Thursday, February 21, 2008

Random acts of coolness

People often say to me, "Mr Blog, you have an interesting life, spending half of your life in Australia and half in Africa, writing number two (in Exclusive Books, OR Tambo International Airport) bestsellers."

I can't lie, Legion of Fans (LOF), but those of you who know me know that I am a humble soul, so I usually reply with something meek, such as "Can't complain"; "mustn't grumble", or "oh, it has it's ups and downs". (Actually, that is a bit of a lie... I actually say, depending on the company, something such as: "F-ing A!", or "Too right I do!")

Anyway, there I was, quite content to be living my interesting life when I received an email out of the blue last night from a Mr Dominic Medley, late of the Afghan capital city of Kabul. Dominic, so he tells me, has been living there for the past six years working as a media type and contacted me from Cape Town, where he is currently on R and R.

In Kabul, he lived in a guesthouse called Gandamack Lodge which was once owned by Osama Bin Laden. The guest house's decor is themed on the adventures of George McDonald Fraser's fictional character, Harry Flashman. As well as offering decent meals and alcohol (neither of which was on offer during my sojourn in Afghanistan with the Australian Army in 2002), Gandamack Lodge also has body armour for hire to its guests.

Now that is interesting.

I really like getting emails from people who read my books and they come from all walks of life and many parts of the world. Apart from my mate JR (or Mike Williams as he likes to call himself these days), I don't get too many from people who've lived in Afghanistan in guesthouses where you can hire your own helmet and bullet-proof vest (or from places where you need your own helmet and bullet-proof vest to go to work).

Anyway, he'd just finished reading my fourth book SAFARI during a stay at the Matetsi lodges on the banks of the Zambezi River, in Zimbabwe, near Victoria Falls.

Part of SAFARI is set in the region, in the Matetsi Safari Area. Not only was Dominic kind enough to drop me a line about the book (he liked it, but was able to pick the twist), he took this very fetching picture of my book, overlooking the mighty Zambezi.

How cool, and nice, is that?


Anonymous said...

When I saw the pic of the book at the begining of the post, thought this is going to be one of your shameless self-promo again (aint ridiculing, like the way you promote yourself -think you have a career calling there). And for the record, I am who I am (damn, like that). Was really chaffed to read myself being mentioned in one of your blogs. So excited I told the whole office. Colleagues are still pinching me, as I asked them to. Good stuff. Keep it up. Alwasy fun coming back 5-days later to see new posts. The-One-From-Namibia

ali g said...

Good picture Dominic!!
"F-ing A" if one may quote Mr Blog.

tonypark said...

Apologies to all for the errant apostrophe in it's. I am ashamed of myself.

Anonymous, I need to check some facts re Windhoek for another travel story about your lovely city.

redcap said...

Ah, it must be nice to have such an appreciative LoF ;) All that we sad newspaper types get is abuse from government flacks. (Yes, I'm expecting some tomorrow. Sigh.)

You'll be pleased to know, by the way, that after reading African Sky in Namibia (and neglecting a uni assignment to finish it, I might add), Bloke was able to engage in an intelligent dinner table conversation with an old soldier from the Motherland who had been in SA for air training dring the war. He and his wife had come out to have a look around and did a side trip to Etosha. I'm not sure why, though - they both seemed absolutely horrified by the insects (a dung beetle landed in his bread and butter plate at dinner), the safari tents, the outside showers, the early mornings and the vague possibility of coming anywhere near anything with teeth. They quite liked zebras though...

JR said...

Mr Blog, methinks you know too many people who:

a. own body-armour; and

b. spend too much time in Sand Land

tonypark said...

Thanks all, for the comments and Red, I'm very pleased your Bloke found something worth talking about from African Sky other than the bisexuality and bondage scenes (and welcome, at this point, to our googling perverts).

Jr, I expect a full review of Gandamack Lodge from you. Apparently Andy McNab has stayed there.

bec said...

Tres cool.

googling pervert said...

Bisexuality & bondage scenes...where can I get a copy of this 'African Sky'?