After three days in Madrid, just time enough to shake the Ethiopian dust off my boots, I'm writing amidst the dreaming spires of Oxford. Now this is culture shock!
We're up here for the Easter break. My family and I come up to Oxford every year at this time and also for the summer. I research in the Bodleian Library, my wife works at the astronomy department, and my kid goes to school and improves his English.
Visiting Harar, Ethiopia, for two months has left me a bit behind. I have a lot of emails to catch up on, edits for my book on the Adowa campaign waiting for me, plus I'll be chatting with the good folks at Osprey Publishing about more book possibilities when I visit their offices this week. I also need to finish my Harar travel series.
In the longer term, I'm working on a book proposal about Harar. I'm looking at its history and culture, and how the Hararis want to take advantage of Harar's UNESCO World Heritage status to develop tourism. Tourism is a mixed blessing, and I'll be looking at how an increasing number of foreigners are affecting this once-isolated town.
Of course I'll also be spending lots of time with my family, lounging in parks in the beautiful English springtime, going for at least one party night in London, and who knows what else! I love adventure travel, but being back in the First World has its advantages!