Fergus was interviewed by Paul Chambers for the opening shot of the 2021 Guernsey Literary Festival.

A big thank-you to the organisers, the sponsors, the Guille-Allès library and the sell-out audience, who together made the evening a success.

BUY The Lady With No Name in hardback from your local bookshop or online, including as an ebook, from:

Book Depository



ISBN: 9781838366308

14 colour photographs, map and line drawing

319 pages

The Lady With No Name is the first in a trilogy of voyages published together as Borderline Pass.

Buy Borderline Pass in hardback from your local bookshop or online, including as an ebook, from:

Book Depository



ISBN: 9781527223981  – 5 maps, 5 line drawings, 693 pages

Twenty-four bonus photographs beyond the fourteen in

The Lady With No Name

(page numbers may differ slightly in Borderline Pass)

Day 6, page 20, Turkey, above Kusadasi.

From left, with a mixture of wonder and horror, the author, Philip Blackwell, Claire Hill, bear and bear-tamer.

Day 7, page 20, Turkey, Ephesus.

View from the Bentley’s front passenger seat looking for a parking space in the ruins.

Day 9, page 25, Turkey, Izmir customs pound.

It is a spectacle of automotive damnation.’

Day 12, page 32, Turkey, Pamukkale.

‘… a spectacular alternative to the Villa d’Este or Monterey for a classic car photoshoot.

Day 14, page 42, Turkey, Sanilurfa.

Urfa airport has one flight a week, and it left yesterday.

Day 18, page 56, Turkey, Karaman.

Lunchtime in the tractor workshop. My rescuers. The two bosses sit second from left and second from right. Foxy is on the left.

Day 18, page 57, Turkey, Karaman.

First the welder licks the flame across the whole pump (if that is what it is) to warm it.

A Dervish at his day job.

Day 29, page 93, Turkey, west of Konya.

Cobalt sky, distant snow-capped mountains.

Day 29, page 94, Turkey, west of Konya.

A monumental old stone bridge, perhaps a royal one, stranded in a broad, dry riverbed.

Day 32, page 108, Syrian side of the Syrian-Turkish border crossing, above Iskenderun.

A teenage interpreter called Ahmed.

Day 33, page 115, Syria, west of al-Raqqa.

A last look at the south bank of the Euphrates, before heading into the desert.

Day 34, page 129, Syria, Palmyra.

An archeological wonder conjoined to a twentieth-century township on its rim.

The Fakhr-al-Din al-Maani Castle (1230) is on the distant hill between the last pillar and the arch.

Day 36, page 137, Jordan, Petra.

The amphitheatre… would have required silence in the rest of the town for anything to be heard from the stage below.

Day 43, page 169, Egypt, Cairo.

Sunset across the embassy compound.’

Day 46, page 185, Libya, Tobruk.

British sovereign territory in Libya, and the salaries of these grave-keepers comes in sterling via Cairo.

My notebook has crept into the shot on the left.

Day 46, page 188, Libya, Susa, formerly known as Apollonia.

‘…the closest natural harbour in Africa to Athens.

Day 48, page 214, Libya, west of Sirte.

A huge natural saltpan stretches beside the road, like the hard sugar on a school bun.‘ The Bentley is the white speck among the green vegetation on the extreme left.

Day 50, page 232, Tunisia, Jerba Island.

Homer’s land of the Lotus Eaters in his Odyssey.

Day 52, pade 248, Algeria, west of Constantine.

The contours are Grampian and I have even found a convincing loch, complete with a mist which might creep up the hill.

Day 53, page 251, Algeria, Mascara.

They don’t need mascara in Mascara.

Day 56, page 267, Spain, Seville. The tower of La Giralda.

‘I must head back to the Alphonso XIII and put her to bed for the Autumn.’

Day 61, page 289, France, Avignon shunting yard.

The ramp to the top deck is steep, like coming out of a riverbed in Syria.

Day 62, page 292, France, Paris-Bercy marshalling yard.

We are alone. No one is left to show off to. Now my little hellcat will pull herself together.

Day 62, page 294, France, Pas de Calais.

Freezing fog in the kingdom of the wicked witch.