I grew up in a sweetly parochial corner of the south-west coast of England, where the beach was my main exploration ground, in fair weather and poor. There I learnt how to kick limpets off a rock with a welly in order to gouge the pale, tremulous flesh out of the shell for use as bait and how to get a grip on the ferocious little velvet swimming crab without being gripped back. Though my parents had more interest in my rockpool findings than my schooling, they gave me a journal when I was five, and I began exploring the world of words. In the same year, the death of a kindly great-uncle allowed us our first family trip abroad, to Paris. I gradually awoke to the realisation that there were many other domains to explore, both physically and linguistically.
After attending Exeter College, I moved to Paris at 18 to study French Language and Culture. A master in Media led to a job as a press analyst and abstract writer until life in France began to feel too sedate and I moved to Beirut, becoming self-employed by the same token. Moving from a nanny state to a DIY nation provides many reasons to laugh and to wonder. Ginger Beirut is a collection of short pieces on Lebanese life and culture as seen by an outsider. It aims to provide a few insights and a taste of life in this voluptuous, generous country.
Ginger Beirut has been selected as one of Lonely Planet’s top blogs and my articles are regularly featured on their site.