The author spent 20 years as an aid worker in Africa, living in Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan. During the famine of the 1980s in the Horn of Africa he worked for Oxfam in Sudan and Ethiopia. Relief work went on cheek by jowl with the intrigues fuelled by the dying days of the cold war as alliances in the region were juggled between Moscow and Washington. ‘The tethered goat' recreates those days of suffering and intrigue; of compassion and violence to bring together a sense of the individual tossed in an ocean of events that he cannot control.
Since leaving full time aid work in 2000 the author has lived in Spain from where he runs a small rural tourism business with his wife and pursues his writing. He still travels and works; most recently consulting in Ethiopia, Bolivia and Columbia and working as refugee advisor on the film ‘Beyond Borders'. He currently combines his writing with a campaign to promote improved respect for human rights among conservation organisations.
"In my writing I am trying to do a couple of things. Firstly I want to tell the stories of very ordinary people who live in what to most of us would appear to be abnormal circumstances. The characters might not seem so ordinary to us but they do not perceive themselves as being so unusual. So much depends on context that we find it hard to imagine ourselves in their situations. Secondly I want to explore my own belief that we control far less of our destiny than we imagine. Much of what we have created for ourselves is no more than a lucky set of coincidences; being in the right place at the right time, taking the left fork instead of the right in the road ahead. My hero reflects that."
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