To those kind people that search for and read my Blog, apologies for the recent lack of content.
In the last couple of months I have journeyed extensively, through some poor islands of the Caribbean and to the North West of China. Studies in contrast in some ways - but with similarities that unfortunately are mostly apparent among the less well-off members of society. In the case of NW China, I chose not to travel with my usually present computer, which meant my ability to write new blogs was severely hampered - hence the delay in new material but it was a wise choice. In almost full back-pack mode, it would have been a hindrance in our lowly starred accommodation, (our luxury soft sleeper train beds) and "one" or "two-Imodium-Star" restaurants - and having said that none of us got sick! Meals at around US$10 (for all seven of us - NOT per head) including beverages!
have a chance to visit the North West - go. It is an experience, but you need
someone like my Mandarin speaking, Chinese reading and writing son Paul for
company. Without him we could never have made the journey other than in an
organised package tour or very expensively managed private tour. He was great
company, shepherding a bunch of "older people" from place to place,
keeping them amused with a string of impersonations and amazing his Father with
an organisational ability that was a revelation - oh, and for those who know
him well, a display of patience that was remarkable. If I can persuade him to
do so, I might ask him to make a "guest appearance" in the Blog,
with a travel note where he can at least give his side of the story!
back in the "real" world, I discover the untimely death of former
President Roh in South Korea (where I am now), the North Koreans just a few
kilometers away practising rather more seriously at how to extract more money
from the West to save their starving population; the Dubai property market in
more trouble (I go there next); a British political system embroiled in
scandals over expenses fiddles, (It was all legal 'guv, honest, but I'll step
down at the next election!); an ever upwardly creeping stock market that is
assumed to indicate the "worst is over" - while tucked away in the
back pages there are more banks failing, car makers going to the wall and sundry
other bad news; And if that is not enough, my other son wanders off into the deserts of Namibia to run for 250km on his 4th "Racing the Planet" jaunt (one as a volunteer) only to return with blisters under each toenail and having had to drill through a couple of them to release the pressure so he could finish a race that saw 25% of the field drop out. I am sure madness must come from the other side of the family!!! (Still, at least his favourite charity will benefit, courtesy of some kind donors).
I'll head back to Kashgar!!
And the point of all that? I have a few opinions to share and now I am back, I'll get on with it!!