Offending Mona Lisa by James Golding

  What was all the fuss about? As she sat in front of the artist, she wondered why her husband wanted her portrait painted. To have another man look at her with such intensity and scrutiny for long periods of time filled her with embarrassment, forcing her to resist the urge to turn away, to […]

How to Survive in a French Village by Tony Cole

PART TWO The procession of floats through Bains les Bains each year was a sort of social high point in the wider area around Fontenoy.  As I said above, all the local villages built some sort of a float for this very important and much loved event in the yearly calendar.   I took part in […]

How to Survive in a French Village by Tony Cole

  PART ONE When we got to Fontenoy le Chateau (a small village in the low Vosges) in 1997, we knew absolutely no one, and to be honest we had moments of wondering what on earth we were doing, coming to a small community in a country we really only knew from holidays (and in […]

The Flower Farm by Leisa Golding

This is a short story about environmental devastation, selfish greed, pleasurable desires, living intelligently, and taking dynamic, selfless actions. When a recent wildfire destroyed a flower farm, the owner was devastated. The only item he saved from the fire was a large bag of sunflower seeds which he and his three employees had recently harvested. […]

The Green Hell of Hurtgen by Paul Hannah

If someone refers to a battleground as “A Green Hell” the normal assumption is that they would be talking about jungle warfare, perhaps Borneo, Kokoda or Vietnam. But on this occasion it refers to the battle of Hurtgen Forest. It is the most important battle few people have heard about. Hurtgen Forest lies on the […]

Roman Triumph by Paul Hannah

This is a beautiful Triumph motorcycle. A symbol of fine British engineering. The Triumph must be one of the most important brand names in Britain, recognised around the world, it stands with Rolls Royce, Harrods and Stephen Fry as one of the great British icons. It might be a surprise to discover that it was […]

School in Paradise by Richard Carroll

The Toyota Hilux bumped its way along the dirt track that leads to Lakruja Village on the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. We were a group of twelve from Brisbane, en route to visit the French school in the remote village. We had set out from where we were staying in the Village de […]

Dream Catcher by James Golding

No one knew me, but everyone worshiped me. I reveled in their reverence; they embraced my creed with all their hearts, minds, and souls. The world that I envisioned was slowly taking shape. Each day more compounds were constructed, swallowing up masses of land to confine the hordes of prisoners. I coerced more commanders to […]


“Civilisation begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos” or so said Will Durrant American historian and philosopher. But what do you see when you hear the term civilisation? Ancient Greece, a modern European city, your creation on Forge of Empires? The oxford dictionary defines civilisation as “an advanced stage or system of […]

My Encounter With Tiny Tim…  Very Odd… by Tony Cole

Many years ago, about 1966 or thereabouts, I was asked by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band to do the lighting for their part in a concert that they were going to take part in at the Royal Albert Hall. This was to be a large scale concert, with a load of bands and performers […]