How to rough it on the road and still come back smiling

I’ve been back in the land of peat, rain, brick lanes and whisky for a few weeks now. Back home in the autumnal Scottish Borders where my family, friends, dogs and home comforts are busy easing me back into the normal swing of things (slowly, but surely). And somehow, somehow, as so many have already pointed out (with more than a dash of surprise), I made it nine and change months round the world and came back in one piece. Continue reading “How to rough it on the road and still come back smiling”

RIP Juan Gabriel, Star of Mexico, Latin Pavarotti

The city sprawls itself haphazardly across storm capped mountains, for as far as the eye can see. The plane hits a wave of misty turbulence as we approach the runway; thunder and the roar of the engines become indistinguishable. I have just landed in Mexico City, and I’ve no idea what lies ahead. Continue reading “RIP Juan Gabriel, Star of Mexico, Latin Pavarotti”

The End Product of One Too Many Introspective Hangovers

I was sitting on yet another bus a week or two ago, Shaun and I headed for Quilotoa – an active volcano outside of Latacunga, Ecuador. I was sitting there, watching a countryside not so dissimilar to Scotland’s pass us by – all lush greens and forest and pasture – listening to music that reminds me of home, when I was struck by a moment of perfect clarity. Continue reading “The End Product of One Too Many Introspective Hangovers”

And the sun sank on China

He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man

– Mao Zedong

That may be all well and good, Mao auld chum, but y’all ever camped on the Great Wall? Naw? ‘Fuck up then. What’s more: that kind of gendered hyper-masculinity doesn’t fly anymore. Double ‘fuck up. (Now I’m safely off Chinese soil, I feel it’s safe to tell former dictators to ‘fuck up.) Continue reading “And the sun sank on China”

The game of Mao has now begun

According to my WordPress app, this is the longest gap I’ve left between posts since starting my journey. And for good reason, too.

Since leaving the lofty peaks of my birthday in Zhangjiajie, my days have been packed full of adventure, leaving me little time to write anything but the odd short poem (be a good sport and check out the ones I uploaded a couple days ago, eh?). I’m now back on yet another long and relatively (un)comfortable Chinese train, so it’s time to share with y’all those adventures. Continue reading “The game of Mao has now begun”

The day that Pizza Hut saved my life

Have you ever been offered help to lift something and declined the offer, thinking:

Pfft, you seen dis measly slab of cement? You seen deez arms, son? I got dis.

Right before putting your back out under the weight?

Ever been sat watching the rugger and said to yourself:

I guess if I wanted to, if I really really had to, I could probably take Julian Savea in a fight. Continue reading “The day that Pizza Hut saved my life”

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