The Homecoming – Complete pdf

What the hell, nobody reads it anyway.

Some book I wrote a bit back can be downloaded as a pdf at this link, if anyone wants to marvel at my wasted effort. It gets a bit more coherent later as I kind of figure out what I’m doing, but it ain’t great. Still, first efforts and all that. And for anyone whose first introduction to the site is this post, you’ll have to take it on trust that my writing’s improved in the few years since then. I’ve had a bit more practice.

To be entirely clear, that would be this link. Have fun!

Or don’t, it’s not particularly uplifting.




“When he tried later on to piece his recollections together, he learnt a great deal about himself from what other people told him. He had mixed up incidents and explained events as due to circumstances which existed only in his imagination.” – Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The waiting room was good, as far as these things go. The hospital was a new one, maybe a year or so old, and everything in it, bar the people, seemed just as new. Chairs of all shapes and sizes, firm and soft and high and angled and reclined, some modicum of comfort for every type of ailment or disorder, all laid out in neat rows on gleaming plastic not-wood. There was wood panelling softening the harsh lines of walls and whiteness, soft blue colours masking the clinical efficiency hidden behind the low desk.

Everyone was astonishingly helpful. I was asked several times by passing nurses if I wanted to go into a room and lie down. Every time, I shook my head to clear the fog, muttered something noncommittal. The chairs were fine.

They weren’t fine, but at least there was no risk of me passing out when I was sitting.

Continue reading “Translucence”


Just a quick note to say I’m currently recovering from surgery, so won’t be posting anything for an indefinite period. I’m fine, just incapable of really writing.

Although maybe a morphine diary could be the avant garde stream-of-consciousness piece the world’s been waiting for.

In The Long Grass

In The Long Grass

“Ugh, I think my feet are wet.”

Politics is all glamour and suits and expenses scandals, isn’t it? Walking and talking, power-brokers in dapper tailoring divvying up the world as they laugh and drink bottles of expensive brown liquor. Heady, exhilirating, the cut and thrust of debate and little sleep and the thrilling sensation of everything poised at your fingertips. Inevitably, lots of tortured sex masking Machiavellian power games.

And for all I know, that might have all been going on in the rival party stall set up about 50 metres from us. That said, it was probably a bit cold for bondage. I’d imagine whips tend to sting a lot more in the driving rain.

Continue reading “In The Long Grass”

Generic Old White Man Pontificates

Generic Old White Man Pontificates

Unrelated news event illustrates why Britain would be better off inside/outside the EU.

GLASGOW – The news that New Zealand has voted to keep its current flag exemplifies why Britain should or shouldn’t vote to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum, an indistinguishably bland, upper class member of either the Leave or Remain campaigns asserted yesterday.

Continue reading “Generic Old White Man Pontificates”

Securitisation Has Failed

Securitisation Has Failed

It’s somehow fitting that the four month long search for one of the most wanted men in Europe, a desperate search for a terrorist by the combined might of the security forces of half a continent, had its big break because of takeaway pizza.

Salah Abdeslam, one of the last remaining suspects from the ISIS affiliated terrorist attacks in Paris last November was assumed by security forces to have disappeared to ISIS controlled territory in Syria. Instead, he was hiding in the neighbourhood in Brussels he grew up and spent most of his life in, mere metres from his former home.

The chance discovery of a fingerprint on a glass in a raid earlier in the week led to police monitoring his old stamping grounds in the district of Molenbeek. It was then that they began to suspect that one house was harbouring more people than it appeared. In a farcical turn, when the inhabitants of the house ordered what seemed like far more pizza than they could ever eat, the police swooped.

And then, not even a week later, the world awoke to the aftermath of yet another terrorist attack. This joined the litany of terrorist attacks across the world over the past twelve months, the most prominent of which in the Western media was Paris, but which encompasses multiple attacks in Turkey, in Istanbul and Ankara, as well as dozens of others.

Continue reading “Securitisation Has Failed”

The Thick of It

Another repost of something I wrote for the official team blog while in Zambia. The original can be found here.

The meeting probably wasn’t an important one anyway.

So when a clamour of shouts and car horns began to rattle the windows of our office, and everyone visible through the office door rushed to the street, it maybe didn’t matter that we all abandoned what we were doing to follow. Not that we could’ve talked to each other over the racket even if we’d wanted to.

Outside was a convoy of red and green painted pickup trucks blocking the road. The shouts were coming from the crowds of people flocking to see what was happening, just as we were, all competing for volume against a man standing atop one of the trucks yelling exhortations into a megaphone. The drivers of the trucks were leaning on their horns, adding random, offbeat blares to the cacophony.

Continue reading “The Thick of It”

Fruits for our Labours

Fruits for our Labours

Another Zambia piece. I will eventually do other things.

I only managed to take a couple of pictures of food while I was in Zambia. One was of Christmas lunch at our host home, a spread of potatoes, pasta, chicken, salad, and cake. The other was… well, see for yourself.


Killing a xenomorph isn’t nearly as hard as all those Alien films make it out to be[1]. Predators are just a bunch of posing hipsters, to be entirely honest. You don’t need head lasers or stealth fields or anything to hunt down one of the slimy buggers, and then, once you’ve tracked it to its lair and given a decent clonk on the head, the eggs make for pretty decent eating. Not a great omelette, but add an interesting tang to a carbonara.

Continue reading “Fruits for our Labours”

Der Traktor

Der Traktor

Another of my experiences/reflections on Zambia. Again, I can only write about what I see. Get angry about my accidental misrepresentations in the comments.

“What the hell is Zika?”

“Hmm… I dunno.”

We were sitting in the single internet café in Samfya, attempting to work on some official blogging business, with the previously unforeseen combination of both power and network access. One of us was fiddling on the computer, desperately trying to upload photos while we still had a connection. The other was sitting slack-jawed, transfixed by the silent TV hanging on a bracket above the doorway.

It was tuned to what looked like a German news service’s international, English language segment. Headlines flashed across the bottom of the screen, talking of things and places we hadn’t even imagined existed for the past three months, while burnished, plastic looking presenters mouthed shapes to a backdrop. They were mime artists, contorting their facial expressions to shock and anger and outrage at the state of the world, as if they were aware they were being watched in silence.

Continue reading “Der Traktor”