Monday, June 25, 2007


Crossing Tierra del Fuego on a small motorcycle in mid winter is an unsuitable pursuit for an elderly gentleman. My bike is in store in Ushuaia. I must get to Puerto Natales in Chile to take the ferry north up through the Chilean fjords to Puerto Montt. Roads in the passes may be closed for three days at a time. The cold will be acute. I am fearful. I am not sure that I can manage. I am sure that I can’t manage. Then why not wait?

OLD TOAD ON A BIKE is the first volume of the travel trilogy and will be published in early February, 2008.

OLD MEN CAN’T WAIT is the second volume. I can’t wait. I don’t have that many years. My adoptive daughter, Anya, lives in Duchess County, NY. She is having a baby in January and granddad wants to be there. And I need to be back in England for publication. Ushuaia to Duchess County is one hell of ride on what is basically a pizza delivery bike.


I am leaving the English summer for Tierra del Fuego in mid winter. Insane! Our garden here in Herefordshire, at the foot of the Malvern Hills, is a perfumed heaven of roses and lavender. The view from our garden across two cricket fields to the hills is divine. Jed (17) is at Hereford Junior College. Josh (21) is studying Spanish and International Affairs at Leeds Metropolitan University. I will miss my sons, miss that small part of their lives to which they permit entry. And I will miss my wife, Bernadette. I will miss her every moment of our separation.


I had intended leaving for Argentina in late February. I required a publisher. That has taken a while. Firstly I am an old man and this is an era of youth. Backing me is a gamble. I might die before I produce.

Secondly, publishing is changing. Communications are changing. Blogs and web sites gain huge readership.

Who wants books?

Fortunately most people who fly, those who have need to spend nights alone in hotel rooms where the TV is in the wrong language and the news is broadcast by FOX, or holiday on the beach and are too old to surf...Oh, and all those perverts who find sensual gratification in the feel of a book - particularly a hardcover perfectly printed on good paper.
So there remains a substantial market.
I have finally agreed a three book contract with Clare Christian, MD at The Friday Project.

Why The Friday Project?

Because they understand modern media and specialise in transferring Blogs to print.
I was a little concerned at first as to whether they were proper publishers. They lack that slight air of condescension towards the writer which is the publisher’s hallmark. However, Macmillan's handles their distibution and foreign sales (think tweeds, starched shirts, careful ties).