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"Bacon buttie, vicar?" Why Christians break the law.

Why do Christians eat bacon? This theological question surfaced just after my muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt. I was enjoying my lavish breakfast in our hotel in Dubai where we stayed for four days en route from Perth, Western Australia Next, as always, a full English breakfast which, if I have any choice in the selection, will be dominated by bacon, preferably with HP brown sauce sadly not always obtainable in Australia. But where was the bacon? There were eggs cooked in a whole variety of ways I had yet to encounter, beans, mushrooms and brown hash – the usual suspects. But where’s the bacon? Then I realised. I was staying in a Muslim country and Muslims do not eat pork,

No longer on the other side of the world

Hi folks, This is going to be my longest blog ever. About 9000 kilometres long. For Jacqui and I are currently flying from Perth WA to Dubai after a brilliant time in Australia. Until recently Australia was on the other side of the world. In its earliest days, even on another planet. The excellent maritime museum at Fremantle documented the journey by sea of the £10 Poms. In fact, we met one - our old friend Ken, although I think his passage cost £50. His journey from the UK via the Red Sea in 1974 took some five weeks - and that was only to Perth. He still had a further week or so to reach his destination of Brisbane. This certainly was the "Leaving of England." In very recent times

The open road, our need for adventure

G'day folks, Here in Australia I have just discovered a new tribe: the grey nomads. And there are now tens of thousands of them, according to Sydney professor Jenny Onyx. This intrepid tribe is roughly equivalent to our Third Age - those people who have retired from paid employment and still have the time, the money and the health to do things. But rather than sign up for classes in Shakespeare, join the Ramblers or serve in charity shops, grey nomads hit the road. And being Australians, they hit the road with their caravans in a big way and for several months each year. Now we are not talking about towing a Swift caravan with a Ford Sierra to pleasant Caravan Club sights in the C

Living out of sight, in the Basement

G'day folks, Pressing the correct button in a lift can for some of us be a challenge. Staying in a rather upmarket hotel in the Australian capital of Canberra I found myself going down to B rather than up to 1. The doors opened - and abruptly I found myself in the Third World. I'm writing this offline but it was John Le Carre, I think, who observed that hotels like banks aim to intimidate as much as impress - and our hotel was no exception. No expense spared to display a sense of grandeur, to remind each guest that they are privileged even to set foot in the place, this palace even. (I exaggerate, of course, but I'm making a point.) However (and it's a big 'however'), the reality for the sta

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