"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



Let Us Not Forget The Former Mission Of San Antonio De Valero

The city of San Antonio sits 158 miles north
of the Mexican border. But it wasn’t always thus.
And the reasons whyfor, have more than a little to do with
a line once allegedly drawn in a patch of dirt with a sword.
For as long as history shall remember gunpowder, freedom
and gumption, The Daughters of the Republic of Texas urge
all men and women to remember thirteen fateful days in the year 1836.
For in that year, the growing friction between American settlers
and the Mexican government came to a bloodthirsty head, behind
the reinforced walls of this old abandoned Roman Catholic mission.
Listen tight, the final assault lasted about as long as a
soccer match, and began in the darkness before dawn.
No quarter was offered them. And no quarter was taken.
And when the dust finally settled, wild frontiersman
Davy Crockett, Colonel William B. Travis, Jim Bowie,
and between 188 and 250 other defenders of liberty,
lay in their ditches, as still and dead as coonskin caps.
By no means valuable as a military position, The Alamo had
become something more than that. It had become a symbol.
A single fingered salute in support of a sovereign state.
A tattered red flag in the face of a bullish Napoleonic dictator.
A house of prayer that became a fortress.
A fortress that became a shrine to independence.
One of the largest collections of Alamo memorabilia
is owned by former Genesis drummer Phil Collins.
But please, don’t let that put you off. Visitors from
south of the border may be relieved to know that
they also publish a pamphlet guide in Español.

Visit the set of John Wayne's 'The Alamo'



Go South-By-South West Young Man

When Sir Walter Raleigh’s first expedition
set sail for The New World in the year 1584,
it is reported that his party of pioneers included six
Morris-dancers and an accompanying hobby-horse.
The dancers would no doubt have helped entertain
the crew during their three months at sea, whilst
the hobby horse, being a kind of English centaur,
would have been fed warm ale and scraps of meat
in order to stave off scurvy and prevent equine lameness.
The first Europeans to set foot in what
would later come to be known as Texas,
would have been greeted by The Caddo Nation;
a group of sedentary farmers who believed the
world to be populated by supernatural beings.
The Caddo knew of The Green Man and of Beowa.
And their lives hinged around a series of complex
seasonal rituals marking the cycle of life and death
- performed in the hopes of ensuring favorable
relations between themselves and the spirit world.
By night, I find myself seated amongst these border Indians.
Cross-legged in a conical grass hut. Sharing a
bowl of foaming tea made from wild olive leaves.
My brain churning. My blood racing. Sweat pouring from my body.
A faint yet constant buzzing noise in my feverish ears.
A noise which sounds, at first, like crickets rubbing
their long legs together in the tall grass. But which
might equally be the distant sound of a fiddle being scratched.
The Old People are sending me their voices, from far far away.
From a shallow hollow betwixt rolling hills.
From the place where the Earth meets the Sky.
I was born from Cotswold barley, and thus
to the Cotswold barley must I one day return.
So bury my heart by a bend in the babbling brook.
Low down in the Ironstone loam, near
the roots of a softly sighing willow tree.
Out amongst the cuckoo-spit and the damsel-flies. All
watched over by the fossils of long-dead sea-urchins.
In 1584, when Sir Walter’s men left the New World,
they took with them a great many exotic animal skins,
and necklaces made from the finest of ocean pearls.
History, alas, does not record what became of either
the six Morris Men or their accompanying hobby horse.
But my hope is that they decided to stay on
a while longer in order to smoke more tobacco.

SXSW 2011 'Guardian' Interview

Official 'Way Of The Morris' website