Essentially Complex

Language and millenialism are not easy. In fact, in this world where we must be careful about correctness, am I even millenial? Maybe I'm pre-millenial (I'm a child of the 80s) or post-millenial (as some kind of matter of personal stance on various theories and approaches). In any case, it is right that we are... Continue Reading →

A retrospective: Back from Barra to Banjul

I join the scrum at the ferry ticket kiosk. A kind man with a deeply scarred face senses my claustrophobia, takes my money, buys my ticket, and hands me change. Large guns are carried with casual deference around the port - a land rover has a machine gun mounted on its roof. Another is slung... Continue Reading →

Togetherness

I cross the border. Senegalese taximen call out at me. I have 5 dalasi and no CFA Francs. There's no cash machine. An enterprising motorcycle taximan agrees to take me to Kaolack. I spend two hours on the back of his motorbike. Two cash points fail at Kaolack. The third succeeds. My driver continues to... Continue Reading →

Crossing the border, waking the dead

The Gambian border post at Amdallai looks the same as back in 2006. I do not have my belongings searched and am not told lies about carrying illegal materials (such as a radio) as I was back then. There is much less corruption. I walk past the detention cage to the interview room where the... Continue Reading →

Rural life

The car winds around barely visible tracks in the dry sand. We lose sight of the final buildings prior to the lagoon, tracing out a route between palm trees, sand and sea. After some searching, we come to a fence-line and a rusty, ajar gate. My friend has already disappeared beyond it into the trees... Continue Reading →

Kindness of a stranger

I felt alone among my fellow countrymen and a kind stranger took me under her wing. She tried to find my passport and took me for dinner. We talked about everything and nothing. I asked if I could thank her for her kindness but she said only this: "No need to thank me - I... Continue Reading →

Gardening

As I dig with bare hands; black and swarthy from the compost bin. And fill the bucket that, I then carry. I find a worm. I remember my mother telling me, that worms enrich soil. I must have been three years old. I have not remembered this before. Yet I do so now, as I... Continue Reading →

#1 Spice

'Bring the flavour to the fish, Bring the flavour to the rice ... Number one spice' Queen of Katwe's soundtrack to Kampala, Uganda's vibrant capital, is a homily to the flavour-giving qualities of Lake Victoria salt. But the word 'spice' has a wholly different meaning in Northern British cities. This kind of spice adds flavour... Continue Reading →

Paris: a poem

The river has burst its banks and armed police parade its flanks. It seems nature and man have turned against this once great city. But in the shadow of the cloud a woman and a man walk arm-in-arm and smile. And out of the cold city dusk I feel the touch of their warmth in... Continue Reading →

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