to be spending time there. The nearby Devonport Dockyard not only services nuclear submarines, it also serves up squaddies who do their usual weekend punch-up thing.

It also has the ugliest shopping centre in Europe and a street plan that looks as if it was designed by Iago pretending to be Mondrian. It’s a city that just aches to beat people up and is a somewhat different place to when the Founding Fathers sailed off to America. Continue reading

Quite possibly the thickest Australian who's ever lived… and that's saying something


“Australian culture involves fun activities like barbecues, throwing people into pools and being at peace.”

Those illuminating words were spoken by Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds after it was announced that he would be going into the Bigg Boss house, India’s somewhat antiquated version of the Big Brother house.

He is as dense as a pre-global warming ice shelf and that’s saying something for a country that DOES have more than its fair share of idiots. I met one recently in San Diego. Thick as two planks, more like a Labrador than a man, but a good bloke all the same. Thick people generally have that knack in the same way that fat people are usually ‘jolly’. Continue reading