Returning to the UK after years in the tropics, Mark Newham discovers all is not as he’d hoped. With British winters still as chilly and gloomy as the day he left, it was as if global warming had never happened. Had he been lied to? Was the data wrong? Or had his return just coincided with one of those times when weather conditions returned temporarily to how they’d been decades earlier? There was only one way to find out. Stick around for the worst of the winter and see.
Halfway through, he began to wish he hadn’t. Climate change? What climate change? Promises of being able to leave the house without a coat on mid-winter was the reason he’d bitten the bullet and come back. While the tropics had their attractions, there were significant disadvantages for certain age people like him. Little things like crumbling medical services, soaring crime rates, ever-increasing violence, power and water outages. Things he remembered being a rarity in the UK.
By and large they still were. Shame the awful British winter weather wasn’t. Could he hack it? The decision was made for him the day the boiler failed. There was nothing else for it. Spend winters somewhere hot and sunny until global warming really kicked in. But where?
After a lifetime of wandering the world as an international journalist he already had a long list of possibilities. All that was needed was to go and check some of them out. Shouldn’t take too long finding somewhere that fitted the bill, a place where savings made from not having to pay British winter heating and eating bills would cover the transport and accommodation costs. Two years? Three maybe?
Try twenty. For time and again, just as he was beginning to think the perfect place had at last been found, cracks would appear in the façade to make him think again… and resume the search elsewhere. In thirty-something locations across six continents.
Was there nowhere that ticked all the boxes on his perfect winter refuge criteria list? It was beginning to look very much like it.
Published 30 November 2022, Snow-Dodging for Umpteenagers is available in paperback and e-book formats quoting ISBN 978-1-7396498-0-7
Available from 30 November 2022 ‘SNOW-DODGING FOR UMPTEENAGERS’ is published in both paperback and ebook formats.
The paperback version can be obtained from the distributor https://www.ingramcontent.com/retailers/independent-bookstores/ordering, all Amazon country sites and a wide range of online and high street book stores quoting: ISBN 978-1-7396498-0-7
The e-book version is available through Amazon and other online book sites.
‘A rare old laugh’
‘Journalist/author Mark Newham spent 20 years roaming the world, dodging the northern winter in search of an earthly paradise. It would need good weather (obvs), a beach (palm-fringed if poss), flush toilets, G and T. It would have to be affordable – though sharks might cost him an arm and a leg. So, did he find his Shangri-La? That’s for you to find out. Pour a hot toddy, snuggle up by a blazing fire and treat yourself to a rare old laugh. This one’s on him.’
– Saga Magazine
During a thirty-year career as a print and broadcast journalist Mark Newham’s coverage of international affairs has appeared in almost every quality British newspaper, in international news magazines and on the BBC.
With foreign postings including Africa and China, Newham has combined journalism with media consultancy work for the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union.
Prior to Snow-Dodging for Umpteenagers he published three books, all with a China theme.
The first, Limp Pigs and the Five-Ring Circus – an exposé of the innermost workings of China’s propaganda machine – was published in 2011 and ranked Number One in Amazon’s politics and censorship category for several weeks. Updated two years later as an e-book entitled Limp Pigs 2013, the BBC called it ‘Unique... Inspiring...’