Category Archives: Memoirs & Bios

Top 10 musicians who have influenced social change

The death of Pete Seeger in January 2014 set me thinking. What a powerful impact the popularity and worldwide scope of modern music has had on society over the last 50+ years. And I believe it will undoubtedly continue.

Many musicians have raised awareness and/or championed causes to alleviate human suffering from social problems caused by famine, natural disasters, war, civil rights violations, environmental abuse and others. Some have achieved it through their music, some by using their fame as musicians and others using both.

Whichever way, the list is long and we will all have differing opinions as to which of them have been the most influential in bringing about social change and raising awareness of serious social issues? And which of their many songs are the most memorable? Continue reading Top 10 musicians who have influenced social change

Picture This: An IDEA

I am pleased to see two very talented, determined and entrepreneurial ladies teaming up, especially as I interviewed Cinda (to be published end October) and Rita for The Displaced Nation. This is one of the things I love so much about the blogging community. It connects and brings like minded people together, often in the most unexpected ways. I hope you will join me in wishing them both the best of luck with their new books.

Who created The White Temple of Chiang Rai ?

Wat Rong Khun the ‘White Temple’ of Chiang Rai was damaged by the earthquake in May 2014 and closed to the public. It may now be visited again but access to the inside may be limited. So if you are planning a visit don’t miss out on a spectacular creation in progress.

The wishing well
The wishing well

Reviewer’s ignorance

We are all entitled to our opinions but it is disrespectful to write a review before having, at least, done some research on the subject under review. Having read a number of scathing reviews on Trip Advisor before writing this post it is evident that the reviewers have absolutely no idea of why Wat Rong Khun is being built or who the creator is. Fortunately most of the reviews are sensible and offer a wide variety of personal insight and observation which all adds to the mystique. Continue reading Who created The White Temple of Chiang Rai ?

How I recalled my 1980 safari by restoring old photos


Leaving London prepared

In February 1980 I took a plane from London – Gatwick to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. I was about to spend one week at a tented camp in the Masai Mara – safari memories never to be forgotten. Continue reading How I recalled my 1980 safari by restoring old photos

Would Eddie have been bigger than Elvis?

Legendary Masters Series
Legendary Masters Series (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eddie Cochran was just 21 when he died in a car accident on April 17th 1960. He was travelling with Pat Thompkins (Tour manager), Gene Vincent and Eddie’s girlfriend Sharon Sheeley in a hired Ford Consul car from Bristol to London (Heathrow Airport) on the A4 when the driver lost control near Chippenham. Both Eddie and Sharon were badly injured and taken to St. Martin’s Hospital in Bath. The next day, Easter Sunday, Eddie lost his life but Sharon and Gene Vincent, who was also injured, made complete recoveries. Amazingly, Pat Thompkins, who was in the front passenger seat and the taxi driver George Martin were uninjured and later Martin, despite excessive speeding, only received a £50 fine and a driving ban. Continue reading Would Eddie have been bigger than Elvis?

Do you know Elena House?

If you don’t know Elena House now I guarantee it won’t be long before you do. I have just discovered a rising star, a captivating, engaging talent.

Elana House
Elana House

Elena House is a gifted young American actress and singer.  At the age of 15, she is already an accomplished international performer and an award-winning model.   A world-class artist, Elena has a natural aptitude to expertly combine her varied skills in refreshing and inventive ways.

Whether acting or performing, Elena is as much at ease on stage as in front of the camera.  A phenomenal singer, her music encompasses  opera to classical pop.  Elena is also an exceptionally talented pianist, dancer, martial artist and gymnast. Enjoy this video and judge for yourself.

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Do you know what put West Africa on the map in 1977?

While holiday package tours were commonplace by 1979 next year it will be 35 years since Thompsons (UK) offered the first holiday package tour to The Gambia in West Africa. A destination described in 1943 as a ‘hell hole’ by US President Roosevelt when he stopped off in, the capital, Banjul before going on to meet Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Casablanca.

Banjul landing

I was privileged to be one of the early Thompson ‘guinea pigs’, able to experience a totally uncommercialised capital Banjul and the seemingly endless flight on a Boeing 737 charter plane. Continue reading Do you know what put West Africa on the map in 1977?