Beauty and Madness (And a Handful of Poems)

Update: The first draft of Beauty and Madness is complete. The second novel in my Beauty series is now into the editing stage. The next novel in this series will be written in Lisbon this summer and until the time comes I will be writing a book of poems using the pen and the words…

My 10 Best Adventures of the Past Decade

  Life is a journey, life is a dream, we are migrants and happy slaves of wanderlust. As such, for me, the last decade has been a pivotal one. One that neither my genes nor my memories will allow me to forget. This was my debut decade in travel. I first flew beyond the confines…

The Exile

The plaster peeling off the walls in the Alfama looked like a weeping woman’s running mascara. Trams shunted past like the sound of endless rows of slot machines. From yawning windows old women peered outside like gargoyles, their skin as mat and tired as the faded azulejos. Joaquim drank his fourth shot of ginjinha and…

Sevilla and a Nobel Betrayed

  How more like a clear blue sky emerging from the cracks of dawn the Moorish Alcazar appeared in comparison to the dark night of the cathedral. The cathedral of Sevilla – you’re often reminded it is one of the biggest in the world – is politics. Faith is enslaved to the earthly ambitions of…

The City Where Narcissus Blooms

A flowering cathedral   The full name of Florence’s Duomo – or cathedral – is the Santa Maria del Fiore. It is one of the most imposing buildings you’re ever likely to see in Europe. It feels like a Herculean Tetris puzzle crowned by the red-brick masterpiece of Brunelleschi. Beauty tends to attract beauty. Or…

Ponte Vecchio Poems

The process of appreciating a city doesn’t always follow a love-at-first-sight model. First impressions are not always the most lasting. Florence needs some time. It can be hard to love a city when you’re surrounded by group after group of tourists using their Yoga experience to bend over into odd positions to take the fifth…

Firenze: A Gallery of Faces

What a waste of time it is to take selfies in Firenze. Don’t do it. I’m sure you’re beautiful, I’m sure you’re mother’s little flower. But no matter how much you pout or pose, sorry to break it to you, you will never be Michelangelo’s David or Botticelli’s Venus.   There’s a lot of things…

8 Books that Make Travel Literature the Most Inspiring

  For a reader sifting through libraries both virtual and physical, navigating through the multitude of genres available can be as confusing as picking out the right kind of blue in a paint swatch. Young Adult, Women’s Upmarket, Inspirational, Steampunk Historical, LGBT (sorry if I forgot a letter somewhere) Romance, and on and on. I’ve…

Why I Started My Budapest Novel a Year Later

Last year, September to be precise, I went on a solo trip to Budapest. I wish I could say I went to Budapest for some deep purpose, like I’d always read about it in stories or I’d seen films based there and felt like I had to go. Reality wasn’t that glamorous. The truth was…

Poems From the Alcazar

The Alcazar, situated right in the heart of Sevilla, is the city’s Medieval and Mudejar castle. It is the more understated sibling of the Alhambra in Granada.   Its position in the city couldn’t be more central; it neighbours the monumental Cathedral of Sevilla. And yet, unlike the flashy, dominating Cathedral, the Alcazar is discreetly…