Friday, December 19, 2008


Ledbury's Mayor and the Town Crier watch as I sign copies of OLD MAN ON A BIKE in the Three Counties Bookshop. I am dyslectic. How embarrassing to make a spelling mistake in front of such august witnesses!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



Kind people have been posting messages on this Blog. Amongst their number, Gemma, Hubert Kriegel, Rob, Greg Funnell, D J Kirkby, John McClane and an Englishman in Japan. Thank you, a very happy Christmas and a safe New Year. For bikers (Hubert and his sidecar), ride safe and may all your falls be gentle,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


A journalist on the Hereford Times asked for my New Year wishes. Difficult not to be with featuring on the radio program, Desert Island Discs. Do those famous people really listen to both Gregorian chant and the most obscure of Dylan albums?
These are the wishes I sent to the Hereford Times:

Wishes for the New Year? Health for my family and myself: though 76, I plan a further six month solo journey by motorcycle, preferably not to Eternity.
On the home front, I wish for leaders who boast less in good times, accept responsibility in bad and are keener students of history.
On the world stage, I wish for the safe and speedy withdrawal of our soldiers from Afghanistan. I am familiar with the country and its people having lived in Kabul in the days of the King and ridden on horseback with moujahidin during the Russian occupation. Afghans were our heroes then. We are their enemy now.
Lastly (or firstly), writers are obsessive egotists: our greatest wish is that our books sell well.


Our youngest son, Jedediah, has flown the nest. I drove him to Gatwick airport from whence he flew to Geneva and continued by road to a small resort in the French Haute Savoye where he will work in a small ski hotel and perfect his snowboarding. He will be away five months. Our home feels very empty without him. I worry that he will hurt himself on the mountains.
He is worried by my health. I have promised to lose weight.


Ledbury is a small charming town once famous for its cattle market (Herefords, of course). Bernadette and I were married in the Tudor market house. New Year approaches. People are out there buying Christmas presents. OLD MAN ON A BIKE is a fine stocking-filler and readers enjoy having a copy signed by a local author. One of the two books shops in Ledbury, BOOKS & MAPS, has sold 30 copies; I signed a further 14 for them yesterday. I did a public signing last Saturday in the other shop. We ran out of books (an order for fresh stock hadn't arrived). However I had my photograph taken with the mayor and the town crier which I will post in due course.