Saturday 15 February 2020

Traditional Dancing

Your Saturday morning dose of traditional Rwandan dancing. I was at my local bar, CasaKeza, in Kigali earlier in the week with my friend Solvejg. First time I'd seen flutes being played. I believe it's called an urusengo. You can see more traditional dancing here.

Wednesday 12 February 2020


I'm posting this on behalf of a project I got involved in called Frightseers. I don't think the website has gone live yet, but it's a map of the UK pinpointing fictional works written in those places. So, people can traverse the horror history of the local landscape. I'll post more about this once it's up and running, but they're going to be at StokerCon in April.

Each year, the Horror Writer’s Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work, Dracula. The Bram Stoker Awards were instituted immediately after the organization’s incorporation in 1987.

This year, StokerCon is coming to Scarborough in the UK and Frightseers will be hosting an event.

They sent out this message. I've never met them myself, but I love their project and perhaps some horror buffs reading this might like to learn more:


Heide and I are off to Stokercon in Scarborough this Easter where we hope to meet up with a lot of writer friends and spend time discussing the kinds of fiction that we love the most.

We’ve booked a party slot and we want to use it to celebrate what we’ve all achieved so far with the Frightseers website, and spread the word out to others who might want to take part.

We’re hoping that some of you will be able to join us.

We’d love to see you on the day and throughout the convention weekend, but whether you are coming to Stokercon or not, you can support the event.

Here’s how:

- Spread the word on social media – there’s currently at Facebook event although the exact times need confirming.

- We’re planning a ‘Tour of Britain Horror Quiz’ at the party. Maybe you have something we can use as a prize?

If you have thoughts about how else we might push this project forward, both at the event and afterwards then please get in touch!

Hope to hear from you soon,

Iain (and Heide)

Sunday 9 February 2020

Will Destroy the Galaxy for Cash

Following on from Will Save the Galaxy for Food, I've just finished Will Destroy the Galaxy for Cash by Yahtzee Croshaw.
The hero of Will Save the Galaxy for Cash returns to do what he does best. Which is - what again, exactly?

With the age of heroic star pilots and galactic villains completely killed by quantum teleportation, the ex-star pilot currently named Dashford Pierce is struggling to find his identity in a changing universe.

Then, a face from his past returns and makes him an offer he can't refuse: take part in just one teeny weeny, slightly illegal, daring heist, and not only will he have the means to start the new life he craves, but also save his childhood hero from certain death.

How hard could that be? If you need to ask - you don’t know Dashford Pierce.

Before long, Pierce is surrounded by peril, and forced to partner with the very same supervillains he'd spent his heroic career thwarting. But when he's confronted by the uncomfortable truth that star pilots might not have been the force for good they had intended to be, he begins to wonder if the villains hadn't had the right idea all along....
I did enjoy this, but perhaps a smidgen less than the original, just because I read it immediately after and the return of old characters would have meant more if I hadn't just left them a page ago.

However, the introduction of the Biscotti made up for that. A race of strange little people left behind on their planet after the closure of an interstellar service station. It's hard to explain, but very funny to listen to. 

The book continued the run of strange and unusual similes:

Her eyebrows shot up like the birth rate nine months after a prolonged power outage.

Witty banter:

"I'm stopping you from making a mistake."...
"The mistake was your mum going off birth control."

And the occasional piece of useful advice on life:

Once again I'd beat the odds by getting knocked unconscious without suffering crippling permanent brain damage. The trick is to have lived a life of adventure and have so many memories from it that you can lose quite a few before you start feeling the loss. In this case, I was apparently out for less than a minute, so I was probably only going to have to ditch a few more months of high school.

There was a new super villain, and a few old ones trying to rehabilitate themselves by attending addict meetings, where they learned that 'a super villain without villainy is just a super person.'

It's fun, it follows from the first, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the adventure goes next.

Monday 3 February 2020

Kirsty Henderson

I'd like to give a shout out to my friend Kirsty Henderson who is blogging her journey to build a house in Portugal. You can read all about it on her blog Portugal from Scratch. The picture above is from her latest post documenting a building course she went on in Costa Rica. 

Kirsty was a long-term resident in Kigali and I help her to manage the Living in Kigali community forum. She is incredibly driven and created the first tourist maps for Kigali, Nairobi and Kampala. 

She also had a travel blog called Nerdy Nomad, which explained how to travel the world on an internet income, and you can read more about her early adventures in this interview from 2009

She passed through Kigali last year and we had lunch together - though I was (unknown at the time) suffering from malaria, so mostly sweated at her and picked at my food.

Kirsty really is an incredible person. She's done so much in life already and I'm looking forward to reading about her Portuguese adventure.