Saturday, January 08, 2011


Hamish at his new home with his favourite toy. He is reported to be delighted at having made a sound career change. I remain weepy...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Our cottage feels very empty. Bernadette left today for New York. She will be away a month. I am happy for her. She deserves a break and loves the City. I am jealous of her because she will be seeing my daughter, Anya - and my wondrous grandson, Shane. And I am sad, of course, at her being away for a month and was even a little weepy at the station. B reminded me that I go away for six months or more at a time. True....
However there is a greater sadness because it is final. Josh left first and lives now in Leeds city center. Jed is off cheffing/snow-boarding at a hotel in the French Alps. Now Hamish has left home. He decided time had come for his own career change - that he had enjoyed enough of the country and wished to become more sophisticated. So he has moved to a home in the suburbs closer to London. English suburbanites keep cats. Hamish will have fun!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Great to get messages from readers, angry, disappointed, complimentary or kind.
Paulcf is disappointed that I wrote little concerning Argentina and Chile. OLD MAN ON A BIKE is the first of a travel trilogy and covers my journey south. Chile was not part of this journey. Chile does feature in the second MS which takes me north from Ushuaia to the USA. The second MS also includes three chapters on Argentina. As to Ming, he has joined a Buddhist monastery where I hope to visit him in the coming winter.
I sense that the vastness of the United States distances many citizens from their Government and its actions. Mine is a small country with no space for distance. The nations of Central America are equally small. United States immigration and foreign policy is intrinsic, not only to their history, but in their daily lives. It is a common subject of conversation. The same is true of Mexico.
Bush and Blair may be "old history" to us yet their decisions continue to effect opinions of both the United States and Britain. I encountered this as much on my recent journey round India as in the Americas.
Added to which, I am an obsessive. Riding long hours alone, the same chain of thought becomes my daily companion and is a natural part of my writing. For pure travel I suggest a travel guide. My own preference is FOOTPRINT.
For an overview of the trip, please be patient. You will find it in the second volume.



Review of your book

Very interesting...I have 20 years to prepare for my SA trip! I too am afraid of all the negativity the press says about SA. I suspect having your white beard and your age benefited you on your trip. I was dismayed with the latter part of your book...little to tell about Chile (and why you didn't travel in Chile except for the very end?) and nothing about what you did afterwards...did you just fly home and sell the bike in Ushuai or what? What about your rider buddy Ming? So much of your book was loaded with Mexico and Central America and so little about Argentina and Chile. Also, the ranting about Bush and Blair served no's all ancient history now, out of date and I didn't get your book to hear your rants about them, I wished you had spent more of that time/pages about the TRIP. I wanted to see/read an overview of your trip, etc but nothing at all, very strange indeed.

Monday, January 03, 2011


TED SIEROCINSKI HAS SMOKED ME OUT. Though not a rabid "Red", I must confess to being something of a Pinko.....
Pics are SUNDAY TIMES COLOUR SUPLEMENT from the Spencer Tunik Instalation at THE BIG CHILL FESTIVAL, 2010


blog 1/2/2011 Ted SierocinskiNM 87505 letter

Hello, Simon

I was born and currently live in TEXAS, USA. My fellow countryman's myopic letter is too often the norm. Of course it's everyone's right to his/her own opinion, but the letter is so typical of folks here in the USA. Yes, we each try to do good (or perhaps the best we can) but we don't do as much "good" here in the USA as we need to. Unfortunately, for the USA, "Peak Oil" will focus our policy even further away from our own borders, since we do not now have sufficient oil to power our consumer oriented post industrial revolution society. Lets hope (pray) that the struggle over oil does not cause further problems for the world and the USA.

All of your books are on my book shelf and I am looking forward to buying your next book.

The point of this letter is "Please" don't judge everyone in the USA by the tone of Ted's letter. Thanks.

Best Wishes
Bill Rose


Susan Switzer writes:


Ged Asbery writes:
Good ol' Ted must be more clever than me. I obviously missed the hidden message that "Old Man on a bike" portrayed US citizens as"selfish and disgusting people".


Joe Berk writes:
Odd, I read the book, and I did not take any of Simon's comments as US bashing. Mostly he was reporting what other people said or felt.


Re criticism of OLD MAN ON A BIKE
EUGENIO writes:
As much as I would rather be under the boot of the USA instead of say Hitler's Germany, Russia or Torrquemada's Spain, I like your comments (USA bashing) because I hate the hypocrisy. Spain never pretended to be exporting "democracy" well until now that is, neither did Hitler nor Stalin. It is precisely because USA citizens are supposed to be smarter than that that they should see beyond the USAID signs and go look at the mess they have left here...

Sunday, January 02, 2011


Letters from readers mostly fall into two catagories: thanks for enjoyment or anger.
The angry usually come from readers in the US.The following is an example:

How I enjoyed your book

Ted Sierocinski
NM 87505
I was looking forward to reading your book as I was traveling from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Guatemala on my Kawasaki KLR 650. I have been in Spanish language school here for almost 4 months. It provided many useful references and your insight into the Latin American indigenous people was informative. I am a US citizen and am about to celebrate my 60th birthday at the end of the year.
Having commuted to work over the years I have accumulated over 300,000 miles on various bikes. I share your enthusiasm for adventure and the experience of the two wheel challenge. The adventure really begins when things go wrong.
What went wrong for me with your book was about by page 266 I finally became nauseated by the bashing of the United States and its role in Latin America. Traveling thru Mexico and Guatemala I encountered many USAID projects with many USA citizens involved volunteering. Many bomberos, doctors and nurses are here! helping the Guatemalan people progress. I know that as a country we are taking our licks as a less than perfect country but never once heard a reference to Spain as they took a
lions share of the wealth form Latin America to Spain and how that Latin American within a feudal system under Spain's domination missed the Industrial Revolution. That was probably the United States fault also. Transferring the wealth out of the country in Korea is subject to the death penalty.
Having said that I am throwing your book in the trash. I can take solace in the fact that although we are a selfish and disgusting people that your wrote this book in English not in German.
Ted Sierocinski