Journeys with a book

West_Africa_-_February_2010_378-1Welcome to my blog. This one is on the inspiration behind my Commonwealth Prize winning novel, and why it is being re-launched. Click on the link:

If you can walk, you can dance

To see earlier posts, click on the links below:
1. Starting points
2. A special kind of courage
3. Scratches in the rock
4. Fiction and real life
5. Backpacking through time
6. Diary of a Speaking Tigress
7. Negotiating with rebel leaders
8. The festival that nearly didn’t happen
9. Working with Ralph Russell
10. Who is ‘we’ ?
1. Who needs poetry?
12. Cast a long shadow
13. A better place?
14.  It’s an umbrella
15. When artists go to work
6. Reading to the swans

It’s an umbrella

lets-fly-header-wpIt’s dark all around us. My grandson, Zander – nearly three – is moulded into my lap, his body stilled by concentration as he watches the extraordinary goings on at the other end of the room. A young woman swings her puppet in the air, pretending to fly him over painted-cardboard-mountains and cotton-wool-clouds amidst birds that suddenly appear on sticks.… Read more

A better place?


Uncertain Light has brought me to some strange places, but none stranger than this – I have been invited to speak at a conference on ‘Making the world a better place.’ My first reaction was – ‘You’re asking me?‘ The second was, Absurd to think any individual can do that. And yet, and yet …

I’m thinking back to September 2013 … Sitting on the stage of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank, watching the profile of the man next to me.… Read more

Who needs poetry?


The wind blows hard, the night is dark, the stormy waves are rising
The anchor’s chain is broken, and the captain is asleep

British politics? Trump? Communal violence? Actually it’s the poet Ghalib in the early 19th century,  commenting on the world around him Delhi – or perhaps on life in general; and in the first chapter of my novel the words lodge in the mind of Tessa as she faces  a very personal crisis. 

Poetry in a novel?Read more