Troubador Without a Paddle

Released: 28/06/2016

ISBN: 9781785891687

Format: Paperback

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Without a Paddle

Tales from the Tyne and rivers far away


Born and bred in the North East of England, David Moffatt had no intention of disturbing his deep roots in the banks of the Tyne until his University tutor asked him to go to Mato Grosso in Brazil. With a fraught love life, and his football team heading for relegation, suddenly a year in the jungle sounded like a good idea. His life is changed forever... Against a backdrop of growing up in postwar Tyneside, Without a Paddle describes David’s travels in a series of tales and delightful vignettes. Amusing, sometimes hilarious, occasionally sad, we meet his drunken bush guide that he has to disarm, his incompetent camp cook who nearly poisons his boss, an odd assortment of expeditionaries from the elderly entomologist that David has to save from the wasps to a sexchange capybara, and the young female zoologist who…well, it’s all in the book. With a major bid submission hours away, David gets locked stark naked in his bathroom in Cairo, exiting via the window to a busy street seems his only option. At the height of the ‘red terror’ in post-revolutionary Ethiopia, his room is searched while he sleeps – and was the hammering on his door in a seedy hotel in Ogaden the beginning of a kidnap? New Year’s Eve in Rio finds him in a club to which he doesn’t belong and discover what happens to the Gambian beauty queen in Banjul market. After growing up on Tyneside with a teddy bear that travelled to South Africa, playing and watching football and more football, singing with The Invaders and being suspended from school, none of this had equipped David with the paddle he needed to steer him through his travels. Without a Paddle is a light-hearted memoir that will appeal to those with an interest in foreign travel, or who simply enjoy a good laugh.

'Meet the author' event on March 8th 2017 in the Jambavan Restaurant, Castle Street, Warwick at 6.30pm.

Royal Society/Royal Geographical Society expedition to Central Brazil 50th anniversary reunion in June 2017.

Hexham Courant

Northumbrian Magazine

Newcastle Alumni News

Northern Echo

That's Books and Entertainment

Books Monthly

I loved your book, beautifully written, fascinatingly descriptive and interesting,and it made me hoot in numerous places.

by LM

Reading the book aloud to Bill and thoroughly enjoying it. Good vocabulary.

by AL

I have started your book and am finding it such a pleasure to read. As I am probably one of the few people outside the expedition who has a clear idea of the narrative and relationships during the expedition, I am finding it extremely entertaining.

by CF

I thoroughly enjoyed "Without a Paddle” even if it did make my skin prickle and somewhat itchy while reading about life in Mato Grosso. The chapters about The Gambia did remind me of Somerset Maugham and the old colonial past.

by AW

I am an avid reader. However, over the last few years I have not been able to focus enough to read. Yours was the first book I have finished for a very long time. I very much enjoyed it, it was a light hearted, 'easy' read.

by LB

I've really enjoyed it. It was as though you were sitting across the table and telling the story. What fantastic experiences you have had! Being able to immerse myself in your book has helped me to switch off.

by SE

I thought I would drop you a line to say that I have just finished reading your book. It makes the otherwise dull London Underground journeys both exciting and educational.

by JG

An inspired title....and written in such an entertaining style. I am sure it will appeal also to those who do not have connections with Brazil and Africa.

by MM

An absorbing account of Overseas Development told in an accurate and amusing way. Dave Moffatt has brought to life the struggles in four countries through some very insightful anecdotes, these are of the people, his colleagues and his early years in the North East.

by LMc

Having partaken of a few travel adventures myself and knowing you of old I could vividly envisage many of the scenes your words portrayed and there was a bit of laughing out loud. I hope that was your intention and I have not misconstrued some erudite observations. Congratulations on producing such an entertaining book.

by PS

I have just finished reading your first novel and I must say I found it a very enjoyable read. I am not normally an avid reader but found it to be very humorous and difficult to put down.

by IC

I found it very enjoyable, especially your time in Whitley Bay. Your book brought back memories

by DG

As I am probably one of the few people outside the expedition who has a clear idea of the narrative and relationships during the XC expedition, I am finding it extremely entertaining.

by CF

It was an opportunity to delve straight into your biographical tales of periods in your early career. I’ve just finished the Brazilian section and enjoyed it immensely and wanted to both congratulate and thank you.

by MS

I want to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your book. Many very amusing stories, a lot of which made me laugh out loud. When is the sequel coming out?

by JP

David Moffatt

David was born in County Durham and brought up in the Northumbrian seaside town of Whitley Bay. He attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School in Newcastle and went on to do a degree in Agriculture at Newcastle University. He obtained a Royal Society Leverhulme Scholarship to work for a year on a Royal Society/Royal Geographical Society expedition to Central Brazil. His work on the expedition was recognised by his receipt of the Royal Geographical Society’s Mrs Patrick Ness Award for Scientific Exploration and Investigation. Completing his PhD at Newcastle, David then worked for the Ministry of Overseas Development in West Africa and Indonesia. In 1976 he joined ULG Consultants in Warwick, an international consultancy in Rural Development where he stayed for 25 years, working mainly in Asia and Southeast Asia, and for half that time was the Managing Director of ULG and affiliated companies. In 2001 he returned to hands-on consultancy on a free-lance basis. Since 2010 he has been closely involved with the Alumni Association of Newcastle University where he is currently a Member of Court.

David is married with two children and seven grandchildren and splits his time between his homes in Warwick and Corbridge, from where he and his wife roam the coast and moors of his native Northumberland.

The author

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