From Singapore to Jakarta, it is about 1hour 40minutes. I spent the flight crammed into a tiny little AirAsia seat. As I flipped through the in-flight magazines boredly, the spectacular Bromo Massif caught my eye. I’d been here in 2013, and recognised the iconic scene: Gunung Batok squatting primly in the foreground, Bromo simmering lazily […]Read more "Old Lines and New Voyages: Thoughts en route to Jakarta"
Seeing the fallen columns of Zeus’ Temple today, I couldn’t help but contemplate the hubris of “eternity”. All gods must die: and one day, if they are un/lucky, they return to be sold as trinkets to Chinese tourists. Millenia ago Horus, Demeter, Minerva were once loved, feared and venerated. Today we read about them not […]Read more "The Hubris of “Eternity”, and the fate of Old Gods"
74 years and several hours ago, Lieutenant General A.E. Percival and his staff, exhausted, spent and broken, conceded Singapore to the forceful and brilliant General Tomoyuki Yamashita, after a breathtaking campaign that was supposed to have lasted 100 days, but took only 70. The “impregnable fortress” is a rather ripe term for the British to […]Read more "The Little Stories in a Surrender"
I suppose you were expecting a Valentine’s Day post from me. As is probably apparent, now that the occasion has been deceased for nearly twenty-four hours, I don’t have one. If you have known me longer, perhaps you would be a tad disappointed. I have a history of adopting seemingly ‘anti-establishment’ positions, especially on social […]Read more "Love after Love"
It’s a bit like taking a picture with a superstar. Except astronomically older. Mighty Vesuvius and me, about a year ago. Set small upon the great flanks of this Decade Volcano, I felt deeply humbled: silenced in contemplation at the sheer scale and history of this ancient, ancient and immense Titan. 1500 years ago this […]Read more "The Titan of Naples: Contemplating Vesuvius"
Some time ago, I donned the (exoskeleton: long-sleeved shirt, dress pants, black shoes) appropriate carapace of a Working Adult for an interview. I watched a whole population mobilise blearily for work: that daily migration out from our little crannies, as predictable as watching the fruit-bats of Malaysian caves sweep out in great clouds every evening […]Read more "Atlas"
Perhaps we are all metaphors of ourselves. Perhaps we start life like sketches, which slowly get filled with with daubs and washes of colour – huge blobs of primary colours, two-dimensional and flat. And then as we progress life anoints us with some shadow and nuance, so we don’t rust so much as weather; we […]Read more "Work in Progress"