Not Many Wise

Author: Joe Lucas

  • [1] A bad shortcut down the Muse Escarpment!

    Well, this short cut includes the Muse Escarpment; descending 2000 feet in a mile and a half. Four years earlier, I made the trip as a passenger in the middle seat of a Land Rover, so I knew what was coming. Fortunately for Mohammed, he didn’t know…

    Muse Escarpment: public use at own risk.
  • [2] African 1950s Safari introduction

    Joe′s Journal of 1950’s safari′s, work contracts and expeditions to far away places. The 1950′s saw a steady stream of well trained technicians available to industry, having completed National Service. I opted for travel and adventure overseas, well paid work with low taxation…

    Joe Lucas in July 2023 and well into his eighties. African 1950s Safari introduction.
  • [3] WW2 dogfight – Before the Safari days

    A quick scan and I became pack leader on spotting them: twenty plus Dornier 17’s, heading for Bristol. This was a WW2 dogfight unfolding before my eyes. Beautiful blue undersides paled into the matching autumn sky, but black crosses stared from the wings. Crackle of gunfire revealed just three Hurricanes weaving around…

    Spitfires and hurricanes at Duxford. WW2 dogfight - Before the Safari days.
  • [4] 1950’s Mosal – Kurdish delight but very dangerous

    The tarmac soon gave way to dust in 1950’s Mosal, but it was halfway through the day, about 70 miles on before foothills replaced the plains. Further on and well into the mountains my driver seemed happier, now in his own country, so I raised the subject of the bullet hole that starred my half…

    Kurdish children
  • [5] A Gift of Marbles

    The beaming proprietor began counting cool objects into my sweaty outstretched palms. No – NOT CHANGE! Seven clicks as each kissed its neighbour, eight little spheres of gleaming glass with whorls of white on blue, green, red or amber, two of each hue. One per gallon MARBLES…

    Five marbles.
  • [6] Wallowing Hippopotamus, Sable and Roan Antelopes

    What chance against a lion? A Sable Antelope in Southern Rhodesia Game Reserve. A shy Roan Antelope and wallowing Hippopotamus…

    Roan antelope
  • [7] A 1960’s Safari Guide and the Victoria Falls

    1962 Luangwa Valley Game Reserve with my African Safari Guide. Inspired by the book ‘Wildlife in an African Territory’ also saw the Victoria Falls.

    Joe Lucas with a Park Ranger as a guide.
  • [8] Tanganyikan safari: Fire in the night

    An hour or so later on this Tanganyikan safari: Awake! … Smoke! … Fire? ‘Get back to sleep; it’s the crew and their camp fire, still rejoicing.’ Another hour. Awake again, more smoke, but no fire and the crew silent now. Sleep again. And again! Choking this time and definitely not from wood smoke!…

    A lighted match with smoke. Tanganyikan safari: Fire in the night.
  • [9] The Donkey’s Revenge – Egyptian safari

    Easter, mid-1960s found me working in Cairo on my Egyptian safari, in a traffic jam, fortunately not driving. Two huge characters perched on a dray headed our queue, drawn by a very small off-white donkey. He waited for the whistle, the whip cracked. ‘Enough’ thinks the donkey, as he spreads out four legs, and sags…

    Donkey pulling a cart in Tunisia. Image by Olga Ozik from Pixabay
  • [10] African safari – The valley of the Shadow of Death

    Lightning now frequent and close – hardly need the headlights! Down into THE valley – Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, a lightning trap on this African safari. Just once, my passenger reached towards the crash bar. The vertical rock face is a reassuring milestone, but then a direct hit floodlights the scene.

    A flash of lightning at night.
  • [11] Souvenirs from East Africa: figures 1 to 3

    Souvenirs from East Africa, these wooden figures were collected mainly from Tanganyika – now Tanzania, during the early 1950’s. Most were bought at stations on the Central Railway Line…

    A wooden Leopard stalking.
  • [12] East African Colonialism out in the bush

    East African Colonialism; In Africa their simple tiny churches were much better attended than ours and, despite poverty and hardships, had a touching faith, humility and inner confidence. Mission training was its basis. Throughout East Africa, every known Christian denomination had a station somewhere. Priests and lay brothers – always known as ‘White Fathers’ – tore…

    Trees and dead grass in Nyasaland.
  • [13] A good read while on safari

    There was always a risk on arriving unbooked, to find ‘No Room At The Inn’ on my Tanganyikan safari. Unfortunately the reasons for my travels rarely gave enough notice to make reservations. Unlike the big city palaces, the bush hotel would usually fit you in somewhere…

    Evidence in Camera book by Constance Babington-Smith.
  • [14] Souvenirs from Tanganyika: figures 4 to 6

    This group of carved 3 figures, souvenirs from Tanganyika, is also made from a lightweight softwood, initially ‘Tea Rose’ coloured – darkening with age…

    Two Gazelles.
  • [15] Comfort in solitude: uplift

    Comfort in solitude, the ultimate experience was a first ever encounter with a powerful thermal of rising air, flying a glider. Throw her over into a steep turn, concentrate on ‘look-out’, scan the instruments and see the ground sinking away below…

    Snow covered mountain
  • [16] On a Wing and a Prayer

    The planes engine’s song keys down, her nose dips, and the little township rises centre stage. A touch to starboard and there’s the runway ahead, but something is wrong. On a Wing and a Prayer…

    Looking at the Navigator's desk on a Lancaster bomber.
  • [17] Souvenirs from Kenya: figures 7 to 8

    These wooden figures were collected in East Africa, mainly from Tanganyika – now Tanzania, during the early 1950’s…

    Three Rhinoceros, side by side
  • [18] The Silent Key

    The Silent Key, someone who is no longer around: I once found a group of 10 year-olds at an exhibition of WW2 equipment, puzzled by a morse key and buzzer; all computer experts probably (unlike me). But I had to ‘show them how’ and rattled out a quick ‘CQ’ _._. … (General call)…

    Morse Key