john
Born in New Zealand, John began his working life in the navy before following a career in science. After gaining a PhD in Madison, Wisconsin, he has lived in France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. He is the author of Where Wine Flows like Water: A Gastronomic Pilgrimage through Spain, which chronicles the walking and culinary adventures of John and a friend as they walk from the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain. For some years, he was based in in the Bay of Islands in northern-most part of New Zealand, an area to which people are drawn for its climate, coastal scenery and opportunities for sailing. For some of this period, John, Delphine and their two children lived at a remote beach on Maori tribal lands. Shifting Sands grew out of this experience.

Shifting Sands

In New Zealand 1997. As a serial killer traumatises the country, Caspian is re-evaluating his career. Science has been his life, but an unorthodox approach to problem solving is out of favour with the new corporate ethos that sees science as a business. There are other pressures too as Caspian’s beautiful French wife, Marie-Claire, is becoming increasingly disenchanted with life at a remote beach on Maori tribal lands, an environment and lifestyle that Caspian is reluctant to give up. But when the body of a colleague is washed up on the sand and another, Robert, is arrested on suspicion of murder, nothing can ever be quite the same again. As he seeks to help his Maori detective friend establish Robert’s innocence, Caspian stumbles across a scam involving illegal genetic engineering experiments with a money trail leading to an international pharmaceutical company. As the suspense grows, the dirty underbelly of science for profit is revealed as a culture of corruption where the truth no longer holds any currency.

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Shifting Sands

Where Wine Flows Like Water

This is the second edition of 'Where Wine Flows Like Water: A Gastronomic Pilgrimage through Spain', which chronicles the sometimes hilarious adventures of two friends, John and Pete, walking the pilgrim trail, El Camino, some 1000 kilometers from the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in North-western Spain. Often lost, usually confused and frequently overcome by the rigours of the march, heady wine, spicy food and beautiful women, our middle-aged protagonists experience many of the deprivations and most of the pleasures as once did the legions of pilgrims in medieval times seeking redemption and indulgences for past and future crimes. With gusto, John and Pete confront the Old World and the uninhibited pursuit of pleasure that characterises Southern Europe. This sometimes leads them to overdo things, but always with the best of intentions. Wine tasting their way towards salvation, they innocently explore intriguing points of gastronomy, theology and the vexed relationship between religion and science. A selection of recipes from the kitchens of friends along the route offers an exotic smorgasbord of regional cuisines of France and Northern Spain. These recipes are, in the main, family dishes, the plates of everyday life and not the fare of celebrity chefs and Michelin stars. They provide a testament to a highly varied, flavoursome and unpretentious cuisine.

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