Support for any given country's government can be a funny thing, but never hilarious. The Maoist rebels in Nepal, in an ideal world, would have the government of the landlocked country instantaneously overthrown. They have their revelatory reasons behind such desire, or so it seems.
It just doesn't seem very fair that such Maoists should allow their political perversions to affect any innocent tourists who are investing money into their country. In reality, though, high-profile kidnap cases can only make the government stick out their heads a little more than usual and listen to the rebels' ruthless demands. Or else.
All I wanted to do was to walk; to trek into the northernmost regions of Nepal and up to the border of Tibet.
I wanted to lose myself. With no time to waste, myself and Yogesh - my porter - set a strict enough itinerary
that outlined where we would be, and when.
Setting ourselves a target of a minimum of fifteen miles a day, this might not sound much distance to be covered on a daily basis, but bearing in mind that even a relatively minor increase in altitude can greatly affect one's energy levels, then fifteen miles is in fact a lot of ground.
Much of the first few days of walking saw us through lush, jungle-esque landscapes in the warm and wet valleys
immediately north of Kathmandu.
The transition from such valleys to the steeper and far colder folds of the overwhelming Himalaya mountain
chain that forms the backbone to the country seems sudden, especially when the road north suddenly
takes a turn for the worse, as the asphalt grinds unceremoniously into bitty gravel that is a nightmare
to either walk or pile-drive through.
On foot, we persevered.
And all along I thought and fought about the woman that I'd met back down in the city of sin from which I had escaped.
Like me, she was an innocent pawn in the mess that subsequently transpired, but for the time being I had
to forget her unless I wanted to drive myself insane.
Ideally, my mind needed to be as pure as possible as I contemplated how family units can break down
with erstwhile simplicity if the families in question lay low and allow such relationships to disintegrate.
The close family aspect that held together the close-knit village communities through
which I was passing forced me to re-evaluate the possibility that every family is changed
forever once the children reach a certain age and differences in personal attitudes
rush to the surface of raw emotions. A close family is a like a fortune to be cherished.
It hurt, then, when I realised that my family had never been there for me when I'd needed them the most.
My mother, father and only brother had only ever appeared as ghosts, showing up in my dreams to
disappear as soon as I would wake.
My soul was being haunted, and for one awful instant every day - as soon as my eyes slit my lids -
I honestly thought that my real reason to live had been well and truly greased.
For this, I had my reasons.
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Five By Steve Rudd
Sitting down for dinner in Syabru, with neither friends nor family for thousands of miles around,
I resigned myself to the fact that I was on my own.
Yet it's surprising how conversations can take off with complete strangers, as I
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Four By Steve Rudd
Kathmandu is both toxic and intoxicating. As soon as you get there you want to leave, to escape the evil
wrath of smog that clogs the arteries and stifles all sense of being. Like most cities in the
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 2 By Rich Mills
The filter system in Panal(The aging-should-know-better-arty-farty-toss cafe bar that
should have been closed down 30 years ago.) must have been faulty. I'm still feeling really crap
this morning, two days on now. Either that or I'm coming down with a wet season cold.
Which is a major pain in the arse
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 1 By Rich Mills
After recent heavy rains I'm now trapped in the flat. The Wet Season is fully upon us now, it seems to arrive earlier each year. Not that I'd mind tropical storms if we got the tropical summer to go with it. Instead this summer was cold and grim, as it has been since as long as I can remember.
My Dad does talk
Fiction - Firm but Fair By Mark Pollard
Cry-Baby Jim Breaks. He pioneered it, they say.
And the hushed, almost ecclesiastical tones of Ken Walton had heralded it's
entry into Saturday afternoon folklore: the bright lights of
Blackpool and Great Yarmouth, down to the lesser reputes of Ilfracombe and
Skegness had all borne witness
Fiction - Puzzles By Denis Price
I've got a really nice room, when the door's closed I feel ever so safe and warm. It's quiet as well,
just the swish of the wind in the trees outside. I like the trees; they hide the big tall fence.
My watchers say the fence is there to keep me safe, and that's their job too, they're always there
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Two By Steve Rudd
What's a man to do in Kathmandu? Pretty much anything he wants is the steadfast answer.
Sick of dull caravan-anchored holidays in Britain that plagued my ill-charmed childhood, adventure called and I responded.
Still, I would be
Fiction - COLD WAR TALES- THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS By Denis Price
The piercing insistent wail of the siren woke him. `For Christ`s sake now what!` Over the tannoy the
smooth expensive voice intoned languidly that this was only a drill and that all personnel
should continue with their normal duties.
He groaned and thought, this is my normal
Fiction - Scrawls Of The Unexpected By Mark Pollard
Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle II programme, was calm but well pissed off
inside. He had been clinging to the idea that his £35 million Mars Probe was stuck in a crater,
waiting for some narrow rays of sunlight to banish the shade for a few precious hours each day
in order that
Fiction - The Art Of Being Alone In A Crowded Bar By Rich Mills
What music are you into, man? The American exchange student who had earlier introduced himself, without any regard for Jean-Paul's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball of a question in his direction.
Well I listen to... What followed was a definitive list of bands from Jean-Paul's wide ranging rare vinyl