A teacher of English living and working abroad makes regular contact with news from England, but also writes about experiences past and present. What he observes around him resonates with some, while challenging the preconceptions of others. This is an autobiographical blog recording thoughts, feelings and opinions and of a life lived differently. From such a perspective various ideas emerge and evolve. The author blogged under the name of, Nobby.
In this unorthodox autobiographical collection of essays the author invites the reader into a world of travel, teaching, education, entertainment, chess, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, despair, political intrigue, faith and Catholicism. From beginning to end the reader will find moments of laughter and sadness and, on occasion, the absurd. This is a quest and a voyage into an unknown future we all share and decide upon for better or worse, for richer or poorer. In the telling of his story the author discovers and reveals a deeper reason why numerous attempts to reach Mount Happiness are thwarted, although this is not so much a quest for happiness as a realization that what is worthwhile in life often begins with having faith in the present and the future. Such things define us all and even define nations. The author writes upon an historical canvas in describing the past, not only as it existed in his own life, but in that of England from 1500 AD onwards and to the present day. In this particular instance the context is political and religious and a conclusion presents the reader with the notion of a stark choice in the antepenultimate essay, The Miner's Son. On this journey there are also plenty of diversions along the way, from a pilgrimage in Spain to rock concerts in England, from brewery tours to punch-ups and from cliff diving competitions in Oman to coach trips in Saudi Arabia. A life - characteristic in its vicissitudes and variety - is explained, mourned and celebrated in this compelling book.
Introduction page - 5; Camino Rebirth 9; The Coach Trip 13; Mud Bunging 18; Like an Eagle in Oman 21; There was a ship 22; What is the difference? 28; Auf dem weg nach Berlin 31; An ode to sadness: Keats 36; Wolf-like peregrinations 39; Incarcerated on Mars 42; What Churchill's early life means to me 45; Swings & Roundabouts 49; The Blue Lorry 53; A day trip to Muscat 54; Answers on a postcard 58; Chow Mein 59; The Venerable Bede 67; Voyage & Return 70; Following a Rock Band page - 73; Window Shopping 77; Secular Myths 78. Stop the cavalry 80; Divine Conscience 83; A letter to those who support the EU 86; The Najdorf 88; Peace in our time 99; Democracy Matters 101; Constantinople 104; Picking Daises with Darwin 107; A concept of God 110; The Life Diving Championship: a leap of Faith 111; No Sacred Oxen 116; Chess themes 117; Freedom 121; The Miner's son 122; Glossary of terms 137; Afterword 140; Epilogue: A night out in Oxford 141.