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1. Four Continents

My travels have taken me around much of Europe - I live in the UK. That includes some of the intriguing cities of Eastern Europe: Moscow and Prague.

Prague and Venice are my favourite cities: Prague for its medieval nature; Venice for its watery twists and turns.

I've also dipped into the Americas: stunning canyons, business trips to Texas, pleasure in Brazil. In Brazil, I travel with Brazilian friends - sometimes we're on the tourist trail, sometimes we're off-trail ... a wonderful combination.

A few years ago, I went to South Africa for a month, with a day in Lesotho.

And my favourite part of the world, so far, is the Far East. My work got me to Malaysia and Singapore several times, where I was able to take some private time to look around.

The most amazing was China. It isn't right to call it a holiday: it was an experience. Nothing prepared me for how the famous sights (wall & warriors) are of such greater magnitude than any picture or film. Nothing prepared me for the vastness (of countryside, of time). Aah ...

2. The Poetry

Travel and love: the themes that most usually inspire me to write. Sometimes both feature in the one poem.

Chinatown, Malaka, Malaysia: inspired "Beware", which was also the first of my poems to be published.

Dublin, Ireland: "'On this eve of St Paddy's Day" saw my reflections, over a Guinness, of a lady elsewhere.

Crete, Greece: unknown to me, there was a full eclipse of the moon in Northern Africa. In Crete, which is north of Africa, I'm at a bus-stop, glancing at a strange-looking moon, a faint outline of a circle with a bright part. It looks like a diamond ring. Another poem! "Heavenly Symbol" was the result.

You can find some of my poetry at: http://www.mkweb.co.uk/speakeasy/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=11160

The first of them took second prize in a UK national poetry competition. I translated it into Portuguese for my friends in Brazil - contact me if you'd like a copy in that language.

Since then I've won a first prize, another second prize, and had several Highly Commended, in various other competitions.

And in 2009, I was a winner of a competition to get a collection published. Called "Tasting The Fruit", it was published in February 2010. Woohoo!!!

3. Music - live!

These are the best (or otherwise notable) gigs I've been to.

1960? Cliff Richard & The Shadows (not my choice!)
1969 Yes

1970? Derek & The Dominoes (Eric Clapton)
1970? David Bowie (only a few accoustic numbers, including the just-released Space Oddity)
1970? Jethro Tull
1970 Pink Floyd (free concert in Hyde Park, 18 July)
1970 Canned Heat (free concert in Hyde Park, 12 September)
1971? Traffic
1970s, 2000* Steeleye Span
1970s, 2001*, 2002* Osibisa

1980s Moody Blues (with the original line-up)
1980s Art Garfunkel

1995** REM (+ Blur + others)
1997*, 1999*, 2000* Wishbone Ash
1997*, 2002* Roger McGuinn
1999*, 2000* The Hamsters
1999?, 2000* Colosseum

2000 Robert Plant
2000 Rolling Stones

2001* Mark King (of Level 42)
2001 Neil Young (+ Waterboys, Starsailor, Cousteau + others)
2001 Van Morrison
2001*, 2002* Average White Band

2002*, 2003* Blue Oyster Cult
2002 Chuck Berry
2002, 2004* Jefferson Starship
2002 Santana

2003 Chris Rea
2003 Goldfrapp
2003 Alison Moyet
2003* Suzanne Vega

2004 The Doobie Brothers

2005 CREAM (reunion at Royal Albert Hall, 3 May)
2005 Ian Hunter (with guest Mick Ralphs)

2006 Simple Minds
2006** Deep Purple (+ others)
2006* Barclay James Harvest (featuring John Lees & Woolly Wolstenholme)

2007* Steve Winwood
2007 Genesis
2007* 10cc

2008 Joe Bonamassa
2008 Joe Satriani
2008 Robin Trower
2008 Bad Company
2008** Linkin Park
2008 Chicago
2008 Atlanta Rhythm Section
2008* Curved Air

2009 America
2009* Judy Collins
2009 The Stranglers
2009 U2
2010 High Voltage Festival, London: ZZ Top, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (specially reunited one-off), Foreigner, Joe Bonamassa, Bachman Turner, Transatlantic ...

2011 Peter Frampton
2011* Spin Doctors
2011** Foo Fighters
2011 High Voltage Festival, London: Jethro Tull (40 years on!) - joined for encore by Joe Bonamassa; Black Country Communion; Dream Theater ...

2012 Toots and the Maytals
2012 Greg Lake
2013 *Fish
2013 Muse
2013 Crosby, Stills & Nash
2014 **Kings of Leon
2014 **Pearl Jam (supported by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)

*These gigs at The Stables - www.stables.org:
Since September 1998, well over 200 gigs at The Stables, Milton Keynes, where I am a volunteer helper.

**These gigs at the National Bowl - http://www.mkweb.co.uk/Bowl/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=3151
When I see the Bowl gigs that I did NOT go to, I could weep ...


  • Intro Updated Jul 26, 2014
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