LECTURES & TALKS
I am an experienced speaker. My audiences have included: rotary clubs, cruise ships, outdoor activities groups, historical societies, schools, writers' circles and book clubs, Learning for Life groups and festival audiences. I am is also a keen photographer and most of my lectures and talks are illustrated with my own photographs.
FALLEN PIECES OF THE MOON
Images and anecdotes of kayaking amongst the icebergs of West Greenland in the Nuuk Bay area; views of glaciers, icebergs, mountains and sea cliffs, Arctic camping, and a little bit about Arctic exploration and Inuit culture.
OTHER WORLDS ARE POSSIBLE
Kayaking in Shetland and Orkney. Intimate views of sea caves, cliffs and stacks which can only be seen from a kayak; includes an account of landing on Muckle Flugga (Britain’s most northerly isle), and aerial views on a flight to North Ronaldsay.
ARGONAUTS OF THE WESTERN ISLES
Adventures and images from 50 years of sea kayaking on the west coast of Scotland. Includes accounts of going through the Corryvreckan whirlpool, surviving a Force 9 gale, a night spent aboard a wreck and many other stories and views of the Scottish coastline that can only be seen in a kayak.
AROUND LOCH LOMOND
Images and accounts of exploring the hills around Loch Lomond in summer and winter; the lesser known, but spectacular, burns which flow into the loch, the wilder shores and islands away from the tourist areas; a journey up the beautiful River Endrick.
SCOTLAND’S AMAZING COASTLINE
Scotland’s coastline is one of the greatest glories of the British landscape, yet it is little known. My lecture, well illustrated with digital images, shows viewers inaccessible places that few have seen.
THE MAKING OF A RADIO DRAMA
A behind-the-scenes account of how a radio drama is made, from script to broadcast product; the studio and its equipment, the sound effects, the sound archives; the actors and the read-through, the editing process; a sample extract from a script will be show and matched with the final broadcast.
FROM BLANK PAGE TO PUBLISHED NOVEL
The entire process of how a novel is created; where ideas come from; how characters are created and develop; what works in a novel and what doesn’t; being ‘in the flow’; various drafts, working with a publisher’s editor; the galley proofs; jacket blurb; advance copies and launch day.
GROWING UP IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE BRITISH RAJ
My memories of growing up in wartime India, 1940-46; the life of an officer in the Indian Army and his wife (my parents); pomp and ceremony; a household with 14 servants; the Bengal famine; the North-West Frontier; an earthquake and many more memories of a way of life which has now vanished; return to India more than 50 years later – what had changed and what had stayed the same. Illustrated with digital images.
AUTUMN VOICES : A talk first given as part of the programme for Luminate: Scotland’s Creative Ageing Festival. The talk is about how creativity can flower in later life and about how, as one door closes, another opens. It includes readings from works written by me since passing 80. Illustrated with digital images.