The Amandine – a Belgian Trawler
17 December 2012 | Places
My recent visit to Belgium was in pursuit of King Leopold II’s Belgian Congo connections in Brussels and Ostend. I was only a few steps out of the Ostend train station when I came upon the Amandine, the last Ostend fishing trawler to operate in Icelandic waters. L...
Enclaves & Exclaves – Belgium/Netherlands
8 December 2012 | Places
Last year I blogged about visiting the National Library in Canberra, Australia and finding out about enclaves and exclaves along the borders between India and Bangladesh and between Belgium and the Netherlands. While I was in Belgium continuing my pursuit of King Le...
23 August 2012 | Media
What is it about the Congo which inspires such great writing? Whether it’s powerful novels (from Heart of Darkness via A Bend in the River to Poisonwood Bible), shocking history (King Leopold’s Ghost to In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz or Dancing in the Glory of Monsters)...
Assorted Books & Films
24 November 2011 | Media
I don’t just read travel books – although three recent novels also travelled through their pages. I really liked Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2011. Following the inter-connected lives of rock mogul Bennie Sala...
Dancing in the Glory of Monsters
16 June 2011 | Media
Jason Stearns’ book Dancing in the Glory of Monsters tries to unpick the story of ‘The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa.’ Clearly a near impossible task, because you’re still left fairly bemused at the end how all these events – from the Cold War to t...