Land of Ice and Fire – and Literature

20th, Jun 2015

I am soon off to Iceland again, my second trip to the land of ice and fire. Iceland also happens to be ‘probably the world’s most bookish country,’ according to The Guardian.

Questions of Travel: the work of Norman Lewis

25th, May 2015

Think of the long trip home.

Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?

                                               Elizabeth Bishop, ‘Questions of Travel’


Animal Hunger Games – tales from safari guide school

19th, Apr 2015

      ‘Always walk with a torch at night. There are snakes and scorpions around. Also leopard, hyena, even lion. One night last year we were sitting here having dinner and a male lion walked into the kitchen.’

      ‘Did he find anything to eat?’

The Lives of Predators: H is for Hawk

27th, Feb 2015

Of all animals, the lives of predators are perhaps the most difficult for us to imagine. I was reminded of this recently, when I interviewed the acclaimed writer Helen MacDonald for the UE

Winter Garden - an exhibition

30th, Jan 2015

‘Winter Garden’ is the title of an exhibition curated by Lucy Reynolds for Flat Time House, a South London gallery, and for which I’ve been commissioned to write and read a story.

The Wave - the Indian ocean tsunami ten years on

26th, Dec 2014

The daily retreat and advance of the tides is an inescapable part of life on any coast. I have always had a fascination for tides, in part from having grown up in Nova Scotia, whose Bay of Fundy is the scene of the highest tides in the world.

‘Wordsight’ – WG Sebald and the image as text

24th, Nov 2014

We have become used to illustrating our lives. If we want to buy a new digital camera, we take a photo of it in the shop with our smartphone and send it to our friend the digital camera whizz to advise.

The Expatriate Novel in Africa

21st, Sep 2014

Does ‘the African expatriate novel’ exist? Living and working in Africa – as well as reading and writing there – has led me to reflect on novels which share this basic premise.