August 25, 2007

Or, for course, not

An eventful day, yesterday. With nothing to see, no access to any refugees, and very little possibility of any travel closer to the frontline, by an hour after I’d written the last post, I was ready to get off Basilan and return to Zamboanga. Zamboanga is only a 40 minute boat ride away, and with […]

August 25, 2007

Choices, choices

Written on 24 August, 07:49 local Choices choices. With a new Colonel in command, and the need to not get as many soldiers killed as they did last time, the planning for the next Big Operation Against Abu Sayyaf is taking a long time. The common story, no matter who I ask, is that there […]

August 24, 2007

Afghanistan and the Grenadier Guards

I am off to spend some time with my old army unit who are currently in the thick of it in Helmand, Afghanistan. I used to be a Captain in the Grenadier Guards 20 years ago. I left in 1987 and went out to Afghanistan to become an independent video journalist. I have been back […]

August 23, 2007

Waiting for the President

The boss’s schedule will always screw you. It’s early morning on the Philippine island of Basilan. I’m here at the Marine HQ, awaiting the ‘surprise’ arrival of the Philippine president, Gloria Arroyo. Her advance team, all 150 of them, are sleeping on the floor of the bamboo hut that usually acts as the tactical operations […]

August 21, 2007

Background posting

Simon Roughneen at the Asia Times, on the story I’ve just arrived to cover. More to come.

July 19, 2007

Heatwaves and Hailstones – 19/07/07

Whoever said that living in paradise was going to be easy? The year began with an onslaught of thick, white powder snow that crept up over our sundecks to the lower reaches of the windows and then up, up and up steadily towards the roof. When that melted – and locals say that even in […]

January 31, 2007

Winter Roads and War Stories – Jan 07

It was not an auspicious beginning. The day we were to leave our beautiful BC home and set out on a 2,000 mile winter odyssey across the frozen north we could barely open our front door. Three feet of snow had fallen overnight onto an already well-laden garden. Even reaching the snowplough was a manly […]

June 30, 2006

Shotguns and Stallions – June 06

I really never thought it would come to this. It all began back in the distant snowbound days of March when one of our closest neighbours – wearing what look like a goat-skin – turned up on our doorstep. “Dick shot my horse,” he declared by way of introduction. After some plodding around the subject […]

April 30, 2006

Between the Rockies and a hard place – April 06

It had been a truly awful week. As I was driving through northern Bosnia on a routine assignment several days before the voice of my brother came through on a crackly satellite phone. He told me how RUF rebels had overrun the camps he was working at in the Sierra Leone jungle and he was […]

March 31, 2006

War Zones to the Wilderness – Mar 06

It was an intimidating sight. A wall of snow on both sides with one tiny path down the middle – part ice, part mud. We squeezed our new pick-up truck with it’s trailer and the little Golf diesel Kristin was driving through the gap and inched our way towards the front door. This was our […]