In 2003, I wrote:
"Speaking of amazing lives of English travel writers, when is Patrick Leigh Fermor going to come out with his third installment of his account of hoofing it from Holland to Istanbul prior to World War II? That guy had better hurry up. He's approaching 80..."
This only comes up because I recently met Bader Ben Hirsi, a young British director who just made the first film ever to come out of Yemen, A New Day in Old Sana'a, which I saw just a few days ago when in had its international premiere at the Cairo Film Festival.
What I really want to get my hands on is Ben Hirsi's first firm, called The English Sheikh and the Yemeni Gentlemen, in which the director is guided through his ancestral homeland by Tim Mackintosh-Smith the eccentric Oxford-educated travel writer who now lives in Yemen, dresses like a local and chews qat all day. He's the English sheikhl; Ben Hirsi, born and raised in London to ex-royal Yemeni exiles, is obviously the Yemeni gentleman.